If there is a single lens within the manual focus Nikon catalogue with iconic status, it is the 105mm f/2.5. National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry used one to capture the stunning portrait of Sharbat Gula that caught the world’s attention. You may know her better as “The Afgan Girl.” It is a highly sought after, near-perfect quality lens that has changed little since its introduction. I got my copy of the lens from a member of my home church who gave me her grandfather’s press photographer kit which included the Nikon F3, a 50/1.4, 28/2.8, 105/2.5, and 135/2.8. I still have almost all those lensesRead More →

I’ll be the first to admit; I never was a fan of TMax Developer. It was, at least in my mind initially TMax developer was a one-trick pony. Suitable for only modern T-Grain films (TMax, Delta, Acros). But that quickly changed as I started to branch out and trying to see what the developer can do with both modern film grain and classic grain. I discovered that TMax developer is something a little more than a one-trick pony. Technical Details Manufacture: Kodak Name: TMax Developer Primary Developer: Hydroquinone Type: Reusable or One-Shot Mix From: Liquid Handling TMax developer is a liquid, it runs clear andRead More →

In the automotive world, especially in the world of hotrods, there’s a term ‘sleeper’. A sleeper is a car that doesn’t look like a performance automobile, but under the hood is. For many years my dad babied a 1983 Caprice Classic, installed a new engine, new exhaust, fuel injector, all to complement the Impala SS suspension and close-ratio police steer box that came with the car. The Caprice spent many years as a sleeper until he started working on some exterior detailing. Why do I mention a car on a lens review? Well, it’s because the lens I’m covering today is a sleeper, it doesn’tRead More →

If there is one lens that lives on my XE-7 so much so that I feel it’s fixed to the camera, it is the Rokkor-X 45/2. This lens is a beautiful piece of glass that honestly, I wouldn’t want to replace with a 35mm focal length for my Minolta kit. It’s the lens that went through all of a trip to Disney World and Universal without being taken off the camera despite bringing a 135mm lens with which did more on the digital a6000 then on the XE-7. And while it looks a little silly strapped onto the beast that is the XE-7, as aRead More →

Next to the Minolta HiMatic 7s which got me first into photography, the Nikon F80 is the one that brought me back into the wonderful world of film and introduced me to the magic of Nikon AF lenses and Nikkor glass in general. I received this camera as a gift and immediately found myself very much attached to the system. You might say that the F80 is the camera that caused me to invest in the Nikon SLR system and switch from Minolta. From the F80 I got the D70s, D300 and my current main SLR the Nikon F5. And while many of the lensesRead More →

Here we are, there is always a certain bittersweetness about completing a project. And for me, this one was an eye-opener. It challenged not only my world view but my view of my own country and our history. But that is what history is supposed to do, challenge us to learn from the past and see how we can change the future. And here is the trouble with history, we can only see it through the eyes of those who wrote it and our personal bias. And trust me, it is hard to overcome your own bias. But the biggest problem with history that isRead More →

If there is one film developer that I will always go back to and use until they cease production (which isn’t any time soon) that developer is HC-110. Released in 1962 to little fanfare, Kodak HC-110 quickly found traction as being the developer of choice of Ansel Adams and those who use the zone system extensively. Kodak HC-110 is the third black & white developer that I ever used and became my developer of choice. Personally what keeps me coming back to HC-110 is the general-purpose use, the excellent results, economy, stability, and results that it continues to give. Kodak HC-110 has never let meRead More →

When you’re in a situation and your reputation is on the line you need something that works. But if the customer, client, or even your own personal project is on the line and you have to use film, then you want something that will work. Like work always, in any situation! Ilford FP4+ If you miss the ASA-125 rating of Kodak Plus-X, then look no further than Ilford FP4+. A film that dates back to the 1930s and has changed and grown as technology improved. FP4+ is Alex’s choice for outdoor shooting when the light is nice, even if cloudly. It responds well to beingRead More →

The year was 1865, the American Civil War had ended, and four British Provinces in British North America decided to unite under what is called Canadian Confederation. And a large group of Irish Americans were wondering what their next step would be, and John O’Mahoney found himself at a crossroads. The Fenian Brotherhood hit its stride during the Civil War and now had money and manpower to spare. Plus all their members who served in both armies during the war had either kept or purchased their own equipment, the Fenians had an army that could easily stand up to the American Army of the day.Read More →

It should come as no surprise that at the mention of Sir John A MacDonald, you get a lot of negative feedback. He managed to in his time attract a lot of controversies. Like his law career, he drew as much positive attention as he does negative today. Born the 11th of January 1815 in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a somewhat successful business owner by age five he and his family had immigrated to Canada settling in Kingston, Upper Canada. While his father continued to see moderate success in running various mills and businesses, most of the family income would go towards John’s education.Read More →