Tag: blazinal

This FP4Party is Off the Hook

This FP4Party is Off the Hook

A wizard is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.

Not to say I’m a wizard or anything, but in the midst of work, paint preparation, and general pandemonium right now I genuinely forgot that there is an FP4Party still going on. Serves me right but a single roll of the stuff sitting on my film to be shot shelf taunted me on the third-to-the-end day of shoot week. Thankfully my original plans for the weekend fell through and I found myself with a free Saturday morning to get out and shoot! Not to mention I had access to a stunning Fuji GSW690ii on loan for a camera review (it’ll be up in March) so it only made sense to use something new and frankly a fun camera to work with. Way back now, when I was just starting to get seriously into Photography one of the places I cut my teeth in learning the more technical aspects of photography was in abandoned buildings and what better city to do this in is Hamilton, Ontario. While the city has seen a major upswing of late in revival I decided what better place to go back and shoot on a grey Saturday morning. Not to mention I had to visit a Disney Store to get some gifts for my wife, and I didn’t want to spend a day in Toronto and Mississauga is…boring.

Twice a LadyEmpire TimesA Hotel for RoyaltyTrain DreamsFacade DreamsCentral PublicTV City

The GSW690ii is an amazing camera, and I won’t get into why until the review is published (it is however written), but the results they speak for themselves! Until next time, fellow partiers!

Technical Details:
All Photos were taken in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Fuji GSW690ii – EBC Fujinon-W f=65mm 1:5.6 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 01 – Kosmo Foto Mono 100

CCR:FRB – Review 01 – Kosmo Foto Mono 100

At your first glance, you see this Soviet Styled space-age packaging, and you know you’re in for a treat. Mono 100 is the new player on the block, a Panchromatic ASA-100 speed B&W Film. When I first learned that Kosmo Foto was working towards releasing a brand new film I jumped. While the Soviet-styled look will draw you in, the contents of the film itself will make you want to shoot more and more of the film stock.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100

The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: ASA-50 to ASA-400
Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm)

Roll 1 – Rodinal
Before I start, I’ll have to confess I went completely off spec for this first roll of film. The trouble, at least for me was, it’s been drummed into my head that you get poor results for developing times less than five minutes (well I did soup Tri-X in HC-110 Dil. B for 4.5 minutes for many years before switching). So when the chart for Mono 100 noted the Rodinal time was 3.5 minutes for 1+25 dilution my brain screamed at me. I then sat down, did a bit of math, looked at another ASA-100 film and decided to use a 1+50 dilution, double the time and add thirty seconds. I honestly did not expect it to work, but it did. As for the results, well they speak for themselves. Mono 100 has rich tones across the spectrum, incredibly fine grain, something I wasn’t expecting.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 01 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 2 – Kodak D-76
I never thought I would say this, but Mono 100 sings in D-76, I was again surprised at the short time for a diluted D-76, but in this case, the time is spot on. Not to mention D-76 shows off exactly what Mono 100 can do, smooth beautiful tones, and makes the world look right, the perfect monochromatic image. Especially with a deep yellow filter in front of the lens. There is some noticeable grain, but nothing that isn’t too bad.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 3 – Kodak TMax Developer
And the hits just keep on coming, Mono 100 responded perfectly to TMax Developer. As a developer, TMax and I have a hit-and-miss relationship. When I like it, I like it, when I don’t, I sort of use up the rest of the bottle reluctantly and then let it be for months. But in light of doing all these film reviews, it seemed only fair to give it a go. While I noticed a drop in contrast and a bit more of an uptick in grain it really is not a bad pairing.

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100 - Roll 03 (TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Kosmo Foto Mono 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 5:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
When it comes to new films these days I am a bit wary. When I first learned about Mono 100 I figured we’d get a polyester base grain fest. Of course, that is not the case, I’m not knocking polyester based films they just can be a bit hard to handle. The film reminds me of how Svema Foto 200 handles, with smooth realistic tones, excellent response to contrast filters and just makes the world look right. While I’m still not sold on a 3.5 minute time in Rodinal 1+25, I’m sure it turns out fine, just be ready with that stop bath! But for me the one thing I see as a problem is the lack of HC-110 times, in fact, you are dissuaded from using HC-110 with the film. Of course, if I had a couple more rolls I’d be souping it in Dilution B just to see what happens. But if I were to give two solid developers for Mono 100 I would say Rodinal and D-76 are the clear winners. Currently, the only way to get Mono 100 is to directly order it from Kosmo Foto, kosmofoto.com/product/kosmo-foto-mono-film/ current they’re out of stock but we hope to see some fresh product soon!

Return of the FP4Party

Return of the FP4Party

Well, looks who’s back! It’s the FP4Party! This time around I have no outstanding projects so unlike in the final FP4Party I can actually work hard on this one, unlike the last time I gave a rather lack-lustre performance. I sat down early and planned out my week, collecting five ideas of where to shoot and what I wanted to shoot with. The film, of course, a favourite of mine, Ilford FP4+. I came up with one roll of 35mm, three rolls of 120 and a box of 4×5. Now in the past, I’ve usually stuck to one day of shooting for these parties. But after the third month of the Delta Def Jam, I realized it can be a lot more fun to get out there and shoot over the course of the whole week and really get into the event. I wasn’t going to let the weather stop me and managed to get a solid seven days of shooting! The final count is 20 sheets of 4×5, all three rolls of 120 and then a roll of 35mm. With a bit of planning, I had everything processed in three days and three days worth of scanning and post-processing.

Day One – White Christmas – Oakville
It might be the first week of December, but for me, the Christmas season is in full swing. So why not head down to lovely downtown of Oakville, Ontario. Beautiful old homes and 19th Century charm to go with the large Christmas tree in the middle of the downtown. It helps me dream a little bit of a White Christmas. Plus it gives me a chance to escape from work just a little bit.

AD 1877StarbucksClean Lines

Day Two – If It’s Love – McCraney Valley Park
When you work in IT and also have a love of Photography, and you have access to plenty of amazing spots to take photos. Including one that has appeared many times in my work, McCraney Valley Park, located just behind the Sheridan Trafalgar Campus. But unlike many other times I’ve photographed this little gem, I made a point to get in close, shooting nothing beyond f/16 just to show off the nice out-of-focus areas that my large format lenses can produce. If it’s love, why not shoot with it! I decided to stand-develop this film, while not my usual method its one that’s been coming back into my technique drawer.

Organic By NatureThe Claw!A Gently Running Stream

Day Three – Empty Streets – 4th Line/Omagh
If you look hard enough around the rural areas of Oakville and Milton you’ll discover that there are lots to explore. From the empty streets of the 4th line, now Glenorchy Conservation Area, to empty farmhouses in the village of Omagh. Not everything has been knocked down. While the 4th Line was shot at the noon hour, the abandoned buildings were better lent to the dying light of the day. Nothing like a seven-minute exposure in minus seven-degree celsius weather. But totally worth it!

The Old Road16 Miles The Robertson FarmThe 5th Line Farm

Day Four – Rather Be – Milton
For a few years, I did my hardest to escape my hometown. Of course this was all in vain, because I was never meant to leave when I wanted to, and today, by the Grace of God alone, my staying has been a blessing for me, as by staying I met my future wife, fell in love, got married and now there’s no place I’d rather be.

Brick and StoneStone CottageSt. Pauls

Day Five – River Constantine – Limehouse
While the river that once powered a mill and the lime kilns at Limehouse is no River Constantine, it still provides a quiet place to sit, walk, and enjoy the deepness of winter and nature. Not to mention it’s a rather a rather special place for me and my wife.

A Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse Saturday

Day Six – Beyond the Veil – Erin
The small town of Erin is another gem along an old provincial highway, now often missed because of freeways. But if you look Beyond the Veil of speed, and just want a lazy drive with a comfortable place to stop, walk, and enjoy then maybe take a scenic route.

Downtown ErinDowntown ErinDowntown Erin

Day Seven – Winter Wonderland – Belfountain
Well we’ve reached the end point of the party and if you’ve been tracking my locations on the map you’ll see I’ve moved from south to north and found myself in my favourite Winter Wonderland, that of Belfountain. I first learned of this little quiet area thanks to Bill Smith, and if I remember correctly I ran into him once in the quiet winter. Officially, the conservation area is closed in the winter, but you can still access it. Not to mention the beautiful little village that surrounds the area. Sadly by the start of December, it wasn’t much of a winter wonderland, but still a good spot!

AntiquesThe CascadeThe Village Church

Thank you for partying on with me as we journeyed through Ontario using one of my favourite film stocks that is still produced. Ilford FP4+, in a previous entry you’ll see that FP4+ is going to play a big roll in the new year as the film of choice for the Project:1867 – Acts of Confederation Project which kicks off in a couple weeks!

Technical Details:
Day One – Downtown Oakville, Ontario
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 150mm 1:3.5 N – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Day Two – McCraney Valley Park Park – Oakville, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+100) 60:00 @ 20C

Day Three Pt.1 – Glenorchy Conservation Area, Formerly 4th Line, Oakville, ON
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 & Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Day Three Pt.2 – Omagh, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Day Four – Downtown Milton, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

Day Five – Limehouse Conservation Area – Limehouse, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Day Six – Downtown Erin, Ontario
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Day Seven – Belfountain, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 75 – Ricoh Diacord L

CCR Review 75 – Ricoh Diacord L

I’ve always found the TLR to be an enjoyable camera to operate. From my very first Lubitel 2, the Yashica-12, and my current Rolleiflex 2.8F. The waist level finder, the dedicated finder lens and near silent operation. Of course, for the average photographer, the two brands that come to mind when it comes to TLRs is Rollei (both flex and cord) along with Yashica. But if you just stuck with these two brands you just might miss out on several other options, one being the Ricoh Diacord. The model under review today is the Diacord L, L standing for lightmeter. While the Diacord could never stand up to the heavy hitters from Rollei, it certainly can hold its own against Yashica and Minolta. Thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning the Diacord out for review.

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L
The Dirt

  • Make: Ricoh
  • Model: Diacord L
  • Type: Twin Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium (120), 6×6
  • Lens: Fixed, Rikenon 1:3.5 f=8cm
  • Year of Manufacture: 1957

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LCCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

The Good
Most users of TLRs are used to having a focus knob on the side of the camera, however, with the Diacord this has been replaced with a see-saw control that operates by an up and down motion to set the focus. While this works great for wide focusing, but is a bit tricky for fine adjustments, but I’m sure with some practice it can be achieved. The camera, despite having a meter does not require a battery as the meter is selenium based and the name badge flips up to reveal it, this means that even with the age of the camera most will have functioning cells as they’re kept in darkness. Weight wise, the camera is lighter than my Rolleiflex, and with a decent strap, it can be carried around without any pain or effort for a day’s worth of shooting. Plus don’t let the light weight fool you, the Diacord has a good build quality. Finally, let’s talk optics, I’ve reviewed several Ricoh built cameras and lenses, and the optical quality of the Rikenon glass is excellent. And even with a f/3.2 finder lens, the viewfinder is nice and bright even in the dim dusk light of the four o’clock hour.

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LCCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

The Bad
Despite my enjoyment of TLRs, the Diacord has some serious points that turn me away from the camera. The first is the film advance; the press-release advance is something that I find annoying in all cameras. If you do it wrong, you either advance the film too far and mess up frame spacing or do damage to the camera itself. Either way, it’s a mechanism that is not needed as there were already several tried and true crank based options on the market. While the camera does have a solid light meter, the exposure settings are frustrating, as the shutter speed and aperture settings are not fully independent of each other, and the meter itself hand to read and understand. Even with using my Gossen Lunasix F, setting the camera is a troublesome task.

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LCCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

The Lowdown
Both the good and the bad seem to balance each other out on this camera leaving me on the fence. I can remember my first exposure to the camera back on the first Mystery Camera Challenge for the Classic Camera Revival Podcast, where we ended up naming the camera the Ricoh DOAcord. The trouble is that the camera is of a certain age that a CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) is well needed to ensure proper operation. In fact, before I took the camera out I had to run the shutter several times before it could release. Despite the solid optics and easy use of the camera, I cannot truly recommend it. I’ll have to say you’d be better off getting a Yashica 124G or Minolta Autocord before a Diacord.

All Photos Taken in St. Mary’s Pioneer Cemetery, Oakville, Ontario
Ricoh Diacord L – Rikenon 1:3.5 f=8cm – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Delta Def Jam – Part III

Delta Def Jam – Part III

In the past, I have chosen to use just a single film stock to shoot these film challenges laid out by Emuslive. Not because I have to based on the rules of the challenge, just because I choose to. In part one I used Delta 100 in 35mm and part two Delta 400 in 120. But for part three I decided to go crazy and shoot not one, not two, but four rolls from all across the spectrum. Following no real pattern, shooting from the hip and living with the results! I plan to have seven solid shots from each of the four rolls to toss into the ring for the judges that make up the board for the Delta Def Jam!

Roll One – Into the Valley
One of the joys of working at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Road Campus is that I have a beautiful valley behind the campus in which to escape from the world of computers. For me, it provides a haven from the stresses of work!


Roll Two – Of Abstract Nature
I had originally wanted to shoot some street style portraits of the faculty on the picket lines as if you’ve been following the news here in Ontario all the College faculty are still on strike. However, the day I was shooting, bad news had been dropped so the feeling on the line was low, so I decided it best to just avoid them and headed back into McCranney Valley to do some detail shots. I have, in the past, shot Delta 3200, and it isn’t exactly my film of choice. But you don’t turn down a free roll so I pulled it to ASA-800 and let fly. And despite being ever so grainy, I am actually pleased with these!

The Smaller ThingsNew LifeClinging On

Roll Three – Early Mornings
As the weather has all of a sudden turned cold here in southern Ontario, it’s time to get the winter tires installed on my car, so a Saturday morning found me in downtown Milton. While waiting for my car to be done so, I figured it was perfect to get those early morning rays in the historic downtown with the Hasselblad and Delta 400.

The Old Post OfficeWaldie's BlacksmithSt. Pauls

Roll Four – We Will Remember Them
The final roll of the jam I took out to my local Remembrance Day ceremony. And it was cold, so rather than take out an electronic camera with AA batteries, I decided to run with something a little more mechanical in nature and decided to shoot my F2 with the 135mm f/2.8 lens. I aimed to capture respectfully the faces of those in attendance especially the veterans who still live and who’s friend’s names could be listed on the cenotaph. For me, these ceremonies are emotionally charged so having a camera helps keep me grounded.

A Chilly MorningRest on Arms ReversedA Helping Hand

And that’s it! It’s been an amazing three months and the finalists who made it through September and October have outputted some fantastic work with the Delta line of films. I even had a chance to prove that I do actually like Delta 400 I just need to develop it right and Delta 3200 is still really grainy, but hey it was a fun roll to shoot! Next up I’m looking forward to the return of the FP4Party! I have my plan, my cameras, films, developers, and locations ready!

Technical Details.
Roll One – McCraney Valley Park – Oakville, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Two – McCraney Valley Park – Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Delta 3200 @ ASA-800
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Three – Historical Downtown – Milton, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four – Remembrance Day Ceremony – Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI Nikkor 135mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

I Will Remember

I Will Remember

Here, at the end of history, we know that the war that is The Great War would only last one more year until on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour the guns across Europe would fall silent. But one hundred years ago they did not know that.

Least We Forget

The men and women who served, in another 100 years will they names be read aloud by the public? Will their names still be remembered? Will our grandchildren know of the sacrifice of those who died 200 years before? Will there be the same fanfare of sober celebration?

In Memorial

I don’t know about then, that’s the future, I’m here now, and I know that I will remember. And I take my duty actively to make sure the generation after me remembers as well.

Least We Forget

Because if I forget, how can the future remember?

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer

All the photos featured here were taken in 2017 of war memorials I have photographed in my travels. The icon on social media is a simple 3D replica of a carving found in the tunnels beneath Vimy Ridge in France. I hope you, dear reader, take the time to attend a ceremony tomorrow or take a moment to be silent and remember at 11 am. If you need to know where you can attend such a ceremony in Ontario, you can find the details on the Ontario Government Site.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Technical Details (From Top to Bottom)
Cambridge, Ontario – Downtown Galt
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Kew Gardens
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Oakville, Ontario – Georges’ Square
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Church of the Redeemer
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

World Toy Camera Day – 21 October 2017

World Toy Camera Day – 21 October 2017

Black powder and a plastic camera is the theme of World Toy Camera day for my shoot. This year I am not in an exotic location like Pittsburg or Washington DC, but instead, I participated in the final War of 1812 Reenactment event of the season at the Bradley House Museum in Mississauga. So into my Haversack went my Holga 120N loaded up with a roll of Fomapan 100. While toy cameras aren’t for everyone, they certainly add a touch of fun to my photography. For the most part, I work with high-end equipment, but I do enjoy the strange nature of toy cameras, plastic lenses, and fixed shutter speeds. But enough of words for this post, as much as I like writing. I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves! I really need to remember to bring the Holga out to more events, it gives a unique look to the images that suit the time period. Considering photography wasn’t invented yet.

Gather Round

The HMS Psyche

Musket Work

Stacked Arms

The Entertainment

If you’re thinking of getting into Toy Camera photography, I’ve done reviews on a few ‘toy’ cameras. Check out the Holga 120N and the FPP Debonair.

All Photos Taken at The Bradley House Museum – Mississauga, Ontario
Holga 120N – Optical Lens 1:8 f=60mm – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 73 – Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 – Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The 1980s were a weird time, both for the world as a whole and for the camera industry. We saw the rise of electronics in cameras and the strange merge between the modern era and style and a clinging to the earlier form factors. One of the iconic styles is the Canon T-Series, these were automatic cameras complete with auto-exposure on manual focus cameras. While these T-Series started off fairly boxy, but by the Canon T90, they had some streamlining. Enter the Yashica 108 Multiprogram (Yashica 108MP), like the T-Series Canon cameras the 108 features autoexposure (heavy automation in the camera) and a manual focus lens. Despite carrying the Yashica name, this is not a Yashica but rather a Kyocera. The same time the Japanese firm got their hands on the Contax name. They aimed the Yashica on the consumer market while Contax aimed at the higher end while maintaining the C/Y Mount. Now the 108MP is aimed at the middle of the line photographers and like other cameras from the 1980s provides a solid shooting experience for someone who needs a cheap and fast way into 35mm film photography but is only a stepping stone.

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram
The Dirt

  • Make: Kyocera
  • Model: Yashica 108 Mutliprogram
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
  • Lens: Interchangeable, C/Y Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: Unknown, guessing late 1980s or early 1990s

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The Good
The strongest feature on this camera is the C/Y mount, or rather Contax/Yashica. This means that you have access to a pile of amazing lenses including Carl Zeiss (built under license) which match the optical quality of the German-built lenses. Trust me, I shoot these lenses on my Contax G2 which is also a Kyocera camera. And the camera itself is fairly easy to use and figure out even without a manual. One thing I always harp on with cameras is how it’s powered and in this case, the 108MP, despite being from the 80s/90s is powered by AAA batteries, four of them. This makes it easy to find batteries no matter where you are in the world.

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The Bad
One of the first thing I recognised with the camera is how plastic it feels and bulky. Despite the streamlined look of the camera that looks like a T90 but this camera is little more than a T90 lookalike without the guts of that camera. The 108MP isn’t tall, and I found myself constantly looking for a better place to set my fingers. For a 35mm SLR that has a fairly normal look and operation, it’s awkward to operate. You have no feedback in the viewfinder when operating in Program and Aperture Priority mode (which is marked as Av on the dial, another Canon inspired mark) only a green dot and an icon to indicate you need flash. Now despite having some amazing lenses available in C/Y mount, there are plenty of bad lenses, truly cheap. And finally there’s no way to manually adjust the film speed, it auto recognizes the film canister’s DX code and if there isn’t one it defaults to ASA/ISO-100. And it doesn’t even do a good job with that, my film came out a touch over-exposed. While not a deal breaker, you will want to stick to DX Coded films.

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

CCR Review 73 - Yashica 108 Multiprogram

The Lowdown
This is not a camera I would recommend for anyone looking to get into the C/Y system, poor build quality, awkward operation, and generally a poor man’s copy of a Canon T-Series. And the reason being is that it is a stop-gap camera, a save-face before the release of the Autofocus 230AF. But if you’re starting out, this might be an okay choice. Basic, no-nonsense, and little you can do. However, as soon as you use it you’ll want to start looking for another camera to move up to. At least there are better C/Y cameras out there. You’d be better off finding a Canon T50 or going with the Contax line of cameras from Kyocera, better quality overall.

All Photos Taken at the Bradley House Museum, Mississauga, Ontario
Yashica 108 Multiprogram – Yashica Lens Zoom MC 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 (Yellow-12) – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

If you’ve ever listened to me talk about film, you’ll know there are some films I have a strong view. I love my Kodak Tri-X and JCH Streetpan 400; then there are the ones I’m not too happy with, that is Ilford HP5+ in 35mm and Delta 400 in general. But what if I could change my mind on just one? Would it give me another tool in the kit to use to get a specific look? Could I shoot four rolls of a film stock and come to like it, even go as far as recommending it? Challenge Accepted.

That film isn’t Delta 400, I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like the stock actually I just developed Delta 400 in Kodak D-23 and it turns out it’s not a bad film stock either, but I feel HP5+ can be one that I just might be able to. So I’ll give it a shot, get five rolls of the stock, load it up into trusted cameras, visit suitable locations, and then pick developers I’ve never used with 35mm HP5+ and go to town.

Roll One: SPUR HRX
I got the idea of using SPUR HRX after looking on Flickr after Tony posted a question on the Toronto Film Shooters Group. Tony had asked for developer recommendations for HP5+ and Mike suggested SPUR HRX. To be fair in this case, I also pushed the film a little bit more than an average day of shooting. I shot the roll indoors in a sort of abandoned, or rather closed campus of Sheridan College. I figured, if I’m going to learn to like the film, I might as well take it into a familiar situation for me.


Bravo Six


The Moody Darkness

The results they speak for themselves, the images are dark, moody, and the contrast is rich. Not surprising given the lighting conditions. I did note that there a more substantial grain pattern, but using a sharp developer on a 400-speed film will do that, but it isn’t anything worth complaining.

Roll Two: Pyrocat-HD
When in doubt just run with a Pyro developer. I started working with Pyro based developers after seeing some of the amazing work Mat Marrash has been doing with HP5+ in 8×10 and this developer. Having some early morning light in Toronto, I loaded up the roll into my trusty Contax G2 and went to town!

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

When I pulled the negatives out of the tank, I noticed something different, something I had only seen with Kodachrome. Yes, the layers of exposure on the film had a relief to them, as if the silver had been hand etched onto the film base itself. And then into the scanner and you saw this clean three-dimensional image, smooth tones and no grain at all.

Roll Three: Kodak D-23
One of the first developers I ever used was Kodak D-76, it was at the time the preferred developer of my teacher Julie Douglas. While I have only used a single jug of the stuff since, I have latched onto its cousin, the slower acting D-23. I’ve souped plenty of film stocks in it and like how it makes Tri-X look, so I figured it would be a good candidate.

Nature Trail...

Roughing It

Taking on the CRAIG

Take a Seat

I really liked D-23, it performed as I expected it would give the usual smooth tones all the way through the grayscale. Indeed an excellent choice for the film. I’m now hankering to try this with medium and large format versions of HP5+.

Roll Four: Kodak Microdol-X
I happened across this developer completely by accident during my 52-sheet project and came to enjoy using it. While an older Kodak developer again, and not available under the Kodak name, but Legacy Pro has their Mic-X which is the same. Microdol is a fine grain soft developer so it should be able to work a bit of magic.

The Masons

Back to the War

Lighting the Way

Pick Me Up

I honestly don’t know what went wrong with these photos. They all seemed overexposed. The camera, my Nikon F5 has a solid meter, the ASA/ISO setting was correct. Maybe it was the Orange-22 filter I used or the harsh sunlight. I had to work some post-processing magic on these. I think that I need to reduce the developing times by 1 minute or give the film a slight pull to make Microdol-X work.

Roll Five: Kodak HC-110
When you’re having trouble with something, how about going back to an old friend. Kodak HC-110 is one of two developers I have not stopped using since I started developing my own black & white film. The other is Rodinal, but not wanting to give the film one hell of a pull, I figured HC-110 in the standard Dilution B would be a good way to help out.

Blown Open

Eroded Away

Follow the Rails

Sun Dappled

HP5 sings with HC-110, you get to see how sharp the film stock is with this Kodak developer, and the contrast is dead on point even in the strange lighting conditions that are a sun-dappled forest at high-noon. While not exactly the best time to be out shooting it provides a real test for what a film and developer can do, and HC-110 is a sure winner in this case.

When I first set out to shoot these five rolls of HP5+ I went into it thinking I didn’t like the film stock in 35mm, however, upon shooting these five rolls I realised that I did like the film, I had just had some bad encounters with it in the past. In the end, it’s a solid film stock one that I will use in the future because I won’t always be able to find Kodak Tri-X, and now I have several developing options. I also plan on trying to perfect that Microdol-X time/speed issue.

Technical Data:
Roll One: Sheridan College, Skilled Trades Centre, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Two: Toronto, Ontario
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three: Rattlesnake Point, Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four: Ancaster, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Orange-22) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak Microdol-X (Stock) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Five: McCraney Valley Park, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

It’s been a while since I’ve had a wedding to write about, and this wedding is one that has been in the works for some time now. And the longest I’ve ever been on retainer for a job. But in this case, it was well worth the wait. I am of course talking about the wedding between Amy and Jeremy.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

The trouble with weddings is how do you go about photographing them? I say this because a wedding is a job that is many jobs. You’re a portrait photographer, event photographer, counsellor, valet, gopher, and many other jobs on top of everything else.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

So this time around I made a point to approach this wedding how I do weddings best, as a photojournalist. Because, while a wedding is an event, it’s also a story, the story of the day. So when I arrived, I started to work to tell the story of Amy and Jeremy’s wedding.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

And you know, I hit my groove, I just moved along taking things as they came. I also found out that I can be in two places at once especially during the ceremony. Having the small, lightweight a6000 and sticking to only three lenses for the camera allowed me to capture the ceremony (and edit out all the crying photos) along with my trusty F5 (first time shooting it at a wedding) with only the 50mm lens. An outdoor wedding gave me all the space I needed to move around and eliminated the need to have the heavy 70-200mm lens I had lugged along; the classic AI-S Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 gave me all the reach I needed.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

For portraits, I wanted something a little bigger to work with so out came the Hasselblad, again the first time the Hassy has been used at a wedding along with the Gossen Lunasix F. It sang as well as we moved throughout the village. Having never been to the Kawartha Settler’s Village I had settled to scout the place using their website and Flickr to come up with the buildings I wanted to us. And what made the whole thing a fantastic job to shoot, is how smoothly I worked with the people and how well they responded.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

As for the film stock, of course, I went with Kodak Tri-X 400. When you’re out shooting something important, you have to go with a film stock you know and trust and what better way to shooting a wedding as a photojournalist than with the go-to film for photojournalism. The only difference is that instead of using Pyrocat-HD for the portraits I decided to try something different and developed the medium format Tri-X in Blazinal (Rodinal) and the results they speak for themselves. I wish nothing but happiness for these two, it’s been a long time coming, and it was well worth the wait.

Technical Details:
Colour Digitals: Sony A6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS, AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D, AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5, KMZ Helios 44M-2
B&W Film (Rectangular): Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C
B&W Film (Square): Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C