Anyone who has been in photography for a long time will remember the legendary Kodak film, no, not Kodachrome, the other one…Panatomic-X. Panatomic-X was first released in 1933 and continued until 1987 this fine grain ASA-32 panchromatic black & white film produced a huge tonal range and allowed for even 35mm negatives to be printed extremely large without noticeable grain…and when there was grain is was very pleasing. These days you cannot find fresh film, or even another film on the market like it. Most of the film I’ve shot expired back in the 1970s but can still be shot at box speed (ASA-32). TheRead More →

Designed as the camera for Youth (Smena or ϹМЕНА roughly translated is Young Generation or Relay), the Smena 8m was a staple camera from the Leningrad Optical-Mechanical Union (LOMO) that really was the most basic of cameras out there. This simple viewfinder camera will either delight or frustrate you as it can be fairly complex to work with, which is rather odd since it was a Youth camera. The ϹМЕНА 8M the strangest chunk of plastic the ruble can buy The Dirt Maker: Lomo (ЛОМО) Model: Smena 8m (ϹМЕНА 8M) Type: 35mm Viewfinder Lens: Fixed, Lomo T-43 4/40 (T-43 4/40 ЛОМО) Year of Manufacture: 1970-1995Read More →

It’s April so we’re going to give the often detracted APS or Advanced Photo System some love because frankly the cameras used with it are pretty darn cool and for the most part the system was pretty innovative for the time. But it was too little too late, with consumer grade digital cameras on the horizon and stores and labs not willing or being forced to upgrade their equipment the format died fairly quickly. Today you can get the cameras for a song, but the film is either cold stored or worse stored. The format was developed by the major camera manufactures and film manufacturesRead More →

There’s something magic about instant photography. I’m not talking being able to see an image on a computer screen or even sending your smartphone snapshots to a bluetooth printer. Or even those Polaroid digital cameras with the built in printer. I’m talking the real deal, Fuji, Impossible, and Polaroid (The original stuff). That’s right the week of the 20th to 24th of April marked Polaroid Week Spring 2015. While some times I can be a bit dodgy at participating in some of these week long projects I do make an attempt. I was again shooting mostly old Polaroid stock in an effort to clear itRead More →

The Hi-Matic 7s, where to start on this sweet fixed lens rangefinder. It truely is the underdog when it comes to the rangefinder explosion of the 1960s and today is barely seen with everyone clamoring for Yashica Electros, Canonet QL17 GIIIs, and Olympus 35SP, and while these are all great cameras the Hi-Matic 7s is a true sleeper. The slightly upgraded version of the Hi-Matic 7 (the second camera in the Hi-Matic line) features the same meter as Minolta’s SrT line of single lens reflex cameras, a hotshoe, and the Safe Loading System (SLS). This also happens to be the very first camera that IRead More →

One of the more contested figured in the Anglo-American War of 1812 was the Governor General and Military commander of British North America, General George Prevost. Prevost was groomed into the military from an early age, born the 19th of May, 1767 in the province (now state) of New Jersey to a lieutenant-colonel in the British Army, Prevost attended schools in both the American colonies and England before being commissioned an ensign in the 60th Regiment of Foot, his father’s regiment, in 1779. Prevost soon rose quickly through the ranks, mostly due to his having a grandfather who was a banker in Amsterdam as aRead More →

A favoured camera of the street photography group, the rangefinder, is one of those niche cameras that is often associated with brands like Leica. However while none of us have a Leica to present this episode we have some fine (cheaper) alternatives to the Leica that are sure to get your attention. The main feature of the rangefinder is that the viewfinder is often off-set from the taking lens, and uses a super-imposed image that you ‘line up’ to get the focus. However, composing takes a bit of work. The first rangefinders were produced by Kodak back in 1916, but really got popular in 1925Read More →

Before working on the camera review (CCR) blogs I had very little experience with Ilford Chemistry, so I made a choice to use only Ilford Films and chemistry over the course of the CCR blogs. So as I come to the end of the first quarter of blogs I figured I would give a review of the first developer I used. Ilfotech DD-X. According to the Ilford website this is a similar developer to Kodak’s TMax developer which I’m a big fan of, so I figured it would be a good place to start. Plus I see a lot of people using it. However forRead More →

Olympus seems to have a way of creating cult cameras and the Trip 35 is no different, this is a fantastic compact and fully automated camera that can fit in a pocket or bag. But don’t let the size give it away, the Trip 35 produces fantastic sharp images mostly thanks to the fantasic Zuiko lens. It’s a great way to get quality images in a compact camera. The Dirt Maker: Olympus Model: Trip 35 Type: 35mm Point & Shoot Zone Focus Lens: Fixed, Olympus D.Zuiko f=40mm 1:2.8 (Tessar Design) Year of Manufacture: 1967-1984 The Good No batteries here, the fully automated system can beRead More →

Back when I visited Ottawa for the first time in several years this past September I lugged along my 4×5 camera, and while I wasn’t too pleased with every shot, I made a point when I was there this past weekend to really focus, slow down, and work with the 4×5 primarily and put the smaller formats away. The results were a much stronger set of images that I am incredibly proud of and do plan on getting these into the darkroom to print. Centre Block East Block Chateau Laurier Details of the National War Memorial The Connaught Building – National Headquarters The National GalleryRead More →