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 →

I’m a big fan of Eastman Double-X; it’s a beautiful mid-speed film that offers up amazing latitude and forgiveness along with a lovely grain structure. But for the longest time, it has only been available in 135 (35mm) format because, well, that is generally what cinematographers shoot motion pictures in. Still, it has great potential in medium format. There had been an attempt to have the film produced in 120 format but never went anywhere. At least until earlier this summer, when Cinestill put out the word, they had their BwXX in 120. BwXX is Cinestill’s Eastman Double-X branding and is the same stuff you’veRead More →

It’s been a hot minute since I had a chance to hang out with following historical reenactors in any major way. But this week, it’s a little different from my usual War of 1812/Napoleonic event. We’ve skipped ahead one hundred years and into the Great War. I had a chance to head out to The Hex, a small farm in rural Milton, for an event with a World War 1 unit representing a Swiss Regiment that defended the country’s border and helped maintain their neutrality during the conflict. During my time at school, World War One fell into my Grade 10 history class in aRead More →

Lindsay, the last bastion of civilization before the wild north of cottage country. If you could call Lindsay a “Bastion of Civilization.” I wrote that quote many many years ago now in a short story about a rather frightful drive up to a cottage. Honestly looking back, the story is terrible. But the quote, the quote has lived on and seemed to have gotten around a bit especially among friends from PYPS who are from and some still live in Lindsay, Ontario. Having spent the morning in Coboconk (which as an aside also features in that story) doing my first photo shoot in a longRead More →

When I first started with film development, my world consisted of Kodak products, D-76 and HC-110. The only other developer I used outside of Kodak was Rodinal and Ilfosol 3 (at least at first). Then in 2015, I started reviewing cameras and decided at the same time to explore Ilford more both in film stocks and developers. I stumbled upon two developers that soon became favourites, one of them is Perceptol (which I will review next month) the second is Microphen. While not a developer I use often, it offers fine grain, neutral contrast, and works for both push and pull processing. Technical Details Manufacturer:Read More →

When I started building my Minolta A-Mount kit, the Maxxum 100/2.8 Macro was not the first choice for a short telephoto lens. Instead, I was more drawn to the 135mm f/2.8 lens, only because Minolta did not have a 105, which has always been my preferred short telephoto prime lens. It wouldn’t be until a Toronto Film Shooters event last year hosted by Burlington Camera that I had the chance to try out the 100mm macro for the first time care of my good friend James McFarlane. While I wasn’t completely sold at that point, I wasn’t completely turned off the lens either. That lovelyRead More →

When it comes to 200-Speed films, I don’t have the best view, and usually end up with decent results (Rollei Superpan 200), other times I dislike them entirely. When it comes to Ilford’s offering, SFX 200, it goes in a slightly different direction. See, I have shot SFX a lot more than I initially thought, but it never stuck too much into my film supply mostly because if I need to shoot a 200-Speed film, I’m more likely to pull a 400-Speed film (Tri-X or Fomapan 400) or push a 100-Speed film (TMax 100). See, SFX is fun in the sense that it has anRead More →

While Ortho 80 Plus might appear to be a new film, it isn’t a new film. I’m surprised I missed reviewing the film earlier in this series. I skipped over a film I had shot in the past for a good two years. And thinking back that doesn’t surprise me; the film never made much of an impact. But also the film was, until recently, only available in 4×5. But I also only shot a single box of the stuff back in 2014. The results were excellent, and it was the first time shooting an ultra-low ISO film and one that had no set filmRead More →

I first saw this lens mounted on the front of a Nikon F3 with an MD-4 motor drive attached and I can honestly say it would be the first time I ever saw f/1.4 glass. Most of my past 50mm lenses were either f/1.7 or f/1.8. And while it’s not too much difference between the two apertures, there is plenty different between the two lenses. The AI-S Nikkor 50/1.4 carries forward the tradition of the fast Nikon 50 Nikon would be the first camera company to introduce such a lens back in 1950. And while optically, the formula has changed, the AI-S version is theRead More →

The first SLR camera I owned, a Minolta SR-T 102, came with the non-X version of this lens. Aside from a Kiron zoom lens, the Rokkor PF 50/1.7, was the lens that lived on that camera. And when I got the newer version, I made sure that even though I gave up my Minolta bodies, I kept a lot of my good Rokkor glass. And I’m glad I did, while these days I use the 45/2 pancake more, I make sure never to let this general-purpose, everyday use, fast prime that will never let you down. Lens Specifications Make: Minolta Model: MC Rokkor-X PF 1:1.7Read More →