I remember not being overly excited about Rollei Paul & Reinhold when it was first announced in September of 2020. I mean, yes, it is great to see a special edition film released to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of a premier and historic camera maker (Franke & Heidecke later Rollei). There was little data on the film at the time, and there are still many gaps. Given that the actual film stock is unknown, it’s either a limited edition run (made in Italy, not Belgium) or a found stock that has been rebranded. Either way, Rollei has been tight-lipped about the film’s source. Given thatRead 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 →

Ever since the invention of the automobile and aeroplane, the way people moved changed rapidly. Henry Ford’s Model T put the dream of a personal car within reach; improvements in planes through the inter-war period into World War Two and the post-war period allowed long-distance travel at an even faster rate. While steam motive power continued to drive many railroad operators through the war, the rise of diesel began to reshape even the train industry. Through the war, fuel and material shortages spiked passenger train services, but even now, those were starting to decline. It became clear that the golden age of rail had comeRead More →

The late 19th century brought the final push to extend out the transcontinental line. The arrival of the 20th century, the Canadian Pacific Railway was the only line that extended across Canada, at least from Vancouver to Montreal. In Ontario, Grand Trunk managed to secure itself as the big player in the province by absorbing all the competition but could not do that with Canadian Pacific finding itself against a competitor that it simply could not buy out. This was the golden age of rail travel when mighty steam locomotives travelled across the country; rail networks connected people and places, mail and cargo were easilyRead More →

Today moving around is easy. At the same time, we deal with traffic and delays, our availability of automobiles, aeroplanes, transit, and trains. Combined with well-paved roads, GPS, maps, gas stations, rest areas, travel for us in the 21st Century is a breeze. But some two centuries earlier, life in Ontario, then Upper Canada, was far more challenging. Many who lived in the settlements well outside the few urban centres never strayed too far from home. Local roads were often blazed trails from Indigenous people who lived on the land. Sir John Graves Simcoe had ordered military roads, but even these were little more thanRead More →

I need to start learning that when it comes to black and white developers, all of this has happened before, all of this will happen again. Take, for example, Rollei Low-Speed, RLS is a modern rebranding of LP-CUBE XS. There’s very little information about both developers online outside of official documentation. But it also has some interesting notes and is the first time using a film described as a deep layer developer. But the one thing I am familiar with is a developer that works best at speed less than the box. In fact, the amount of reduction in film speed is what I sawRead More →

When it comes to the name Velvia, most photographers will often latch onto the cult classic Fuji Velvia or its modern form, Velvia 50. But Fuji also released a one-stop faster version, Velvia 100 or 100F, which offers everything you like about Velvia 50 but in a slightly faster form. While I’ve shot plenty of slide films, Velvia 100 is one that I have far less experience with; again, I’m more likely to shoot Provia, Ektachrome, or Astia (RIP) when shooting a 100-Speed slide film. But Velvia 100 is an interesting animal and one that I’m not likely to shoot again. So I wasn’t tooRead More →

History is far more complicated. And when it comes to the history of the railroad in Ontario, there are many more moving parts to the story than most people think. The history of the railroad does not begin in the 19th Century; rather, the events of the early 19th Century are simply a culmination of a vast array of the human need to improve our own mobility beyond that of our own two feet or the control and domestication of animals. As I am fond of saying, there has to be context to understand. While this is not the furthest I’ve gone back in time,Read More →

I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for manual focus Minolta cameras. And the Minolta lineup is a unique cross-section of camera technology through the post-war 20th Century. All my early experience with photography came in various Minolta cameras, from my family’s Riva Zoom to my first personal camera, the Hi-Matic 7s and the first SLRs in the SR-T 102 X-7a. More recently, the XE-7 has been my Minolta SR-Mount of choice. But the XE-7 lead me down the rabbit hole of the 1970s of Minolta’s technology-sharing agreement with Ernst Leitz because, of course, there was something better. And that something better is the MinoltaRead More →

When I first decided to review Rollei Low Contrast developer (RLC), I doubted my choice. The list of available films remained short and some I could not find to purchase for the review. And most of the films on the list were technical films, which don’t always suit my photography. But I went ahead anyway after coming up with a decent list and getting my hands on a roll of Kodak Technical Pan and seeing the results from my good friend John Meadows. RLC is a strong developer if you have a contrasty film, fine-grained, and super sharp because the developer will make sure youRead More →