I will always have a soft spot for a fixed lens rangefinder, especially one that uses Zeiss Optics. And the Contessamat SE is no slouch, despite being placed as the middle child in the Contessamat family, it certainly performs like a firstborn. While you will find it slightly different from its Japanese cousins, it’s compact nature, excellent optics, and semi-automatic functions will let it stand alongside those cameras. Thanks to James Lee for loaning this hidden gem out for a review. Camera Specifications Make: Zeiss Ikon Model: Contessamat SE Type: Rangefinder Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm Lens: Fixed, Zeiss Ikon Color-Plantar 1:2,8/45 Year of Manufacture: 1963-1965Read 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 →

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 →

When it comes to basic bare-bones developers, you don’t get any more simple than Kodak D-76. Kodak D-76 is the common factor between professional and student photographers and everyone in between. It’s a staple in most darkrooms, you can develop film and prints with it, and for me, it was the first developer I ever used for both film and prints. And for a while, I had stopped using Kodak D-76 in my processing, but after I started reviewing films, I got back into the stuff. The reason it gives what you expect, a baseline. It also is relatively inexpensive and economical for long termRead More →

I’m a fan of public transit. Especially unique transit options. Think the wild noise and general grime of the NYC subway. The PCC like cars that still run as subways in Boston. Or the Toronto Streetcar network. A call back to the early days of the city’s transit system and one of the only major streetcar networks left running in North America. And on the 29th of December 2019 marked both an anniversary and the end of an era. For that day marked not only the first time the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle first rode on the networks for the Toronto Transit Commission back inRead More →

When you compare the age of Canada’s army to that of other nations, our military is relatively young. As a nation of just over 150 years old, we depended almost entirely on our defence from the home government, France first and then England. And while a bulk of the soldiers in what would become modern-day Canada were regular professional soldiers and sailors, several locally raised regiments came to the defence of the territory should the need arise. The Canadian militia and Provincial ‘feasible’ troops fought in the War of 1812 and again during the Upper Canada Rebellion and Patriot Wars with varying degrees of success.Read More →

If there is a single piece of infrastructure that changed Canada in the early 1850s, the railroad is that single piece the spurred the Province towards a modern industrial location in the British Empire. While the Welland and Rideau Canals provided a fast link they both were tied to the waterways they were built out of. Rail, on the other hand, could cross areas where canals could not. Rail could run nearly the year-round, bridge water, and move faster. But railroads were not new in the province, having existed in some form or another since the early 1820s. Rail technology had been used in theRead More →

The sheer amount of aid rendered to the Canadian Rebels and the fact that many raids by the rebels came from the United States again proved that Canada remained open to invasion as it always had before the rebellions and even before the War of 1812. It also showed that the post-war practice of reducing colonial garrisons as a cost-saving measure might not have been the best option indicated in the fact that Bond-Head sent all the regular troops in Upper Canada to shore up Colborne in Lower Canada. While the militia enjoyed many victories in 1837 but these were against poorly armed and leadRead More →

The continuing rebellion shifted after Pelee Island, as the leadership changed and William Lyon MacKenzie separated himself while living in Rochester while out on bail from his arrest in Buffalo following the evacuation from Navy Island. The Rebel Cause fell under the leadership of the Council of Thirteen. A mixed group of Canadian and American sympathisers. However, their actions against Upper Canada and their behaviour in the American cities had forced them to seek shelter in the rural areas along the border. Charles Duncombe had been working in the east and was spreading a new secret society based on a French-Canadian society to spread theRead More →

It was the 6th of November 1837, and Lower Canada had erupted in open armed revolt against the Colonial Government. The Patriotes under Louis-Joseph Papineau and many others fuelled by the ideals of the American Revolution, French Liberty, and Republicanism. They decided that they would only rid themselves of the influence of the British Ruling Class, a group of Tory elites organised into a group known as the Chateau Clique was to begin a revolution when their demands for reform were ignored. There had been some communication between Lower Canada Patriotes and the radicals in Upper Canada under William Lyon MacKenzie. And while a coordinatedRead More →