Tag: crown graphic

Large Format in the Park

Large Format in the Park

The trouble with photo walks is that you’re walking, this pretty much takes the idea of bringing large format cameras and tripods along. I mean, I love LF and have a press camera which allows me to shoot the Crown Graphic Handheld as I did back at the Summer Toronto Film Shooters Meetup. But again, when making a meet up especially for large format, you can’t call it a photo walk because it’s hard to walk with an LF camera and I know that many members don’t shoot press, technical, or field cameras they use monorails. You don’t walk around with a monorail, while you can, just not quickly. Thus was born, the Large Format Lugabout.

Remains of a Face

A Lovely Day

The Toronto Film Shooters have been to High Park many times before, so it made sense to use this urban park in Toronto as the base of operations for the walk, moving from the Southern Entrance at Colbourne Lodge to the northern terminus at Bloor Street. At about two kilometres it’s an easy enough walk even when you have an 8×10 on a monorail to lug with you.

The Howard Tomb

The Chimney

As I loaned out my Crown Graphic out to a good friend, I made a point to shoot the eight sheets of 4×5 while I wanted down through the park towards the meeting point before the main event. Even my lovely wife put up with the constant stopping. It proved to be a perfect day to shoot large format and there turned out to be a decent attendance. The highlight for me is finally seeing Colbourne Lodge. The lodge is another one of those hidden museums in Toronto, and one I certainly will be checking out again. But with the meeting starting, I turned over my Crown Graphic to Wu and switched to my Nikon F5 to take photos of the various people in attendance.

Nancy!

It's, it's...taller than me!

Another Big One

Trio of Tripods

A Common Sight

The trouble with such a meet is that everything spreads out in a long thin line, Heather and I along with Wu and Joe formed the front of the line while the long trail of photographers lugging every type of camera came up behind, even some folks carried medium format beasts. But since it was tripod friendly, it gave folks a chance to slow down.

The event turned out much better than I expected and I certainly plan on running with the idea again as people took to the idea of a limited area shoot and allowing us to bring out the big guns.

Techinal Details:
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135, Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125
Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Toronto Film Shooters – Summer 2017

Toronto Film Shooters – Summer 2017

Ah the dog days of summer, and yet there’s still the draw to get out, no matter the weather, and just enjoy shooting. This summer meeting saw me visit two areas of the city for some shooting. The first part of the meet was in a part of the city that I don’t often explore, the Riverside neighbourhood on the eastern side of the Don Valley. Fellow film shooter, Bill Smith, did the heavy lifting in planning out the meet. The day started with coffee at the lovely Rooster Coffee Shop. The whole area is a hidden gem in the city with lots to see and photograph. I decided that I would shoot with something a little different than I normally do at these meets, an 85mm lens, look for detail rather than the big picture.

Who the ... Uses a Payphone

Lost Shoe

The Riverdale Cannon

The Jupiter-9 lens is one that I had meant to shoot a little more often, but just never mounted it because it’s somewhat tricky with the double bayonet mount, unlike the standard 50mm lenses (Jupiter-8 and CZ Sonnar). But man it certainly is fun to get away from my usual fare of shooting wide, allowing me a little extra reach and being able to exploit creamy out of focus elements that the lens is known to produce and focus in on details rather than the big picture. Sadly the trouble with the Jupiter-9 is that it suffers from a bit of a focus issue and some shots that I was looking forward to were out. But such is life.

Meet at the Sign of the Rooster

Justice

PVBLIC

We made a point to stop by the Old Don Jail, now part of Bridgepoint Health and then it was east along Gerard Street. A visit, of course, was in order as we walked south on Carlaw to another shop that is close to a few folks in the group, WonderPens! WonderPens is a lovely mum & pop shop that specialises in fine writing. Ink, Pens, and Paper. With a trip to Disney and a historical photography project in the works for next year, it gave me a chance to pick up a couple of new notebooks. Because as you know, every new project needs a new notebook, right?

Wheeled Transport

Film & Fountain Pens

Finally Lunch

Back west we headed along Queen Street almost to where we started at Broadview, sadly the initial stop; Eastbound Brewery opens at 4 pm, so we were a little early to stop in for a taste of some of their beers. But Prohibition Gastro Pub provides a fantastic selection of beers from around Ontario and the world, even some of my favourite from Europe. After lunch, it was a change of pace.

Hot Dog Vendor

Resistance is Futile

But I had swapped out my Contax IIIa that I had been shooting with earlier in the day with the Crown Graphic. However, I was shooting it a little differently than I normally do. I decided to use the Crown as it historically been shot, handheld. Armed with eight sheets of Rollei RPX 400 film, I headed back out into the downtown core with the aim to make it out to the Distillery District.

The First Post Office

Always Watching

I never made it that far as I had shot all eight sheets when I hit the end of King Street where it merges onto Queen. My legs tired I hit up Eastbound Brewing to pick up their two offerings that are for sale before going back to the 3 Brewers for Dinner at Yonge/Dundas Square. A long day? Absolutely, worth it? Totally.

Eastbound

Technical Details:
Contax IIIa – ЮПИТЕР-9 85mm f/2 – ORWO UN54+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C
Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kruzenak Xenar 135mm f/4,7 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-320 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 18:00 @ 20C

Black Creek – Party like it’s 1867!

Black Creek – Party like it’s 1867!

Without a doubt, there’s plenty to do in Toronto. And while many prefer to stay in the downtown core, there’s a particular draw to see what the city is like on the outskirts. One such location is right on city’s north line with Vaughn, and that’s Black Creek Pioneer Village. Black Creek is a living history museum, and a ‘false’ village in the sense that it is an amalgamation of many historical buildings from around Ontario gathered into one spot and dressed to look like a small settlement of the 1860s. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you may remember seeing this place as the backdrop for my review on the Mamiya Universal. After shooting at the village, I had wanted to return with a bigger camera. So having a week off with my wife, we decided to head over to the village for a morning.

BCPV - Broom maker Shop

The Province of Ontario, formerly known as Upper Canada before the Canadian Confederation of 1867 has a rich and long history. And I’m thankful that we have several museums around the province that make a point to preserve and teach about this history. I’ve been lucky to visit three such locations, Black Creek Pioneer Village, Westfield Heritage Village, and Upper Canada Village. A Fourth, the Lost Villages Museum remains on my hit list. But this post is about Black Creek Pioneer Village.

BCPV - Laskay Emporium

The village, formerly the property of Daniel Strong; you can visit his barn and other farm buildings. His original log cabin and larger home where he and his wife, Elizabeth, raised their eight children. The Strong Family continued to work the land well into the 20th-Century with the family farm forming the core of the museum in 1960. Over the next decade, the museum increased their inventory of historic buildings from around the Greater Toronto Area.

BCPV - Roblin's Mill

These are the types of museums that make history fun because they make it come alive. Heather and I had a chance to listen in on how one employee came up with her historic impression. Based on an actual person, she researched through the massive archives of historical data in the Provincial and City Archives to build her character. As a reenactor myself, I find this dedication amazing. She brought this one woman back to life here in the 21st-Century. Plus the commitment to ensure that many of these buildings are saved from demolition by the slow march of progress ensuring that our pioneer history isn’t lost.

BCPV - Half Way House

And of course, the highlight of the village is the historic brewery located in the basement of the Half Way House, a pre-confederation inn, and tavern from Scarborough. Where dedicated brew masters continue to use traditional techniques to create some of unique beers I’ve ever tasted. And yes, I brought a growler of their fantastic India Pale Ale back home with me.

All Photos Taken At: Black Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 16:00 @ 20C

Summer Film Party – Part I (June)

Summer Film Party – Part I (June)

Not doing an overall film project over the course of the year has not stopped me from getting out and shooting and it’s freed me up to join in on the year’s film contests that the fine folks over at Emulsive have put on, well, for the most part, I joined in on their TMax Party for the two months, although I missed the Acros Party. But with the sun finally starting to shine I decided to make a point to get in on the Summer Film Party. Running the three summer months here in North America with June being the first up. Now the trouble is that the summer the light gets pretty harsh by the middle of the day, I made a conscious effort to get out earlier in the day before the sun got too high in the sky and the temperatures skyrocket. The first stop is the small village of Kleinburg located north of Toronto, Ontario and a part of the City of Vaughn. While the village downtown was rather busy I decided to head down into Bindertwine Park. Big Mistake. There was a 5K run happening along the trails, and the bugs were bad, four sheets into the eight I had brought along I was done. Between the bugs and the heat, I made my escape.

Sometimes I shoot Flowers
Some flowers along the path that a camera club was shooting.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

High Voltage
While the trails through the park show a great piece of nature, but I do enjoy catching man’s influence on the natural environment.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 (Orange) – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

Tree By the River
A more peaceful scene than what I was actually feeling, itchy and sneezing.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm (Orange) – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

I wasn’t going to let this stop me so Sunday morning before heading to Church I decided to finish off the remaining four sheets in downtown Milton specifically Victoria Park which sits just off of Main Street and our historic town hall the former county jail which was restored between 1982 and 1985 after sitting abandoned. Again I had been blessed with some beautiful morning light.

7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art
Milton’s Great War Trophy, a German 7.7 cm Feldkanone 96 neuer Art, captured 28 September 1918 on the Arras-Cambria Road.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

The Victoria Park Gazibo
At the center of Victoria Park is the Gazebo, a great place to hold an outdoor concert.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 (Orange) – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

The Prison Yard
The former prison yard, now a garden, great for wedding photos or outdoor events.
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Rollei RPX25
Pryocat-HD (1+1+100) 12:00 @ 20C

Last year I completed a 52-Roll project using only Rollei RPX films, one of my favourites was RPX 25, so when a local film supplier brought in a small number of boxes of RPX 25 in 4×5 I jumped on the chance and then let it sit. I’m glad I saved the box and now that it’s cracked I hope to bring it out more this summer for large format fun! Of course, the film is hard to handle, thin polyester base, and the notch code isn’t always stamped out. It makes for trouble figuring out how to load it up. Part II coming next month, with the Hasselblad 500c, Ilford Pan F+, and Niagara-On-The-Lake!

It’s a TMAX Party – Part I

It’s a TMAX Party – Part I

The fine folks behind the film photography promotion website Emulsive have done it again! In the footsteps of last year’s FP4Party, they have started to run a couple of different monthly participation events for film photographers around the globe through the use of Twitter. Sadly I didn’t participate much in the FP4Party mostly because of time conflicts; I decided to make a point to join in on this year’s film parties. Being free of most projects it freed my hand to keep up this time around. This year’s first party is a celebration of Kodak TMax. Tmax a modern film emulsion that was released in the late 20th-Century and use a tabular grain rather than a traditional grain like Tri-X or Plus-X.

While I figured the easiest way to jump into the TMaxParty was to dig into my box of 4×5 TMax 100. While TMax isn’t always my first choice, I’m more of a classic grain shooter. But hey sometimes it’s good to jump a little bit outside of your comfort zone. So into Hamilton, I went, and while I had planned to shoot all eight loaded sheets that day but the cold weather told me otherwise.

HMCS Haida
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Craft Beers
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Whitehern
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Well in Canada, March can be a bit of a hit and miss, and while the weather kept me from shooting outside, my shutters tend to get laggy in sub-zero weather I again had to dive outside of my comfort zone. Usually, when I’m shooting large format I stick to deep depth-of-field, we’re talking f/32 and up on my aperture. Sure it makes for longer shutter times, but it gives the images incredible sharpness. Well, the temperatures stuck below zero so open up the lens I did.

Retention
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

Take Flight
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

The Lights Above
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

While I’m pretty happy with my results for this month, I hope next month’s TMax Party I’ll have some more outdoor shots. Of course, the big question is what format will I shoot, and in what camera! Current runners are my Contax IIIa, Rolleiflex 2.8F, or Hasselblad 500c. So we’ll see next month!

CCR Review 58 – Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 – Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

At the very beginning of these review blogs I had laid out some rules, and now I’m going to break one of them and review a large format, sheet film camera. The Crown Graphic is my 4×5 camera of choice these days; it’s reliable camera that can take a hit and keep on taking photos. I mean that is what it’s designed to do, it’s a press camera. And when it comes to large format, I’m glad that my first experiences with the format were on a press camera rather than a field or monorail because I don’t think I would have taken to the format in the same way.

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Dirt

  • Make: Graflex
  • Model: Pacemaker Crown Graphic
  • Type: Press Camera, View/Rangefinder
  • Format: Multiple, Graflok Back (Roll film, or Sheet Film)
  • Len: Interchangeable, Crown Graphic Lens Boards
  • Year of Manufacture: 1955-1973 (This Model, 1968)

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Good
The number one thing I love about the Crown Graphic is that it’s versatile with a single camera I have both a handheld rangefinder based camera that I can just point, focus and shoot, at least when I’m using the Xenar 135mm lens, as I’ve calibrated the rangefinder for the lens. I much prefer to shoot the camera like a field camera, on a tripod, composing and focusing using the ground glass on the back. Using the glass gives me full creative control and use of some fantastic lenses, like the Symmar-S 210mm (which is the lens I use the most). Plus that’s the power of large format, your Crown will be able to use most lenses out there, and all the film holders and the Graflok back means you can attach all sorts of accessories such as roll film magazines and Polaroid Type 100 film holders. And finally, this camera has a nice fast setup, pop the front cover, drop the bed pull out the bellows. And if you’re using ‘pancake’ style lenses, you can keep the lens on the camera when you close the door.

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Bad
Like any large format camera, the biggest detractor to them is the size and the amount of stuff you need to bring to use the camera well. Tripod, multiple film holders, meter, and the lenses all mounted on their boards. It adds up after a while. But for me, it’s worth the effort. Another issue that only large format shooters will note with a press camera is the lack of movements, while the Crown Graphic gives more than the Speed Graphic, you are still only limited to movements on your front standard, and even then you’re relatively limited. But again this was a camera not designed for shooting that requires much in the way of movements. And finally there is starting to be a lack of spare parts for these cameras, so getting bits and pieces replaced or repaired is starting to become a problem, either you can grab ones that are already broken for spare parts or pray that you know someone who can machine the appropriate piece. Thankfully their rugged build means they are designed to last.

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Lowdown
If you’re like me and shoot on a mobile basis, then the press camera is certainly the best option, and often a Crown Graphic kit can be had for an inexpensive out of pocket cost. Being highly adaptable to multiple shooting situations and with a quick setup and tear down it’s a great camera for learning on. Of course, if you’re a technical shooter who needs movements then I would avoid press cameras altogether and go for something a little more expensive. Intrepid, Shen-Hao, Takahara, Linhoff, and Sinar are all excellent options. But for me, I’m sticking to the Crown.

All Photos Taken in Georgetown, Ontario
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

The Hocking Hills

The Hocking Hills

My usual trip over the August Long Weekend to Cleveland this year sadly did not happen. Because the gentleman who was running the event has been feeling a bit discouraged over the lack of interest in it. (I really should make a point to go out and shoot the area this fall). So instead I headed down to a different area of Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park.

The Stone Bridge (From Above)
The Stone Bridge (From Above) – Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schnider-Kreuznack Angulon 1:6,8/90 – Ilford HP5+ – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

I had been seeing a tonne of really great photographs from the park from good friend and amazing photographer Mat Marrash of late so I decided to take him up on the offer to show me around the park and when to get the good light. That was 6:30am. It wouldn’t be the first time I had stayed up late the night before getting up really early for photos…I mean it’s what we aim to capture.

The Ash Cave
The Ash Cave – Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schnider-Kreuznack Angulon 1:6,8/90 – Ilford HP5+ – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

The effort was well worth it, from the deep valley of Old Man’s Cave to the short walk to the stunning light at Ash Cave, the only thing was that with all the dry weather a lot of the water falls had turned into mere trickles, on the plus side I did get access to cross some of the creek beds to get the angles I wanted.

Tree & Light
Tree & Light – Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford HP5+ – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Yup, I certainly will be going back here soon! Probably in the winter next!

52:320TXP – Week 51 – Getting in the Spirit

52:320TXP – Week 51 – Getting in the Spirit

52:320TXP - Week 51 - Getting in the Spirit

The malls have been playing Christmas carols since the end of November, heck today I heard a Boxing day commercial on the radio. Yep, it’s that time of year again, Christmas! I had originally planned to get an exterior shot of my home church, but after checking what the exposure should be (metered for 4 minutes), then compensated for reciprocity failure (the more a film is exposed to light, the less sensitive to light it becomes, and tri-x has a terrible reciprocity) and the app spat out 52 minutes. I love photography and tri-x, and all…but standing outside at 8:45pm on the main street in the snow for an hour…I think not. So I found this lovely Christmas tree inside my church’s narthex. Just one week left to go!

Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP)
Meter: Sekonic L-358
5′ 3″ – f/22 – ASA-320
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

52:320TXP – Week 48 – The Gazebo Awakens

52:320TXP – Week 48 – The Gazebo Awakens

52:320TXP - Week 48 - The Gazebo Awakens

So the rather odd title comes from a story a friend tells of a D&D (Dungeon’s & Dragons) match where one of the players doesn’t actually know what a Gazebo is, and proceeds to think it a mystical creature, the DM (Dungeon Master) fed up by the player informs him that the Gazebo comes awake and kills him. Don’t worry, this gazebo is asleep and hasn’t been pushed into action. Yet. But after several weeks of wanderings I’ve come back home here for week 48 and the gazebo that sits out over the Mill Pond. Also this happens to be where the town of Milton originally sprung up when Jasper Martin established a grist mill in the mid 19th century. The mill sadly burned to the ground in the 1960s and nothing remains of it today. This was also the first time using Kodak Microdol-X as a developer for film (after testing it out on a sheet of Plus-X to double check the old packet I got worked), I’m pleased with the results, but didn’t find anything special about it. There was noticibly less grain, but nothing that Xtol can’t do really. While Kodak has stopped production of Microdol-X you can still get a similar developer from Freestyle: LegacyPro Mic-X.

Roll for Exposure.

Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Krueznack Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP)
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
1/8″ – f/45 – ASA-320
Kodak Microdol-X (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

52:320TXP – Week 43 – For the Love of Film

52:320TXP – Week 43 – For the Love of Film

52:320TXP - Week 43 - For the Love of Film

Coming off the last bicentennial reenactment in Canada and a trip to Texas looming next week I figured I needed something quick and dirty for Week 43 so I decided to give a little bit of still life a try with two of jewels of my working collection. A 1950 Leica IIIc and a 1969 Rolleiflex 2.8F all nicely posed with some APX25 and Ilford Delta 400, the film actually is for my Texas trip, the cameras will be staying home (As I have my Pentax 645 and Nikon F4 packed up for the trip). But it was the first time for me working with my strobist gear and my 4×5, I’m pretty happy with the results.

Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznack Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TXP)
Meter: Sektonic L-358
Strobist: 1 SB-910 M 1/2 with Bounce Umbrella
Trigger: Elinchrom Skyports
1/125″ – f/16 – ASA-200
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 6:30 @ 20C