Tag: kodak

CCR:FRB – Review 05 – Ilford FP4+

CCR:FRB – Review 05 – Ilford FP4+

When I first discovered Kodak Plus-X I was hooked, instantly. But sadly Plus-X went away and while I still scramble to find old stock whenever I can, I can always go to Ilford FP4. Now that’s not to say FP4+ plays second fiddle to Plus-X in my book. In FP4+ I found probably the most versatile film that maintains a level of consistency across the board and formats within in the mid-speed range. Fine grain, sharp, and a contrast to die for. Not to mention a legacy that goes back to when Ilford first started producing flexible films.

CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-125, Latitude: 50-400
Formats Available: 135, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
It’s not often that I find FP4+ boring, but in the case of D-76, it is. It’s not a bad combination, there’s just so much more you can do with FP4+ than let it soup in a standard developer. But it still produces a decent negative and everything you like about FP4+ can be found in the negatives I just find the contrast off my just a hair. I actually prefer to soup my FP4+ in the older slower cousin, D-23 with a slight pull to ASA-100 to really show off what the film can do!

HandpaintedA TowerA simple doorA Touch of Modern

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 8:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
Probably one of my favourite ways to develop FP4+ despite not using the combination often. HC-110 really ramps up the contrast to a pleasing level without anything over the top. You still get the fine grain and sharpness. And the developer does really play to the film’s strengths. While there are some out there who don’t enjoy HC-110 with FP4+ it certainly does work when you don’t have anything else laying around.

Project:1812 - Path To VictoryProject:1812 - Brock's Monument(s)Project:1812 - Fort MississaugaProject:1812 - Brock's Dead House

Technical Details:
Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon-PS 65mm 1:4 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Rodinal
What do you pair a classic film with? A classic developer of course! One of my favourite combos for FP4+ is Rodinal, it brings out everything you like about the film and more. Not only does it make for extremely printable negatives but they scan like a dream with little needing to be done when you’re post-processing the scans. Negatives are sharp, the tone and contrast are dead on the money and while you may find an uptick in the grain in 35mm it’s hardly noticeable in 120 and large format. The film also responds well to stand developing with the tones becoming more like butter and the grain near non-exsistant.

A Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse Saturday

Techincal Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak Tmax Developer
While I knew of the pushing capabilities of Ilford FP4+, I never thought that TMax developer would be a good choice. But I was kind of forced into it, yet as I pulled the film out I was seriously impressed with the results. Of course, when I mentioned this to fellow podcast host Mike, he laughed and told me that TMax developer is a compensating developer so of course, it would work great for pushing. Well push or no push, TMax does a fantastic job on the film stock.

CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)CCR:FRB - Review 05 - Ilford FP4+ - Roll 04 (TMax Developer)

Technical Details:
Nikon FE – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-200
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
When it comes to film that can take anything you can throw at it and turn around and give you exactly the results you want, then FP4+ certainly ranks among those films. A bullet proof stock that likes every developer you throw at it. While D-76, HC-110, Rodinal, and TMax developer are all solid options. I’ve also souped the stuff in Pyrocat-HD, D-23, SPUR HRX and a wide range of Ilford developers (Microphen, Perceptol, DD-X, Ilfosol 3) and it loves everyone and provides the same consistent results no matter what developer and format you get it in. No questions, no troubles, just amazing photos, that’s FP4+.

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

When it comes to T-Grained (modern films like TMax and Delta) I can be fairly picky, the 100-speed ones I tend to like while the faster 400-speed ones I can be overly critical about. That being said I’ve found that recently I’ve been warming up to these faster emulsions the more I experiment with them. As with Delta 400, I’ve warmed up a little to TMax 400. Oddly, TMax 400 was the first roll of film I processed on my own under the watchful eye of Julie Douglas back in 2010.

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W, T-Grain
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 50-3200
Formats Avaliable: 135, 120, 4×5, 8×10

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
It’s only fair that we start the film off right using the native TMax developer. And when it comes to TMax 400 whether you’re using the strong 1+4 dilution or the 1+9 dilution you’ll get excellent results from this film. You can get the upper side of the film’s latitude with the developer and show off the fine grain and sharpness of the film with this developer. And even in 1+9, there’s no real loss of contrast, you get smooth tones across the board without any loss of blacks or whites. Of course, in 1+4, you’ll find a greater level of contrast but it won’t affect grain or sharpness.

Project:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort Ontario

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 22:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
You would think that a high contrast developer would be able to pull out some level of contrast in a film, well here in lies my main issue with TMax 400, in certain developers you just can’t get contrast. Sure I could do this in post-processing but that would be cheating in my mind. That being said, HC-110 and TMax 400 is not a bad combination, you still get the sharpness and fine grain nature of the film, and even with Dilution B, you can still push to film to the top of its latitude with amazing results.

TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Pyrocat-HD
When it comes to developers, if you have talked to me, Pyro developers are a magic bullet. I tend to use it when I what sharpness but desire some grain control so it makes perfect sense for me to use it with TMax 400. Sadly this roll got developed in the dregs of a bottle and was a little underdeveloped. But thankfully due to the power of TMax 400, I could still pull decent images out of the negatives. I found that it produced a very classic look, bright and crispy, and sure enough I actually enjoyed the results while it’s a good option I feel it would be better suited to larger formats (medium and large).

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-76
Is there nothing D-76 cannot do? Well, I’m sure there is, but when it comes to TMax films this developer is king because you can push and pull the film to your heart’s content and just dilute to 1+1 and go. My first experience with TMax 400 was souping it in D-76 and I can say you get everything you want out of the film with this developer. I would even hazard saying the film responds better in D-76 than TMax Developer.

CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While TMax 400 does not remain a favourite film of mine, I really don’t mind it as much as I think I do. I know that sounds weird, but in the end, it just comes down to personal preference. And my preference is for classic/traditional grained films like Tri-X and HP5+ but it’s not a bad film. It’s still sharp, and the grain is super fine even for sharp developers. It works the best for the native TMax developer and does well with the basic as well D-76. While I haven’t developed the film in Pyrocat-HD or D-23 two more present chemicals in my toolkit, I’m sure it would do just fine. But if you want a film you can push to the limit like Tri-X but you want a more modern feel, then TMax 400 is your film.

CCR:FRB – Review 03 – Film Ferrania P30

CCR:FRB – Review 03 – Film Ferrania P30

As happy accidents go, when you’re trying to come up with a new slide film, and you reinvent a classic film from the past, there’s nothing wrong with that now is there? P30 is, at its heart a motion picture film and probably make a great reversal film. While I would have loved to try a roll through Dr.5, the expense of the process and a possibility of it not working makes it hard to decide to send it to them. P30 is Rollei Retro 80s on steroids with a touch of Eastman 5363 thrown in for good measure. The images have a deep chrome feel like you are looking at the world through a red filter.

CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30
The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base:
Film Speed: ASA-80, Latitude:
Formats Available: 135 (35mm)

Roll One – Kodak HC-110
For a first impression, I was initially disappointed, the negatives were very thin, there were images, but I would have to push myself in post-processing to pull them out. But when I did, wow, I’m a big fan of a well-developed roll of Eastman 5363. And the results I pulled out were exactly on point. But they also had the quality and feel of images shot through an orange filter, maybe even a red. And the image quality, sharp as a knife, beautiful separation of tones and next to no grain. Personally, I would add an extra 30 seconds to the developing time that might help clean up the negatives.

CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 01 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 01 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 01 (HC-110)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 01 (HC-110)

Technical Details:
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Ferrania P30 @ ASA-80
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Two – Kodak D-76
When a company says that a developer is ideal for their film stock, listen to them, I am rather impressed with the way P30 handled D-76, the tonality was dead on the money. But I did notice the loss of the orthochromatic feel that I had with HC-110, but it doesn’t affect my view of the film stock. The film retained its fine grain and sharp resolution even in a rather boring developer.

CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 02 (Kodak D-76)

Technical Details:
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Ferrania P30 @ ASA-80
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Roll Three – Rodinal
While not my favourite, P30 does respond to Rodinal rather well. In fact, I find it knocks back the contrast inherent in the film. It shows off the sharpness and resolution of the film stock, however, it doesn’t make the film sing. I think it would do better with less time maybe drop it back to thirteen minutes rather than the given fourteen. There was something lost in this roll of film.

CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 03 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 03 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 03 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 03 - Film Ferrania P30 - Roll 03 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Ferrania P30 @ ASA-80
Blazinal (1+50) 14:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
I like this film, Ferrania P30 combines everything I like about Rollei Retro 80s and Eastman 5363. Rich contrast, sharp images, and a touch of orthochromatic response in the blues. I hope that the fine folks at Film Ferrania don’t stop producing this film and move it beyond an Alpha release and into full production along with their long-awaited slide film and maybe even a return of Solaris. But if you’re a fan of Retro 80s but can’t stand that polyester base, then P30 is the film for you. And in good news, P30 is once again available directly through the Film Ferrania store, you can pick up max orders of 10 rolls. Currently, only the US/Canada shop is open, but the European and Asian shops will open in 2-6 weeks, Europe first (2-3 weeks after North America) and then Asian (2-3 weeks after Europe)

CCR Review 80 – Minolta SR-T 101

CCR Review 80 – Minolta SR-T 101

I’ll be the first to admit I have a soft spot for match needle mechanical SLRs. And the camera that created that soft spot is not the SR-T 101, but rather it’s cousin the SR-T 102, but it’s the 101 on the review block today, and with little between the two, it seems only fair to apply the same level of familiarity. The SR-T line is the cameras that made me love photography, simple in their design and operation the cameras are near perfect for students and those who are learning photography. And despite being decades separated from the camera, going back to them is like revisiting a friend and a welcome respite from the more advanced gear in my collection.

CCR Review 80 - Minolta SRT-101
The Dirt
Make: Minolta
Model: SR-T 101
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Miniature Format, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Minolta MD Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1966-75, this model is post-1970

CCR Review 80 - Minolta SR-T 101CCR Review 80 - Minolta SR-T 101

The Good
The SR-T is one of many different cameras produced through the 1960s and 1970s designed to offer simple single-lens reflex cameras to the masses. The K1000, FTb, OM-1, FM all come to mind. From the match needle metering where you simply adjust your shutter speed and aperture to move one need to intersect with the metering needle to get your exposure. The full mechanical operation means the camera will function perfectly without a battery. And since the camera’s meter relies on a mercury cell finding one that has a dead battery should be of no concern. While the camera is heavy and bulky, it isn’t that heavy in general. The controls are well laid out from the heavy shutter speed dial and shot throw and the well laid out design. Not to mention the camera can take several hits and keep on shooting. Also, an on/off switch means you can conserve battery power. But the thing that makes the SR-T standout is the metering; it uses dual photocells. One in the prism that meters through the lens in a centre weighted model and a second cell mounted on the external body just above the lens mount. Marketed as the Contrast-Light-Compensator (CLC) it gives the camera an early form of average or matrix metering we enjoy today and gives the camera with a functioning meter accurate exposure!

CCR Review 80 - Minolta SR-T 101CCR Review 80 - Minolta SR-T 101

The Bad
Some cameras I had a hard time even talking about the poorer aspects, and the SR-T is one of them. My biggest concern is the lack of an aperture display in the viewfinder. Adding in such an item would have been helpful back when I was first learning how to shoot, and even today having a visual display is a big help still. The addition of an on/off switch is great, but being on the bottom plate, you’re more likely to leave it on by accident and drain the battery and having to use the pad of your finger to twist it makes it a bit awkward to operate. And as always, these cameras are starting to get old, so it is important to try before you buy and should get a service job done on them. But if you get one in good shape or get a CLA done, they will not let you down.

CCR Review 80 - Minolta SR-T 101CCR Review 80 - Minolta SR-T 101

The Lowdown
As a student camera, the SR-T line is an excellent choice that won’t break the bank. K1000s and FMs still maintain a strong price point on the used market, but like many Minolta cameras the SR-T often goes unnoticed so you can get a body with a lens for around 100$, and extra lenses will cost less even the good ones! And the Rokkor optics are amazing, especially the modern Rokkor-X line. And while the battery it takes is mercury there are many modern alternatives to power the camera meter, the one I use has a Wyne cell installed, and the exposure is accurate. But I rather prefer shooting the camera with Sunny-16 just because it’s an easier way to run things for me.

All Photos Taken in Niagara Falls, Ontario
Minolta SRT-101 – Minolta Rokkor-PF 1:1.7 f=55mm – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 5:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 79 – Kodak Retina IIIC

CCR Review 79 – Kodak Retina IIIC

Before Apple picked up the name Retina, it attached itself to a line of folding German Kodak cameras. Wait, isn’t Kodak an American camera brand you may be asking. And yes, you’re right but their German branch, Kodak AG, had a rather strong reputation in bringing inexpensive but solid performance cameras to market, and their iconic line, Retina. And while the camera is classified as a folder, it lacks the distinctive bellows that prove to be a weak spot in these cameras. Armed with German rather than American optics the cameras are solid performers if a bit fickle in their operation. A note to the reader, this review is for the Retina IIIC, not the older IIIc; there is a difference. Thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning the camera out for review.

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIc

The Dirt
Make: Kodak AG
Model: Retina IIIC (028)
Type: Rangefinder
Format: Miniature Format, 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable (Front Element), Retina Bayonet
Year of Manufacture: 1957-60

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIICCCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIC

The Good
There are a couple of items that make the Retina IIIC a strong camera. First and most important is the lack of bellows. This fact right off the marks clears off a major weak point for many of these cameras a solid all-metal construction from top to bottom, front to back means that is one less thing you need to worry about when picking up the camera. The second is that the camera has German optics, while many during this time clamoured for Kodak Ektar lenses, Germany was started to show off its optical prowess outside of Zeiss and Leica. And the Rodenstock Heligon lens is no underachiever, sharp and a f/2 max aperture is no slouch on a camera aimed at the consumer market. I would have prefered something a bit wider (say 35mm or 45mm), but I can’t complain. In hand the camera is small, and while I’m not too impressed with the general layout, the one part that makes sense to me is the placement of the film advance. It’s on the bottom of the body and if you hold the camera properly the placement makes a lot of sense. Not to mention it’s a short throw that also cocks the shutter, just be careful in managing the film counter, one wrong press and you’ll jam the whole thing up, but it’s easily fixed. You have a bright viewfinder with an integrated rangefinder and the all-important framing guide, so composing images is a no-brainer.

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIICCCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIC

The Bad
Despite all the praise, the Retina IIIC is a camera well past it’s prime even when it was new. First, the style, making this camera a folder was a mistake in my view, the giant side open front door and folding option on the camera takes away from the compact design. Sure when you fold it up it’s sleek and compact, but when you open it up, you’re no longer a compact camera. The Retina could have maintained a compact design without folding up. Also, you have to put the lens back to infinity focus to close up the front section. As I mentioned this camera is small, everything is small on it from the exposure controls on the front of the lens, the shutter release, the exposure counter release, and even trying to find the focus knob is fairly tough. I mean I’d take the size and controls of the Olympus XA over those of the Retina IIIC. It’s just a rather cramped experience overall, and not in a good way, in an I’ve been stuck on a German U-Boat at the bottom of the ocean for several weeks. Watch Das Boot, and you’ll get it.

CCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIICCCR Review 79 - Kodak Retina IIIC

The Lowdown
I had high hopes for the Retina, I honestly did. I found a cramped camera that really should have been designed differently. The small size and finicky nature of the camera made for a rather unpleasant shooting experience. Despite so many things going for this camera, you really should try it first before you go out and buy it. I believe much of this has to do with the fact it was built by the German branch rather than Rochester (North America), the design philosophies are different and seen. I think the Retina would have been a stronger camera that lasted far longer had Rochester taken a heavier hand in its design. If you like one, you’ll get a nearly indestructible camera with a strong optical performance that will last you until the cows come home.

All Photos Taken at Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario
Kodak Retina IIIc – Rodenstock Retina-Heligon C 1:2/50mm – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-800
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 9:45 @ 20C

CCR:FRB – Review 02 – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400

CCR:FRB – Review 02 – Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 400

A modern re-imaging of an Agfa surveillance stock, StreetPan has been a favourite of mine for some time, and it is incredible in 35mm, but it sings in 120. Back when news of Streetpan first dropped, there were plenty of rumours floating around about the source of the film. Many naysayers said that the supply would be limited as it was just repackaged dead-stock. And while many still rail against the film, I for one enjoy shooting the film, and it’s great for street photography, architecture and landscape. Just don’t shoot it for long exposure, it loves the light and doesn’t handle long exposures.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400
The Lowdown
Type: B&W Panchromatic
Film Base: Polyester
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude:
Formats Avaliable: 135 (35mm), 120

Roll One – Kodak HC-110
My first experience with shooting and developing Streetpan involved HC-110 and since that first point of pulling the roll of film out of the tank, I know that HC-110 is an ideal developer for the film stock. HC-110 give the contrasty punch the film needs to show off the wonderful contrast and fine grain of Streetpan. But don’t let the nature of HC-110 scare you, the developer brings out all the grey scale the film has to offer. While officially there’s only Dilution B listed on the Streetpan Developing chart, you can adjust the times and dilutions to suit your needs from B, E, even F and G can be done just do the right math to get the proper times.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. E 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Two – Kodak TMax Developer
I first turned to using TMax Developer with Streetpan by fellow film photographer and friend Ori. While hesitant at this, I programmed the time into the Massive Dev Chart App. Sadly I never got around to using it. While some might question using a t-grain developer on a film based on a classic emulsion, I am rather impressed! While you don’t gain or lose anything by using the developer I can say having another option for a less than ten minute developing time for this film is a good thing. It knocks the contrast back a bit, but you don’t lose the sharp, fine grain attributes the film. Certainly a good option for developing Streetpan!

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three – Kodak D-76
While initially unsure about this combination as the negatives were dark coming out of the tank. Of course, I soon realised that this is something that does happen with Streetpan, especially with the Dilution B times of HC-110. I would leave my final judgement until after the scan. While not my favourite developer with this film, D-76 doesn’t do a bad job, you still get the rich contrast the film is known for and gives a beautiful chrome look to it, yet the grain is a bit more noticeable. Still, it does a good job. However, I’d give an extra 30 seconds to help bring out the shadows a bit more. Or the meter on my Rolleiflex might finally be starting to die.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 03 (Kodak D-76)

Techincal Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (1+1) 10:30 @ 20C

Roll Four – Rodinal
Rodinal is one developer that I have given up on in the past and returned to once again and this second time around I’ve found that there is a lot that it can do. And when it comes to Streetpan, it is equal in my books to HC-110 for souping this film. Despite being a 400-speed film, you don’t notice any real uptick in grain, and the contrast is spot on, if not slightly better than HC-110. It doesn’t matter if you use 1+25 or 1+50, there is little difference in the negative, save slightly less contrast with the lower dilution.

CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)CCR:FRB - Review 02 - JCH StreetPan 400 - Roll 04 (Rodinal)

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400
Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
Streetpan is a black & white film for this hybrid era, the polyester base lies flat on your scanner, and the range of this film lets you pull out incredible detail in a digital editor. How well this film prints in a traditional darkroom I have yet to determine but I hope to let you know soon. Personally, my choice of developers are HC-110 (especially dilution F), Rodinal, and TMax Developer. While I haven’t tried the film in something like Pyrocat-HD or D-23, I feel the film would respond well to Pyro. Good thing I have two rolls left for experimentation. For outdoor shooting, this film is beautiful because it loves the light. I have tried it indoors with poor results. It might have something to do with the unknown reciprocity failure variable or the increased red sensitivity inherent in the film. But for photographers who do a lot of outdoor portrait work and street photography, Streetpan is something new and different. You can pick up Streetpan directly from the JCH Store additionally for my Canadian readers, you can pick StreetPan up at Downtown Camera in Toronto or BuyFilm.ca!

A Winter’s Walk

A Winter’s Walk

What do you do when you have a morning to kill and your clients cancelled their Christmas photoshoot? Why you gather up your fellow podcast hosts and hit the streets!

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

It’s always fun to hit the streets to test out a new camera and lens combo like the Mamiya m645 plus the stupidly wide 35mm lens. The quick morning walk was exactly what I needed to clear my head and hang out with my awesome co-hosts, John, James, Mike, Donna, and Bill. And despite having shot through the old section of Oakville many times, it’s always good to make a return to see if your eye catches anything new.

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

I also had the chance to hit up two local spots, Tribeca Coffee and the new location of Bru. Both of which are well worth the visit. Good Coffee, Good Food, Good Friends, you can’t ask for anything better to kick off the Christmas holiday season.

CCR - Hosts Only WalkCCR - Hosts Only Walk

Be sure to check out Bill’s photos from the walk as well! He got to test out his newly repaired Rokkor 58mm f/1.5 lens!

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiyia-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 N – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 77 – Zenza Bronica EC

CCR Review 77 – Zenza Bronica EC

Anyone who has read these reviews from the beginning knows I have a bit of a conflict with Bronica cameras. It’s not that they’re bad cameras, it’s just that for me there are too many small issues, minor annoyances that make me shy away from them. And the Bronica EC is no different, but it does come to the same point of almost earning a recommendation from me as the GS-1 does. At first glance, the EC has the look of an overgrown Kiev 88, a mechanical beast. However, that is far from the truth. As the EC in the name suggests, the camera is electronic, reliant on all operations on a battery. It’s big, it’s heavy, and continues the tradition of being a polarizing camera in my hands. Thanks to Donna Bitaxi for loaning it out for a review.

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Dirt
Make: Zenza
Model: Bronica EC
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Medium Format, 120, 6×6
Lens: Interchangeable, Bronica S-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1972-1975

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica ECCCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Good
Those who like Bronica cameras love ’em, those who dislike them, shy away pretty hard. But the Bronica EC does have some good talking points. The first is a feature that isn’t even made by Bronica, but rather it’s the optics. If you’ve seen the photos on Flickr or glanced at the technical details, the optics are still made by Nikon. This is before the Zenza/Nikon split in the 1980s. And what a lovely piece of glass, now I only tested out the massive 50mm lens, and I can say I am impressed but not surprised. If you have a set of AI-S lenses for your 35mm cameras, then you won’t be disappointed by the Nikkor lenses that come in the Bronica S-Mount. But what’s good glass without a good viewfinder? And I have to say, the waist level finder on the EC is certainly one of the better ones I’ve worked with, I would even rate it higher than that on my Hasselblad 500c, even with a f/3.5 lens on the front. Combine that with a magnifier loupe that has almost 100% coverage and big enough to shade any stray light. When it comes to camera operation there is a certain satisfaction with the camera, the WLF opens and closes with only one hand, the shutter speed dial is big, and the camera is far lighter than you’d expect. The film advance is smooth, and the shutter makes a satisfying noise. And if you’re familiar with how to load and unload film from a Mamiya m645, you can rock the Bronica EC.

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica ECCCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Bad
You’re probably wondering at this point, why I can’t recommend this camera after speaking on several awesome points of the camera. Well, like all Bronica’s it’s the little things that get me. The first problem is age, I will always knock cameras from the 1980s that have electronics, but this is a camera from 1975, so it’s just that much older. And the older some electronics get, there’s more a chance of them failing. And many repair shops that still work on film cameras will avoid Bronica cameras like the plague. And yes, while I was out shooting, the camera conked out for a bit before coming back to life. The second big issues I have with the camera is the film magazine. I could not figure out how to take it off the camera body, and if you’re in a situation where you need to hot-swap, well there’s a chance you need more than two hands to achieve the goal, like many other actions that relate to the loaded film. I can understand the extra level of safety, but I can pop the magazine of my 500c on and off with one hand. The other issues I have are more along the lines of head-scratchers when it comes to the design of the camera. The first is the presence of a cold shoe, on the side of the camera. I cannot for the life of me figure out why it’s there. Personally, I wouldn’t mount a usual off-camera flash on it, with it sticking off the side it would make the camera rather unwieldy. The only thing that could work would be a slim radio transmitter. And speaking of flash, I can’t see why they would put a focal plane shutter, in the era when many such cameras operated on leaf shutters allowing for many different shutter sync speeds, rather than just one, in the EC’s case 1/60″. And finally, the battery compartment placement on the bottom of the camera, meaning you’d have to dismount any tripod foot to replace the battery.

CCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica ECCCR Review 77 - Zenza Bronica EC

The Lowdown
The Bronica EC isn’t a bad camera; I mean that. But I still cannot, in good conscience, recommend it. While there’s a chance, you’ll get one in prime condition, and it will serve you well. But there’s still that chance it’ll fail and an inopportune time, and you won’t have a repair shop that can fix it. While I wouldn’t put this camera against a Hasselblad, it does provide a cheaper alternative to it, but again I have not seen many on the used market. And now you see my paradox with Bronica, I want to like them, tell people, yes this is a good camera, but there’s just enough wrong to make me go no, save the money and find a good deal on a Hasselblad.

All Photos Taken in Cheltenham & Limehouse, Ontario
Bronica EC – Nikkor-H 1:3.5 f=50mm – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-320
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

Elora in Colour

Elora in Colour

This previous year I took two chances to visit the lovely historical village of Elora, Ontario in Wellington County. The first trip with my lovely wife in the summer, and a second time on a very dreary Fall day with the Toronto Film Shooters Group. Both trips in addition to shooting plenty of black & white film I shot a roll of colour film each. And in my own typical fashion, that film sat on a self. Now, in my own defense I thought I was going to shoot a lot more slide film this summer than I actually did, so when I realized I was not going to hit my quota of colour slide film to warrant the purchase of an E-6 kit I packed everything up and mailed it off to The Darkroom in California for processing. And then I waited and waited some more. Finally, after nearly a month my package finally returned. Complete with yellow tape that indicated that CBSA had opened and examined my film. The first time that ever happened. But anyways, by this point, you’ll want to see some of these beautiful images!

The Summer
If you’re a reader of this blog, there’s a chance you’ve already seen the beautiful black & white images from the summer trip to Elora I took with my lovely wife. The day was perfect for slide film, so having a few remaining rolls of the good stuff (original Fuji Velvia, RVP, not RVP50), I make sure to push the film slightly (ASA-64) and popped on a circular polarizer to make the images POP.

The Old RuinsOut Along the RiverThe Renovating MillAngled TowerIdyllic Spot

The Fall
I maintain it was a smart choice to bring Portra 400 along to Elora for the Fall Toronto Film Shooters Meetup. The day had not really dawned by the time I hit the road and the rain continued even after I arrived. I had already planned on arriving early, meeting up with the rest of the CCR host team to do some early shooting before the main group arrived. After shooting James’ beautiful Pentax 67II I switched over to my F5 and Portra 400 giving it a single stop push to ASA-800. A trick I’ve used a few times in the past and because of the film’s nature I knew it could just be processed normally. The results, pretty epic as I see ’em, the colours have just that extra punch to cut through the foggy dull day.

Mike and the What?James and DonnaDeer, Meet HeadlightsWeatheredBridge over troubled waterKinda European

Technical Details
Summer: Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (CPOL) – Fuji Velvia (RVP) @ ASA-64
Fall: Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Portra 400 @ ASA-800
Processing By The Darkroom Lab in San Celmente California

CCR Review 75 – Ricoh Diacord L

CCR Review 75 – Ricoh Diacord L

I’ve always found the TLR to be an enjoyable camera to operate. From my very first Lubitel 2, the Yashica-12, and my current Rolleiflex 2.8F. The waist level finder, the dedicated finder lens and near silent operation. Of course, for the average photographer, the two brands that come to mind when it comes to TLRs is Rollei (both flex and cord) along with Yashica. But if you just stuck with these two brands you just might miss out on several other options, one being the Ricoh Diacord. The model under review today is the Diacord L, L standing for lightmeter. While the Diacord could never stand up to the heavy hitters from Rollei, it certainly can hold its own against Yashica and Minolta. Thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning the Diacord out for review.

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L
The Dirt

  • Make: Ricoh
  • Model: Diacord L
  • Type: Twin Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium (120), 6×6
  • Lens: Fixed, Rikenon 1:3.5 f=8cm
  • Year of Manufacture: 1957

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LCCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

The Good
Most users of TLRs are used to having a focus knob on the side of the camera, however, with the Diacord this has been replaced with a see-saw control that operates by an up and down motion to set the focus. While this works great for wide focusing, but is a bit tricky for fine adjustments, but I’m sure with some practice it can be achieved. The camera, despite having a meter does not require a battery as the meter is selenium based and the name badge flips up to reveal it, this means that even with the age of the camera most will have functioning cells as they’re kept in darkness. Weight wise, the camera is lighter than my Rolleiflex, and with a decent strap, it can be carried around without any pain or effort for a day’s worth of shooting. Plus don’t let the light weight fool you, the Diacord has a good build quality. Finally, let’s talk optics, I’ve reviewed several Ricoh built cameras and lenses, and the optical quality of the Rikenon glass is excellent. And even with a f/3.2 finder lens, the viewfinder is nice and bright even in the dim dusk light of the four o’clock hour.

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LCCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

The Bad
Despite my enjoyment of TLRs, the Diacord has some serious points that turn me away from the camera. The first is the film advance; the press-release advance is something that I find annoying in all cameras. If you do it wrong, you either advance the film too far and mess up frame spacing or do damage to the camera itself. Either way, it’s a mechanism that is not needed as there were already several tried and true crank based options on the market. While the camera does have a solid light meter, the exposure settings are frustrating, as the shutter speed and aperture settings are not fully independent of each other, and the meter itself hand to read and understand. Even with using my Gossen Lunasix F, setting the camera is a troublesome task.

CCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord LCCR Review 75 - Ricoh Diacord L

The Lowdown
Both the good and the bad seem to balance each other out on this camera leaving me on the fence. I can remember my first exposure to the camera back on the first Mystery Camera Challenge for the Classic Camera Revival Podcast, where we ended up naming the camera the Ricoh DOAcord. The trouble is that the camera is of a certain age that a CLA (Clean, Lube, Adjust) is well needed to ensure proper operation. In fact, before I took the camera out I had to run the shutter several times before it could release. Despite the solid optics and easy use of the camera, I cannot truly recommend it. I’ll have to say you’d be better off getting a Yashica 124G or Minolta Autocord before a Diacord.

All Photos Taken in St. Mary’s Pioneer Cemetery, Oakville, Ontario
Ricoh Diacord L – Rikenon 1:3.5 f=8cm – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C