Tag: hc-110

CCR Review 74 – Nikon FE

CCR Review 74 – Nikon FE

When it comes to classic cameras, there’s a specific look that will always be connected to Nikon. From the massive metered prisms of the F and F2 and the red strip that remain with the cameras to this day first introduced with the F3. But in the 1970s a certain touch of class entered the Nikon line, clean, simple, sharp. Pure photography as Nikon touts in their advertisements for the Nikon Df, which oddly enough is based around the camera under review, the Nikon FE. The design of the FE and it’s mechanical cousin, the FM, remained so popular the design lasted for several more models before production switched to Cosina where they took on a more modern Nikon look complete with the red stripe. The FE remains a solid shooter even today with a semi-automatic aperture priority electronic (hence the E in the name) camera with full manual function on top of it, and it fills in a small gap in my Nikon kit between the F2 and FA.

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

  • Make: Nikon
  • Model: FE
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1978-1983

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

The Good
The strongest feature on the FE is in its simplicity, having on a few dials to run the camera operations in a well laid out manner. A dedicated on/off switch with a pull out on the film advance lever. And that film advance, nice and short that allows for quick shooting. And don’t let the small size of the camera body, it has a decent weight and balance. I’d put the FE up against an OM-2 for size and functionality. While the viewfinder isn’t the brightest out there, that honour goes to the FE2, but the viewfinder is one of the best I’ve seen. A clear display of shutter speeds along the one side that makes the automatic mode easy as the shutter speed is indicated by a needle. And when you’re in manual mode, you simply match a needle to the indicated shutter speed. A modern version of my favourite match needle system. And the camera has a good meter in it to boot, centre-weighted and dead accurate.

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

The Bad
There is one lone issue I have with the Nikon FE. It’s not that it’s an electronic camera that requires a battery to operate fully, I knew that when I got the camera. Like many electronic cameras of the age, they came with a mechanical mode with a single shutter speed. That’s not the problem either; it’s the selected speed to make the mechanically fixed speed, 1/90th of a second. It just doesn’t make sense to me. The camera would be far more useful in mechanical backup if the speed were 1/125th makes it easy to run with Sunny-16! Thankfully the camera is not a battery hog, and the spares are pretty easy to acquire so having a couple in the bag wouldn’t be too much of an issue.

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

CCR Review 74 - Nikon FE

The Lowdown
Having shot the Nikon FM2n in the past I took to the FE immediately. It also reminds me of my third camera, the Minolta X-7a. For a first camera, this camera is great for anyone, style and class, second to none. With access to every Nikon lens out there from the early Auto-Nikkors to AI and AI-S (including AF-D), you have a solid camera that really won’t let you down. And while they carry a decent price-tag on the used market you can have one for between 80 to 200 dollars, and even in rough shape, the camera will still work. And while you can get a two-toned chrome/black, I’d go with an all black one; they look better in my opinion.

All Photos Taken in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nikon FE – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Bergger BRF 400 Plus @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 10:30 @ 20C

I Will Remember

I Will Remember

Here, at the end of history, we know that the war that is The Great War would only last one more year until on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour the guns across Europe would fall silent. But one hundred years ago they did not know that.

Least We Forget

The men and women who served, in another 100 years will they names be read aloud by the public? Will their names still be remembered? Will our grandchildren know of the sacrifice of those who died 200 years before? Will there be the same fanfare of sober celebration?

In Memorial

I don’t know about then, that’s the future, I’m here now, and I know that I will remember. And I take my duty actively to make sure the generation after me remembers as well.

Least We Forget

Because if I forget, how can the future remember?

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer

All the photos featured here were taken in 2017 of war memorials I have photographed in my travels. The icon on social media is a simple 3D replica of a carving found in the tunnels beneath Vimy Ridge in France. I hope you, dear reader, take the time to attend a ceremony tomorrow or take a moment to be silent and remember at 11 am. If you need to know where you can attend such a ceremony in Ontario, you can find the details on the Ontario Government Site.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Technical Details (From Top to Bottom)
Cambridge, Ontario – Downtown Galt
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Kew Gardens
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Oakville, Ontario – Georges’ Square
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Church of the Redeemer
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

If you’ve ever listened to me talk about film, you’ll know there are some films I have a strong view. I love my Kodak Tri-X and JCH Streetpan 400; then there are the ones I’m not too happy with, that is Ilford HP5+ in 35mm and Delta 400 in general. But what if I could change my mind on just one? Would it give me another tool in the kit to use to get a specific look? Could I shoot four rolls of a film stock and come to like it, even go as far as recommending it? Challenge Accepted.

That film isn’t Delta 400, I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like the stock actually I just developed Delta 400 in Kodak D-23 and it turns out it’s not a bad film stock either, but I feel HP5+ can be one that I just might be able to. So I’ll give it a shot, get five rolls of the stock, load it up into trusted cameras, visit suitable locations, and then pick developers I’ve never used with 35mm HP5+ and go to town.

Roll One: SPUR HRX
I got the idea of using SPUR HRX after looking on Flickr after Tony posted a question on the Toronto Film Shooters Group. Tony had asked for developer recommendations for HP5+ and Mike suggested SPUR HRX. To be fair in this case, I also pushed the film a little bit more than an average day of shooting. I shot the roll indoors in a sort of abandoned, or rather closed campus of Sheridan College. I figured, if I’m going to learn to like the film, I might as well take it into a familiar situation for me.

Registrar

Bravo Six

Leftovers

The Moody Darkness

The results they speak for themselves, the images are dark, moody, and the contrast is rich. Not surprising given the lighting conditions. I did note that there a more substantial grain pattern, but using a sharp developer on a 400-speed film will do that, but it isn’t anything worth complaining.

Roll Two: Pyrocat-HD
When in doubt just run with a Pyro developer. I started working with Pyro based developers after seeing some of the amazing work Mat Marrash has been doing with HP5+ in 8×10 and this developer. Having some early morning light in Toronto, I loaded up the roll into my trusty Contax G2 and went to town!

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

When I pulled the negatives out of the tank, I noticed something different, something I had only seen with Kodachrome. Yes, the layers of exposure on the film had a relief to them, as if the silver had been hand etched onto the film base itself. And then into the scanner and you saw this clean three-dimensional image, smooth tones and no grain at all.

Roll Three: Kodak D-23
One of the first developers I ever used was Kodak D-76, it was at the time the preferred developer of my teacher Julie Douglas. While I have only used a single jug of the stuff since, I have latched onto its cousin, the slower acting D-23. I’ve souped plenty of film stocks in it and like how it makes Tri-X look, so I figured it would be a good candidate.

Nature Trail...

Roughing It

Taking on the CRAIG

Take a Seat

I really liked D-23, it performed as I expected it would give the usual smooth tones all the way through the grayscale. Indeed an excellent choice for the film. I’m now hankering to try this with medium and large format versions of HP5+.

Roll Four: Kodak Microdol-X
I happened across this developer completely by accident during my 52-sheet project and came to enjoy using it. While an older Kodak developer again, and not available under the Kodak name, but Legacy Pro has their Mic-X which is the same. Microdol is a fine grain soft developer so it should be able to work a bit of magic.

The Masons

Back to the War

Lighting the Way

Pick Me Up

I honestly don’t know what went wrong with these photos. They all seemed overexposed. The camera, my Nikon F5 has a solid meter, the ASA/ISO setting was correct. Maybe it was the Orange-22 filter I used or the harsh sunlight. I had to work some post-processing magic on these. I think that I need to reduce the developing times by 1 minute or give the film a slight pull to make Microdol-X work.

Roll Five: Kodak HC-110
When you’re having trouble with something, how about going back to an old friend. Kodak HC-110 is one of two developers I have not stopped using since I started developing my own black & white film. The other is Rodinal, but not wanting to give the film one hell of a pull, I figured HC-110 in the standard Dilution B would be a good way to help out.

Blown Open

Eroded Away

Follow the Rails

Sun Dappled

HP5 sings with HC-110, you get to see how sharp the film stock is with this Kodak developer, and the contrast is dead on point even in the strange lighting conditions that are a sun-dappled forest at high-noon. While not exactly the best time to be out shooting it provides a real test for what a film and developer can do, and HC-110 is a sure winner in this case.

When I first set out to shoot these five rolls of HP5+ I went into it thinking I didn’t like the film stock in 35mm, however, upon shooting these five rolls I realised that I did like the film, I had just had some bad encounters with it in the past. In the end, it’s a solid film stock one that I will use in the future because I won’t always be able to find Kodak Tri-X, and now I have several developing options. I also plan on trying to perfect that Microdol-X time/speed issue.

Technical Data:
Roll One: Sheridan College, Skilled Trades Centre, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Two: Toronto, Ontario
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three: Rattlesnake Point, Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four: Ancaster, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Orange-22) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak Microdol-X (Stock) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Five: McCraney Valley Park, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 71 – Nikon Zoom 500AF

CCR Review 71 – Nikon Zoom 500AF

When it comes to reviewing a point-and-shoot camera, especially one from this era, you have to approach it differently. While many cameras of the era have earned a place in cult camera history, such as Olympus Stylus and Stylus Epic, high-end cameras like the Contax T2 and Nikon 35Ti. And then there are these cameras, the ones that more likely will languish in your family junk drawer or collect dust on the local thrift shop shelf. There’s a good chance that if you’re of a certain age, your parents used a camera similar to the Nikon Zoom 500 AF to capture family vacations and holidays. Released just before the digital storm, the Zoom 500 or Lite Touch 105 if you’re outside the North American Market, was a camera designed for just that. Simple, some zoom, designed to work best with consumer 200 and 400-speed colour films to be dropped off at your local one-hour photo lab. There’s a certain satisfaction to using the camera, simple to use, load, and shoot. Some features that would’ve made my life easier in those early days I was shooting with my family compact camera. Again, thanks to my Uncle Harvey for donating this camera, another one used by his father well after giving up on the Voigtlander!

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

  • Make: Nikon
  • Model: Zoom 500AF/LiteTouch Zoom 105
  • Type: Point-And-Shoot
  • Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Fixed, Nikon Zoom Lens 38-105mm f/3.5-9.2
  • Year of Manufacture: 1995

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

The Good
The cameras of the era, especially those of this time aren’t exactly designed to give one a shooting experience that is exciting. The Zoom 500 is purpose built, to allow everyone to take snapshots without fuss or muss, and this case the camera works perfectly! Easy to shoot, easy to load, controls are well laid out especially the zoom and shutter release. And it’s hard to forget which is which. Another point on the handling of the camera is that there’s a slight lens barrel making it more difficult to stick your finger over the lens. The viewfinder gives you feedback on the zoom of the lens, which doesn’t have a bad range for a point-and-shoot. And the one thing that stands out to me with the viewfinder is the framing lines to help with composing your shots. The one thing I was afraid of when working with the camera is that I kept on turning off the flash as I was outdoors, it was a sunny day, and I was only shooting 100-speed film. To my surprise the results were sharp, some underexposure but not surprising but overall well-exposed images and the quality of the images at every zoom, point surprised me. While chatting after the fact with John Meadows, he noted that Nikon Point-And-Shoots had good optics for the cameras of its type.

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

The Bad
It’s straightforward to blast this camera for the lack of feedback and manual functionality I simply cannot because this isn’t a high-end camera, it’s not designed to be used in that way. So I cannot fault the camera for that. However, the one thing I did find annoying is that it kept asking me to turn on the flash, even though looking at the negatives the exposure seemed perfectly fine. Now while the optical quality of the lens is excellent, it isn’t the fasting glass on the block, nor would I expect it to be. Sure at the 38mm end, the maximum aperture is f/3.5 which is nothing to sneeze at, but when you have it at the full 105mm you’re looking at only f/9.2, I have faster lenses with my 4×5 setup. I also think the placement of the viewfinder could be a little more towards the centre of the camera body to aid in full composition with the aid of guidelines. The way it’s placed now you’re losing a good chunk of your lower right side of the frame. And finally, it suffers from the same problem that many cameras from the 1990s suffered, the CR123A battery. While easy to find in both camera stores, once you get out of major population centres you’ll struggle, at least they have a long life.

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

CCR Review 71 - Nikon Zoom 500AF

The Lowdown
You’re better off with a modern digital point-and-shoot camera than shooting with any 1990s point and shoot camera. But if you want something dead simple to get a child or a digital shooter who has no experience with an SLR, there’s something to be said about the Zoom 500. The viewfinder, while not placed ideally has the guides to help with composition, and the hands-off controls make it simple just to get the shot. It lets the shooter figure out composition first and worry about exposure later. In shooting with the Zoom 500, I realised that maybe my family should have looked at Nikon cameras more so than Minolta when we were replacing our old 1980s family camera.

All Photos Taken in Toronto, Ontario
Nikon Zoom 500AF – Nikon Zoom Lens 38-105mm f/3.5-9.2 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

It’s been a while since I’ve had a wedding to write about, and this wedding is one that has been in the works for some time now. And the longest I’ve ever been on retainer for a job. But in this case, it was well worth the wait. I am of course talking about the wedding between Amy and Jeremy.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

The trouble with weddings is how do you go about photographing them? I say this because a wedding is a job that is many jobs. You’re a portrait photographer, event photographer, counsellor, valet, gopher, and many other jobs on top of everything else.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

So this time around I made a point to approach this wedding how I do weddings best, as a photojournalist. Because, while a wedding is an event, it’s also a story, the story of the day. So when I arrived, I started to work to tell the story of Amy and Jeremy’s wedding.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

And you know, I hit my groove, I just moved along taking things as they came. I also found out that I can be in two places at once especially during the ceremony. Having the small, lightweight a6000 and sticking to only three lenses for the camera allowed me to capture the ceremony (and edit out all the crying photos) along with my trusty F5 (first time shooting it at a wedding) with only the 50mm lens. An outdoor wedding gave me all the space I needed to move around and eliminated the need to have the heavy 70-200mm lens I had lugged along; the classic AI-S Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 gave me all the reach I needed.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

For portraits, I wanted something a little bigger to work with so out came the Hasselblad, again the first time the Hassy has been used at a wedding along with the Gossen Lunasix F. It sang as well as we moved throughout the village. Having never been to the Kawartha Settler’s Village I had settled to scout the place using their website and Flickr to come up with the buildings I wanted to us. And what made the whole thing a fantastic job to shoot, is how smoothly I worked with the people and how well they responded.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

As for the film stock, of course, I went with Kodak Tri-X 400. When you’re out shooting something important, you have to go with a film stock you know and trust and what better way to shooting a wedding as a photojournalist than with the go-to film for photojournalism. The only difference is that instead of using Pyrocat-HD for the portraits I decided to try something different and developed the medium format Tri-X in Blazinal (Rodinal) and the results they speak for themselves. I wish nothing but happiness for these two, it’s been a long time coming, and it was well worth the wait.

Technical Details:
Colour Digitals: Sony A6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS, AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D, AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5, KMZ Helios 44M-2
B&W Film (Rectangular): Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C
B&W Film (Square): Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Ottawa on Film

Ottawa on Film

One of my favourite cities in Ontario to photograph is Ottawa, Ontario, also the Capital City of Canada. While not as grandiose in planning as Washington DC, this city has plenty of offer the photographer. A recent week’s holiday there with my wife gave me a chance to exersize several cameras from my toolkit and having plenty of my pro gear having shot a weekend before hand I was loaded for bear both in gear and film stock.

Alexandra Bridge
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Eastman 5363 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 5:00 @ 20C

End of Line
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

Day One found us going to the newly renovated Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau then across the river for lunch. Having been blessed with a sunny week I decided to keep most of my film stocks on the slower side, most rating no more than ASA-100. It also saw a return of Eastman 5363 a favourite motion picture stock that I did extensive tests with the first time it came to the still photography market through the Film Photography Project.

Spike in Blue Sky
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

More Old Hydro Systems
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Another film that I gave a try with, and only the second time shooting in 120 is Bergger Pancro 400, a new film stock out of France from a company better known for their traditional photo paper I was fairly pleased with the stock. This time around I shot it at the full speed of ASA-400 just so that shooting at waist level I could get some deep depth of field and fast shutter speeds. While a little more grainy than I was expecting from a 400-speed film in medium format I am fairly pleased with the results.

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

While if you’re a following of this blog, you’ve already seen some of the film shots from Day Four through my review of the Holga 120N. But after the National Gallery, which has a beautiful photography exhibit at the moment, I swung up my trusty Nikon F2 Photomic. With blue skies and white clouds, it was time to get some filtering on the camera. While the MosaïCanada 150 display was begging for some Infrared work, I was rather pleased with the results of the Orange-22 filter.

The Victoria Bell
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The Bank of Canada
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The final day saw us kicking around Parliament Hill. Sadly I had to check my bag and Nikon F5 for the tour of Parliament and the Changing of the guard, I made a point to head back with the ultra-wide lens and some Fomapan 100, a beautiful film that I had yet to shoot in 35mm, to capture the seat of power for Canada. When I’ve run a project I like to keep the film stocks fairly consistent. And while I did make sure to bring multiples of two (mostly), I use vacations as a time to play around with new/odd film stocks, sometimes it turned out great. Other times not so much.

One More Time – Efke Film

One More Time – Efke Film

If you’ve been doing the film photography thing for some time now, you’ll have heard about a classic film emulsion, that is Efke. Efke, a brand name of the film from the Croatian firm, Fotokemika, is a silver rich panchromatic film that gives any images a classic look. This classic look is because the film using a traditional grain structure has a high silver content, and only uses a single emulsion layer. Sadly, when Fotokemika closed their doors due to the age of their equipment and the cost of continuing to maintain the machines, it not only killed the Efke line of films but Adox as well. And while Adox bounced back and still supports a decent number of film stocks such as CHS 100 II and CMS 20 II, Efke has remained buried. And while you can’t buy new stock Efke, a gentleman in Croatia happened across a warehouse worth of Efke 100 film in 35mm and began selling it on eBay. I jumped on this and bought a brick. Of course, I’m not one to horde film or save it for a rainy day.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Film
  • Base: Polyester
  • Film Speed: ASA-100
  • Formats Avaliable: 35mm/127/120/Sheet

This ain't no Baywatch
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

When you could buy Efke films at your usual photographic supply stores, I tended to stay away from the 100-speed stock, going instead with the 50 and 25-speed films. In fact, I shot my final rolls of Efke 50 through 2015 to 2016; I even got a chance to shoot Efke 25 in 4×5 format having secured a short box from Burlington Camera’s Film Fridge. Now looking back through my Flickr search, Efke was a mainstay of my film fridge for a good seven years.

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C
Kodak Pony 135 Model C – Kodak Anaston Lens 44mm ƒ/3.5 – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

When I had shot that final roll in March of 2016, I figured that was it! Fotokemika had shut down, Adox had begun to produce their film stock. Then, at the Winter 2017 Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, James Lee mentioned he had come across an eBay auction, the auction I referred to in my first paragraph. The game was afoot! Several folks around the table immediately upon returning home put in their orders. And sure enough, a couple of weeks later this well-wrapped package of film arrived from Croatia.

Let Fly!
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

There is still enough information out there to develop the film, with most people going for Rodinal or HC-110 as their soup of choice. And yes Efke looks excellent in both those options, but I wanted to try something different. The one thing I was a little surprised that nowhere did I find a developing time for my favourite Kodak developer next to HC-110 that is D-23. There are D-76 times, so I had that at least as a base. A quick search online landed me back on the APUG site and found a thread with the exact question I was asking. After much consideration, I landed on seven minutes, forty-five seconds. It worked, and I was fairly pleased with the results.

Oh that Swirl
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

There is still more to go through; I gave Pyrocat-HD a try being my favourite developer period. PMK Pyro worked magic on Efke 25 and Efke 50, I wasn’t too much a fan of Ekfe 100 in Pyrocat-HD. If you are planning on giving Efke a try or happened across a brick of the stock, this isn’t a film for someone who is used to modern film. You will get more grain on this film that you would on Ilford FP4+.

Clean Lines
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

If you do happen to enjoy this look, I know I do in certain situations like re-enactments or gritty street photography work; then you don’t have to fret too much. While Efke is gone, there’s still plenty of film stocks out there that can provide you with a similar look. There’s Adox CHS 100 II, I’ve shot this film only in 4×5 sheets and think it’s a beautiful film stock, and being 4×5 and while I haven’t picked up any 35mm stock I just may have to. But probably your best bet is to look at Fomapan 100, this film is a recent addition to my tool kit and provides a beautiful classic look especially souped in Rodinal and D-23.

Toronto Film Shooters – Summer 2017

Toronto Film Shooters – Summer 2017

Ah the dog days of summer, and yet there’s still the draw to get out, no matter the weather, and just enjoy shooting. This summer meeting saw me visit two areas of the city for some shooting. The first part of the meet was in a part of the city that I don’t often explore, the Riverside neighbourhood on the eastern side of the Don Valley. Fellow film shooter, Bill Smith, did the heavy lifting in planning out the meet. The day started with coffee at the lovely Rooster Coffee Shop. The whole area is a hidden gem in the city with lots to see and photograph. I decided that I would shoot with something a little different than I normally do at these meets, an 85mm lens, look for detail rather than the big picture.

Who the ... Uses a Payphone

Lost Shoe

The Riverdale Cannon

The Jupiter-9 lens is one that I had meant to shoot a little more often, but just never mounted it because it’s somewhat tricky with the double bayonet mount, unlike the standard 50mm lenses (Jupiter-8 and CZ Sonnar). But man it certainly is fun to get away from my usual fare of shooting wide, allowing me a little extra reach and being able to exploit creamy out of focus elements that the lens is known to produce and focus in on details rather than the big picture. Sadly the trouble with the Jupiter-9 is that it suffers from a bit of a focus issue and some shots that I was looking forward to were out. But such is life.

Meet at the Sign of the Rooster

Justice

PVBLIC

We made a point to stop by the Old Don Jail, now part of Bridgepoint Health and then it was east along Gerard Street. A visit, of course, was in order as we walked south on Carlaw to another shop that is close to a few folks in the group, WonderPens! WonderPens is a lovely mum & pop shop that specialises in fine writing. Ink, Pens, and Paper. With a trip to Disney and a historical photography project in the works for next year, it gave me a chance to pick up a couple of new notebooks. Because as you know, every new project needs a new notebook, right?

Wheeled Transport

Film & Fountain Pens

Finally Lunch

Back west we headed along Queen Street almost to where we started at Broadview, sadly the initial stop; Eastbound Brewery opens at 4 pm, so we were a little early to stop in for a taste of some of their beers. But Prohibition Gastro Pub provides a fantastic selection of beers from around Ontario and the world, even some of my favourite from Europe. After lunch, it was a change of pace.

Hot Dog Vendor

Resistance is Futile

But I had swapped out my Contax IIIa that I had been shooting with earlier in the day with the Crown Graphic. However, I was shooting it a little differently than I normally do. I decided to use the Crown as it historically been shot, handheld. Armed with eight sheets of Rollei RPX 400 film, I headed back out into the downtown core with the aim to make it out to the Distillery District.

The First Post Office

Always Watching

I never made it that far as I had shot all eight sheets when I hit the end of King Street where it merges onto Queen. My legs tired I hit up Eastbound Brewing to pick up their two offerings that are for sale before going back to the 3 Brewers for Dinner at Yonge/Dundas Square. A long day? Absolutely, worth it? Totally.

Eastbound

Technical Details:
Contax IIIa – ЮПИТЕР-9 85mm f/2 – ORWO UN54+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C
Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kruzenak Xenar 135mm f/4,7 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-320 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 18:00 @ 20C

Brigade Napoleon – A Soldier’s View

Brigade Napoleon – A Soldier’s View

They came on in the same old way, and we defeated them in the same old way.
– Field Marshal Sir Arthur Wellesley – June 1815

Being primarily a War of 1812 reenactor the folks I usually face across the field are the American forces, however, in 2015 I had a chance to visit Europe to join with fellow reenactors around the world to face off against the French at the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It seemed some of the French were coming to visit us in Canada at Old Fort Erie.

Dawn's Fort

Sneaking Around

I’ll admit it was strange seeing the French tri-colour flying over Old Fort Erie, now in the role of a French captured Spanish fort somewhere on the peninsula. While marching in the army doesn’t offer me much chance to go out and take pictures, like the British army of old, there was still plenty of time to go out and get in some shooting. There were some familiar uniforms and even some familiar faces in different uniforms. While the British line was made up mostly of common 1812 units, we did have an excellent showing of Highlander units that don’t often come out to play.

British Line, French Occupied

Discussions with the Enemy

But unlike the usual scenario that we play out at Fort Erie this time the British are allowed to win and recapture the fort from the French occupiers. It made for a different experience, fighting through the narrow siege works, standing off between the redoubts and inner fort. And finally charging in with a war cry. Then promptly setting my shako on fire with my musket. Overall a fine event, it just would be nice if the other side played along in animating the fort between the action, at least make an effort. But that is something I have little control over.

The Union

On a more technical aspect, I tried out Dilution D of HC-110 for this roll of film. You’re probably thinking don’t you mean Dilution B? I had never seen Dilution D before either and had shot this roll of Tri-X at ASA-250, I was scrolling through the Massive Dev Chart looking for an option. I’ve always been a big fan of HC-110 and Tri-X so I figured this would be no different. Well it was, I found the grain a lot rougher than I expected and a bit muddy. So this clearly isn’t a good choice, which is probably why no one has heard of Dilution D.

All Photos Take at Olde Fort Erie, Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-250
Kodak HC-110 Dil. D 9:00 @ 22C

CCR Review 66 – Voigtländer Bessa R2M

CCR Review 66 – Voigtländer Bessa R2M

As someone who learned photography on a rangefinder, I have a soft spot for the style of camera. And as a student of history, being able to shoot on a camera made by the oldest photography companies in the world (sort of) is even better. Taking both these facts, the Bessa R2M is a joy of a camera. Joy in the sense that it is a very accessible camera, pretty much if you can shoot any film camera you can use this one, and without the gnashing of teeth that might come with a German rangefinder camera. Now as you may (or may not) know that Voigtlanders aren’t Voigtlanders anymore, the camera bodies are produced by Cosina. While some might take this as a slight, these are still fantastic cameras that live up to the historical name that they bear. Special thanks to John Meadows for loaning out his baby for this review.

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

The Dirt

  • Make: Cosina
  • Model: Voigtländer Bessa R2M
  • Type: Rangefinder
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 24x36mm
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Leica M-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 2006+

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

The Good
The R2M begs to be used, I mean I’ve shot a roll of film through it, it almost calls out for me to take it out for one more round. It fits well in hand, easy to load with standard open back film loading, a quick short film advance allows for reasonably fast shooting. And it isn’t too heavy so great as a carry around, travel, or photo walk camera. While it does have a meter, you have to set the exposure yourself. There is the R2A which has aperture priority auto-exposure. But if you’ve shot with a Nikon FM2, you’ll be able to navigate the R2M just fine. The meter display is in the viewfinder and gives good feedback with 2, 1, and 0.5 stops over and under exposed plus a circle to indicate a correct exposure and the meter is dead on accurate. The viewfinder is bright, and the focus assist square is clear, I never missed focus on any of my shots, even close up. The biggest challenge with rangefinders is composition because the viewfinder is offset from the lens. The R2M has built in composition guides to reduce parallax errors and help with image framing as you can adjust these lines based on the lens you have mounted. A selector switch allows for 35, 50, 75, and 90 lenses with the 35 and 90 focal lengths grouped, but it is easy to tell them apart. The thing that makes the camera shine is the fact that it has a Leica M-Mount. They produced two other in Bessa line that has a Contax RF mount (Like my Contax IIIa) and a Nikon S-Mount. But by including the M-Mount, they open up the camera to a wide range of lenses from several top optical manufacturers.

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

The Bad
If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while now, you’ll know that I can have a hard time finding fault in cameras, but I have yet to find a camera that is perfect. And while the R2M comes close there are a few things that I can’t ignore. While the viewfinder is excellent, I do take issue with a couple of things. First is the meter display, I’m not sure if it has to do with my glasses, or the environment I was in, but the metering display seemed to get lost in the frame on occasion, and I had to do some unusual tilting of my head to find it again. The second is the lack of a diopter, so if the ‘lost’ meter is because of my glasses I have no built-in way to adjust the viewfinder lens so that I can use it without my glasses. And finally there is the price, now this isn’t a Leica, so it doesn’t carry the same price tag. And you can pick up a camera and Voigtländer branded lens for around 1,500$ new. However, when you start to expand your lenses even under the Voigtländer brand, you’ll start to see prices climb. And if you want to go to other brands like Leica or Carl Zeiss you’ll start to feel the burn in your wallet. Of course, you can get some inexpensive options from Lomography if you’re into that. There is the used market as well, but even with those, M-Mount lenses hold their value.

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

CCR Review 66 - Voigtlander Bessa R2M

The Lowdown
I’m glad I got a chance to try this camera out. I looked at getting one a while back now, and I’m somewhat glad I didn’t. The R2M and the other models in the line are dangerous cameras to own because they will become a bit of a money pit, and I’m talking about expanding your lens collection. It is, however, a great camera if you stick with one or two lenses that you can find on the used market. And the sad part is that they are rare finds on the used market. They are a great option to get a body only if you’ve become disillusioned with your Leica M series cameras but want to keep your lenses, or as a backup to a Leica body and you don’t want to drop the cash for a second. And while I may not plan on buying one, these cameras are worth a second look if you have a hankering for a Leica.

All Photos Taken In Unionville, Ontario, Canada
Voigtländer Bessa R2M – Voigtländer Heliar Classic 50mm f2 – ORWO UN54+ @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C