When it comes to metering for precision, there is nothing better than a spot meter, but most spot meters these days are expensive, both new and on the used market. The first and only spot meter I’ve used is the Pentax Spotmeter V. This analogue 1° spot meter has become the accessory that always gets thrown in my bag when I’m out with my Crown Graphic Hasselblad or Mamiya for precision tripod-based work. The meter served me through almost my entire War of 1812 project, Canadian Confederation and most recently, the Railway project. A simple easy to use device that allowed me to execute aRead More →

And now for something completely different. I know I’m better known for my reviews of film-based cameras, but I have reviewed a digital camera here before, back when I got the camera that this one replaced. In fact, the Nikon D750 marks two, not three things. First, it marks a return to an SLR as my digital camera; second, it marks the return to the Nikon Digital system. And finally, a digital camera that I like using a lot. It’s not to say the a6000 was an unenjoyable camera to operate; the only complaint was that the system continued to be limited. Yes, I couldRead More →

I always seem to want to come back for more. One of my first experiences with a Soviet camera was a Smena 8m, this was a gift from my good friend Michael Raso, and the camera was interesting, to say the least. There wasn’t anything bad with it; it was pretty unique and produced excellent images. It was hard to work with, too much to do, too fickle, and I wasn’t getting to know the camera well enough. So I passed it onto another photographer who went on to use the camera to produce awesome results. There wasn’t anything wrong with the 8m; I thinkRead More →

I’m a big fan of Eastman Double-X; it’s a beautiful mid-speed film that offers up amazing latitude and forgiveness along with a lovely grain structure. But for the longest time, it has only been available in 135 (35mm) format because, well, that is generally what cinematographers shoot motion pictures in. Still, it has great potential in medium format. There had been an attempt to have the film produced in 120 format but never went anywhere. At least until earlier this summer, when Cinestill put out the word, they had their BwXX in 120. BwXX is Cinestill’s Eastman Double-X branding and is the same stuff you’veRead More →

Ontario is blessed with a tonne of amazing rural communities that have stood the test of time. They never undertook vast urban renewal plans through the 20th Century and have stayed close to their roots in the mid to late 19th Century. And one such community is Elora, not only with natural wonders of the Gorge and the Falls but also with architectural splendour. Back on the Canada Day long weekend, I went into Elora to shoot some video work and to meet up with two fellow hosts of the Classic Camera Revival for a quick jaunt around the village. I went simple going withRead More →

Well, we made it to the halfway point! And I finally made it out to Elora, Ontario. A location I’ve wanted to include in the project since the first couple of months of 2021. But things kept getting in the way and it had to be pushed back. But I wasn’t going to let it happen again and while my client shoot had to be pushed back, I still wanted to make sure to include the historic village anyways! Of course, the day I went the weather was not exactly ideal, but I’ve never let a bit of rain or overcast skies stop me andRead More →

There are a couple of highly specialised and mysterious developers out there, both made by the same company. While most people are drawn towards Diafine (which I plan on reviewing next year), Acufine is the cousin of that magic bullet developer. Like Diafine, Acufine’s chemistry is a trade secret; even the datasheets are redacted in that sense. But Acufine is a rare bird; it has the capability to increase the speed of most film stocks. But without all the drawbacks of push processing, increased grain, over the top contrast. While I have worked with Acufine before the stuff was way out of date, and IRead More →

Consumer film, often film photographers of a certain type will turn their nose up at them, but as someone who started their film journey on consumer film processed in the local 1-hour lab, going back to review these films is a bit of a throwback. Like all modern consumer films from Kodak, Ultramax traces its heritage back to the original Kodacolor film. The original Kodacolor saw production from 1924 to 1963. In 1963, the updated Kodacolor-X increased the film speed from ASA-25 to ASA-64, both these early offerings using the C-22 process, Kodak discontinued Kodacolor-X in 1974. In 1972 Kodak released a new version, KodacolorRead More →

When it comes to Zuiko lenses, I don’t think there is a bad one, sure some are better than others, but all of them are excellent performing optics. And the Zuiko 28/3.5 is one such lens, might not be the fastest lens for a wide-angle, but it is a strong performer. When I was putting together my OM kit, I did not want to spend too much money, and when it came to Zuiko glass, you can get some excellent deals on solid optics, but wide-angles are not one of them, especially the fast glass, but there is always a third option, the slower ones.Read More →

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 →