If there is one developer that is the closest thing to a magic bullet in my chemistry set, that developer is Pyrocat-HD. While Rodinal is the oldest commercial developer, Pyro based developers pre-date Rodinal into the early days of photography, being used back in the days when plate-based photographic media were the norm. And while the developers changed overtime, Pyrocat-HD is among the newest in the category being developed by Sandy King as an improvement over PMK Pyro. Sandy promotes the developer as giving 1/3rd of a stop in film speed with about 10-15% less developing time. Along with consistent staining action and lower toxicity.Read More →

If you’ve ever seen the TV show Madmen, you’ll probably have your 21st Century, post MeToo era sensibilities challenged with the sheer amount of sexism that was and is still rampant today. Now if you’re a little confused, let me introduce you to the Nikon EM. Designed to fill in the entry-level gap in the Nikon SLR line, the EM was primarily marketed towards women. The reason is that as a camera, it is basic, set for semi-automatic aperture priority, and that is the only mode available. It also is small, compact, and lightweight. But don’t let that stop you, the EM is an excellentRead More →

If the standard Svema Foto films are too grainy for you, how about stepping it down a notch and picking up a roll of Foto FN64, or FN64. Before this review, I had only shot a single roll of the stuff, and it did not turn out well. I eventually figured out that due to the thin PET base, the film is subject to light piping, and I ended up fogging the whole roll. Now if you’re a fan of the slower film that is having something different from what you get from other typical films, then FN64 is something for you to try. AndRead More →

Before Plus-X there was Verichrome Pan. The two films have rather similar looks, but if there was a film that defined the look of the mid-century, that is the 1940s through 1950s of the 20th-Century that film is Verichrome Pan. Despite its age and the mid-speed nature of it, the film today remains surprisingly stable, having shot some that had expiry dates of the late 1960s. Designed as a general purpose film for the average consumer who at the time of its release in 1956 had nothing more than a box camera the film had a wide exposure latitude to overcome the disadvantages a boxRead More →

I first came across Retro 400s at Downtown Camera, I had just been on a Toronto Film Shooters meetup and had some time to kill before meeting up with a friend to catch a show at the Dakota Tavern and had the hankering for some street photography. So I picked up a roll and went out and I found a wonderfully sharp, contrasty film that just sings in the low hazy light. Retro 400s is a film that is designed for the hybrid era, with a polyester base that lays flat on a scanner, strong contrast and fine grain it will sign viewed on aRead More →

This previous year I took two chances to visit the lovely historical village of Elora, Ontario in Wellington County. The first trip with my lovely wife in the summer, and a second time on a very dreary Fall day with the Toronto Film Shooters Group. Both trips in addition to shooting plenty of black & white film I shot a roll of colour film each. And in my own typical fashion, that film sat on a self. Now, in my own defense I thought I was going to shoot a lot more slide film this summer than I actually did, so when I realized IRead More →

When in the past I’ve shot 6×7 cameras I’ve found them clunky and unwieldy. Think back to the Mamiya Universal and RB67. Even the Bronica GS-1 which is better than most. None of these cameras had the style and handling of the Pentax 67II. Now the 67II fixes what I would see as problems with the 6×7 and 67. This camera is a traditional 35mm SLR on steroids and worthy of the description. There are some cameras that I have an instant enjoyment of, and this camera certainly ranks among those. Thanks to James Lee for loaning out this beauty. The Dirt Make: Pentax Model:Read More →

A few weekends back I had a chance to visit the lovely village of Elora, Ontario with my beautiful wife who I am grateful loves such adventures on free weekends. The small village is located just northwest of Guelph and offers a little taste of Europe in Ontario. I’ve had the chance to visit Elora twice in the past, once for my 52-Roll project in 2013 and again to go camping with a group of friends in 2015. But I had always planned to go back yet it never seemed to fit into plans. While the Elora gorge is one of the towns biggest draw,Read More →

If there is a single camera out there that most people will associate with professional film photographers, it is the Hasselblad V-System. Designed and built in Sweeden, the Hasselblad is the luxury camera of the medium format market. While the 500c is the original model to use a leaf shutter, it is a good entry point into the Hasselblad system if you can find one at the right price. Thankfully I was able to find a complete setup (lens, finder, back) for a reasonable price, but soon found that there is a certain cost to owning a Hasselblad system. And the fact you can’t justRead More →

When it comes to cameras that have seen a lot of action through my life as a photographer, there is currently none as worthy of the title of a constant companion as my Rolleiflex 2.8F. The twin-lens design is not a new one in the camera world, first coming out in the 1880s. But for me, the Rolleiflex has been in my hands shortly after getting into medium format film with a Lubitel 2 first, then a Yashica-12. After being offered a Rolleiflex by a gentleman at my church which belonged to his father and not knowing anything about the camera at that point, IRead More →