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 andRead More →

The Minolta X-700 was a game changer for Minolta it introduced to their shooters a camera that had a full program auto-exposure mode as well as semi-auto (aperture priority) mode and manual all in a lightweight body backed by some great optics. It also introduced a whole host of cousins in the X line of Minolta cameras. Actually my second Minolta SLR was an X-7a basically the same as the X700 but lacked the program mode. This is a great camera for a beginner photographer as it gives them a chance to experience every mode that is generally used and these cameras can be prettyRead More →

I remember the first time I saw the Pentax 645; it was at Belle Art Camera in Hamilton, Ontario. It was sitting there in all its medium format beauty with the 75mm f/2.8 lens. The store employee told me all about the camera, what it did, how it worked. And I was looking to up my medium format game. The price was right, so I dropped the cash and left with a camera that would come with me on future trips, projects, and even some weddings. As a camera, the Pentax 645 is a workhorse and a working man’s camera, it has everything you wantRead More →

Back when I visited Ottawa for the first time in several years this past September I lugged along my 4×5 camera, and while I wasn’t too pleased with every shot, I made a point when I was there this past weekend to really focus, slow down, and work with the 4×5 primarily and put the smaller formats away. The results were a much stronger set of images that I am incredibly proud of and do plan on getting these into the darkroom to print. Centre Block East Block Chateau Laurier Details of the National War Memorial The Connaught Building – National Headquarters The National GalleryRead More →

When my Nikon F80 started to flake out, I needed a replacement, but in those days the Nikon F5 (my grail camera) remained financially out of reach, so I went with the one step down from the F5, the F4. The camera quickly gained my trust as the go-to 35mm camera when I headed out into the field and lasted in my collection for several years before I switched to the Nikon F5 and even then there was overlap. Despite the flaws of the early autofocus, the LCD bleed, and limitations with manual focus and AF-G lenses, the F4 became a constant companion. I knewRead More →

I was always iffy about shooting 620 cameras, since when I first got into film photography finding 620 film was difficult, but the cameras were everywhere and many found their way into my collection. And to make matters worse the take up spool was missing. But let’s back up a bit and discuss, exactly what is 620 film? It was a film that was first introduced by Kodak in 1932 and continued being produced until 1995. But here’s a secret, it’s the exact same film stock as 120, same size and same backing paper, but it was the spool that was different. So if youRead More →

The Iron Curtain, The Red Scare, Nuclear War, Ruskies, Commies, Berlin Wall, Spies…Sounding Familiar? Even Canada was affected, so much so that our Prime Minister at the time, John Diefenbaker ordered the construction of a series of bunkers that would house the civilian government in the event of Nuclear War, they were collectively known as Diefenbunkers. Only one got completed, and in 1962 Canadian Forces Station Carp went online. The other 49 were either not finished or partially completed. When the cold war ended in 1994 with the collapse of the Soviet Union the station was decommissioned, it reopened in 1998 as a Museum andRead More →

Parliament Hill standing tall above the rush of the Ottawa River. While many a photographer would choose to shoot this building head on from the front, it took me a bit to find a proper vantage point from my favourite angle, the one that faces the Ottawa River mostly so that you can get a glimpse of the Library of Parliament, that round conical structure. My first choice was from across the River in the park surrounding the Museum of Canadian History (Museum of Civilization), but that wasn’t it, okay well how about in the heights on Nepean Point…so I lugged the gear across theRead More →