What is it about Soviet-made cameras that attract such a cult following? I mean they are notorious for breaking, or just being of poor quality right off the factory line. But what is the mark of quality? For the West, we look at cameras such as the Leica and Hasselblad which are precision built cameras with a great deal of research, development, and quality checks before they get into the hands of photographers. But for the Soviets, it was something that could be quickly built, easily repaired, and put into everyone’s hand. And the FED-2 has that mark of quality. But these were far criesRead More →

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 →

There’s something strange about the Smena 8M, it wasn’t my first experience with Soviet cameras and certainly wasn’t going to be my last. But the Smena 8m made me both loved and despised the cameras from the Soviet bloc. The camera is simple to the point of being demining, a chunk of plastic that has little to offer a photographer. Other than a strange joy and annoyance in general operation. Every time I used it, I wanted to give it away, tossing more images than those I kept. Yet now looking back at the three rolls I shot through the camera the resulting photos aren’tRead 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 →

If you have ever listened to my photography journey then you will have had heard of this particular camera, I am of course talking about the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. While among the plethora of fixed lens rangefinders that flooded the market through the 1960s and 1970s it doesn’t stand out among some of the era’s heavy hitters, the Hi-Matic 7s is a sleeper of a camera. And for me, it holds the honour of being my first personal film camera a five-dollar purchase at a garage sale in 2002 it would be a near-constant companion until I got my first SLR. Still, it was aRead 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 →

When it comes to cult cameras, I don’t think any company can compete with Olympus for the sheer number of models that have gained cult status before the current wave of point-and-shoot madness. You have the Mju (µ) aka Stylus, Stylus Epic, the entire XA line, and then there’s this camera, the Trip 35. When it comes to sleek and stylish cameras not to mention easy to operate and compact the Trip 35 has all of that in spades. And it probably helped catapult the camera to fame with the support of David Bailey. My own journey into the Trip 35 started with the FilmRead More →