Tag: Nikon F5

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

Amy & Jeremy – Moving Right Along

It’s been a while since I’ve had a wedding to write about, and this wedding is one that has been in the works for some time now. And the longest I’ve ever been on retainer for a job. But in this case, it was well worth the wait. I am of course talking about the wedding between Amy and Jeremy.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

The trouble with weddings is how do you go about photographing them? I say this because a wedding is a job that is many jobs. You’re a portrait photographer, event photographer, counsellor, valet, gopher, and many other jobs on top of everything else.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

So this time around I made a point to approach this wedding how I do weddings best, as a photojournalist. Because, while a wedding is an event, it’s also a story, the story of the day. So when I arrived, I started to work to tell the story of Amy and Jeremy’s wedding.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

And you know, I hit my groove, I just moved along taking things as they came. I also found out that I can be in two places at once especially during the ceremony. Having the small, lightweight a6000 and sticking to only three lenses for the camera allowed me to capture the ceremony (and edit out all the crying photos) along with my trusty F5 (first time shooting it at a wedding) with only the 50mm lens. An outdoor wedding gave me all the space I needed to move around and eliminated the need to have the heavy 70-200mm lens I had lugged along; the classic AI-S Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 gave me all the reach I needed.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

For portraits, I wanted something a little bigger to work with so out came the Hasselblad, again the first time the Hassy has been used at a wedding along with the Gossen Lunasix F. It sang as well as we moved throughout the village. Having never been to the Kawartha Settler’s Village I had settled to scout the place using their website and Flickr to come up with the buildings I wanted to us. And what made the whole thing a fantastic job to shoot, is how smoothly I worked with the people and how well they responded.

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

Amy & Jeremy - 12th August 2017

As for the film stock, of course, I went with Kodak Tri-X 400. When you’re out shooting something important, you have to go with a film stock you know and trust and what better way to shooting a wedding as a photojournalist than with the go-to film for photojournalism. The only difference is that instead of using Pyrocat-HD for the portraits I decided to try something different and developed the medium format Tri-X in Blazinal (Rodinal) and the results they speak for themselves. I wish nothing but happiness for these two, it’s been a long time coming, and it was well worth the wait.

Technical Details:
Colour Digitals: Sony A6000 + Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS, AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D, AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5, KMZ Helios 44M-2
B&W Film (Rectangular): Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C
B&W Film (Square): Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Large Format in the Park

Large Format in the Park

The trouble with photo walks is that you’re walking, this pretty much takes the idea of bringing large format cameras and tripods along. I mean, I love LF and have a press camera which allows me to shoot the Crown Graphic Handheld as I did back at the Summer Toronto Film Shooters Meetup. But again, when making a meet up especially for large format, you can’t call it a photo walk because it’s hard to walk with an LF camera and I know that many members don’t shoot press, technical, or field cameras they use monorails. You don’t walk around with a monorail, while you can, just not quickly. Thus was born, the Large Format Lugabout.

Remains of a Face

A Lovely Day

The Toronto Film Shooters have been to High Park many times before, so it made sense to use this urban park in Toronto as the base of operations for the walk, moving from the Southern Entrance at Colbourne Lodge to the northern terminus at Bloor Street. At about two kilometres it’s an easy enough walk even when you have an 8×10 on a monorail to lug with you.

The Howard Tomb

The Chimney

As I loaned out my Crown Graphic out to a good friend, I made a point to shoot the eight sheets of 4×5 while I wanted down through the park towards the meeting point before the main event. Even my lovely wife put up with the constant stopping. It proved to be a perfect day to shoot large format and there turned out to be a decent attendance. The highlight for me is finally seeing Colbourne Lodge. The lodge is another one of those hidden museums in Toronto, and one I certainly will be checking out again. But with the meeting starting, I turned over my Crown Graphic to Wu and switched to my Nikon F5 to take photos of the various people in attendance.

Nancy!

It's, it's...taller than me!

Another Big One

Trio of Tripods

A Common Sight

The trouble with such a meet is that everything spreads out in a long thin line, Heather and I along with Wu and Joe formed the front of the line while the long trail of photographers lugging every type of camera came up behind, even some folks carried medium format beasts. But since it was tripod friendly, it gave folks a chance to slow down.

The event turned out much better than I expected and I certainly plan on running with the idea again as people took to the idea of a limited area shoot and allowing us to bring out the big guns.

Techinal Details:
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210, Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135, Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125
Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200
Blazinal (1+25) 7:00 @ 20C

Ottawa on Film

Ottawa on Film

One of my favourite cities in Ontario to photograph is Ottawa, Ontario, also the Capital City of Canada. While not as grandiose in planning as Washington DC, this city has plenty of offer the photographer. A recent week’s holiday there with my wife gave me a chance to exersize several cameras from my toolkit and having plenty of my pro gear having shot a weekend before hand I was loaded for bear both in gear and film stock.

Alexandra Bridge
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Eastman 5363 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. F 5:00 @ 20C

End of Line
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

Day One found us going to the newly renovated Museum of Canadian History in Gatineau then across the river for lunch. Having been blessed with a sunny week I decided to keep most of my film stocks on the slower side, most rating no more than ASA-100. It also saw a return of Eastman 5363 a favourite motion picture stock that I did extensive tests with the first time it came to the still photography market through the Film Photography Project.

Spike in Blue Sky
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

More Old Hydro Systems
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Bergger Pancro 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Another film that I gave a try with, and only the second time shooting in 120 is Bergger Pancro 400, a new film stock out of France from a company better known for their traditional photo paper I was fairly pleased with the stock. This time around I shot it at the full speed of ASA-400 just so that shooting at waist level I could get some deep depth of field and fast shutter speeds. While a little more grainy than I was expecting from a 400-speed film in medium format I am fairly pleased with the results.

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

MosaïCanada 150
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Orange-22) – ORWO UN54 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. H 7:30 @ 20C

While if you’re a following of this blog, you’ve already seen some of the film shots from Day Four through my review of the Holga 120N. But after the National Gallery, which has a beautiful photography exhibit at the moment, I swung up my trusty Nikon F2 Photomic. With blue skies and white clouds, it was time to get some filtering on the camera. While the MosaïCanada 150 display was begging for some Infrared work, I was rather pleased with the results of the Orange-22 filter.

The Victoria Bell
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The Bank of Canada
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C

The final day saw us kicking around Parliament Hill. Sadly I had to check my bag and Nikon F5 for the tour of Parliament and the Changing of the guard, I made a point to head back with the ultra-wide lens and some Fomapan 100, a beautiful film that I had yet to shoot in 35mm, to capture the seat of power for Canada. When I’ve run a project I like to keep the film stocks fairly consistent. And while I did make sure to bring multiples of two (mostly), I use vacations as a time to play around with new/odd film stocks, sometimes it turned out great. Other times not so much.

One More Time – Efke Film

One More Time – Efke Film

If you’ve been doing the film photography thing for some time now, you’ll have heard about a classic film emulsion, that is Efke. Efke, a brand name of the film from the Croatian firm, Fotokemika, is a silver rich panchromatic film that gives any images a classic look. This classic look is because the film using a traditional grain structure has a high silver content, and only uses a single emulsion layer. Sadly, when Fotokemika closed their doors due to the age of their equipment and the cost of continuing to maintain the machines, it not only killed the Efke line of films but Adox as well. And while Adox bounced back and still supports a decent number of film stocks such as CHS 100 II and CMS 20 II, Efke has remained buried. And while you can’t buy new stock Efke, a gentleman in Croatia happened across a warehouse worth of Efke 100 film in 35mm and began selling it on eBay. I jumped on this and bought a brick. Of course, I’m not one to horde film or save it for a rainy day.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Film
  • Base: Polyester
  • Film Speed: ASA-100
  • Formats Avaliable: 35mm/127/120/Sheet

This ain't no Baywatch
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

When you could buy Efke films at your usual photographic supply stores, I tended to stay away from the 100-speed stock, going instead with the 50 and 25-speed films. In fact, I shot my final rolls of Efke 50 through 2015 to 2016; I even got a chance to shoot Efke 25 in 4×5 format having secured a short box from Burlington Camera’s Film Fridge. Now looking back through my Flickr search, Efke was a mainstay of my film fridge for a good seven years.

CCR Review 64 - Kodak Pony 135 Model C
Kodak Pony 135 Model C – Kodak Anaston Lens 44mm ƒ/3.5 – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

When I had shot that final roll in March of 2016, I figured that was it! Fotokemika had shut down, Adox had begun to produce their film stock. Then, at the Winter 2017 Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, James Lee mentioned he had come across an eBay auction, the auction I referred to in my first paragraph. The game was afoot! Several folks around the table immediately upon returning home put in their orders. And sure enough, a couple of weeks later this well-wrapped package of film arrived from Croatia.

Let Fly!
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

There is still enough information out there to develop the film, with most people going for Rodinal or HC-110 as their soup of choice. And yes Efke looks excellent in both those options, but I wanted to try something different. The one thing I was a little surprised that nowhere did I find a developing time for my favourite Kodak developer next to HC-110 that is D-23. There are D-76 times, so I had that at least as a base. A quick search online landed me back on the APUG site and found a thread with the exact question I was asking. After much consideration, I landed on seven minutes, forty-five seconds. It worked, and I was fairly pleased with the results.

Oh that Swirl
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

There is still more to go through; I gave Pyrocat-HD a try being my favourite developer period. PMK Pyro worked magic on Efke 25 and Efke 50, I wasn’t too much a fan of Ekfe 100 in Pyrocat-HD. If you are planning on giving Efke a try or happened across a brick of the stock, this isn’t a film for someone who is used to modern film. You will get more grain on this film that you would on Ilford FP4+.

Clean Lines
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

If you do happen to enjoy this look, I know I do in certain situations like re-enactments or gritty street photography work; then you don’t have to fret too much. While Efke is gone, there’s still plenty of film stocks out there that can provide you with a similar look. There’s Adox CHS 100 II, I’ve shot this film only in 4×5 sheets and think it’s a beautiful film stock, and being 4×5 and while I haven’t picked up any 35mm stock I just may have to. But probably your best bet is to look at Fomapan 100, this film is a recent addition to my tool kit and provides a beautiful classic look especially souped in Rodinal and D-23.

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

The Battle of Fort George – 2017

Many people have asked me how I first got into the reenacting hobby; my answer is a strange one for some. I got into the hobby through photography. It was back in 2008 when the Fort York Guard requested that I come along to the annual Siege of Fort Erie event to grab some photos. I walked away with some great shots, and my presence soon migrated to the 7th Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot, a brand new reenacting unit at that point. I watched as these dedicated individuals portrayed what the British military was like during the Anglo-American War of 1812 and learned a lot more about the conflict than I had in Grade 8 history. In 2011, I made a decision, having saved up enough money I was going to join the hobby, and trade my camera in for a musket (not literally of course).

A Spring in his Step
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Taking the Polish
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Getting the Polish On
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

I would still bring a camera with to some events, capturing more behind-the-scenes actions of camp life as a reenactor and the quirks of my unit (7/60th of course). Occasionally, I would still visit an event as a photographer, or even take a day off if I had some injury or lack of a unit to march with, which has become less an issue today. But I usually left the big guns at home because often I don’t have the room to lug around any more than a small collection of compact cameras and no long telephotos. This year’s Fort George Event had a bit of a twist; we were staying in the blockhouse on the site, so I had a secure spot for my camera gear and not having to bring all the camping gear I had room in my car.

Stalking the Line
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

You Call that Polished?
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Drum Major
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 10:00 @ 20C

Saturday I stuck to the Hasselblad 500c as I was shooting for the July Summer Film Party contest and I joined the 10th Royal Veteran Battalion for both the change of command ceremony and the two battles. All of them went off wonderfully with the evening tactical being a favourite of mine. On Sunday I was ready to shoot differently, with a proper event kit, that is my Nikon F5 and 70-200mm telephoto lens and several rolls of film.

The Look
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Sentry Duty
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Oh Hai
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Kodak Plus-X @ ASA-125 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:00 @ 20C

Having studied the work of several photographers who frequent events, namely Michael Hurley, and taking the critique from my lovely wife to heart I left the wide and normal lenses at home and packed the only the 70-200mm and 105mm lenses in order to photograph the people as well as the battle itself. And the best part is that I woke up Sunday in the right mood for some people photography. Locking my lens into f/4, I went to work around camp. The joys of being known as both a reenactor and a photographer are that I can wander about at will.

Come on Lads
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

Let's Show 'em what we're made of
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

One Final Volley
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – Agfaphoto Vista Plus @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

When it came time to do battle I switched out for a colour film stock, thanks to my friend James. I had never shot Agfaphoto Vista Plus a fast colour negative film but it sure felt and behaves like Fuji Superia 400, even down to the negative marks on the edges. And of course switching into a shutter priority mode, something I had not done before when shooting a battle sequence. Now the trick with shooting a reenactment is burst shooting, but having only a single roll of 36-Exposures, I had to trust my gut and ability to shut off the brain and listen for the commands. Make ready, bring the camera up and compose the image, present, half-press the shutter release to get focus and exposure, FIRE, fire off a single shot. A little different than with a musket, but sometimes you need to adapt to a situation. A different way of doing things like the two digital shooters flanking me. If you want to see the full set head over to my Flickr set.

Doors Open: Toronto

Doors Open: Toronto

When it comes to Doors Open events, there’s no bigger one in Ontario that Toronto’s. With 2017 being the 150th Anniversary of Canadian Confederation, Toronto made it a goal to have 150 buildings on their doors open event. And what a selection there was, with lots of old favourites and plenty of new ones especially to me. I’ve visited Doors Open Toronto on many occasions, but always seem to hit up the same locations over and over again. So this year I made a point to visit many of the places I’ve never visited, or haven’t been happy with my photographs in the past. I also made a point to visit a few additional sites on Sunday as well. This year I managed to visit a total of fourteen locations, a record for any doors open event I’ve visited in the past. I also made a point this time around, like Doors Open Hamilton, to stick to film with only one location being shot mostly on digital. So without further fanfare, Doors Open Toronto. Photography wise I used my trusty Nikon F5 and carried or more rather lugged a series of lenses along with me, a way to force myself to capture both the wide open spaces that the sites presented but also to focus in on the details. The film I chose is a new favourite of mine, Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 to give me some speed in the spaces where I would have to shoot handheld. Sadly when I pulled the film out of the tank I noticed that most of my interior shots were so dark not even bold efforts in Photoshop could recover them. Of course, it wasn’t until later in a dream (and talking out loud apparently) that I realized my mistake. Streetpan likes sunlight, it thrives on it. Also having no information about the film’s reciprocity, and I was sunk. At least I was able to recover a few shots for each location.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church: Always a favourite of mine, St. Andrew’s is the oldest Presybertian congregation in the city and the regimental church of the 48th Highland Regiment of Canada. Constructed in 1876 under the watchful eye of William G. Storm this Romanesque Revival Church is one of the most ornate Presbyterian Churches I have visited; it even surpasses St. Paul’s Presbyterian in Hamilton, Ontario.

DO:T 2017 - St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Campbell House: Toronto is home to many museums, some better known than others. The Campbell House is one of the lesser known museums. Built in 1822 in the Georgian style, it was home to William Campbell, the Sixth Justice of Upper Canada. It stands as one of the few surviving examples of buildings from the town of York, saved in 1972 by the Advocates Society from demolition. And as exciting as it was to be finally able to go into this small house that I had passed unnumbered times now, it was this single shot from the outside with the storm clouds and the Canada Life building in the background that struck me.

DO:T 2017 - The Campbell House
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Church of the Holy Trinity: In Toronto there are many buildings that have simply defined the steady march of the city growth, places like Fort York and Campbell House, Montgomery’s Tavern, and Holy Trinity. You might have never even seen this little church because it sits hidden, a small pocket tucked out behind the Eaton Centre. And yet throughout its history, the church has had a big impact on the city. From leading the charge with social justice causes and the arts, has been a lead in fostering social diversity in Toronto in many ways including organizing concerts and community events for gay dances held by the Canadian Homophile Association of Toronto in the 1970’s and providing a location for early church congregations of Armenian and Japanese Canadians. This is the little church that can.

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Holy Trinity
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Kodak Portra 400 @ ASA-800 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

MaRS: While not my usual spot for a Doors Open Event, but having a wife who is in the medical field, a visit to MaRS was certainly in order. Built as the College Wing of Toronto General Hospital in 1913 is certainly a spot that shows the power of adaptive reuse. The Beaux Arts building designed by Frank Darling looks as it did when it was built, but you cross the threshold and it’s a contemporary wonderland. And while like many locations I lost all my interior shots, I did make a point to capture the beauty of the exterior including the central tower.

DO:T 2017 - MaRS
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Church of the Redeemer: When a congregation decides to stay the course and rather than abandon their historic home makes a choice to restore and repair, they are to be applauded. Redeemer is one of those churches that has seen the growth of the city, while not a soaring cathedral, the church now sits in the shadow of skyscrapers. Constructed in 1871 in the Gothic Style, retains its historic beauty and charm. But my favourite feature in the whole church is the World War One Memorial windows showing wounded soldiers being watched over by an image of Jesus Christ.

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Bloor Street United Church: Like some United Churches, Bloor Street opened its doors as a Presbyterian church back in 1890. The 1920s saw the original entrance to the church demolished with the widening of Bloor Street and the congregation voting to join with the Wesleyans and Methodists to form the United Church in Canada. It was the 1950s that the history of the building gets interesting, a fire destroyed much of the building but rather than build a mid-century modern building, the building was restored to its original Victorian style designed by William R. Gregg. The highlight is, of course, the Great South Window that highlights the mission of the United Church, the unity of everyone. Look closely, you’ll see a sporty red car.

DO:T 2017 - Bloor Street United
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

The Daniels Building: I was excited to see that this building was on the list for doors open. This is the historic home of Knox College, established in 1875 at 1 Spadina Cresent in the Gothic Revival Style. It has been a building I had always be curious as to what secrets were behind the walls. And what a story this building has, it’s been a number of departmental homes for UofT, an Eye Bank, Hospital, Laboratory, Barracks, and currently, the new home of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Landscape, Architecture, & Design. The original Gothic Revival Building restored and a new addition added to the back. It was also one of the more popular spots.

DO:T 2017 - The Daniels Building
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

The Waterworks Building: This was a throwback for me, the giant empty waterworks building is the result of a make-work program in the city of Toronto during the Great Depression. Leaving the city with an Art Deco work building. Yet the site holds a bit of city history, being the original site of the St. Andrew’s Market, built in 1837, providing folks in the western expansion of the city a market like that of St. Lawerence. Inside it was like many of the industrial abandoned buildings I had visited in the past, at least this time around I wasn’t looking over my shoulder for cops or security.

DO:T 2017 - Waterworks Building
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Fort York: I can technically visit Fort York anytime I want, it is, through reenacting, my home fort. But it made for a good place to end the day. Sadly I missed all the artillery demonstrations that saw the fort show off Canadian and British firepower for the past two centuries from the Anglo-American War of 1812, through the Boer War, the two World Wars and even into modern day conflicts that Canada has been involved in. At least it wasn’t too crowded and Heather and I did grab dinner at our favourite spot in the area, The Banknote.

DO:T 2017 - Fort York
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G VR – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Humber Lakeshore Campus: Built as the Mimico Asylum in 1888, the hospital was the first in Ontario to use the Cottage Plan first pioneered by Medfield State Hospital as a way to control overcrowding at Toronto and Hamilton. The doors opened in 1890 the hospital would grow to 10 buildings. The hospital would go on to trial several different treatment methods. Like many hospitals across North America by the 1970s the treatment of mental health issues moved to a more in-patient method and the smaller hospitals were closed, Mimico would close in 1979. The campus would be broken up, with the old hospital buildings being leased by Humber College in 1991. The cottages and administration building would become office and classroom spaces; even the tunnels saw restoration and use. The old carriage house/fire hall would be the only service building to survive and now is a Tim Hortons. While I originally wanted to include a photo of the tunnels as I was able to secure a tour, I decided to use a photo taken of one of the old female cottages against a bright blue sky. Much stronger images than the snaps in the tunnel.

DO:T 2017 - Humber Lakeshore/Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital
Sony a6000 – Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

Montgomery’s Inn: Despite being a fairly old city, it takes a lot of effort to find the hidden historical sites within the modern structures. And yet they’re still there. Now I have never had the pleasure of visiting Montgomery’s Inn, despite having heard about it through a fellow reenactor. While rather hidden, it’s in a rather modern looking area. I think that’s what I like about it the most is that it’s again that little pocket of history among the modern city of Toronto.

DO:T 2017 - Montgomery's Inn
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Applewood, The Shaver Homestead: Inside you’ll find all sorts of people who will tell you more history about the place than you need to know, the gentleman greeted me at the entrance. And for such a tiny museum it has a huge history that stretches out across the country. This 1851 Victorian farmhouse would become the birthplace of James Shaver Woodsworth, he would go on to form the democratic socialist movement in Canada and the political party he founded would form the foundation of the New Democrat Party of Canada. When the vote on Canada’s entry into World War Two reached Ottawa, it was Woodsworth alone who would oppose it, he would die in 1942. That’s a lot of history for such a tiny home.

DO:T 2017 - Applewood, The Shaver Homestead
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

I think next year if I do Doors Open Toronto I’m going to focus on the eastern side of the city, use my car to move around at first before hitting the streets on foot. But we shall see. If you want to see more, check out the whole collection over on Flickr.

Film Review – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400

Film Review – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400

So I’ve managed to shoot through my brick of JCH Streetpan 400 film and feel I’m good to begin writing an in-depth review of the film. I’m going to start off with saying that this is a fantastic film! Well worth the time and effort that Bellamy has put into researching, marketing, and tweaking to suit his amazing photography and now has taken the bold step in bringing it to the rest of us. You will have probably heard a lot of negative press related to this film, even recently someone put a comment on one of my Streetpan images to a video review of the film that stated that it was an old Agfa stock that Bellamy found a core roll of and just spooled and repacked. Well, I just can’t believe that, because the film edges are branded, and there’s a current expiry date on them, and from all my interactions with Bellamy, he’s not to type to pull the wool over the eyes of thousands. I’m glad I went ahead and invested in this film early. These days we hear too much about film stocks cut, but 2016 has been a great year for film, Rollei, Kodak, and Ilford all holding steady with their commitments to maintain traditional stocks, and the continued promise of Ferrania pulling out a new E-6 film. Streetpan, it was a bonus, an excellent bonus!

Product Highlights

  • Type: B&W Panchromatic up to 750nm
  • Base: Polyester (0.10 mm)
  • Film Speed: ASA-400
  • Formats Available: 35mm

So now that we’ve gotten the dirt taken care of let’s dig in. I decided to approach this review a little differently that my other reviews have been because it’s a film, not a camera it changes depending on how you develop it. Using my trusty Nikon F5 to make sure the film was being exposed with the same meter with every roll I set about using the developers I had access to and the times listed on the box.

Kodak HC-110
My first experience with Streetpan 400 was under cloudy conditions and developed in HC-110 Dil. B. I was hooked right off the bat with this combo. The contrast is dead on, the extended red sensitivity shows up by cutting through the haze that was 5000% humidity. For a 400 speed film paired with HC-110, the grain looks like something from a 100 or 200-speed film even when scanned. What makes this combo shine is the contrast, not too harsh, not too soft. You have blacks and white complete with mid tones across the spectrum.

TFSM - Summer '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Summer '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Summer '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Kodak Xtol
Now I’m a big fan of Xtol as a developer, but in this case, it wasn’t that good of a chemical to use with Streetpan. It made the images look soft, and not in a good way. The shots I took were on a dull day that was humid, but my lens was often working in the f/5.6 to f/8 range, and since it’s the same 105mm f/2D it should be sharp. But the edges appear soft. I actually had a bit of a scare when I first pulled the film out of the tank, I thought that I had over developed it, but once I got it in the scanner I realized I hadn’t. Development was again spot on with little adjustment needed in Photoshop with the levels/curves. The tone was excellent, with great blacks and whites with stable mid-tones. There was also no real difference in grain, it wasn’t any finer, compared to HC-110. Xtol would not be my first choice however for this film.

Reflection
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

The Brush Past
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

An Entertaining Conversation
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

Ilford Perceptol
Now these are the results from Streetpan that I have come to expect from the film. Clean, fine grain, sharp and the contrast point is dead on. The only trouble was that the negatives were a bit dark and needed some heavy adjustments in Photoshop to pull up the images. So I would say that either an additional 30 seconds in the developer or a slight pull to say ASA-320 would be enough to produce a cleaner negative. But overall Perceptol is another winner for developing this film to give the best results.

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

Ilford Ilfosol 3
Ilfosol 3 was one of the first developers outside of D-76 that I worked with so it remains a bit of a soft spot for me. And for Streetpan it does a fine job, despite me shooting the film in less-than-ideal conditions. The grain is acceptable but noticeable more than other developers, and the film shows off the tonality that it can produce. While Ilfosol 3 wouldn’t be my first choice for developing the film if it’s all you got, you’ll create some fantastic images! As for the time, I might opt to bump it up 30 seconds, but I’d have to test it out under better conditions.

Bending Light
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+3) 5:00 @ 20C

Halfsmoke?
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+3) 5:00 @ 20C

Ending the Day
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+3) 5:00 @ 20C

Rodinal
If you had to pick two developers to use with this film, HC-110 would be the first. And in a very close second would be Rodinal. Usually, you would avoid using a sharp developer with a 400-speed film in 35mm. But in this case, the film itself is designed to produce a fine grain even with a sharp developer and the negatives look good! Right out of the tank I could see to fantastic tonality and stunning contrast that I saw with HC-110. And yes the grain is a little more noticeable but nothing that would take away from the quality of the images. And if you do the long soup and switch up to a 1+50 dilution it makes for an even better image with better, finer grain, without a loss in sharpness.

Deco
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Yellow-15) – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Heather
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Yellow-15) – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 62 - Canon T90
Canon T90 – Vivitar Auto Wide-Angle 28mm 1:2.5 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+50) 22:00 @ 20C

CCR - Season 3: Recording Session 2
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+50) 22:00 @ 20C

The Final Word
Streetpan is certainly a film I’ll be working with again. There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, I will have already ordered another brick of 10 rolls of the film from the JCH site. For use on my honeymoon in April in New York City and at a wedding I’m photographing in April. Despite all the praise I have heaped on Street Pan, there is one thing I have noticed with it. It likes light; it doesn’t need direct light, I would avoid shooting in it harsh light, but it wants gray days, soft even light or open shadow. But it does suffer in low light; I had a tough time pulling out good images when I was shooting it just after dusk or in darkened interiors. As for the developers, I do highly recommend using either Rodinal or HC-110 to develop this film as I got the best results from those with good tone, not overly contrasty and it shows off the sharp fine-grained nature of the film stock. It’s a good stock, and a welcome addition to my choice of shooting media.

Big thanks to Bellamy, the Japan Camera Hunter himself, for taking the plunge and bringing Street Pan to us hungry film photographers, he took a leap of faith, and the results are stunning. You can pickup the film directly from his shop and now you can buy single rolls, three and five packs, or a full brick of ten. I recommend the ten. If you’re in Toronto you can pick up the film from Downtown Camera, currently the only Canadian Supplier of the film!

First Impressions – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400

First Impressions – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400

I’m not often one to give the first impression of a product, especially after only shooting it once. In fact, I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been so impressed with a product I had to write a ‘first impression’ blog. The Nikon F2, Nikon F5, Sony a6000 are all cameras that I was so happy with I couldn’t wait to tell the world, now I add a fourth thing to the list, Japan Camera Hunter’s Streetpan 400. So when my order arrived the next photo walk, I went to I make sure my Nikon F5 was loaded with one film, Streetpan.

TFSM - Summer '16

TFSM - Summer '16

TFSM - Summer '16

I was pretty excited when Bellamy Hunt, the amazing photographer behind Japan Camera Hunter, announced that he was bringing back a dead film stock. That’s right, using money out of his own pocket, to bring back a film stock. Sadly the world of photography instead of being excited along with him, tore into him. It’s a sad state of affairs when that happens. But I stayed on the positive side of things, defending the film stock. Many claimed that it was dead-stock found in a dusty warehouse or just Retro 400s in a fancy new package. But I’ve shot Retro 400s, and this film stock, while similar in the sample images, certainly did not look like Retro 400s and the developing times were different. This was infact a rebirth of a film stock, something we in the film photography world don’t see often.

TFSM - Summer '16

TFSM - Summer '16

TFSM - Summer '16

What do I like about the film, well first off it’s a 400 speed film, as much as I like slower emulsions, when I’m out shooting in the streets or on vacation I want to be able to shoot quickly, see, think, shoot. So a fast film really is needed. It’s designed for scanning, the polyester base, while making it a little more of a pain to get onto the plastic developing spool, does dry and lay perfectly flat. And it’s really not as thin as other polyester base films I’ve shot like Retro 80s or the Svema line of films. And when it comes to scanning it is beautiful! I really didn’t have to make any real changes to the raw scans.

TFSM - Summer '16

TFSM - Summer '16

TFSM - Summer '16

So that’s about it, for now, once I start working with this film more and developing it in other developers like Rodinal and Xtol as well as more in HC-110. And see how it plays with other cameras in my collection I’ll do a more in-depth review, but for now, I’m leaving it at this. This film rocks, I’m looking forward to shooting it more, and if you like what you see head on over and give Bellamy some love and order yourself a brick. And just remember this is fresh stock, not dead, not rebranded. And today, a fresh film is always a good thing. Happy World Photography Day!

Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 22 – Nikon F5

CCR Review 22 – Nikon F5

The beast, the heaviest, fastest, most advanced SLR from the Nikon Professional line of 35mm SLRs that was aimed at professionals and the last one to be aimed at professionals. At first glace you’ll think it’s a digital camera which you wouldn’t be mistaken, as the F5 was basically the template of what would become the Nikon digital SLRs for the professional market from the original D1 to the incredible D4.

CCR - Review 23 - Nikon F5

The Dirt
Make: Nikon
Model: F5
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Miniature, 35mm (135)
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F Mount (Autofocus)
Year of Manufacture: 1996-2004

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5

The Good
This was probably the best professional 35mm camera out of Nikon. Quick on the autofocus, and a super quiet shutter (that actually self-adjusts to fix speed problems). In the hand despite the bulk it has an amazing balance and sits well when slung across the body carbine style. Another excellent feature on this camera it that you can use pretty much all your Nikon lenses on it, even modern G-Type lenses because all the adjusts are done with controls on the camera. Of course you loose a few features with the older AI and AI-S lenses (Non-AI does not work), but over all my modern AF-S glass works perfectly!

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5

The Bad
Okay there are two big points about this camera. The first being power, now the F4s takes six batteries, the F5 eight and on alkaline batteries you’re looking at 25 rolls per set but in this case it’s AA batteries which are pretty much available everywhere. The next issue is well weight, this isn’t a light camera it’s big, it’s bulky and it really does look like a digital camera.

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5

The Lowdown
This is not a camera for the faint of heart, it’s a big camera aimed at the professionals, hell you could probably use it as a personal-defense weapon if you had to. And it does carry a good price tag even today, but the good news is that if you do get one, no matter how beat up the body may look (mine’s pretty good for only rating 8 on B&H) the camera will still work perfectly! Anyone who shoots high-end Nikon gear the F5 and F6 are both winners. Although I have no intention of getting an F6, I’m pretty happy with this investment.

All photos taken at McLean’s Auto Wreckers, Milton, Ontario, Canada
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50
Ilford Microphen (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C