We’re switching away from our usual format and making like Paddington Bear and doing it ourselves! And there’s plenty out there from making your own developer, mounting old lenses on modern cameras, even some basic repairs you can do yourself at home. As always, we be held responsible if things mess up, we’re not professionals or trained in this matter, please do these at your own risk. Kodak Hawkeye Lens Flip Discussed back in Episode 2, it is possible to flip the lenses on the Kodak Hawkeye and Hawkeye Flash models of the iconic 1950s snapshot camera. Being a single element lens, this only exaggeratesRead More →

When it comes to 35mm SLRs I’m solidly in the Nikon camp. Yet, Canon had something that could be considered an equal, if not a stronger camera for the 1970s than the Nikon offering of the time. That being the Canon F-1, Canon’s answer to the Nikon F2. Sadly the F-1 only lived a short time in my collection before going to a good friend who had a larger selection of Canon lenses. I know it went to a good home. But as a camera, the F-1 is an amazing performer and if I had more lenses it would have been a strong addition toRead More →

When it comes to fixed lens rangefinders, these cameras were what got me into photography with my very first camera, the Hi-Matic 7s. But these cameras are usually fixed on having f/2.8 or f/1.8 lenses due to the shutters available. Yashica decided to go bigger and often faster with their Lynx line of cameras. So when I had the chance to get my hands on the fixed lens rangefinder with the fastest lens available among these cameras (there are no others with an f/1.4 lens according to all of us in the Alliance), I had to take it out for review. But when it comesRead More →

I remember the first time I saw the Pentax 645; it was at Belle Art Camera in Hamilton, Ontario. It was sitting there in all its medium format beauty with the 75mm f/2.8 lens. The store employee told me all about the camera, what it did, how it worked. And I was looking to up my medium format game. The price was right, so I dropped the cash and left with a camera that would come with me on future trips, projects, and even some weddings. As a camera, the Pentax 645 is a workhorse and a working man’s camera, it has everything you wantRead More →

One of the more interesting aspects of working with old Polaroid stock is that sometimes you get duds. While this past Saturday I wanted to get some cameras shot for the next three CCR blogs so that I can have them up before heading to Europe in four weeks, I also decided to take the rest of my 1997 expired Polaroid Type 55 4×5 stock along to shoot while on the road. Despite having a lot left, the stock being nearly twenty years out of date, there were a lot of duds, not enough chemistry spread, or none at all. But when all was saidRead More →

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 →

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 →

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 →