Tag: filmisalive

CCR Review 89 – Minolta XG-M

CCR Review 89 – Minolta XG-M

The first time I picked up the Minolta XG-M, it felt as if I were coming home. If you’ve been following along with these reviews for some time, you’ll know that my first real camera system came from Minolta, first with the SR-T 102 and then the X-7a. When I had the chance to get back into the Minolta cameras, I had no qualms about getting an XG series as they have plenty of good options, but out of all the XG line from Minolta, the XG-M is the one that suited me the best. A real camera of the 1980s yet carries on the legacy of both Rokkor lenses and Minolta quality before they joined up with Konica. Thanks to Trevor Black for this camera.

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Dirt
Make: Minolta
Model: XG-M
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Minolta MC Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1981

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-MCCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Good
First and foremost the XG-M is small, but not in a bad way, I should rather call it compact for an SLR, along with the same lines as a Nikon FA and Olympus OM-1. Combine the size with an equally compact weight you have the perfect camera to carry around no matter if you’re travelling light or attending a moving photo walk. While the XG-M lacks the full auto-exposure shooting of the X-700 or Nikon FA, the aperture priority is perfect and the fact the camera has the full manual mode which sets it apart from the rest of the XG series. The camera’s viewfinder is big and bright and has feedback on both your shutter speed as indicated with lights and your aperture through an under-prism window. Though in low light it is difficult to see both. Operation wise the shutter release is a soft touch one but doesn’t take away the mechanical release, which Minolta could have easily done. The release is located just by the lens mount. The film advance is short and allows for quick operation. Or you can add the Motor Drive 1, which I had with my X-7a but had no desire to add to my XG-M, if I need that, I have the FA. There’s a dedicated on/off button (more on that later), and everything is well laid out on the camera body. And I do have to make a mention of the sharp line of underrated Rokkor lenses available for the camera, though I do recommend sticking to the modern Rokkor-X models.

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-MCCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Bad
There are some things that I do dislike about the camera. First of all is the placement of the on/off switch, more specifically where the indicator on if your camera is on or off. That is covered up by the film advance lever when it’s placed flush into the body. You can pull it out part way (like turning on a Nikon FM/FE/FA), and then you can see it. At least the actual switch unit is on the opposite side. I feel it could be better placed for more feedback. The second item is the restrictive ISO/ASA ratings for the camera meter, running from ASA-25 at the low end and ASA-1600 at the high-end. It’s not so much the low-end rating it’s that the camera tops out at 1600. Sure I could use the EV adjustment (+2/-2) to adjust it higher and lower, but I tend to avoid using it as I often will forget to adjust it back and mess up the next roll of film.

CCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-MCCR Review 89 - Minolta XG-M

The Lowdown
The XG-M is certainly a camera I would recommend; they are inexpensive on the used market as are the lenses which makes it an easy way to get into manual focus, semi-automatic film photography without too much out of pocket. You could get a camera and lens for about 100$ and still have lots left over to get lots of films to run through the camera. Personally, I’m looking forward to using this camera at plenty of Toronto Film Shooters meetups when we’re moving as I can bring plenty of lenses along for the ride and still have space/weight for a medium format camera in the bag.

All Photos Taken in Milton, Ontario
Minolta XG-M – Minolta Rokkor-X 45mm 1:2 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 14 – Fomapan 200

CCR:FRB – Review 14 – Fomapan 200

Fomapan 200 is a film stock that like TMax 400 and Delta 400 I’ve struggled with. I find it far too grainy for 200-speed film stock, often rather soft on the edges and can be rather fickle about lighting conditions. But it’s not a bad film; I think it needs to be handled with little extra care. Fomapan 200, was the first of the Fomapan films that I tried, and while initially disappointed in it, I quickly learned to like the film, for certain applications.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-200, Latitude: 64-800
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak HC-110
You know, there’s something about a little bit of imperfection that makes you enjoy a film and developer combination. And that’s HC-110 and Fomapan 200, it just gives a classic look, that depression era dustbowl tone, contrast, a little soft around the edges, a bit of grain to set it all off. Far from perfectly sharp, toned, and fine grain, but in situations, it works rather well.

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 01 (Kodak HC-110)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
It’s strange to describe a film as being ‘soft’ when developed in Rodinal. Normally whenever I soup a film, it’s sharp and has an uptick in grain. On Fomapan 200, I found the negatives underdeveloped, and rather soft. And while the grain is rather noticeable on the images, I don’t find it pleasing in any way. It just doesn’t look good for me. But I wouldn’t stop you from using Rodinal and Foma 200, use the 1+50 dilution and the 9 minute time, the results from what I’ve seen on Flickr are far superior. But if you insist on using the 1+25 dilution, add an extra 30 seconds. The top two images were done at 5 minutes the bottom two at 5.5 minutes; the difference is pretty clear!

Stone & MortarLong SealedPresbyterianThe Bridge

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C & Blazinal (1+25) 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak D-76
If you want a classic look, then look no further than Fomapan 200 in D-76. But it’s not an unpleasant softness, but a classic one. The edges are smooth along with the contrast and the tones. Then there’s a grain, while D-76 is not known for reducing grain, it generates a fairly pleasing grain pattern, similar to that you’d see on Fomapan 400 pulled to ASA-200. It still makes for an exciting film!

CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 14 - Fomapan 200 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)

Techincal Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Xtol
I have to say, after developing Fomapan 200 in Xtol, I nearly gave up on both Xtol and Fomapan 200. While described as a fine grain developer, it did little to help out with the grain on Fomapan 200. Not to say the grain is terrible on the stock, I was expecting something a little more, clean than what I got. But don’t let the result discourage you, I think if developed for a shorter time, or a slight pull given to the film, the results would be a bit different.

Sydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's PointSydney Harbor Defenses - Chapel Point BatterySydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's PointSydney Harbor Defenses - Stubbert's Point

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-200
Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
There’s no denying it, Fomapan 200 is a soft film, no matter what you develop it in! Now, there is a variant of Fomapan 200 that I don’t represent here, a motion picture surveillance variant that is a touch sharper and has a finer grain. However, that is only available in 35mm. There is nothing wrong with the common consumer variant of Fomapan 200; I did give it the benefit of shooting all these in medium format as well. But it’s a classic look, soft all around, there’s some grain, but it’s a classic pleasing grain. It reminds you of the film of yesterday, so something for me to try at reenactment events. If you’re looking to pick some up, I find Fomapan 200 hard to find in physical stores, however online retailers like Argentix.ca or Freestyle Photographic. If you want to try the surveillance variant, you can pick it up at FPP B&W 200 through the Film Photography Project.

CCR:FRB – Review 13 – Fomapan 100

CCR:FRB – Review 13 – Fomapan 100

The Fomapan series of films are ones that I only recently discovered in the past couple years. It actually was in 2015 when I visited Europe for the 200th Anniversary of Waterloo and popped into a camera shop in the old city of Amsterdam. And there was the whole range of Foma products from paper to film. Well, when I returned I made a point to start checking out this Foma product line. While Fomapan 100 wasn’t my first experience with the product line, it is my favourite of the three film stocks.

CCR:FRB - Review 13 - Fomapan 100

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 40-400
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
I’m not sure if it was the lighting or the developer on this one, but not exactly my favourite combination. Yet, it’s not a bad choice of developer, you get the resolving power that you have with Fomapan 100, fine grain, the tones, but the image is just flat. Sure you have the blacks and the whites, but even those are a little off for my taste. If there was a time for 1+4 you might see an improved contrast. But still, if you want this low contrast look, then yes, a solid choice.

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

Technical Details:
Mamiya 645 AF-D III – Mamiya 645 AF 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
One of my favourite developers for Fomapan 100 is HC-110, because not only do you get a good contrast even with low dilutions like H and F, you maintain amazing tonality across the spectrum and a sharp look and fine grain. Sure you may need to develop it a bit longer than usual or use a different agitation pattern. But trust me this gives you that classic look that you have come to expect from the Foma line of films without losing sharpness or increasing the grain.

ParatrooperA Quick Way Around CampUS ForcesLittle bit of Conversation

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 7:45 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
If you want contrast on the nose, then Rodinal is your choice for developers with Fomapan 100. You also get to see how sharp the film is, but you do get far more noticeable grain especially when you shoot in 35mm, but far less noticeable in 120. Rodinal is by far my primary developer with Fomapan 100 because it’s a classic looking film, it should always be paired with a classic developer.

LUiNA StationOpposing DoorsWater from the RockLittle India

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-23
For a slow working developer you get a whole lotta contrast out of Fomapan 100, and like Rodinal it gives a strong look to the film. Smooth tones, great contrast, and fine grain. Now you do lose a bit of sharpness but not enough to be overly concerned about it. Of course the downside is that you do have a ten minute developing time, but it’s worth the time.

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

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 10:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
If you’re looking for a classic emulsion that feels like a film you’d have shot in the mid-twentieth century then Fomapan 100 is for you. While you do need to purchase the stock through more speciality film stores Freestyle, Argentix, Maco Direct, B&H, it’s well worth the effort because it is slightly less expensive than mainstream films from Kodak, Fuji, and Ilford. But to get the best results for the film, stick to classic developers, HC-110, Rodinal, and D-23. While I haven’t tried the film with D-76 yet, I’m sure that it would do just as good a job.

CCR Review 88 – Wirgin Edixa II

CCR Review 88 – Wirgin Edixa II

When it comes to exciting cameras, there are plenty out there that I have never heard of before starting to review them. And I’ve come across some that are awesome and others that it came as no surprise why I had never come across them before. The Wirgin name is one that isn’t well known in North America; yet have produced a wide range of cameras that sold in the German Market. I first heard the name on an episode of the Film Photography Project where Leslie reviewed the older Edinex. So when I had a chance to try out the Edixa II, I figured it would be a decent camera. Well, I think I was wrong on that one. At least it has a rangefinder. Thanks to Mike Bitaxi for the camera!

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Dirt
Make: Wirgin
Model: Edixa II
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Fixed, Isco-Gottingen Isconar 1:2.8/43 C
Year of Manufacture: 1953-7

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa IICCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Good
For a camera the size and construction of the Edixa II you’d think I’d be lugging around a bit of a paperweight, but surprisingly it carries rather well and doesn’t add too much to one’s pocket. And unlike the original model, the Edixa II has a rangefinder which does ensure quality in focus images. The viewfinder is bright and well in line with the lens, so no parallax error creeps into your image composition. The lens is a happy medium and is decently fast for the age, a f/2.8 lens you do pretty much everything. And the lack of a meter isn’t too bad as you can shoot sunny-16. Sadly the camera I have you’re stuck on single shutter speed, 1/100th which isn’t the end of the world but might be something I can look into fixing on my own. If there was one thing that surprised me about the cameras were the optics, for a lens brand and style I had never heard of before I found the images sharp, while having a pleasant organic softness to them, especially at wider f-stops.

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa IICCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Bad
It’s been some time since I’ve reviewed a camera that I could yell about for a bit and the Edixa II is one of them. There are several things on this camera that made me scratch my head going “what were they thinking” let’s start first with the focusing, rather than use a typical barrel. It’s a small lever at the bottom of the lens that you turn to focus, sadly the focusing lever feels a lot like, and is near the self-timer. There were a couple of times where I would go to focus and start the self-timer instead. The rangefinder, while nice to have, the way its setup is something I’ve never seen before. First, there are two windows, one for the viewfinder, the other for the rangefinder, which is tiny. An in the rangefinder window there are two other windows, in a T shape. You have the line up the images, which would not be too much of an issue if there wasn’t a black piece, rather thick for space, which made it rather difficult actually to locate a spot to make your focus. And finally we have the film advance, it’s a 1.5 stroke, I mean pick one, either go for a full double stroke like some Leica models, or do a proper one stroke, but the whole one and a half business is nonsense. And the size of the advance lever and construction left my thumb smarting a few times.

CCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa IICCR Review 88 - Wirgin Edixa II

The Lowdown
Thankfully this camera can sit as a shelf queen, it does look pleasing enough, and I can, as I mention see if I can run a CLA on it and maybe get it cleaned up a bit. And if I end up breaking everything and turning it into a pile of parts I don’t think I’ll be too let down. Another odd thing I noted on the camera was the negative frames; they were not sharp and well defined again a more organic feel to each frame. So unless you’re a big fan of West German cameras from the mid-century, then I would say pass on the Edixa II.

All Photos Taken at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario
Wirgin Edixa II – Isco-Gottingen Isconar 1:2.8/43 C – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 40 – Screw Mounts and Screw Ups

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 40 – Screw Mounts and Screw Ups

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One of the oldest lens mounting technologies is surprisingly simple, a thread. Leica would be the first with the Leica Thread Mount or M39 as it became known in the 1930s with the Leica I (C), in the 1940s Zeiss Ikon would put forward a much larger diameter thread mount, known as the M42. The camera would be the Contax S and marked the start of the modern SLR. Eventually, the M42 mount would take on additional names like Universal screw mount, Pentax screw mount, and Praktica screw mount. In this episode, the gang takes on some of their favourite screw mount cameras.

Cameras Featured
The following cameras were featured on today’s episode.

KMZ Zenit E – The only Soviet era camera that Alex actually likes and the first camera of James. The Zenit E is a basic, no-nonsense SLR with a Selenium Light Meter (UnCoupled). While these aren’t the best cameras out there, and finding ones with working shutters are getting rare. But if you do find one that works, you’ll have a decently built Russian camera. And if the camera doesn’t work, you might just have a rear lens cap for the iconic Helios 44.

Make: KMZ
Model: Zenit E
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, M42 Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1965-8

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 40 - Screw Mounts and ScrewupsCCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit ECCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit ECCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

Yashica YF – The YF is the Leica for those who don’t like Leica cameras. Based on the Nicca 3L, took everything good about the Barnack Leicas and the Leica M3 and put together a sweet little bottom load rangefinder that can be had for less than a thousand with a lens. While on the rare side, if you do come across one, and are in the market, totally worth the money to pick it up.

Make: Yashica
Model: YF
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Leica Thread Mount (LTM/M39)
Year of Manufacture: 1959

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 40 - Screw Mounts and ScrewupsCCR Review 86 - Yashica YFCCR Review 86 - Yashica YFCCR Review 86 - Yashica YF

Canon P – While not a new camera for the show, Bill’s P having been previously owned by John, is another Leica alternative. The P or Populaire is a wonderful mechanical rangefinder that has a yes, full open backloading. Not to mention some amazing Canon M39 glass to complement. Unlike the Canon 7, there’s no meter on the P, but that shouldn’t stop you! For Bill, this is a great little camera to carry around when you don’t want to lug everything plus the kitchen sink.

Make: Canon
Model: Populaire or P
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Leica Thread Mount (LTM/M39)
Year of Manufacture: 1958-61

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 40 - Screw Mounts and ScrewupsHNR BuildingNorthbound Train in the Rosdale Subway StationThe Senator Restaurant In Colour

Yashica TL-Electro – When it comes to first cameras, you’re going to have to pry this one from John’s cold-dead hands. Purchased as a teenager with the help of his parents he doesn’t use the camera as often as he did, but he isn’t getting rid of it any time soon. Plus with the ability to use Zeiss glass on it, who can blame him!

Make: Yashica
Model: TL-Electro
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, M42
Year of Manufacture: 1972

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 40 - Screw Mounts and ScrewupsScan-100912-0002Jays at Exhibition Stadium, 1980's

Praktica L2 – We’re back in the Soviet Block again with Mike’s L2, not the best camera on the market, and there are plenty of flaws with it such as over advancing the film. But in the end, you might end up with a sweet lens on the front of it that you can use on another camera.

Make: Praktica
Model: L2
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, M42
Year of Manufacture: 1970s (approx)

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 40 - Screw Mounts and ScrewupsThe Artist's HandPraktica RIAD03202013 - Frame 06

Voitlander Bessa R – Trevor now has regrets getting rid of this extremely modern rangefinder, and the Bessa R is a true modern LTM rangefinder, metered, and having the ablity to use any M39/LTM lens, if you have one, never let it go, if you find one at a bargain, get it!

Make: Cosina
Model: Voigtlander Bessa R
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, M39
Year of Manufacture: 2000

Screw Ups
Shooting Film has a way of keeping you humble and never letting you forget your mistakes. And goodness knows we have done a lot of them. From developing in Fix, or Fixing in another Developer. Forgetting what film we had loaded and shooting Ektar 100 at 400. Mis-Developing, forgetting to close the lens before pulling the darkslide. Not stopping down when firing the shutter, double exposing sheets, not cleaning up developing tanks. Thankfully in some cases, we get some fun results, the other times it’s just another learning experience.

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 12 – Kodak Tri-X 400

CCR:FRB – Review 12 – Kodak Tri-X 400

Kodak Tri-X, the mention of the film stock is usually met with awe or aversion. But for me, Tri-X is my film of choice no matter what situation I’m going into. I know that with the film I can get consistent results no matter what situation I throw myself into from abandoned buildings to a wedding, and will get amazing results no matter what chemical I toss the film into. With a classic look and feel, you can torture this film to your heart’s content and will always get the results you need.

CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-6400
Formats Available: 35mm, 120, Sheets (Note: Sheet films of Tri-X are known as 320TXP)

Roll 01 – Rodinal
Like my aversion to using Rodinal with Bergger Pancro 400, I thought the exact same thing with Tri-X, putting a sharp developer on a fast film will result in a grain fest. Yet, I wanted to give it a go anyways and the results astounded me. The grain, while more present than normal, is reasonable, it is a little more noticeable in 35mm, it also shows off exactly what Tri-X can do. With sharpness, tonality, and contrast that show you exactly how the world is supposed to look in black & white. If you want something a little smoother, bump the dilution to 1+50 for even better results. Just remember to use a chemical stop bath, I forgot one time and overdeveloped the sheets.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
The first roll of Tri-X I developed on my own was with HC-110, back in 2012. Now you’re probably screaming that I developed for less than five minutes, which is a big no-no apparently. And even now that I use longer developing times (), the results are the same! But it works for me. It seems that, at least to me, HC-110 and Tri-X are made for each other. The tones are there, the sharpness is there, and the contrast is through the roof. And it also shows off how well Tri-X can handle even the worst lighting conditions like a rainy day in Arras under heavy clouds.

Rainy Day in ArrasRainy Day in ArrasRainy Day in ArrasRainy Day in Arras

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2,8/28 T* – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 4:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak TMax Developer
While not my favourite choice for Tri-X, that doesn’t mean TMax Developer does a good job, it does, it just doesn’t make Tri-X look like the Tri-X I know and enjoy. But thankfully, Tri-X looks good, no matter what you develop it in. The grain is far more chunky as if it’s trying to make classic grain look like modern grain. It may even look close to a classic Tri-X with big grain and lower than normal contrast. But if it’s all you got, it does its job. Though I personally would knock the developing time back 15-30 seconds next time, or pull the film further back to 200.

CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 12 - Kodak Tri-X 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-320
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 7:15 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-23
While D-76 is a good choice of developer for Tri-X, I personally prefer the slower working D-23 as it really helps show off the range for Tri-X, and actually gives the film a far more classic look than newer developers. You get the same tone and sharpness that I have come to expect from the film but it does knock back the contrast but not by much if you prefer more contrast D-76 would be a better choice.

Project:1812 - Fortress HalifaxProject:1812 - Fortress HalifaxProject:1812 - Fortress HalifaxProject:1812 - Fortress Halifax

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Kodak Tri-X will remain, one of my favourite films, I can push and pull the film no matter what and can always pull good images out of it. And though you don’t get the clean modern look as you would with TMax 400, it’s that classic grain and contrast that I desire when I’m out on the street or in portraiture. It’s the classic in the yellow box and one that you can get pretty much anywhere you can buy film. While I wouldn’t develop in TMax developer, it sings in Rodinal, D-23 or D-76, HC-110 and so many other developers.

CCR:FRB – Review 11 – Ilford Delta 100

CCR:FRB – Review 11 – Ilford Delta 100

By far my favourite of all the Delta films (which isn’t hard, there are only three) and my favourite of the mid-speed Modern Films (Delta, TMax etc.). Delta 100 is what I expect from a modern film, sharp, fine-grained, and can do anything you want it to without any major issues. Unlike the faster films, this one can work with pretty much any developer I throw it in and loves any lighting situations. And while as an indoor film it can suffer from rather harsh reciprocity failure, if done right, you don’t have to worry.

CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-100, Latitude: 50-800
Formats Available: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Rodinal
While not a personal favourite developer with Delta 100, which is strange, Rodinal does a good enough job to show off the more modern look and feel of the film. And despite being a 100-speed film I did notice a bit more grain with the film than I was expecting, but nothing too serious, the grain is of course, far less noticeable if you bump up the negative size to sheet (4×5) in my case. But you still get bright, clean negatives with tones across the scale.

DO:H - Christ's Church CathedralDO:H - New Vision United ChurchDO:H - St. Lawrence the MartyrDO:H - New Vision United Church

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
If you want to show off what Delta 100 can do, there are two developers; the first is DD-X, the second is HC-110. These both show what Delta 100 can do, blacks are black, whites are whites, and there are so many shades of grey in between they could write some terrible books about it. Not to mention you can adjust the dilution to get the level of contrast you want. Personally, I find with B it’s a little too contrasty, and E does it just right. Not to mention you maintain the same level of sharpness and fine grain you’d come to expect from the film.

CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 11 - Ilford Delta 100 - Roll 02 (HC-110)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Ilford DD-X
Like my review of Delta 400, rather than use Kodak TMax developer, I went with Ilford’s DD-X. And by far this is my favourite developer to use for this film. Even with the 35mm size, you get a beautiful film with amazing contrast, tone, sharpness, and fine grain. Everything you would expect from a modern emulsion and grain structure. And to be perfectly honest, DD-X and Delta 100 are my favourite combo for DD-X as a whole.

CCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 PhotomicCCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 PhotomicCCR Review 5 - Nikon F2 PhotomicCCR - Review 5 - Nikon F2 Photomic

Techincal Details:
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Ilford DD-X (1+4) 12:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-76
As with Kodak TMax 100, you can show off exactly how well these modern films take to classic developers, while I haven’t used the stock dilution with Delta 100, the 1+1 shows off the beautiful contrast, tones, and fine grain you get with the film. And while it is a longer developing time, the extra effort is certainly worth it. And if this is the results from 35mm, I would love to see how much better it would be with medium and large format.

Industrial LightsClose UpGosserPeeling and Painted

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 11:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Delta 100 is one of those films that you cannot do anything wrong with. No matter what you develop the film in, it gives you solid results. And if you’re looking for that solid modern look in your images in the street, in portraits, landscape, and architecture this film will deliver it to you. Like any of these modern films, however, it is hard on your fixer, and you’ll probably want to give it another minute or so from the standard time of 5 minutes, and pre-wash and hypo-clear is a must to clear off that purple anti-halation layer that does stay on your negatives.

CCR:FRB – Review 10 – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

CCR:FRB – Review 10 – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

In the early days of Photography, most photographic stocks were Orthochromatic, which means they didn’t see a certain colour on the spectrum, mostly this meant the film stock could not see red light, other times it meant the film didn’t see blue light. And while today Panchromatic stocks are the norm, there is still a need for technical films. While shooting Ortho 25, I worked under the assumption that it didn’t see red light. However, I’m not sure of which colour the film is not sensitive to. But it doesn’t matter now; Ortho 25 is an amazing slow black & white film that is deadly sharp and so fine-grained I don’t think it has any.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus

Film Specs
Type: Orthochromatic B&W, Spectral Sensitivity to 380 – 610nm
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-25, Latitude: 12-50
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
When you have a film that’s rated to ASA-25, I think it is impossible to get any heavy grain pattern. And while D-76 is a fairly common developer, it still produces amazing images with Ortho 25. You do see a bit more of darkening of the reds in the images, mainly brickwork in the buildings. But nothing seriously heavy. Sadly there’s no 1+1 time available at the moment, but I would love to see what a more dilute image would look like.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 01 (Kodak D-76)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus @ ASA-25
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Rodinal
I was expecting a little more drama, reds that were coming out black, something exciting. And it pains me to say it, but these images look normal, sure you get next to no grain, images sharp enough to cut yourself on. But still, I was expecting something a little bit more out of this film, to be honest. Now, it’s not to say Rodinal is a poor choice for this film; it works well you get a full panchromatic image which is unexpected, but still a pleasing look all the same. Very low on the contrast however in many of the shots. I only really noticed the darker rendering of the reds in the brick detail shot.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 02 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus @ ASA-25
Blazinal (1+50) 6:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – TMax Developer
I wasn’t too sure about TMax Developer, but I think Ortho 25 responded well to it. While the Massive Developer Chart calls for a 6 minute time in 24C water, I didn’t realise that until after I had prepared the developer in 20C, thankfully I was able to calculate the time and just gave it about three fewer seconds to make it a common time. I continued to be amazed here at the quality of the images, and you even see a greater darkening of the reds here than with D-76. But you do lose some of that razor sharp images that you get with Rodinal, while no surprise, even in D-76 Ortho 25 is super-sharp, but in TMax Developer, they’re a little softer, not by much but enough to make them rather pleasing.

CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 10 - Rollei Ortho 25 Plus - Roll 03 (Kodak TMax Developer)

Techincal Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 45mm 1:2.8 N – Rollei Ortho 25 Plus @ ASA-25
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 8:15 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While it’s impossible to get any grain with a film this slow, I still think your best bet for developing to show off the sharpness and fine-grain nature you want to use Rodinal. I also enjoy the fact that many of the developing times for Ortho 25 are in the six-minute range which isn’t something you see in many films this slow. I’m mostly thinking RPX 25 here. While I can’t see much use for the film myself, it does give another slow film option other than RPX 25 or Ilford Pan F+ something we don’t see that often these days with most companies producing films rated at ASA-100. Ortho 25 is readily available, but only in online shops, Argentix, FreeStyle and Maco Direct.

CCR Review 85 – Pentax MG

CCR Review 85 – Pentax MG

I don’t mean to knock a camera right off the bat, but honestly, Pentax could have done far better than the Pentax MG. Built as part of the compact M series of Pentax SLRs following the release of the Olympus OM-1. Designed as an entry level camera and it shows, bare-bones, simple, and so small it hurts. But you have to take the good with the bad in these reviews, and it’s been a while since I found a camera that I immediately disliked the moment I picked it up. Thanks to James Lee for loaning out the MG for review.

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Dirt
Make: Pentax
Model: MG
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1981-1984

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MGCCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Good
Probably the best part about the camera is the fact it has a K-Mount, you have at least access to a set of fantastic lenses that you can easily mount, and you may even get a solid Pentax-M lens attached when you get the camera. Operations are simple, a pull out to turn on with the advance lever and that has a great short throw. You have your shutter speeds displayed along the edge of your viewfinder which is far better than the MV which was the original entry-level camera of the M-Series. But in this case, as soon as I took the camera out the battery died, thankfully the manual override speed of 1/100″ I could at least using the Sunny-16 technic to keep going. And the camera has next to no weight so it can be carried in any bag or even a large pocket if you must especially if you have the 28mm Pentax-M lens.

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MGCCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Bad
As I mentioned in the introduction, the camera is so small it hurts. I can barely wrap my hands around it comfortably. Which is, what the designers were going for, but honestly even though it’s light I couldn’t imagine using it for a whole day and actually enjoying it. Despite being easy to use, the camera itself feels cramped. I’ve had the chance to use both the ME and ME Super, and while they are designed to be semi-automatic cameras, they at least have a little more space around the controls. And finally the viewfinder is fairly dim, even with an f/2 or f/2.8 lens and the LED readout for the shutter speeds works great in daylight but in low light situations can be hard to read.

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MGCCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Lowdown
The small form-factor Pentax cameras are excellent choices, they provide a less-expensive option and if you already have a set of K-Mount lenses, you can easily move between the larger models like the K-Series and the M-Series with ease. But you want to avoid the entry-level options. If you are considering a purchase the ME Super or MX will be a better choice than the MV, MV1 and especially the MG.

All Photos Taken in St. Jacobs, Ontario
Pentax MG – SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 09 – Ilford Delta 400

CCR:FRB – Review 09 – Ilford Delta 400

If there is one film out there that I have disliked the most but have had a radical change of viewpoints Delta 400 is that film. Like TMax 400, I just find Delta 400 too modern, and boring. It’s not a bad film; it’s just not exciting. It gives you a film that is almost equal in performance as TMax 400. And while I’ve found that the film isn’t bad, it just needs better development in many cases. While some people have managed to tame the film, I do have found through Delta Def Jam; it’s a great choice if you can’t get your hands on TMax 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-3200
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak HC-110
I don’t think HC-110 has ever steered me wrong and I do have the Delta Def Jam event to thank for this one as it was here I discovered what I could get out of Delta 400. With HC-110 you get the rich tones and smooth grain. While you do lose a touch of sharpness, it isn’t much to worry about. As for contrast, that’s easily controlled by increasing or decreasing the dilution, but for me, it’s right to perfect at Dilution B.

Waldie's BlacksmithThe Old Post OfficeBob'sNever Forget

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

Roll 02 – Ilford DD-X
While I’ve been using TMax developer and it does work well with Delta 400, I decided to switch over to DD-X the Ilford equivalent for the Delta films. DD-X is probably the best choice for this film using the 1+4 dilution as standard you see the full power of the modern T-Grain, good tones, sharpness, and decent grain control. While you do see an uptick in grain, it really isn’t too bad once you get into the larger formats. Also, make sure your camera’s exposure is dead on, or else you’ll get some terrible results.

Toronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's Day

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Ilford DD-X (1+4) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak D-76
To be perfectly honest this was the singular roll I shot for this review that I was the most concerned about. I had a rough time the last roll of Delta 400 I had shot in 35mm. But this time around I remained pleasantly surprised. Like TMax 400, Delta 400 responds wonderfully to D-76, and even in 35mm you get a moderate contrast, I would like a little bit more. But you have the sharpness and modern look of the film. While I do notice an uptick in grain, I was expecting this when I pulled the negatives out, but you do get a sharp image at the same time, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off. That being said I do prefer Delta 400 in the older D-23 over D-76.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)

Techincal Details:
Nikon FE – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Pyrocat-HD
I had originally planned to use Pyrocat-HD with one of the Delta Def Jam entries but instead ended up using Kodak D-23. And you know, the wait was worth it. While Pyrocat-HD is based on some of the oldest developers out there, it works wonders on modern films. Giving you a clean, almost grainless look, sharp images, and amazing tones and contrast. Plus it almost gives the film a classic look about it.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 C – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-32
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 16:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
So where does that leave us? Well, I can’t say I’ve been won over with modern films, but it certainly does give me one more type of film to shoot in a pinch when I can’t always get the ones I want. And certainly, if I can’t get my hands on TMax 400, I can get the same results with Delta 400 and I would give the edge to Delta 400 over the Kodak film stock. And for me, that’s saying something. Plus overall, it’s just a bit more exciting than TMax 400 in my view.