There’s always a sense of wonder when working with cameras as old as the Jiffy Kodak. Despite the bellows, it is little more than a fancy dressed up box camera. And yet there is a strange draw to shooting with it; you can just shoot from the hip and hope it works out, and yet there are a few things in this dressed up box that creates a unique shooting experience. But first, I have to speak on how cool this camera is, despite lacking the art deco faceplate that gives the Jiffy Kodak an iconic look for the 1930s, like the Beau Brownie, theRead More →

While I have shot only a handful of Canon products during my reviews, they’ve all given positive results in my books. The Canon FTb is not bucking this trend as a solid match needle, mechanical SLR it is certainly a top pick for me as a student camera. Simple in its operation, and yet provides a good solid introduction to 35mm film photography. Special thanks to Bill Smith for loaning out this black beauty! The Dirt Make: Canon Model: FTb Type: Single Lens Reflex Format: 135 (35mm), 36×24 Len: Interchangeable, Canon FD Mount Year of Manufacture: 1971 The Good The number one thing I loveRead More →

There are plenty of developers out there that I have yet to try, some because they just aren’t made anymore and others because I just cannot get them in Canada. Plus I can be a creature of habit and stick to what I know and can get the results I want. So when a fellow photographer and CCR co-host Mike Bitaxi, started talking about this new developer he was working with my interest oddly enough grabbed especially after seeing the results. The developer in question is SPUR HRX. SPUR, or Speed Photography, Ultra Resolution, is a company out of Germany that I had never heardRead More →

When Pentax developed their K-Mount, they decided that this, like the M42 they had used before would become the standard for bayonet mount SLRs. And while the K-Mount remains to this day pretty much untouched it did not become the standard with Nikon and Canon developing their own lens mounts. However this didn’t stop other companies from latching onto the K-Mount band wagon and several clones soon popped up. One such camera was the XR7 by Ricoh (oddly enough it was Ricoh that ended up buying up Pentax). And what a camera the XR7 is, this is a small light weight semi-automatic SLR that canRead More →

Probably one of my more interesting cameras in my tool kit, but one that I really like but don’t take out often enough. I guess that’s the biggest problem with having a lot of working cameras. This Lomography camera is a copy of the Zenit Horzion 202, a panoramic camera designed for use in the Soviet Space program during the height of the cold war. This odd camera certainly caught my eye so when I netted a good discount with Lomography I went and picked it up. While not one work with every day, it’s still a really fun camera for a different look. TheRead More →

Found in a mysterious factory in Rochester, New York, the Debonair, or the FPP Plastic Filmstastic 120 Debonair is one of the strangest cameras I’ve reviewed for this blog series. But also one of the more fun ones to use. This funky toy camera is one of many Holga/Diana clones that started to pop up in the late 20th century. It uses 120 roll film in a 6×4.5 format but portrait orientation, light weight and produces actually really fun results with the nice soft plasic “Super” lens. And to make this review extra special the images shot were done on World Toy Camera Days theRead More →

Back when I visited Ottawa for the first time in several years this past September I lugged along my 4×5 camera, and while I wasn’t too pleased with every shot, I made a point when I was there this past weekend to really focus, slow down, and work with the 4×5 primarily and put the smaller formats away. The results were a much stronger set of images that I am incredibly proud of and do plan on getting these into the darkroom to print. Centre Block East Block Chateau Laurier Details of the National War Memorial The Connaught Building – National Headquarters The National GalleryRead More →

So why go back and revisit photos that are getting close to four years old now, I have plenty of new good content to share. However there is something to be said for taking a look back at your photographic journey, and to see where, everything changed. For me, that change really took place here, in Montreal Quebec during my vacation there in 2010. I think my muse finally woke up in Montreal, especially in old Montreal. And film started to come back to me in a big way. But not just medium, but stylistically I finally got what I was looking for in myRead More →

I told you that I couldn’t capture all of Chicago in seven images…but fourteen doesn’t seem to work either. But anyways, for week 47 I decided to blow back to Chicago for a quick trip, mostly Chinatown but I did swing up into the Loop to take a visit to Central Camera (I needed fixer). Chinatown was fantastic, it felt very much like Toronto’s but with the Sears Tower looming overhead rather than the CN Tower, the same mix of north American and Asian influenced architecture (there was even a pagoda on the roof of a building). Not to mention tea shops, restaurants (I doRead More →

You just cannot capture Chicago in seven images, but I sure gave it a try…I loved this city, it felt right walking (quickly) along Michigan Ave, and it was clean. I mean I’ve visited New York, Boston, and Montreal, all great historic cities that maintain their historical elements to a greater degree than say Toronto, and Chicago is clean, Chicago has a good image, it’s citizens are proud of their city. While I was in the city I hung out with LeAnn, and she could not stop talking about it, and I don’t say this in a bad way! Now I can’t stop talking aboutRead More →