Tag: ilford

Return of the FP4Party

Return of the FP4Party

Well, looks who’s back! It’s the FP4Party! This time around I have no outstanding projects so unlike in the final FP4Party I can actually work hard on this one, unlike the last time I gave a rather lack-lustre performance. I sat down early and planned out my week, collecting five ideas of where to shoot and what I wanted to shoot with. The film, of course, a favourite of mine, Ilford FP4+. I came up with one roll of 35mm, three rolls of 120 and a box of 4×5. Now in the past, I’ve usually stuck to one day of shooting for these parties. But after the third month of the Delta Def Jam, I realized it can be a lot more fun to get out there and shoot over the course of the whole week and really get into the event. I wasn’t going to let the weather stop me and managed to get a solid seven days of shooting! The final count is 20 sheets of 4×5, all three rolls of 120 and then a roll of 35mm. With a bit of planning, I had everything processed in three days and three days worth of scanning and post-processing.

Day One – White Christmas – Oakville
It might be the first week of December, but for me, the Christmas season is in full swing. So why not head down to lovely downtown of Oakville, Ontario. Beautiful old homes and 19th Century charm to go with the large Christmas tree in the middle of the downtown. It helps me dream a little bit of a White Christmas. Plus it gives me a chance to escape from work just a little bit.

AD 1877StarbucksClean Lines

Day Two – If It’s Love – McCraney Valley Park
When you work in IT and also have a love of Photography, and you have access to plenty of amazing spots to take photos. Including one that has appeared many times in my work, McCraney Valley Park, located just behind the Sheridan Trafalgar Campus. But unlike many other times I’ve photographed this little gem, I made a point to get in close, shooting nothing beyond f/16 just to show off the nice out-of-focus areas that my large format lenses can produce. If it’s love, why not shoot with it! I decided to stand-develop this film, while not my usual method its one that’s been coming back into my technique drawer.

Organic By NatureThe Claw!A Gently Running Stream

Day Three – Empty Streets – 4th Line/Omagh
If you look hard enough around the rural areas of Oakville and Milton you’ll discover that there are lots to explore. From the empty streets of the 4th line, now Glenorchy Conservation Area, to empty farmhouses in the village of Omagh. Not everything has been knocked down. While the 4th Line was shot at the noon hour, the abandoned buildings were better lent to the dying light of the day. Nothing like a seven-minute exposure in minus seven-degree celsius weather. But totally worth it!

The Old Road16 Miles The Robertson FarmThe 5th Line Farm

Day Four – Rather Be – Milton
For a few years, I did my hardest to escape my hometown. Of course this was all in vain, because I was never meant to leave when I wanted to, and today, by the Grace of God alone, my staying has been a blessing for me, as by staying I met my future wife, fell in love, got married and now there’s no place I’d rather be.

Brick and StoneStone CottageSt. Pauls

Day Five – River Constantine – Limehouse
While the river that once powered a mill and the lime kilns at Limehouse is no River Constantine, it still provides a quiet place to sit, walk, and enjoy the deepness of winter and nature. Not to mention it’s a rather a rather special place for me and my wife.

A Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse Saturday

Day Six – Beyond the Veil – Erin
The small town of Erin is another gem along an old provincial highway, now often missed because of freeways. But if you look Beyond the Veil of speed, and just want a lazy drive with a comfortable place to stop, walk, and enjoy then maybe take a scenic route.

Downtown ErinDowntown ErinDowntown Erin

Day Seven – Winter Wonderland – Belfountain
Well we’ve reached the end point of the party and if you’ve been tracking my locations on the map you’ll see I’ve moved from south to north and found myself in my favourite Winter Wonderland, that of Belfountain. I first learned of this little quiet area thanks to Bill Smith, and if I remember correctly I ran into him once in the quiet winter. Officially, the conservation area is closed in the winter, but you can still access it. Not to mention the beautiful little village that surrounds the area. Sadly by the start of December, it wasn’t much of a winter wonderland, but still a good spot!

AntiquesThe CascadeThe Village Church

Thank you for partying on with me as we journeyed through Ontario using one of my favourite film stocks that is still produced. Ilford FP4+, in a previous entry you’ll see that FP4+ is going to play a big roll in the new year as the film of choice for the Project:1867 – Acts of Confederation Project which kicks off in a couple weeks!

Technical Details:
Day One – Downtown Oakville, Ontario
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 150mm 1:3.5 N – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Day Two – McCraney Valley Park Park – Oakville, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+100) 60:00 @ 20C

Day Three Pt.1 – Glenorchy Conservation Area, Formerly 4th Line, Oakville, ON
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 & Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Day Three Pt.2 – Omagh, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Day Four – Downtown Milton, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

Day Five – Limehouse Conservation Area – Limehouse, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Day Six – Downtown Erin, Ontario
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Day Seven – Belfountain, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 35 – Seeing Red

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 35 – Seeing Red

ccr-logo-leaf

While we mostly focus on cameras on our podcast, with the weather reports speaking to a classic Canadian winter it might be time for the whole gang to settle into some solid printing time in the darkroom. So to get us and you ready the gang speaks on everything darkroom that’ll have you seeing red (under your safelight). Enlargers, chemicals, papers and more. Sorry, no detailed episode notes for this show. But here are some of the items discussed.

Durst M601 – A solid enlarger that has a built-in film carrier with adjustable masks that work great for 35mm up to 6×6.

Leitz V35AF – One of the hardest things with making prints is focusing! Well, you don’t have to worry about it with this enlarger, but you’ll be stuck with 35mm only.

For paper and chemistry, the gang has printed on almost everything out there. For the most part, we do stick to the most common and readily available from Ilford, their Multigrade papers are a great place to start. But other papers we’ve used include Adox, Kentmere, Kodak, and even Foma with beautiful results. As for chemistry, most of us stick to Kodak Dektol and usual tone with Selenium.

Griffin's Battery - Print Griffen Battery at Ghettysburg – Printed on Ilford MGIV RC Satin – Kodak Dektol (1+2) 1:00, Toned with Selenium (1+4) 2:30

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix check out Burlington Camera (Burlington, ON), Downtown Camera (Toronto, ON), Film Plus (Toronto, ON), Belle Arte Camera (Hamilton, ON), Pond’s FotoSource (Guleph, ON), Foto Art Camera (Owen Sound, ON). Out West there’s The Camera Store (Calgary, AB) and Beau Photo Supply (Vancouver, BC). Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), buyfilm.ca (Ontario), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

Delta Def Jam – Part III

Delta Def Jam – Part III

In the past, I have chosen to use just a single film stock to shoot these film challenges laid out by Emuslive. Not because I have to based on the rules of the challenge, just because I choose to. In part one I used Delta 100 in 35mm and part two Delta 400 in 120. But for part three I decided to go crazy and shoot not one, not two, but four rolls from all across the spectrum. Following no real pattern, shooting from the hip and living with the results! I plan to have seven solid shots from each of the four rolls to toss into the ring for the judges that make up the board for the Delta Def Jam!

Roll One – Into the Valley
One of the joys of working at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Road Campus is that I have a beautiful valley behind the campus in which to escape from the world of computers. For me, it provides a haven from the stresses of work!

HalfWaySpookyMis-Shapen

Roll Two – Of Abstract Nature
I had originally wanted to shoot some street style portraits of the faculty on the picket lines as if you’ve been following the news here in Ontario all the College faculty are still on strike. However, the day I was shooting, bad news had been dropped so the feeling on the line was low, so I decided it best to just avoid them and headed back into McCranney Valley to do some detail shots. I have, in the past, shot Delta 3200, and it isn’t exactly my film of choice. But you don’t turn down a free roll so I pulled it to ASA-800 and let fly. And despite being ever so grainy, I am actually pleased with these!

The Smaller ThingsNew LifeClinging On

Roll Three – Early Mornings
As the weather has all of a sudden turned cold here in southern Ontario, it’s time to get the winter tires installed on my car, so a Saturday morning found me in downtown Milton. While waiting for my car to be done so, I figured it was perfect to get those early morning rays in the historic downtown with the Hasselblad and Delta 400.

The Old Post OfficeWaldie's BlacksmithSt. Pauls

Roll Four – We Will Remember Them
The final roll of the jam I took out to my local Remembrance Day ceremony. And it was cold, so rather than take out an electronic camera with AA batteries, I decided to run with something a little more mechanical in nature and decided to shoot my F2 with the 135mm f/2.8 lens. I aimed to capture respectfully the faces of those in attendance especially the veterans who still live and who’s friend’s names could be listed on the cenotaph. For me, these ceremonies are emotionally charged so having a camera helps keep me grounded.

A Chilly MorningRest on Arms ReversedA Helping Hand

And that’s it! It’s been an amazing three months and the finalists who made it through September and October have outputted some fantastic work with the Delta line of films. I even had a chance to prove that I do actually like Delta 400 I just need to develop it right and Delta 3200 is still really grainy, but hey it was a fun roll to shoot! Next up I’m looking forward to the return of the FP4Party! I have my plan, my cameras, films, developers, and locations ready!

Technical Details.
Roll One – McCraney Valley Park – Oakville, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Two – McCraney Valley Park – Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Delta 3200 @ ASA-800
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Three – Historical Downtown – Milton, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four – Remembrance Day Ceremony – Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI Nikkor 135mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Engagement at the Bradley

Engagement at the Bradley

There’s a fun nature for an event that is total fiction rather than historical. It gives us a chance to play and provides us with a view of other historic sites within our province. Until this event, I had never even heard of the Bradley House. But as I took the gentle curve along Orr Road in the village of Clarkson on the border of Oakville and Mississauga I was pleasantly surprised at the industrial fences of a Suncor Petroleum plant melted away into a forest alight with fall colours.

The CampThe Log CabinToo Early for This...

As I chatted with folks around the site, it turned out that Clarkson has a bit of lore related to the War of 1812 surrounding a wife of a local farmer who enjoyed taking pot shots at American ships on the Lake as they sailed past with her husband’s musket. The site is a small scale living history museum consisting of three buildings that moved to the location. The first two formed the core arrived in the early 1960s when the museum first opened. The site’s name comes from the Bradley House, built in the 1830s a Salt Box styled Farmhouse that stayed in the Bradley Family until the late 1840s. It passed through several more hands before the whole farm fell until the eye of Suncor who planned to demolish the house in 1959.

Join the Crew!And that American Frigate...Just Singing on a Log

The second home, an 1820 Regency cottage known as The Anchorage coming either from when the Jarvis family lived in it and merchantmen anchored on a sandbar just off the lakeshore or from a letter written by a retired Royal Navy Commander who took up residence in 1838 calling it his anchorage in his retirement. It too faced demolition when Suncor moved in. A local newspaper publisher seeing the historical significance of both homes purchased them to donate them to the Mississauga Heritage Foundation. The third and final building, a log cabin dating to the early 19th-Century coming from Mono Mills and moved into Clarkson as a clubhouse for a Cub/Rover Scouts band. As it fell into disrepair, the cabin moved to the museum in 2002 and fully restored.

Bruce!The Story TellerHung out to Dry

Probably the most fun I’ve had at an event in a while, mostly because of the small number of reenactors and a large battlefield there was plenty of room for us in the 60th to show off our skill and light infantry tactics which often cannot happen at larger events with many other light infantry units on the field and general static nature of the pitched battle. But certainly this would be an event I will gladly return to.

All Photos Taken at the Bradley House Museum – Mississauga, Ontario
Nikon FE – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Delta Def Jam – Part II

Delta Def Jam – Part II

When it comes to the Delta line of films from Ilford, my least favourite is Delta 400; I don’t know why. I just never got the results I honestly liked out of it. So with Delta Def Jam in full swing, I figured why not give it another go!

The New Post Office

The Old Post Office

Downtown Cambridge, or rather the historical name for this part of the city, Galt has always been on my radar as a place to take a camera and have some fun. While I have tried in the past to do some shooting here, the camera I had with me just didn’t behave. I grabbed my Rolleiflex, two rolls of Delta 400 and hit the road. I also had along my Nikon F90 loaded with Kodak Ektachrome E100G along with three final sheets of RPX25 for my Crown Graphic.

Great Little Pub

A Bit of a Mess

However, I miscalculated just a bit, and the sun didn’t start to show up until after I had left the city and well into developing the film I shot. But a 400-Speed film provided me with enough reach speed wise, and I just made sure to shoot flat compositions or put the f/2.8 lens to use. One of the more exciting interactions I had was when I went into a church in search of a washroom. One of the gentlemen running their pie table asked if I had a Hasselblad. I replied that it was a Rolleiflex, and I had left the Hasselblad at home. As it turned out, he is a fan of the Film Photography Podcast.

Basic + Person

Centering

While I had plans to develop the film in Pyrocat-HD, but I’ll save that until next month. I decided to try another one of my magic bullets, Kodak D-23. And I am pretty happy with the results. Maybe I just don’t like Ilford DD-X. I’ll see you next month for the final Delta Def Jam. Until then keep Jamming folks!

All Photos Taken In Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 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

Delta Def Jam – Part I

Delta Def Jam – Part I

Oh Emulsive, I think through your little contests you’re going to keep film alive ensuring that everyone goes out and buys the stuff to join in these fun little games. After joining in on the Summer Film Parties, the next step is the Delta Def Jam. Wait What? Like the TMax Party, Delta Def Jam celebrates Ilford’s tabular grained film, known as Delta. Also of note, the Delta series of film comes in 100, 400, and 3200.

The Delta Def Jam - Part I

The Delta Def Jam - Part I

Now when it comes to the Delta series I really only like one of the film stocks, Delta 100, although I may play with Delta 400 see if I can’t get it bent to my will. Thankfully I had a single roll of Delta 100 in 35mm left in my stock of film to load up and roll with for September. Recently through a review of the Bronica GS-1, I realized that Delta 100 also looks amazing when pulled just slightly to ASA-80 and then developed in SPUR HRX. If you haven’t heard of SPUR HRX that’s fine, it is a rare developer that I only just heard about also.

The Delta Def Jam - Part I

The Delta Def Jam - Part I

Having a beautiful holiday long weekend right at the start my wife and I headed into Toronto for the Art Fest in the Distillery District. A wiser choice as it was the final day for the CNE, and the trains into the city became packed the further east we travelled. Thankfully they all disembarked before Union Station. The city always makes for a good solid walk and the Distillery District is not that far for us.

The Delta Def Jam - Part I

The Delta Def Jam - Part I

In Medium Format, Delta 100 in HRX has amazing results, but in 35mm with a bit of filtering, sure a deep yellow, it just sings! Looking forward to next month’s Jam! The film is being purchased this week, the camera and location are already chosen. Stay tuned October!

All Photos taken in the Distillery District – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-80
SPUR HRX (1+) @ 20C

CCR Review 69 – Holga 120N

CCR Review 69 – Holga 120N

When you think of toy cameras, certain models come to mind almost instantly. Names like Diana, Debonair, Lomography, and of course Holga. I have in the past reviewed the FPP Debonair, a solid toy camera but the first toy camera and the one that stuck the most is the Holga. Sadly my camera broke several years back, and I never bothered to replace it. While I did mean to replace the Holga with another one, the sad fact is that in 2015 Holga nearly vanished if not for the quick actions by Freestyle and the Sunrise company. The two managed to recover one mould and restarted production. The Holga is the iconic toy camera if you’re looking for any high-quality performance you’ll want to look elsewhere but if you want something fun, this is your camera.

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

The Dirt

  • Make: Sunrise
  • Model: Holga 120N
  • Type: Point-And-Shoot
  • Format: Medium, 120, 6×6/6×4.5
  • Lens: Fixed, Optical Lens 1:8 f=60mm
  • Year of Manufacture: 2003 – Present

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

The Good
As toy cameras go, the Holga is incredibly accessible; you don’t need much to start shooting and enjoying this camera. It’s fun, easy to use, and produces a unique image that I’ve only seen in one other camera, the FPP Debonair. Far from perfect, the soft plastic lens has a fixed 60mm focal length with several zone focus options, and two aperture (f/8 and f/11) means if you’re close, your photo will be in focus. And the slightly wider than the normal focal length and smaller than required image circle produces a heavy vignette. All these things make for a unique image quality. The 6×6 negative size gives you plenty to work within regards to cropping or just leaving it as a square format. The camera does come with a second mask and slider to shoot in the 6×4.5 negative size, but you’ll be forced to shoot portrait orientation rather than landscape. I prefer landscape, but that’s just me, so I tend to leave the 6×6 mask in place. And having it take the standard 120 film makes for easy loading and shooting, just point, guess, and shoot!

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

The Bad
When I first started using toy cameras, I had to give myself a bit of a mind-shift. I knew I was not going to get perfect exposures, tack sharp images, or even in focus images. You don’t even have much control over this camera, focus, aperture, and flash. If you can’t handle that much guess work, then this is not your camera. The cameras have a poor build quality, light leaks even out of the box will be standard. At least you know you can repair it quickly with duct tape or gaffer tape. Another option is just to leave it and embrace the unknown.

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

CCR Review 69 - Holga 120N

The Lowdown
For the sake of transparency this is a review of the new Holga 120N, and from what I’ve found is that in my particular model the new maker has taken all the quirks of the old Holga and cranked them up 50%. Toy cameras are not every photographer’s cup of tea; even I have to be in the right mood to work with them. But if you find yourself in the right mindset you can produce art. Photography doesn’t have to be about perfection in any sense of the word. All the rules can be thrown out the window and in the end, if you produce an image that you love, then you’ve done it. Sure if I need high quality I’ll go to my Rolleiflex or Hasselblad, but if I want fun, I’ll grab the Holga. Remember, life isn’t perfect, sharp, or in focus, sometimes just let your photos reflect that.

All Photos Taken in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Holga 120N – Optical Lens 1:8 f=60mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

A Day Trip to Elora

A Day Trip to Elora

A few weekends back I had a chance to visit the lovely village of Elora, Ontario with my beautiful wife who I am grateful loves such adventures on free weekends. The small village is located just northwest of Guelph and offers a little taste of Europe in Ontario. I’ve had the chance to visit Elora twice in the past, once for my 52-Roll project in 2013 and again to go camping with a group of friends in 2015. But I had always planned to go back yet it never seemed to fit into plans. While the Elora gorge is one of the towns biggest draw, I’m a creature of the urban environment, so the historic downtown is my favourite place to visit in towns like this one. Often filled with fun little shops, a pub, even a brewery. But enough of me talking, let’s get to some of the photos from the day! Of course, if you ever find yourself in Elora, Ontario I do recommend visiting the Elora Brewing Company and stay for a meal and if you’re into it a beer. I recommend the Lady Friend IPA; it’s the way an IPA is supposed to taste and fellow photographer and craft beer enthusiast, Bill Smith, agrees.

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

Elora, Ontario - July 2017

All Photos Taken in Elora and Fergus, Ontario, Canada
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Kodak Verichrome Pan @ ASA-125
Ilford Microphen (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 68 – Zenza Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 – Zenza Bronica GS-1

If you’ve used any of the modern Bronica cameras, you’ve mostly used them all. And that is the beauty of them because of they all act, behave and feel the same in both operation and general, cosmetic details. The only difference is the size of the negative. And while I’ve reviewed the smaller of the three, the ETRS earlier this year, I now switch up to the largest of the three the GS-1. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of Bronica cameras, but I like the GS-1 and would easily rate it higher than the Mamiya as it stands up easier on field work when comparing similar bodies, the Pentax 67 out strips both for ease of use in the field. Sadly the camera is a rare beast to find these days even on the used market, but if you can find a full setup, you have a keeper. Special thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning out the beast.

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1
The Dirt

  • Make: Zenza
  • Model: Bronica GS-1
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium, 120/220, 6×7
  • Lens: Interchangeable, PG-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1983-2002

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

The Good
Despite being a 6×7 camera the GS-1 if properly equipped with a good neck strap and action grip is designed for use in the field, when compared to a camera like the RB/RZ67, even with a waist level finder the action grip makes the camera easy to use. While this is no Mamiya 7 or Pentax 67 I found that even the weight is acceptable for walking around, it actually would be a difficult camera to use in the studio. If you’ve used other Bronica cameras of the same period you’ll instantly know how to operate the GS-1 with all the same controls; even the accessories mount in the same fashion as the smaller cameras. And the camera is designed for speed, a familiar crank or double-stroke will advance the film and cock the shutter, and return the mirror. The GS-1 is also a fully modular system so you can customise it to however you need it from finders, backs, grips, and lenses. It also impressed me how quiet it was, of its size and weight I expected a mirror slap that would wake the dead and rattle even the steadiest photographer at 1/60 of a second. And finally, having the large 6×7 negative makes the camera ideal for wedding, travel, landscape, and other situations where the print is king, and you don’t want to lug along a 4×5 large format camera. But my favourite part, the camera has a functioning built in, on/off switch, helps to save that battery, and that battery is pretty standard and can easily be purchased online or at a camera/electronics shop.

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

The Bad
The camera does have the trouble with weight, while less than an RB/RZ, and with a good strap it is not much of an issue, but if you have back troubles this might not want to be a camera of choice. Now I’ve handled cameras with hair triggers before, the Olympus XA comes to mind, and so does the GS-1. I had barely laid my finger on the action grip shutter release and bam; I had taken the shot. I was just glad I hadn’t changed the frame composition. Then when it comes to changing the camera to portrait orentation, you have to hall the whole thing 90 degrees, with the action grip and eye-level finder it’s not too bad, but if you have the waist-level finder, good luck buttercup. However, the biggest trouble with this camera is the rarity of it. I had not even heard of the system until Mike first mentioned he was collecting the parts to make one up. And I find that odd given the near twenty-year life of the GS-1. So why is this a bad thing, well the trouble is that if something breaks or goes wrong, it makes it hard to find replacement parts or accessories and being an electronic camera from the 1980s something will break eventually? And given this rarity and lack of gear on the used market, anything you do find will be relatively costly.

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

CCR Review 68 - Bronica GS-1

The Lowdown
Like any other 6×7 camera I’ve reviewed, the GS-1 is certainly a winner, but as a 4×5 shooter, it just doesn’t fill a need in my toolkit. Also, two frames into my second roll, it stopped working for me, it must know of my loathing of Bronicas. When it went back to its owner, Mike, started working again. If I ever stopped shooting the 4×5 format, I would probably go for a 6×7 camera, but given the rarity and cost attached to a GS-1 and my general distrust of Bronica cameras, my two 6×7 cameras of choice would be a Pentax 67 or Mamiya 7. While I would hazzard reccomending the GS-1, it’s not a bad camera, it’s just there are better options for 6×7 shooting out there. Heck, I’d even run with an RB/RZ67 over a GS-1. Worth the massive back damage if it provides a little more reliablity.

All Photos Taken in The Beach, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Bronica GS-1 – Zenzanon-PG 1:3.5 f=100mm – Delta 100 @ ASA-80
SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:00 @ 20C