Tag: classic camera revival

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 38 – Consumer Grade

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 38 – Consumer Grade

ccr-logo-leaf

Today we talk about those great little cameras that may not hit the professional mark, but instead take on a more plastic approach. That’s right we’re talking consumer cameras this episode we also have a great new film stock to talk about, that’s right the first film out of Kosmo Foto, Mono 100!

Cameras in Today’s Show…

Nikon F90
Don’t let this camera fool you, the Nikon F90 is a solid piece of engineering often overshadowed by the Nikon F4, but for John and Alex, it is their camera of choice when they want an SLR, without having to carry around a massive camera.

CCR Review 41 - Nikon F90

Make: Nikon
Model: F90
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1992-2001

Minolta X700
A classic Minolta camera and one that is well liked around the table. One of the first Minolta cameras to offer full program mode and with a large range of lenses to back it up is certainly a worthy addition to any Minolta collection.

CCR - Review 34 - Minolta X-700

Make: Minolta
Model: X-700
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Minolta MD Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1981

Canon Elan II
Like the F90, the Elan II may be consumer grade but it certainly has the quality and features of a pro camera, and for Mike, it is his choice in solid cameras that don’t cry over if something happens.

Make: Canon
Model: EOS Elan II/EOS 50
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Canon EF Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1995

Eos ELAN II

Canon Rebel Ti
Don’t get this camera confused with a digital camera, it was 35mm first and for Donna a great way to crack into the 35mm film market as it’s pretty similar to the digital SLR of the same name.

Make: Canon
Model: EOS Rebel Ti/EOS 300V
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Canon EF Mount
Year of Manufacture: 2001

Canon EOS Rebel Ti

Kosmo Foto Mono 100

CCR:FRB - Review 01 - Kosmo Foto Mono 100

If there’s one thing we’re seeing in 2018 is that film is back and new film stocks are starting to make it to market. But the one that has us rather excited is Kosmo Foto’s Mono 100. This fantastic B&W ASA-100 film looks beautiful in almost any developer you soup it in, but the one developer both Alex and Bill agree on is Blazinal 1:50 for 7.5 minutes or Kodak D-76 1:1. Plus who doesn’t like the amazing space-age packaging!

End of the LineDowntown DundasCCR: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)

You can read more about Alex and Bill’s adventures with Mono 100 over on the Kosmo Foto Page. Just click the names!

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

CCR:FRB – Review 05 – Ilford FP4+

CCR:FRB – Review 05 – Ilford FP4+

When I first discovered Kodak Plus-X I was hooked, instantly. But sadly Plus-X went away and while I still scramble to find old stock whenever I can, I can always go to Ilford FP4. Now that’s not to say FP4+ plays second fiddle to Plus-X in my book. In FP4+ I found probably the most versatile film that maintains a level of consistency across the board and formats within in the mid-speed range. Fine grain, sharp, and a contrast to die for. Not to mention a legacy that goes back to when Ilford first started producing flexible films.

CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-125, Latitude: 50-400
Formats Available: 135, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
It’s not often that I find FP4+ boring, but in the case of D-76, it is. It’s not a bad combination, there’s just so much more you can do with FP4+ than let it soup in a standard developer. But it still produces a decent negative and everything you like about FP4+ can be found in the negatives I just find the contrast off my just a hair. I actually prefer to soup my FP4+ in the older slower cousin, D-23 with a slight pull to ASA-100 to really show off what the film can do!

HandpaintedA TowerA simple doorA Touch of Modern

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 8:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
Probably one of my favourite ways to develop FP4+ despite not using the combination often. HC-110 really ramps up the contrast to a pleasing level without anything over the top. You still get the fine grain and sharpness. And the developer does really play to the film’s strengths. While there are some out there who don’t enjoy HC-110 with FP4+ it certainly does work when you don’t have anything else laying around.

Project:1812 - Path To VictoryProject:1812 - Brock's Monument(s)Project:1812 - Fort MississaugaProject:1812 - Brock's Dead House

Technical Details:
Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon-PS 65mm 1:4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
What do you pair a classic film with? A classic developer of course! One of my favourite combos for FP4+ is Rodinal, it brings out everything you like about the film and more. Not only does it make for extremely printable negatives but they scan like a dream with little needing to be done when you’re post-processing the scans. Negatives are sharp, the tone and contrast are dead on the money and while you may find an uptick in the grain in 35mm it’s hardly noticeable in 120 and large format. The film also responds well to stand developing with the tones becoming more like butter and the grain near non-exsistant.

A Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse Saturday

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Tmax Developer
While I knew of the pushing capabilities of Ilford FP4+, I never thought that TMax developer would be a good choice. But I was kind of forced into it, yet as I pulled the film out I was seriously impressed with the results. Of course, when I mentioned this to fellow podcast host Mike, he laughed and told me that TMax developer is a compensating developer so of course, it would work great for pushing. Well push or no push, TMax does a fantastic job on the film stock.

CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)

Technical Details:
Nikon FE – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-200
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
When it comes to film that can take anything you can throw at it and turn around and give you exactly the results you want, then FP4+ certainly ranks among those films. A bullet proof stock that likes every developer you throw at it. While D-76, HC-110, Rodinal, and TMax developer are all solid options. I’ve also souped the stuff in Pyrocat-HD, D-23, SPUR HRX and a wide range of Ilford developers (Microphen, Perceptol, DD-X, Ilfosol 3) and it loves everyone and provides the same consistent results no matter what developer and format you get it in. No questions, no troubles, just amazing photos, that’s FP4+.

CCR Review 82 – Mamiya 645AF-D III

CCR Review 82 – Mamiya 645AF-D III

It only makes sense that the iconic Mamiya m645 grew up, and ended up being a perfect camera that blends the traditional film and modern digital photographic market. I am of course talking about the Mamiya 645 AF-D III. The AF-D III is by far the newest and most advanced camera I’ve had a chance to review in these blogs and well worth the wait. The camera is the medium format camera for the 21st-Century hybrid shooter as it can accept both traditional medium format film and digital backs. The penultimate iteration of the classic wedding photographer workhorse that will pay for itself if you care to invest in the system and a joy to work with. Thanks to James Lee for loaning this beauty out.

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

The Dirt
Make: Mamiya
Model: 645 AF-D III
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format (120/220), 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Mamiya 645 AF Mount
Year of Manufacture: Post-2001

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

The Good
Like the Nikon F4 bridging the divide between auto-focus and manual focus professional 35mm SLRs, the 645 AF-D III bridges the divide between film and digital in the professional medium format market. The camera features few menus, opting for buttons or dials operations of all the major functions and the camera controls are well laid out and easy to figure out what does what without too much referencing the manual. The camera has an amazing metering system and autofocus that is snappier than I expected. While the optics aren’t anything special, they are decent for the job. And the camera is well balanced and fits well in hand and handles well; I could shoot the camera all day at a wedding and not get tired. But the one thing that sells me on the camera is that it uses proper magazines, you can swap out mid-roll, you could even go right from shooting film to shooting a digital back without blinking. Plus when shooting film, you get the full 16-shots on a roll unlike the m645, and the magazines accept both 120 and 220 film with just switching around the pressure plate. And a final bonus feature is the imprinting of the exposure data in the rebate area of the film, you can also find this on newer Pentax 645 cameras.

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

The Bad
I always try to come up with a couple of poorer points of a camera but in this case, I can only a few little tiny annoying feature. First is setting the ISO settings on the film magazines it a bit fiddly with the small buttons that you need to use a fingernail to operate and the fact that the film back requires a battery as well it a bit annoying. I also think the placement of the strap lugs could be moved to be parallel to the darkslide so that the camera hangs on the chest with the bottom flush instead of having the back fo the film magazine against the chest with the camera sticking out awkwardly. But if that’s all I can come up with, then you have what I like to call a near perfect camera.

CCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D IIICCR Review 82 - Mamiya 645 AF-D III

The Lowdown
If I did a lot more professional work, or photography was my primary source of income, then this camera system would be one that I would certainly invest in. First off the system is still supported by Mamiya/Leaf/PhaseOne and a 22 megapixel digital back is more than enough for anything you need to do these days, plus the option to still shoot film makes the camera very attractive. While rare on the used market, when you do come across them, the price is reasonable, a kit might set you back about two grand, which is certainly cheaper than a Hasselblad digital system. Which makes it a camera system that will last you for a while and keep on pumping out quality images with the right person behind it.

All Photos Taken in Milton, Ontario
Mamiya 645AF-D III – Mamiya 645 AF 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

When it comes to T-Grained (modern films like TMax and Delta) I can be fairly picky, the 100-speed ones I tend to like while the faster 400-speed ones I can be overly critical about. That being said I’ve found that recently I’ve been warming up to these faster emulsions the more I experiment with them. As with Delta 400, I’ve warmed up a little to TMax 400. Oddly, TMax 400 was the first roll of film I processed on my own under the watchful eye of Julie Douglas back in 2010.

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W, T-Grain
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 50-3200
Formats Avaliable: 135, 120, 4×5, 8×10

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
It’s only fair that we start the film off right using the native TMax developer. And when it comes to TMax 400 whether you’re using the strong 1+4 dilution or the 1+9 dilution you’ll get excellent results from this film. You can get the upper side of the film’s latitude with the developer and show off the fine grain and sharpness of the film with this developer. And even in 1+9, there’s no real loss of contrast, you get smooth tones across the board without any loss of blacks or whites. Of course, in 1+4, you’ll find a greater level of contrast but it won’t affect grain or sharpness.

Project:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort Ontario

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 22:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
You would think that a high contrast developer would be able to pull out some level of contrast in a film, well here in lies my main issue with TMax 400, in certain developers you just can’t get contrast. Sure I could do this in post-processing but that would be cheating in my mind. That being said, HC-110 and TMax 400 is not a bad combination, you still get the sharpness and fine grain nature of the film, and even with Dilution B, you can still push to film to the top of its latitude with amazing results.

TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Pyrocat-HD
When it comes to developers, if you have talked to me, Pyro developers are a magic bullet. I tend to use it when I what sharpness but desire some grain control so it makes perfect sense for me to use it with TMax 400. Sadly this roll got developed in the dregs of a bottle and was a little underdeveloped. But thankfully due to the power of TMax 400, I could still pull decent images out of the negatives. I found that it produced a very classic look, bright and crispy, and sure enough I actually enjoyed the results while it’s a good option I feel it would be better suited to larger formats (medium and large).

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-76
Is there nothing D-76 cannot do? Well, I’m sure there is, but when it comes to TMax films this developer is king because you can push and pull the film to your heart’s content and just dilute to 1+1 and go. My first experience with TMax 400 was souping it in D-76 and I can say you get everything you want out of the film with this developer. I would even hazard saying the film responds better in D-76 than TMax Developer.

CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While TMax 400 does not remain a favourite film of mine, I really don’t mind it as much as I think I do. I know that sounds weird, but in the end, it just comes down to personal preference. And my preference is for classic/traditional grained films like Tri-X and HP5+ but it’s not a bad film. It’s still sharp, and the grain is super fine even for sharp developers. It works the best for the native TMax developer and does well with the basic as well D-76. While I haven’t developed the film in Pyrocat-HD or D-23 two more present chemicals in my toolkit, I’m sure it would do just fine. But if you want a film you can push to the limit like Tri-X but you want a more modern feel, then TMax 400 is your film.

CCR Review 81 – Leitz Leicaflex SL2

CCR Review 81 – Leitz Leicaflex SL2

In the past, I’ve described the Bronica SQ-Am as the camera used by Darth Vader, I’d like to revise that statement, the Leicaflex SL2 is the camera of choice for the Dark Lord of the Sith. While my previous experience with Leica SLRs has been lacklustre, the SL2 makes up for that experience without question. The camera is a mechanical beast and shows off exactly what makes a Leica, a Leica. From amazing optics to precision mechanics. And yet of all the Leica cameras, I’ve used the SL2 is the first one I’ve picked up that felt instantly familiar I didn’t even have to check out the manual to know how to use it. Special thanks to James Lee for loaning out this beauty.

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Dirt
Make: Leitz
Model: Leicaflex SL2
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Leica R-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1964-1976

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Good
The number one thing that the SL2 has going for it is the fact that it’s all mechanical, battery or no the camera will operate and will probably operate in any weather condition. And if you’ve used any mechanical camera from this era then the SL2 will be instantly familiar from the Nikon F2 series into the early FM and FE cameras, with the meter being powered on by flipped out the film advance lever. Metering is fairly accurate and with a match needle system and a full readout in the viewfinder, you get instant feedback and know where all your settings are without having to take your eye out of the finder. While a heavy camera, the weight isn’t too much of an issue even on extended use, and the camera controls are well laid out and easy to pick out without having to look too hard. But you don’t buy a Leica just for the camera, you get one for the optics. And the R-Mount lenses stand up to the iconic M-Mount lenses as both are built to the same exacting standards. And while for the review I had to shoot mostly wide open, I took the opportunity to shoot a second roll in better conditions and both wide open and stopped down the optics are tack sharp and produce incredible results.

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Bad
There are still a few issues with the SL2, the first being the size of it. As much as the Retina was cramped U-Boat, the SL2 seems like a Battleship in comparison. And it doesn’t have to be, everything on the camera could have been combined into a smaller package without compromising build quality. While the camera can be carried the whole day, it wouldn’t be too comfortable by the end of it. The second issue I have with the camera is the film advance. Now, film advances are something I’ve been critical about from the beginning but the film advance is fairly funky on this one. First off the draw is too long and the sudden spring return threw me and while I did get into the habit of putting the brakes on the advance I also found that it sprung back to the off position, meaning I’d have to pull it out before getting the next shot metered. While I know this might be to conserve the battery it just seems over-engineered. And finally I couldn’t talk about a Leica without covering price, while the SLR cameras from Leica are generally pushed aside in favour of their rangefinder counterparts the R-Mount lenses and even the SLR bodies still go for a premium price on the used market.

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Lowdown
Of the few Leica cameras I’ve reviewed, the SL2 is probably the only one that I’d actually go out and buy for myself, but again the price will keep me at bay. But don’t let the price scare you, if you have the money and want one of the best mechanical SLRs out there in the premium category then the SL2 should be your choice. From start to finish the camera outputs quality images and in the right hands with the right strap will take care of all your photography needs. In fact, if it had been at an affordable price point the SL2 might be among the choice system cameras with the Nikon F2 and Canon F-1, and it like these two iconic cameras show what an SLR should be, simple, quality, robust, and optically sound.

All Photos Taken at the Terra Winter Market in Milton, Ontario, Canada
Letiz Leicaflex SL2 – Leitz Wetzlar Summicron-R 1:2/50 – Rollei Retro 400s @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 14:00 @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 37 – Baby It’s Cold Outside

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 37 – Baby It’s Cold Outside

ccr-logo-leaf

We’re in the midst of a cold snap here in Ontario but that’s no reason to always stay inside. So the gang brings up their best and worst choices for cameras out in the cold weather! We also discuss the weird things we do to film in shooting and processing.

Cold Weather Cameras – The Best
What are our cameras of choice when out in the cold? Well everyone has a different approach to why they pick certain cameras when heading out for some cold weather shooting.

Mamiya m645 – When it comes to usability outside, a camera that relies on a battery and electronics may not be the best choice. But to Alex, part of usability in the winter includes the ability to use the cameras with gloves on. And with the m645 being a professional workhorse, it’s large controls makes it easy to operate even with mittens on! Plus he’s never had an issue operating the camera even in close to -30C weather over the Christmas holidays.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

Camera Specs
Make: Mamiya
Model: m645
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Mamiya m645 mount
Year of Manufacture: 1975

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645
CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 02 (TMax Developer)

Hasselblad 500c/m – John’s first pick for his winter camera is the reliable Hasselblad 500c/m, even in the winter wearing gloves he doesn’t have an issue with the exposure control on the lens. Although a large focusing lever does help!

Camera Specs
Make: Hasselblad
Model: 500c/m
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×6
Lens: Interchangeable, Hasselblad V mount
Year of Manufacture: 1975

Fuji GSW690II – When it comes to winter there’s something to be said about capturing the beautiful winter snowscapes especially when it’s on a 6×9 negative. That’s why the GSW690 is James’ pick for a winter camera. Not to mention with a nickname “Texas Leica” it’s big enough to use with those winter gloves.

CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1James with his newly aquired GSW690II

Camera Specs
Make: Fuji
Model: GSW690II
Type: Rangefinder
Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×9
Lens: Fixed, EBC Fujinon-W f=65mm 1:5.6
Year of Manufacture: 1985

Nikon FM2n – When it comes to winter photography, Bill’s choice is out of both need for something that works in cold weather, and is compact enough to pack when he’s out skiing. And the vertical shutter on the FM2n is his choice as it has yet to fail even deep into the -20s.

CCR - Review 16 - Nikon FM2n

Camera Specs
Make: Nikon
Model: FM2n
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1983

Abandoned Caledon Farm House TwoReally Cold on Wortley's Wiggle

Canon A-1 – Despite what Bill says, Donna’s main choice of winter cameras is the Canon A-1, it’s compact enough to fit in a pocket and has the needed size to be handled even in gloves.

Fade To Black

Camera Specs
Make: Canon
Model: A-1
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Canon FD-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1978

Canon Elan 7ne – The best way to handle cold weather, easy, get a camera with eye-focusing and a great program mode. For Mike that’s the Elan 7ne, with one of the best eye-control focus, the camera tracks his eye movement across the frame and adjusts, if that’s not good for gloves, then we don’t know what is!

Canon EOS Elan 7NE

Camera Specs
Make: Canon
Model: Elan 7ne
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Canon EF-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 2004

Contax N1 – When it comes to cold, there’s no better choice than the biggest, baddest camera you can get your hands on. And for Trevor, that’s the Contax N-1, built by Kyocera and features some amazing Zeiss lenses. But don’t go out looking for one, your wallet will hate you for it.

CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1Trevor showing off the Contax N1

Camera Specs
Make: Kyocera
Model: Contax N1
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Contax N-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 2001

Film Abuse
We’ve all done some crazy things to make film do what we want. From extreme pushes and pulls, cross-processing, and odd developing methods. But sometimes you just have to do what you need to get the results you want. Or just because you want to see if you can! Not to mention tales from the deep jungle and hockey arenas across the country there are plenty of ways that you can abuse film and make it give you the results you want!

Country CharmAlex’s favourite, the Panatomic-X trick,
take TMax 100, expose at 32 and soup in Rodinal or Xtol


Kodak TMax 400 pushed rather far and souped in Diafine

Polypan @ 1600Who says you can’t take a 50-speed film up to 1600, Mike sure can with Polypan F

Night AlleyAnd you can’t deny that Tri-X you can do pretty much anything you want with it and it’ll spit out great results

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

CCR Review 79 – Kodak Retina IIIC

CCR Review 79 – Kodak Retina IIIC

Before Apple picked up the name Retina, it attached itself to a line of folding German Kodak cameras. Wait, isn’t Kodak an American camera brand you may be asking. And yes, you’re right but their German branch, Kodak AG, had a rather strong reputation in bringing inexpensive but solid performance cameras to market, and their iconic line, Retina. And while the camera is classified as a folder, it lacks the distinctive bellows that prove to be a weak spot in these cameras. Armed with German rather than American optics the cameras are solid performers if a bit fickle in their operation. A note to the reader, this review is for the Retina IIIC, not the older IIIc; there is a difference. Thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning the camera out for review.

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIc

The Dirt
Make: Kodak AG
Model: Retina IIIC (028)
Type: Rangefinder
Format: Miniature Format, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable (Front Element), Retina Bayonet
Year of Manufacture: 1957-60

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIICCCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIC

The Good
There are a couple of items that make the Retina IIIC a strong camera. First and most important is the lack of bellows. This fact right off the marks clears off a major weak point for many of these cameras a solid all-metal construction from top to bottom, front to back means that is one less thing you need to worry about when picking up the camera. The second is that the camera has German optics, while many during this time clamoured for Kodak Ektar lenses, Germany was started to show off its optical prowess outside of Zeiss and Leica. And the Rodenstock Heligon lens is no underachiever, sharp and a f/2 max aperture is no slouch on a camera aimed at the consumer market. I would have prefered something a bit wider (say 35mm or 45mm), but I can’t complain. In hand the camera is small, and while I’m not too impressed with the general layout, the one part that makes sense to me is the placement of the film advance. It’s on the bottom of the body and if you hold the camera properly the placement makes a lot of sense. Not to mention it’s a short throw that also cocks the shutter, just be careful in managing the film counter, one wrong press and you’ll jam the whole thing up, but it’s easily fixed. You have a bright viewfinder with an integrated rangefinder and the all-important framing guide, so composing images is a no-brainer.

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIICCCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIC

The Bad
Despite all the praise, the Retina IIIC is a camera well past it’s prime even when it was new. First, the style, making this camera a folder was a mistake in my view, the giant side open front door and folding option on the camera takes away from the compact design. Sure when you fold it up it’s sleek and compact, but when you open it up, you’re no longer a compact camera. The Retina could have maintained a compact design without folding up. Also, you have to put the lens back to infinity focus to close up the front section. As I mentioned this camera is small, everything is small on it from the exposure controls on the front of the lens, the shutter release, the exposure counter release, and even trying to find the focus knob is fairly tough. I mean I’d take the size and controls of the Olympus XA over those of the Retina IIIC. It’s just a rather cramped experience overall, and not in a good way, in an I’ve been stuck on a German U-Boat at the bottom of the ocean for several weeks. Watch Das Boot, and you’ll get it.

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIICCCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIC

The Lowdown
I had high hopes for the Retina, I honestly did. I found a cramped camera that really should have been designed differently. The small size and finicky nature of the camera made for a rather unpleasant shooting experience. Despite so many things going for this camera, you really should try it first before you go out and buy it. I believe much of this has to do with the fact it was built by the German branch rather than Rochester (North America), the design philosophies are different and seen. I think the Retina would have been a stronger camera that lasted far longer had Rochester taken a heavier hand in its design. If you like one, you’ll get a nearly indestructible camera with a strong optical performance that will last you until the cows come home.

All Photos Taken at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario
Kodak Retina IIIc – Rodenstock Retina-Heligon C 1:2/50mm – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-800
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:45 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 02 – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400

CCR:FRB – Review 02 – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400

A modern re-imaging of an Agfa surveillance stock, StreetPan has been a favourite of mine for some time, and it is incredible in 35mm, but it sings in 120. Back when news of Streetpan first dropped, there were plenty of rumours floating around about the source of the film. Many naysayers said that the supply would be limited as it was just repackaged dead-stock. And while many still rail against the film, I for one enjoy shooting the film, and it’s great for street photography, architecture and landscape. Just don’t shoot it for long exposure, it loves the light and doesn’t handle long exposures.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400
The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude:
Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm), 120

Roll One – Kodak HC-110
My first experience with shooting and developing Streetpan involved HC-110 and since that first point of pulling the roll of film out of the tank, I know that HC-110 is an ideal developer for the film stock. HC-110 give the contrasty punch the film needs to show off the wonderful contrast and fine grain of Streetpan. But don’t let the nature of HC-110 scare you, the developer brings out all the grey scale the film has to offer. While officially there’s only Dilution B listed on the Streetpan Developing chart, you can adjust the times and dilutions to suit your needs from B, E, even F and G can be done just do the right math to get the proper times.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Two – Kodak TMax Developer
I first turned to using TMax Developer with Streetpan by fellow film photographer and friend Ori. While hesitant at this, I programmed the time into the Massive Dev Chart App. Sadly I never got around to using it. While some might question using a t-grain developer on a film based on a classic emulsion, I am rather impressed! While you don’t gain or lose anything by using the developer I can say having another option for a less than ten minute developing time for this film is a good thing. It knocks the contrast back a bit, but you don’t lose the sharp, fine grain attributes the film. Certainly a good option for developing Streetpan!

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three – Kodak D-76
While initially unsure about this combination as the negatives were dark coming out of the tank. Of course, I soon realised that this is something that does happen with Streetpan, especially with the Dilution B times of HC-110. I would leave my final judgement until after the scan. While not my favourite developer with this film, D-76 doesn’t do a bad job, you still get the rich contrast the film is known for and gives a beautiful chrome look to it, yet the grain is a bit more noticeable. Still, it does a good job. However, I’d give an extra 30 seconds to help bring out the shadows a bit more. Or the meter on my Rolleiflex might finally be starting to die.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)

Techincal Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 10:30 @ 20C

Roll Four – Rodinal
Rodinal is one developer that I have given up on in the past and returned to once again and this second time around I’ve found that there is a lot that it can do. And when it comes to Streetpan, it is equal in my books to HC-110 for souping this film. Despite being a 400-speed film, you don’t notice any real uptick in grain, and the contrast is spot on, if not slightly better than HC-110. It doesn’t matter if you use 1+25 or 1+50, there is little difference in the negative, save slightly less contrast with the lower dilution.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Streetpan is a black & white film for this hybrid era, the polyester base lies flat on your scanner, and the range of this film lets you pull out incredible detail in a digital editor. How well this film prints in a traditional darkroom I have yet to determine but I hope to let you know soon. Personally, my choice of developers are HC-110 (especially dilution F), Rodinal, and TMax Developer. While I haven’t tried the film in something like Pyrocat-HD or D-23, I feel the film would respond well to Pyro. Good thing I have two rolls left for experimentation. For outdoor shooting, this film is beautiful because it loves the light. I have tried it indoors with poor results. It might have something to do with the unknown reciprocity failure variable or the increased red sensitivity inherent in the film. But for photographers who do a lot of outdoor portrait work and street photography, Streetpan is something new and different. You can pick up Streetpan directly from the JCH Store additionally for my Canadian readers, you can pick StreetPan up at Downtown Camera in Toronto or BuyFilm.ca!

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!

CCR Review 78 – Mamiya m645

CCR Review 78 – Mamiya m645

There are many cameras out there that hold iconic status, others that carry a cult status, however, when it comes to the Mamiya m645 the camera holds neither but remains an essential camera to many a wedding photography. The m645 is a workhorse, designed to take a beating and keep on getting photos, and there’s a strong chance that if you got married when medium format was king of the wedding market, or you’re of a certain age where school photos were still taken on film the m645 was the camera in the hand of the photographer. And while the m645 has evolved and changed over time many originals are even shooting strong.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645
The Dirt
Make: Mamiya
Model: m645
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Mamiya m645 mount
Year of Manufacture: 1975

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Good
As a camera, the m645 is compact robust and easily operated in any situation. Without a grip, the camera can be carried in almost any camera bag without too much trouble. A side grip or motor drive will make it wider but doesn’t do much to add any weight. The controls are well laid out and are easy to operate with either an eye-level (ELF) or waist-level (WLF) finder. As a bonus, if you are using a WLF a secondary shutter release on the top of the body makes it easy to release the shutter. Even without a grip using an ELF the controls are easy to find and operate, but adding a grip (such as the Deluxe L-Grip) does make life a touch easier. The optical quality of the glass is decent, it’s no Carl Zeiss, but they aren’t too bad, the 35mm ultra-wide is soft at the corners, but the 150mm and 45mm are excellent lenses to get. However, the crown jewel is the 80mm f/1.9 a lens that is fairly magic. As for the cost of getting into the m645 system, it’s fairly inexpensive as there are plenty in good working order, but the best part is the cost of the lenses most of the optics are decently priced most under 100 dollars, of course, the 80 f/1.9 does carry a higher price tag as does the WLF accessory. The best part about the camera, however, is how easily it operates in the winter, I can easily shoot and operate the controls even with gloves on. Which, as someone who lives in Canada, is a big deal, even the electronic nature of the camera doesn’t seem affected by the deep freeze we’re currently under.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Bad
The big issue with the camera is age, the m645 is from the mid-1970s and is electronic. While you may never have an issue, if something does go wrong, finding someone to repair them could be difficult, and it does use a non-standard battery to power everything. If you’re on an extended trip, you might need to carry a spare and be sure to get the silver-oxide version of the battery as it lasts just that big longer though alkaline does work. The second biggest issue with the camera is the lack of a leaf shutter, though it may have helped keep the price of the lenses down having a fixed shutter speed of 1/60 for flash sync would be a hindrance for operating the camera with strobes. The biggest issue in my case is two-fold, the first is the lack of hot-swappable film backs, like the Pentax 645, the m645 uses a film insert. As a result, you cannot switch part way through which could be a problem for wedding photographers, and the second is that because of this you only get 15 shots per roll of 120. Both these issues were resolved in the next version of the camera.

CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645CCR Review 78 - Mamiya m645

The Lowdown
The m645 is a polarising camera among photographers there are those who love them, and there are those who hate them. You’ll find both in many photography groups on Facebook. Because if a person is looking for an inexpensive way to get into Medium Format, many out there will roll out the parade for the m645 and immediately get flamed by those who dislike the format. I am neither of these, taking a firm middle-of-the-road grasp rather on the camera. If you have a chance to get an m645 go for it, but be warned, like that old Police Interceptor Crown Victoria the camera like the car probably saw heavy using in a previous life. I would not blindly go into purchasing the camera through eBay; you certainly want to have it looked over first and ensure it works especially the lens. The 80mm f/2.8 does have issues with oil on the blades and the aperture spring, at least you can get a new one for a low cost. Another note on the optics, stick to the newer lenses, those marked with N. I do have a good recommendation for the m645; it is a solid, inexpensive, decent quality camera to explore the world of medium format, just be a little cautious and make sure there are no major issues before you pay.

All Photos Taken in Belfountain, Ontario
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:00 @ 20C