Pyro developers hold a special place in my development tool kit. Despite being one of the oldest developers, being viewed as highly-specialised and highly toxic. I’ve found them to be one of the best developers I’ve used. My journey into Pyro started with PMK Pyro, followed up by Pyrocat-HD. But starting last year, I heard about a new Pyro developer, 510-Pyro. For being an old developer, Pyro developers continued to see advancement and innovation, with Sandy King bringing in Pyrocat-HD in 1999, but 510 is far newer. First released in 2006 and formulated by Jay DeFehr, 510-Pyro took a different approach to Pyro with onlyRead More →

We’re used to modern multi-element, multi-group lenses regarding optics. But it hasn’t always been that way; some of the earliest cameras used only a single element. But this often caused quality issues, so adding a second element limited the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. The earliest applications of these Achromat lenses were in telescopes that trace back to the 18th Century. But Charles Chevalier’s (a noted name in early photographic optics) creation of his Daguerrotype Achromat lens changed the face of photography in those pioneering days. While Chevalier’s lenses are still sought by modern wet and dry plate photographers for us who shoot film,Read More →

In the world of speciality lenses, there is nothing more specialized than perspective-control or tilt-shift lenses. The idea was to give 35mm photographers some movement control that large and medium format photographers used to adjust perspective. While the level of control could never be as discrete as with a large format camera, a perspective-control or PC lens provided some form of tilt and shift to grant a photographer a way to recompose an image without moving the camera body itself. Nikon’s original release in 1962 as part of the Nikon F system presented the world with the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5, a relatively simple lens withRead More →

Minolta certainly got right if there is one thing the number of sleeper lenses in their initial autofocus offerings. Mostly among these sleeper lenses are the zoom lenses, and one of the best is the 35-70mm f/4. Without breaking the bank, a lens with little fanfare or flare can certainly deliver quality images. This lens was my first experience with Maxxum glass, first on a Maxxum 5000 and then again on the 7000. And while this lens looks proper on those two cameras, it is dwarfed on the Maxxum 9, but it doesn’t matter as the image quality is superb. Lens Specifications Make: Minolta Model:Read More →

It has been long since I smelt the acrid odour of black powder and smoke drifting over the battlefield. But a couple of weekends back I got to attend my first Napoleonic reenactment since the Grand Tactical in 2019. And while the event hosted at Fort George in Niagara-On-The-Lake wasn’t a dedicated 1812 event, there were plenty of units that normally attend 1812 events. But the, Fort George was standing in for a frontier fort on the Spanish peninsula built by the French. While the lines were certainly smaller than what I’m used to at such events, with broad support not only from the pocketRead More →

If there is one type of lens that many photographers look for in a good street photography camera or any compact camera body is a good pancake lens. And while Nikon is not known for producing many ‘pancake’ style lenses, they did have a couple of winners. One of these lenses is the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8, a real winner. In contrast, there have been many versions of this lens, including a long-nose version, the 50mm f/1.8 is a solid performer for the smaller form-factor camera bodies (think FM, FE) and while it may look like a Series E, it is all Nikkor. Lens Specifications Make:Read More →

I’m not one for point-and-shoot, automatic everything cameras. I’m not knocking such cameras; they’re excellent and have introduced many photographers to the world of film through their ease of use, pocketability and appeal in popular culture. Not to mention the Instagram and Celebrity crowd. Sadly this has also caused the price of certain premium and even primary point-and-shoot cameras to skyrocket in price. However, I do love a good unique camera, and the Minolta Weathermatic 35DL certainly fits that criteria. There are two reasons for this; the first and most apparent is that the camera is designed for underwater applications, fully watertight but can alsoRead More →

The location of the first station to serve the town of St. Mary’s is odd for two reasons. The first is the station’s placement at such a distance from the actual town, the second being that it is now surrounded by a modern subdivision. But today, if you are a fan of craft beer, then the Junction station is certainly one you want to put on your list. The original charter of the Grand Trunk Railway said that the operator would construct a line from Toronto to Montreal. Grand Trunk, however, quickly realised that such a line would be of no good and sized upRead More →

The KMZ ЗЕНИТ 3m (Zenit 3m) is a camera that is often bought for only a couple of reasons. The first is the desirable Helios 44 lens; the second is a collector’s item. In the overall history of Soviet cameras, the Zenit 3m marked the first popular SLR to come out of the Красногорский механический завод or Krasnogorskiy Mechanicheskiy Zavod (KMZ). Sadly, like many older Soviet cameras, they aren’t known for their longevity and often suffer shutter failure. But my good friend John Meadows uncovered his Zenit 3m, and it still works, so he loaded it out to me along with his Helios lens withRead More →

Canada’s history with the treatment of mental health is long and sorted. And while we’ve made great leaps forward, often, many of the historical institutions have gotten lost and replaced along the way. Not that those who were patients in such facilities in the past would want a reminder standing out to them every day. While the Queen Street Asylum is long gone, replaced by the far more modern CAMH facilities, the asylum at Amherstburg has reverted to the historical configuration as a War-Era fort; even Mimicoe is now being used as a college campus. When I was deep into Urban Exploration, exploring mental asylumsRead More →