Tag: lomography

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

CCR Review 65 – Jiffy Kodak Series II

CCR Review 65 – Jiffy Kodak Series II

There’s always a sense of wonder when working with cameras as old as the Jiffy Kodak. Despite the bellows, it is little more than a fancy dressed up box camera. And yet there is a strange draw to shooting with it; you can just shoot from the hip and hope it works out, and yet there are a few things in this dressed up box that creates a unique shooting experience. But first, I have to speak on how cool this camera is, despite lacking the art deco faceplate that gives the Jiffy Kodak an iconic look for the 1930s, like the Beau Brownie, the Series II does away with that but keeps the slow pop out bellows when you open up the camera. It certainly is a camera that can turn heads. Special thanks to my father-in-law, Dave McCullagh for this beautiful camera. This camera originally belonged to my wife’s great-grandparents and took many photos of her grandfather growing up.

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

The Dirt

  • Make: Kodak
  • Model: Jiffy Kodak Series II
  • Type: Point and Shoot
  • Format: Medium Format, 620, 6×9
  • Lens: Fixed, Kodak Twindar Lens f=10,5cm ƒ:8
  • Year of Manufacture: 1937-1948

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

The Good
If you’re looking for something to complete a costume or reenacting for World War Two, the Jiffy Kodak Series II would be the perfect addition. If you can pick up a working model, you can shoot some amazing images that will, with the proper film and processing give a look that if done right will make your images have that classic look about them. While the optical quality is not the best, it makes up for it in shooting in the large 6×9 format. The camera also has twin viewfinders for shooting in either portrait or landscape orientation which is rather helpful when shooting with such a large negative. Plus it makes the camera just that bit more usable, and the viewfinders are good and bright even for their age. There’s also a pair of aperture choices f/8 and f/11 with a fixed shutter speed around 1/25 so if you’re shooting on bright days stick to slower films ASA-100 is the maximum speed I use in similar cameras. There’s also a selectable focus for images from infinity to 10 feet and between 10 feet and 5 feet giving it an edge over some even newer box cameras. Another piece that sets the camera apart is that the lens is a Periscopic lens, that means instead of a single-element it’s a two element lens with the shutter and aperture between them, hence twindar. It’s this lens that gives the images that dreamy look. Of course, it could just be haze due to age.

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

The Bad
Despite how cool this camera looks and creates some beautiful images it is relatively awkward to use. It comes down to the placement of the shutter release. It’s located on the front plate of the camera in a position where it works great for shooting in portrait mode, but when it comes to landscape, you have to reach around awkwardly to find it. Combine this with an already slow shutter speed is a recipe for a lot of camera shake. I’d also be remiss to mention that these cameras are old, we’re talking about 70-80 years at this point so make sure everything works before you spend any money and be sure to check the bellows for any light leaks. And I’m talking major holes; smallish pinholes may even give you far more compelling images as I found with an old Polaroid Automatic Land Camera Model 240 back in 2011.

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

CCR Review 65 - Jiffy Kodak Series II

The Lowdown
Now I will mention that this is a medium format camera, but it takes Kodak’s 620 format. While some might group this in the bad category, 620 film is just 120 film spooled onto a different spool. And after a small break, the fine folks over at the Film Photography Project has started manufacturing brand new 620 spools and re-rolling fresh 120 film onto these spools for resale. Just watch out if you’re buying this camera as there are two different models, the Six-20, and Six-16, as the names imply the Six-16 takes the now defunct 116 roll film format, and actually cannot be used anymore.

All Photos Taken In Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Jiffy Kodak Series II – Kodak Twindar Lens f=10,5cm ƒ:8 – Lomography Earl Grey @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 8:00 @ 20C

Lens Review – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm

Lens Review – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm

When the fine folks at Lomography began their Art lens line, they caught my eye right off the bat. Their first generation Petzval lenses looked amazing. And who wouldn’t want to have that retro style lens coupled with a modern camera system in either 35mm or digital? Sadly I would miss the boat on these lenses, not trusting in crowdfunding that could have given me the lens at a good price point. And the regular retail cost would be far out of reach for me. But as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. When Lomography announced, they would be continuing to bring back historical lenses their next product would harken back to the early days of photography using a design by Charles Chevalier from 1839, a design that pre-dates the Petzval. Compared to modern glass, the Achromat design is simple. Using only two lens elements in a single group fixed Chromatic Aberration by ensuring that all the wavelengths of light focused onto a single pane. An issue that plagued early optics.


The Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm certainly has a commanding presence when mounted on the a6000

Lens Details

  • Make: Lomography
  • Model: Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm
  • Focal Length: 64mm
  • Aperture: f/2.9-f/16, via Waterhouse Plates
  • Construction: 2 elements in 1 group
  • Focusing: Infinty to 0,5m with helicoid mechanisim
  • Mount: Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K

It's an FP4Party!
Nikkormat FT3 – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

It's an FP4Party!
Nikkormat FT3 – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

The Good
If you remember watching the original Star Trek series, you’ll notice that whenever a woman appears on screen, the image has this soft dreamy look about it. This lens gives you that effect if you shoot it wide open at f/2.9. And what a look it gives, I plan on using the lens when shooting weddings, especially when shooting portraits of the bride. But this lens isn’t a one-trick pony, as soon as you start stopping down the image sharpens up rather nicely, you start to see this around f/5.6, anything wider you start to see some softening around the edges that can give its own unique look. And if you pick up the creative plates, you can make out of focus light points into different shapes, like stars, snowflakes, and other shapes.

O Christmas Tree
Sony a6000 – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm

Heather
Sony a6000 – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm

The Bad
It’s probably just me, but probably the part of the lens I’m not a fan of is the Aperture control on the lens. The Waterhouse plates are easy to loose (I still haven’t found my f/4 plate, it’s either buried in a camera bag or somewhere in Washington DC), and they’re finicky to change on the fly. But installing a traditional aperture system would probably have increased the cost of the lens. The second issue is weight and balance, while it is a wonderful lens to use on my a6000 compact system camera, it throws off balance. On the other hand, if you mount the lens on a larger camera body, such as the Nikon F5 or even the Nikkormat FT3 it provides a fantastic short telephoto lens, and the weight isn’t an issue.

Waves
Nikon F5 – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm – Kodak Ektar 100 @ ASA-100 – Unicolor C-41 Kit

FDR!
Nikon F5 – Lomography Daguerreotype Achromat 2.9/64mm – Kodak Ektar 100 @ ASA-100 – Unicolor C-41 Kit

The Lowdown
The Achromat isn’t a lens for everyone. It carries a large price tag (~500$) and isn’t designed to be a carry lens but rather for a particular purpose. But if you’re looking for a way to get a brilliant portrait lens that if applied correctly could open up your creativity and give you something unique to look. Not to mention a lens that you can get in the three major mounts and easily adapted to many other mounts without any loss of quality. It also means that you can use this lens for motion pictures. You can pick the lens up from your local Lomography store, or purchase it online!

Why Shoot Expired?

Why Shoot Expired?

This past Tuesday, the Ides of March, is also Expired Film Day. So I figured I would do a post about shooting expired film along with tips/tricks that I’ve come across with shooting old/expired film stocks. While I do a majority of my shooting with fresh film stock there is a certain level of fun and intrigue when shooting with expired film stock.

1. You can Shoot Film that is no longer available fresh.
There are plenty of film stocks out there that is new that you can often make behave like well loved film stock in the past but it just never will be the same. These days you can’t go out and pick up a fresh roll of Plus-X or Panatomic-X not to mention tonnes of other film stocks that have been discontinued and are only available in expired stocks. But if you’re lucky you can pick up only slightly expired.

Opened
Nikon F4 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Kodak Panatomic-X (FX) @ ASA-32 – Xtol (1+1) 7:30 @ 20C

Taking Shelter
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Verichrome Pan (VP) @ ASA-125 – Kodak Xtol (1+2) 8:30 @ 20C

Expired Film Day!
Nikon FM2n – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Plus-X (PX) @ ASA-64 – Blazinal (1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

2. You know Instagram/Hipstamic…where do you think they got the idea from?
All that strange colour shifting, gritty, odd looks that you get with your favourite application those old rolls of colour films you have laying around that may have been stored in a dodgy area, you’re going to love some of the stranger shifts that you can get with older film stocks like Fuji Velvia, Kodak Ektachrome, and more!

Band Saw
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Fuji Velvia (RVP)

Overlook
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektachrome E100VS

SUPER8
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – FPP Retrochrome 320 @ ASA-320 (Eastman Ektachrome 2253) – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

3. It’s Cheap!
Many folks out there are looking to save several dollars these days well short dated film could be your answer! Seriously, if you frequent camera sales (the big ones with lots of vendors) you can usually find the film bins filled with the 1-2$ rolls of 120/35mm that you can pick through to find some deals. Nothing like walking out with twenty rolls for that bill in your wallet. And often it’s the best deal you can get at these shows. Not to mention FPP Retrochrome is cheap fun slide film and of course massive film lots from Ebay!

Sarah at the Garden
Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Polaroid Type 79

Sunday Morning Stroll
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Ektar 25 (PHR)

For Rent
Nikon F4 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Pan F (Expired: 1978)

Of course there are some pitfalls and things to look out for when buying expired film and some ideas when shooting the stock once you get it.

1. Storage – Usually try to purchase film that have either been frozen or refrigerated, most Ebay auctions will give you some idea of how it was stored, and vendors at shows are usually up front. I’ve shot some dodgy Kodachrome and some frozen stock and the difference is night and day.

Poorly Stored:
Kent Street
Nikon F3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Kodachrome 64

Properly Stored:
king/parliment
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2,8/28 T* – Kodak Kodachrome 64 (KR)

2. Processing – This is mostly important for Slide and Colour Negative films, before we got to our C-41 and E-6 processes today there were several older methods. Today most labs cannot process these older stocks so you’re on your own or sending them off to Film Rescue International, The Darkroom, or Blue Moon Camera and Machine to get done up in B&W chemistry, just be sure to reach out to them first (and the folks that run these companies know their shit) before just sending off random rolls. And while we’re on the topic, I would personally avoid Kodachrome, while you can process it in B&W chemistry it’s really mess and not worth the effort.

3. Pulling the Film – Pulling film is shooting it at a slower speed, the guideline is usually 1 stop per decade. This means that if you have a roll of Kodak High Definition Film that expired in 1994 and has a box speed (the film speed printed on the box) of ASA-400, you’ll want to shoot the film at ASA-100 so two stops. A stop is halving the speed of the film (ASA-400/2 = ASA-200/2 = ASA-100). Of course there are some films that can handle their full box speeds even expired. I’ve shot Plus-X, Panatomic-X, Verichrome Pan, FP4, Pan F all at box speeds with some rolls having expired in the 1960s and the results were fantastic! Of course if you change the film speeds you’ll need to adjust your developing times.

And that’s about it! Now go out there are scour ebay and your aunt’s house for some tasty film treats to run through your cameras. Of course you can also purchase some great stocks from the Film Photography Project Store!

CCR Review 33 – Lomography Horizon Kompakt

CCR Review 33 – Lomography Horizon Kompakt

Probably one of my more interesting cameras in my tool kit, but one that I really like but don’t take out often enough. I guess that’s the biggest problem with having a lot of working cameras. This Lomography camera is a copy of the Zenit Horzion 202, a panoramic camera designed for use in the Soviet Space program during the height of the cold war. This odd camera certainly caught my eye so when I netted a good discount with Lomography I went and picked it up. While not one work with every day, it’s still a really fun camera for a different look.

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

The Dirt
Make: Lomography
Model: Horizon Kompakt
Type: Panoramic, Swing Lens
Format: 35mm, 24×70
Lens: Fixed, Обьектив ИНДУСТАР MC 8/28 (Objective INDUSTAR, 28mm 1:8)
Year of Manufacture: 2010

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

The Good
This is a fun camera, hands down. It gives you a very unique image as it’s panoramic, true panoramic not just cropped down like some point-and-shoot cameras. And even though loading the film is troublesome, it’s really easy to use, just point and shoot, from the hip even! And since it’s a swing-lens camera it produces some funky effects when you have objects in motion, it’s almost cartoon like.

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

The Bad
Probably the one thing I have a problem with in the camera is that it’s a bear to load. Seriously, you need to do it very carefully and properly for the camera to work its magic. If you do get one I highly recommend visiting a Lomography store and letting one of the staff members to show you how. Or visit YouTube to see if there’s a video explaining it. You will want to see it visually because it is hard to describe in text only. And while I don’t find it an issue personally another draw back is that this camera is simple, you have two “shutter speeds” so you really have to tailor the film you load into the camera for what and where you’re shooting. And finally there is the price tag, ringing in at 250$ in change which can be a bit steep for people.

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

CCR - Review 33 - Lomography Horizon Kompakt

The Lowdown
While many out there are detractors of the Lomography brand I actually really like this camera, it’s well made, just don’t be too rough on it, and produces a fantasic image. And most importantly it is fun. But again it’s not really for everyone, if you want a little more control check out it’s bigger brother the Horizon Perfekt for a lot more control over your camera settings.

All photos taken in High Park, Toronto, Ontario
Lomography Horizon Kompakt – Обьектив ИНДУСТАР MC 8/28 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 25 – FPP Debonair

CCR Review 25 – FPP Debonair

Found in a mysterious factory in Rochester, New York, the Debonair, or the FPP Plastic Filmstastic 120 Debonair is one of the strangest cameras I’ve reviewed for this blog series. But also one of the more fun ones to use. This funky toy camera is one of many Holga/Diana clones that started to pop up in the late 20th century. It uses 120 roll film in a 6×4.5 format but portrait orientation, light weight and produces actually really fun results with the nice soft plasic “Super” lens. And to make this review extra special the images shot were done on World Toy Camera Days the 17th and 18th of October, 2015!

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

The Dirt
Make: Unknown
Model: Debonair
Type: Point-And-Shoot
Format: 120, 6×4.5 format
Lens: Fixed, Super Lens 1:8/60mm
Year of Manufacture: Unknown, either 1970s or 1980s

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

The Good
This is a toy camera, so image quality and sharp images are not going to hit this review. The camera itself does have some good talking points. First off it has a hotshoe, so you can use a flash on it without any trouble and it really does change the way the image looks! Also despite being plastic it does still have decent balance and weight to it without it being overly heavy. Also if you’re into sprockets this is an easy camera to just fit your 35mm film into. And finally despite it being zone focus the f/8 lens does give you a decent depth on your focus even if you’re out by a bit.

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

The Bad
The only problem I have with this camera is the format, I do love the 6×4.5 image size on medium format, but the camera shoots it in portrait orientation which makes it awkward to shoot in landscape, but hey, it’s a plastic toy camera, if that’s all I can complain about it, it’s pretty great for what it is.

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair

The Lowdown
If you’re looking for something a little different than your average Holga or Diana this camera is certainly worth a glance. And at a good price point from the FPP, you really can’t go wrong. It’s one of the few toy cameras I’ve actually been pretty happy with the results. No they’re not perfect, but it’s a toy camera, if you want sharp images, pick up a camera with a good glass lens. But what this camera has that many of the ‘good’ cameras don’t is magic. Seriously, I know that I can only pick this camera up once or twice a year when the fancy strikes me take it out with one maybe two rolls of film come back and bam, magic. It’s not complex, it won’t complain if it gets rained on, snowed on, dragged through the mud…it just shoots and you have something wonderful.

You can get one yourself at the Film Photography Project Store!

All photos taken in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
FPP Debonair – Super Lens 1:8/60MM – Ilford Delta 100
Ilford Microphen (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 9 – Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

CCR Review 9 – Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

Designed as the camera for Youth (Smena or ϹМЕНА roughly translated is Young Generation or Relay), the Smena 8m was a staple camera from the Leningrad Optical-Mechanical Union (LOMO) that really was the most basic of cameras out there. This simple viewfinder camera will either delight or frustrate you as it can be fairly complex to work with, which is rather odd since it was a Youth camera.

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)
The ϹМЕНА 8M the strangest chunk of plastic the ruble can buy

The Dirt
Maker: Lomo (ЛОМО)
Model: Smena 8m (ϹМЕНА 8M)
Type: 35mm Viewfinder
Lens: Fixed, Lomo T-43 4/40 (T-43 4/40 ЛОМО)
Year of Manufacture: 1970-1995

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

The Good
Actually the best part about this camera is the lens, with most of the camera being plastic suddenly being presented with a glass Triplet Lens is a welcome surprise. But like most Russian optics you have a defined fall off around the edges but even they are pleasing. The camera is also light-weight and a rather inexpensive way to get into the world of Lomography as the camera was mass produced and was fairly prolific and one of the more popular cameras to come out of the factory.

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

The Bad
I don’t often rail against a camera, but this has a lot of issues I’ve found. First off this is a cheap mass produced camera and the Russian camera companies were not exactly known for good quality control. The camera is just in general difficult to use, two steps for advancing and cocking the shutter, and a separate release for the shutter. You also have to hold down the shutter release when rewinding the film. The film shutter speeds are shown by icons (while the focusing is set in numerical meters) however on the bottom of the lens barrel is the actual numerical shutter speeds., and the aperture is tied to film speeds, which is listed in DIN and ASA. Some of the listed speeds are familiar like 250 and 32, there’s also 130, 65, and 16. I can only assume that they are tied to some of the GOST scale. Plus the aperture control dial probably isn’t that accurate so it’s just a wild guessing game, so if that’s your thing…go for it. And finally, the frame counter, don’t even try to get it to work, because it just doesn’t.

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

CCR - Review 9 - Lomo Smena 8m (ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M)

The Low Down
I’m not a fan of this camera, I’ve shot it only a handful of times and can’t seem to get the hang of it. It is really all about the love, and this is one that I have a general love-hate relationship with. Now I’m use to working with this “lo-fi” or “Lomography” cameras that can produce erratic and strange results that aren’t always perfect, and I’m cool with that. But this one…the Smena 8m…I just can’t find things that I even like or can fix. This time I approched it a little differently, using an external meter (Gossen Lunasix F), an external rangefinder (Ideal Rangefinder) and setting the aperture to roughly f/8 I actually was fairly pleased this time around while most of the images were underexposed (not the meter’s fault) it seems that the irregularities that creep into these cameras has hit my copy bad either the aperture is off or the shutter speeds or both so unless you really like this style of camera or style of photography I would warn you away from it.

All Photos shot in Downtown Milton, Ontario
ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M – T-43 4/40 ЛОМО – Ilford Delta 100 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

Lomo’Instant – First Thoughts

Lomo’Instant – First Thoughts

Last year I got notified that Lomography was starting to develop a new instant camera based around the Fuji Instax mini format, now I’m an owner of the Fuji Instax Mini 7s, and while it’s a nice camera I find it lacking in certain areas of control, Aperture, and Flash for the most part. I then got a note about what this new camera, branded the Lomo’Instant was going to be about and I was intrigued. And then a personal request for support by Lomography. Well I wasn’t going to say no, if the Lomo’Instant would solve the issues I had with the 7s, I would easily be on board and might shoot the format more. So I threw enough money into their wildly successful Kickstarter. Of course with any kickstarter funding there would be some risks, but hey, what’s life without a few risks. But there’s one thing that’s great about Lomography is that they know their stuff and they keep everyone apprised. Of course there were plenty of naysayers online talking about plasticy feel, plastic lens, ect ect ect. Well if there’s one thing, Lomography has been pretty polarizing among photographers, but I’m in the Super Positive camp and their working on keeping film photography alive.

web_lomoinstant_black_front_1
Is it not a slick looking camera?

The camera arrived right when they said it would, November of last year, and I instantly fell in love with the design and feel of the camera, and the best part is that it also came with a lovely strap and a close-up attachment. It felt good to look and use the camera, sure it was plastic but there was weight to it, heft. And it looks sharp. User Interface wise, nice and easy to use, took me a bit to figure out why the film wasn’t ejecting (I had multiple exposures selected), everything was easily accessible and laid out. Of course then December hit and I was caught up in all the Christmas stuff and the Lomo’Instant was left on the shelf. Well I finally got the chance to pick it up and take it for a spin.

The First batch! Still trying to figure out all the different settings and what they do.

Lomo'Instant Test One

Lomo'Instant Test One

Lomo'Instant Test One

Lomo'Instant Test One

All I have to say is that I was really surprised, the images were beautiful! And being able to turn off the flash, have bulb mode, tripod socket, multiple exposures, standard cable release. This camera has really rekindled my love for the Instax Mini format, and it’s a great party camera, and looks sleek and stylish. A real crowd pleaser. Don’t want to take my word for it, read more over at Lomography!

Long Live Film!

#filmisalive

#filmisalive

Well anyone who has read this Blog or who knows me in person…knows I have a passion for several things. History, Military Reenacting, and Film Photography.

TFSM Fall '14 - The Lion, The Witch, and the wait??
A recent favourite image of mine, shot on Ilford HP5+ and developed myself in HC-110.

So don’t mind me…I just had to spread the word that film is alive and is kicking ass. That’s right folks, film is far from dead, the grave is no longer in sight of this dearly loved medium. Because there just isn’t anything like film. Don’t worry, I’m not knocking digital, and it does have it’s place in my workflow, it’s just I prefer to work with film. So where did it all start again? Right, the death of Polaroid. Funny how at the end there’s an odd beginning. The loss of Polaroid but a hole into the heart of photographers everywhere, they had been dying a slow death. Photographer friend Polly Chandler when out and maxed out a credit card on the lovely Type 55 instant 4×5 material when she found out it was being discontinued. Into this stepped three brave entrepreneurs, and they managed to snag the last operational Polaroid factory and named themselves “The Impossible Project” because their task was…nothing short of impossible. But they managed to, from scratch, recreate instant film for the SX-70, 600, and Spectra Cameras. Sure it was a long rough road, but they made it come back, and continue to work on improving.

Gazebo
From my very first pack of Impossible Project film…it’s only gotten better!

But they showed one thing, film is alive and people still yearn for project. So into this hole stepped other people who saw a need and reached out and started making new project. New55 is working on getting their replacement for Polaroid Type 55 into the market again after launching a successful kickstarter campaign. Impossible Project continues to improve their colour and B&W formulas and products. But now what? Where do we go from here? Today there are only three operational fully self-contained film production lines in the world. Fuji, Kodak, Agfa, but there was a fourth, Ferrania. And they’re working on getting that line operational again, because someone in the Italian Government had the foresight to preserve the plant and equipment and now a group of men, are working on getting it up and running. Their goal to produce three new slide films, yes, the idea of getting new slide film in both 120, 35mm along with Super8 and 16mm for motion picture is exciting!

ferrania

Add to this Cinestill, who produces still camera ready, c-41 process motion picture film is working on getting their wonderful stock into 120 format as well? Still think film is dead? Keep reading!

cinestill

How about a new, affordable Large format field camera? I’m game! As much as I like to shoot my Crown Graphic press camera, having another option available to me is also a fantastic idea, Intrepid Camera Co. is working on their prototype and the images they’re producing is fantastic, plus the camera looks pretty sexy as well!

intrepid-camera-co

So how can YOU help? That’s the easy part! Support film! Go out and buy fresh product from Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, Foma, Lomography, Impossible Project, Adox…but don’t horde, buy what you need, shoot it, and get more. Support companies like Cinestill, Intrepid, and Ferrania, let’s show them some film love. And most importantly promote them through whatever social media you have, twitter, tumblr, facebook, ello….anything really.

Cinestill Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/cinestill/cinestill-medium-format-film
Ferrania: www.kickstarter.com/projects/filmferrania/100-more-years-of-analog-film

And yes, I’ve backed both of these, as well as Bill Schwab’s Kickstarter for his Photographic Workshop up in Emmet County which was successfully funded as well as Lomography’s latest for the Lomo’Instant (also wildly successful).

Companies that Support Film
The Film Photography Project: http://filmphotographyproject.com/
The Impossible Project: https://www.the-impossible-project.com/
Freestyle Photographic: http://www.freestylephoto.biz/
Burlington Camera: http://burlingtoncamera.com/
The Darkroom: https://thedarkroom.com/
Borealis Labs: http://www2.borealislab.qc.ca/
Kodak Alaris: http://www.kodakalaris.com/ek/US/en/Kodak_Alaris.htm
Ilford: http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp
Fujifilm: http://www.fujifilm.ca/
Lomography: http://www.lomography.ca/
Intrepid Camera Co: http://www.theintrepidcamera.co.uk/
Adox: http://www.adox.de/Photo/?page_id=234
Foma: http://www.foma.cz/en/photomaterials
FILM Ferrania: http://www.filmferrania.it/
CineStill: http://cinestillfilm.com/
New55: http://www.new55project.com/

Yes, film is still out there, and is kicking back.
Not Dead. Nowhere Close to Dead.

Plastic Filmtastic

Plastic Filmtastic

I was bitten by the toy camera bug a while back after getting a Holga, which has served me well, but recently on the Film Photography Podcast they were pushing this odd “new” camera that Michael Raso had discovered on “The Bay” named The Debonair, it looked like a cross between a Diana and a Holga. He had managed to stumble upon a lot of 2000 of these cameras sitting in a warehouse in Rochester, New York. I didn’t need another toy camera, but after seeing some of the shots out of the camera I needed to get one, and at twenty bucks, it wasn’t that expensive.

Cheers!

The camera itself is fairly light weight, but still feels solid in my hands, good control placement also. The camera is all plastic, built in the 1980s in Hong Kong, features a “Super” 60mm f/8 lens with two shutter speeds, one for sun, one for cloudy/flash. Focus is handled by the zone system, and it has a hotshoe, but doesn’t need batteries to operate a flash, which is a plus! It takes your regular 120 roll film and shoots in a portrait orented 6×4.5 format giving you 16 shots on a roll of film.

Candice

Optically I was surprised at the all plastic camera, the images when focused right came out really sharp with plesant vingetting around the edges, and with a flash makes for a great party camera. The one issue I have with the camera is loading it. You slide the entire back/bottom off the camera to load the film, and putting this back on is a bit of a pain, but in the end worth it for the wonderful images you get out of the camera. I do highly recomend this camera as a nice way to get into toy camera photography, very unassuming and no-nonsense, and more importantly it’s fun. And in the end isn’t that what photography should be…fun? At least I think so.

Let me explain this...

So why not Pick one up in the store today!

All images shot with the FPP Plastic Filmtastic Debonair on Fuji Neopan Acros 100 developed in Kodak HC-110 Dilution B for 5:00 at 20C.

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