Tag: Nikon FA

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.

Toronto Film Shooters @ The Beach

Toronto Film Shooters @ The Beach

The Beach neighbourhood in Toronto is not one that I have explored much. Sure I’ve done a wedding there, the 2015 spring Toronto Film Shooters Meetup happened here, had a week of my latest 52-Roll project there, and even recorded an episode of Classic Camera Revival out there. Okay, so maybe I have spent more time in the Beaches than I thought I had. But, it’s always fun to go and check out a part of the city I don’t often have a chance to visit. Bill Smith, while an Oakville resident often finds himself in the area, and offered to host a little photo walk in the area.

Wrong Stop

Bank Turned Retail

The Beach

The trouble was that I ended up taking the subway one stop further than I should have, also not realising that Main Street does not run all the way down to Queen Street. With a bit of jogging about I finally was on the right path to get to my first destination, the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant.

RC Harris

If you have a keen eye and a love of 1990/2000s Sci-Fi television you’ll probably recognise this place as the shadowy think-tank “The Centre” from The Pretender or the headquarters of the hacker Augur from Earth: Final Conflict. From there it was a short nine-minute walk to the meetup point, The Remarkable Bean, a lovely coffee shop nearly at the furthest stop on Queen Street.

Jumping Off Point

Wondering The Source

It turned out I hadn’t needed to visit RC Harris earlier in the day, as we headed back out to the iconic treatment plant, after sticking around there, it was off along the shores of Lake Ontario where the neighbourhood gets it the name, The Beach. While the chance of rain stayed small, we had to dodge the weather several times as we moved west along the beach, taking shelter mostly under the trees along the boardwalk.

Resovior Dogs

Cold Day for a Dip

Alone on the Rock

This ain't no Baywatch

At the historic Leuty Lifeguard Station, we drove north through Kew Gardens back to Queen Street returning to the urban environment. Our final destination on Eastern Avenue is a new craft-brewery in the city, Rorschach Brewing Co. You’ll need a keen eye, it’s easy to walk or drive right past this small historic home, and while it may look small from the outside, like a TARDIS, it is much bigger than it appears. Try their Black IPA; it’s my favourite.

Kew

In Memorial

No. 15

End of Line

If you’re in Toronto and have a love of film photography, we run these meets at minimum four times a year with a handful of specialised events scattered in between. You can find the Toronto Film Shooters on Facebook! It’s a closed group, but if your profile looks like you’re a fellow film nut, we’ll let you in!

All Photos Taken in Toronto, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

New York, New York

New York, New York

New York City, a place filled with photographic possibilities. And a city I didn’t think I’d be getting back to anytime soon after my last visit back in 2013. Sure it took five years, but I managed to get back, on my honeymoon no less! And my awesome wife Heather even let me bring some toys along. And by toys I mean cameras. I went loaded for bear, the trusty Nikon FA three AI-S lenses (35, 50, and 105) and lots of photographic film.

Greatly Inscribed

Dames & Dragons

Now usually when I go shooting buildings in a city I tend to capture the full view of the building, getting as wide as I possibly can. This time around I couldn’t do that for a couple of reasons. The first being that the streets in New York, especially in Manhattan, are packed with tall skyscrapers that just don’t allow for the full capture of their grandeur. That is unless you have an ultra-wide angle lens. The widest lens I had with me was my 35mm lens, which while good for some of the shorter buildings just wouldn’t cut it elsewhere. And for some of the stuff I was shooting I needed my 14-24mm lens and either the F5 and F90, neither of which makes for an excellent travel camera when you’re on your honeymoon.

Ornate

A U Properly Shapped

So I decided to take a different approach than what I usually do and got in closer. Because in New York, in the older buildings the details are just as important as the big picture. Having the 105mm and a roll of Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400, I went in for the shot while Heather and I made our way north on 5th Avenue towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And what a place to shoot buildings, from Sak’s Fifth Avenue to the Art Deco flagship store for Tiffany & Co. Guilded Age skyscrapers to cathedrals of worship. This was a part of New York I had not spent much time in the past.

St. Patrick Details

Remains of Things Past

Of course standing out like a sore thumb is Trump Tower, and I prided myself at not getting any sort of photo of the glass monstrocity. As the 80’s were a horrible decade for fashion, they were pretty terrible for architecture also. Give me gilded age or art deco, the classics. Heck, I even find beauty in the brutalist nature of the 1960s.

The Tiffany & Co. Clock

Rose Window

Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – JCH Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 38 – Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 – Nikon FA

When it comes to game changing Nikon SLRs, the FA certainly is one of them, and one of a long line of game-changing cameras out of the company. For the FA the change came in the metering system. This was the first camera that featured full matrix metering out of AI and AI-S lenses and full program shooting. The camera accomplishes this by having a small built in computer storage system that has a selection of scenes and compares the scene in front of the camera and picks the exposure based on one of the scenes in the memory. A clever trick, while not perfect, was the start of the amazing meters that found their way into the Nikon F4 and Nikon F5. While short lived, the legacy of the FA lives on even in today’s digital cameras.

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Dirt
Make: Nikon
Model: FA
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1983-1987

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Good
I love manual focus lenses, there’s something special about being able to easy track, pull, and push the focus just right. Even on digital cameras I love shooting manual focus lenses. There are times when I want to pick the focus and not worry about the exposure, and that’s exact what the FA gives me, and the exposure is dead on with any AI, AI-S, or D-Type lens. And when it comes to size and ease of handling the FA is the perfect mix of both. A small form factor that is easy to handle and compact enough that it would be a perfect travel camera. And of course the big part is that the camera works with all the Nikon lenses from 1977 onwards, minus the G-Type lenses.

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Bad
Here’s the trouble, I really can’t find any real sticking issues with the camera. So I will say one little thing the camera mode selector is a bit weird, naturally I want to use the indicator to move around rather than the actual switch, so there’s that, but I’m not usually switching modes in the field, Program or Aperture Priority. Deal breaker…not really, just a minor annoyance.

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Lowdown
If you can get your hands on a Nikon FA you should, especially if you’re a Nikon shooter with a pile of lenses. Honestly this is a great camera and holds it own against cameras like the Nikon F3, smaller, more compact and makes for a fantastic travel camera. If I had a larger bag and this camera before I went to Europe last year I would’ve taken the FA over the G2 along with a 28mm, 50mm, and 105mm lenses. And despite being on the market for such a short time, it has truly become a cult-classic from Nikon. I really don’t have anything bad to say about it.

Want to hear more about the Nikon FA? Give a listen to CCR Episode 16 or FPP Episode 129!

All photos taken along NY-31, New York, USA
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Rollei Retro 400s – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:30 @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 16 – Let’s All Shoot One Camera

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 16 – Let’s All Shoot One Camera

ccr-logo-leaf

So what happens when a whole group of photographers sit down and share a single camera? Well we get a nice little picture of what each of us enjoys about cameras in general! So today the whole group sits down to talk on the Nikon FA and John sits down with David Nardi from E6it!

Camera Featured on Today’s Show…

Nikon FA – This was the first Nikon camera to feature a full lineup of auto-exposure modes, from full Program, Aperture and Shutter Priority and of course Full Manual. The power behind this is a set of stored exposures a computer will pattern match from it’s library of samples and come up with the correct shutter speed and aperture.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 16 - Let's All Shoot One Camera

Make: Nikon
Model: FA
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: Miniature Format (35mm), 24x35mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1983

What John had to say… I have to admit this camera has been sitting in a box for awhile, neglected in favour of my F2 and F4, but when I took it out the week before to make sure it worked it felt comfortable in my hands right away. The build quality is topnotch; one gets the sense the camera will not let you down. Properly cared for, I get the sense this camera could be shooting for decades to come. Why pay $$$$ for a Df, when you can get the same experience for a lot less coin with this classic?

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What Mike had to say… When it comes to simple to use 35mm SLRs, this one really can’t be beat.  It’s lightweight, compact and well designed. The finder on it is very big (92% coverage) and bright and lets you frame an image very easily. Manually focusing with this camera (it’s not Autofocus after all) is really simple with the bright screen.  Granted, we were using a very good fast lens, but lets face it, some viewfinders, even with a fast lens, are just plain… DIM. Now let’s go into a bit of ‘how’ I feel about the camera in general. It is well designed. It is well engineered. In fact, it is so good, it won’t let you take a bad exposure.  Almost as if the camera is saying “Look, you think you know what you’re doing here, but I promise you won’t like it. SO I fixed it for you.” I almost had too much fun shooting this camera. The shutter has a nice solid sound to it and the film advance lever has a nice short throw. I must admit to a serious downside to this camera though. You see, when it comes to shooting film I like to take my time. This camera just made it feel like a hassle to take your time. It wanted you to shoot shoot shoot shoot SHOOT! That may not sound like a downside at all, but it didn’t fee like it should be dangling around your neck but in your hand instead. Perhaps that’s how Nikon engineers wanted it. Not as a neck ornament but as a memory creator. Photography is, after all, taking a moment in time and freezing it forever. Creating a memory that will bring back a story. So for me, ultimately, that is the very definition of what Photography should be all about.  So do I recommend this camera? Absolutely. If you want a camera that is simple to use and will bring a smile to your face shooting? This is definitely one of those cameras you should have in your hand.

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What Donna had to say… This was a wonderful camera to use. I really enjoyed shooting with it.  This camera is light weight and very easy to focus with.  For those of you looking for a 35 mm film I would recommend this camera. It’s design is unique and it is well built.  It is great for people just starting out or even just to try for fun or to add to your collection.

ccr-donna02

ccr-donna01

What Alex had to say… Having used the Nikon line of cameras extensively Alex felt right at home and really enjoyed using the camera, minus the little plastic grip. He certainly would use the camera again and may just add one into his collection despite needing another Nikon 35mm SLR like he needs another hole in the head.

ccr-alex02

ccr-alex01

Special Guest Interview – David Nardi – David Nardi is the man behind the return of E-6 processing to the city of Toronto, John took some time (read several hours) to sit down and discuss processing and photography as a whole! If you want to learn more about his services and use them yourself you have head over to: www.e6it.ca Co-Host Mike has used E6it in the past, I highly recommend using David Nardi. His work is absolutely brilliant!  He treats every single roll of film as his own.  He uses fresh chemistry each time and loves film!

And don’t forget, our Classic Camera Revival GAS meet is only a week away! If you haven’t emailed us or RSVP’d on our Facebook event please do so. And we’re looking forward to seeing everyone who can make it there!

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix…check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, Film Plus, Belle Arte Camera and Camtech, if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario, if you’re on the West Coast (British Columbia) check out Beau Photo Supply. Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

© 2017 Alex Luyckx | Blog