Tag: pentax

CCR Review 85 – Pentax MG

CCR Review 85 – Pentax MG

I don’t mean to knock a camera right off the bat, but honestly, Pentax could have done far better than the Pentax MG. Built as part of the compact M series of Pentax SLRs following the release of the Olympus OM-1. Designed as an entry level camera and it shows, bare-bones, simple, and so small it hurts. But you have to take the good with the bad in these reviews, and it’s been a while since I found a camera that I immediately disliked the moment I picked it up. Thanks to James Lee for loaning out the MG for review.

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Dirt
Make: Pentax
Model: MG
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1981-1984

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MGCCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Good
Probably the best part about the camera is the fact it has a K-Mount, you have at least access to a set of fantastic lenses that you can easily mount, and you may even get a solid Pentax-M lens attached when you get the camera. Operations are simple, a pull out to turn on with the advance lever and that has a great short throw. You have your shutter speeds displayed along the edge of your viewfinder which is far better than the MV which was the original entry-level camera of the M-Series. But in this case, as soon as I took the camera out the battery died, thankfully the manual override speed of 1/100″ I could at least using the Sunny-16 technic to keep going. And the camera has next to no weight so it can be carried in any bag or even a large pocket if you must especially if you have the 28mm Pentax-M lens.

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MGCCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Bad
As I mentioned in the introduction, the camera is so small it hurts. I can barely wrap my hands around it comfortably. Which is, what the designers were going for, but honestly even though it’s light I couldn’t imagine using it for a whole day and actually enjoying it. Despite being easy to use, the camera itself feels cramped. I’ve had the chance to use both the ME and ME Super, and while they are designed to be semi-automatic cameras, they at least have a little more space around the controls. And finally the viewfinder is fairly dim, even with an f/2 or f/2.8 lens and the LED readout for the shutter speeds works great in daylight but in low light situations can be hard to read.

CCR Review 85 - Pentax MGCCR Review 85 - Pentax MG

The Lowdown
The small form-factor Pentax cameras are excellent choices, they provide a less-expensive option and if you already have a set of K-Mount lenses, you can easily move between the larger models like the K-Series and the M-Series with ease. But you want to avoid the entry-level options. If you are considering a purchase the ME Super or MX will be a better choice than the MV, MV1 and especially the MG.

All Photos Taken in St. Jacobs, Ontario
Pentax MG – SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm – Fomapan 200 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 76 – Pentax P3n

CCR Review 76 – Pentax P3n

There’s something fun about simplicity in a camera. Over the course of these reviews, I’ve shot cameras at every point on the spectrum from complex to annoyingly simple. But in the case of the Pentax P3n, it fits the perfect balance between sophisticated and simple. The P3n is a camera that you can take out, shoot from the hip and get outstanding results. The P3n is Pentax’s answer to that wonderfully strange period from the mechanical and manual 1970s and the automatic days of the 1980s a perfect blend of the old and the new. The camera is alternately known outside the USA at the P30n and fills in the gaps that the P3 (P30) had and ultimately produced a much more robust camera. While I initially held some doubts about the camera, in the end, it presented a pleasant surprise.

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

The Dirt
Make: Pentax
Model: P3n
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1988

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

The Good
The P3n features full auto-exposure, aperture priority, and metered manual and works with all Pentax manual focus lenses, which gives the camera a solid magazine of glass to operate on the camera. Of course, like the Nikon FA (which only allows full AE with AI-S Nikkor lenses), full auto-exposure only work with SMC Pentax-A lenses. The camera does support SMC Pentax, and SMC Pentax-M will only work in metered manual and aperture priority. Camera operation between the modes is easy to switch with just the use of your index finger. On your Pentax-A lenses but the aperture ring to “A” and the Shutter Speed Dial to “A” and you’re ready to shoot. Aperture Priority, move the aperture dial off A, metered manual, adjust the shutter speed dial. I find the size of the camera body, which fits nicely in hand, works best with the shorter Pentax-M lenses designed for, the smaller body M-Series SLRs. Despite the look, the P3N is mostly constructed out of metal with some plastic pieces but not as many as the P3t. But the construction does not add any weight, making the camera is a perfect compact carry around camera. The viewfinder is fairly bright, but the best part is the clear display of the shutter speed and indication of metered speed that makes operating the camera in manual mode easy. And loading the film is a breeze, it reminds me of the Canon QL system that you find in the FTb, just drag the film leader across, click and advance and you’re ready to shoot!

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

The Bad
There are only a few items that I take issue with on the P3n. The first is the lack of manual override for setting the film speed. The camera is fully automated in this case with contacts in the camera automatically sets the speed based on the DX code. To the average user, this might not be of concern, but I occasionally will adjust the film speed to achieve a certain look or compensate for too much or too little light in the area. If there’s no DX code on the film canister the camera defaults to ASA-100, something I’m not completely convinced on. The second item is the manual film advance. Now, if you’ve been reading these for a while I’m rather critical of film advance levers, and usually, enjoy them. But on the P3n it feels outdated. By this point, most cameras can have an internal film advance motor. I feel the P3n would benefit from such a motor, but it was probably left out to allow for smaller batteries and a smaller size. Either way, such a thing would have improved the camera. And finally, let’s talk about the film rewind knob/back door release. This knob is the only weak point on the camera’s build, it’s thin, it’s plastic and I was sure it was going to break opening up the back!

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

CCR Review 76 - Pentax P3n

The Lowdown
The P3n is a strong camera despite its size and look. A great camera to start out using 35mm film if you’ve never used film before. I would think of it as a more advanced K1000, gives users a taste of what they can do with 35mm film without breaking the bank. Clean lines, solid build quality, and a K-Mount only adds to the draw of the camera. And if you don’t have Pentax lenses there is a huge inventory of lenses from Ricoh, Vivitar and more out there that will work perfectly with the camera. Unless you’re a completest, I would avoid the older P3 (P30) and just get the P3n (P30n), certainly worth a second look if you want to expand your Pentax collection.

All photos taken at the Libenzell Mission, Moffat, Ontario, Canada
Pentax P3n – SMC Pentax-M 1:2.8 28mm – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 72 – Pentax 67II

CCR Review 72 – Pentax 67II

When in the past I’ve shot 6×7 cameras I’ve found them clunky and unwieldy. Think back to the Mamiya Universal and RB67. Even the Bronica GS-1 which is better than most. None of these cameras had the style and handling of the Pentax 67II. Now the 67II fixes what I would see as problems with the 6×7 and 67. This camera is a traditional 35mm SLR on steroids and worthy of the description. There are some cameras that I have an instant enjoyment of, and this camera certainly ranks among those. Thanks to James Lee for loaning out this beauty.

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II
The Dirt

  • Make: Pentax
  • Model: 67II
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium (120/220), 6×7
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K67 Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1998

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II

The Good
If you’re used to operating a traditional 35mm SLR of the more modern ilk, think Nikon F4, then stepping up to the Pentax 67II is easy. Everything is where you think it will be. Shutter speed control, EV adjustment, shutter release, even the film advance. As for handling the weight of the camera is no big deal for me, it’s well balanced even with the heavier lens on the front. The beefy side grip with the shutter release is perfect. Everything on this camera is manual, no menus to hunt through, everything is connected to a knob or dial. And then there’s the meter, I would pit the thing against the meter in my F5 with spot metering, centre-weighted, and matrix metering I don’t think there’s anything that could trick the cameras exposure system. And the optics available for the system are brilliant, and even if you get a 67II, all the original glass will work perfectly as the 67II remains a manual focus camera. So you have access to Super-Takumar, Super-Multi-Coated Takumar and SMC Takumar glass all work and are tack sharp. Now let’s talk negative size, while I’m a fan of 6×6 there are certain applications that the 6×7 negative applies itself to better. It’s the same image ratio as 4×5 (Large Format) making it ideal for print in magazines and even in the darkroom and inkjet printing. It’s big and beautiful.

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II

The Bad
While the 67II is near perfect, there are still a couple of little things that can be annoying. Despite the ease of use, loading the film can be a bit tricky, having to unlock and pull down the two locking lugs for the film spools. It does slow it down, and when you only get ten shots per roll, you need a good 2-3 minutes for a proper reload. And with the lack of newly manufactured 220 film, which would yield 20 shots per roll you have to time yourself when at a job working with the camera. The second thing, which is a minor annoyance is the continuation of allowing people to mount the large wooden grip on the camera. This throwback to the original 6×7 and 67 isn’t a requirement on the 67II since it’s on the opposite side and the camera has a decent grip already. It also throws off the strap mount which when you hang the camera around your neck the lugs are on the one side only so when you pull the camera up to shoot; you twist it sort of. Just makes it a little bit awkward.

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II

CCR Review 72 - Pentax 67II

The Lowdown
I’m glad I only shot one roll through the 67II not because I hated the camera but because I took to it right off the bat. And if I had shot more there would be a strong chance I’d be hunting one down. Now, these cameras are rare on the used market, and while I’d jump on a 67, again the system is not a cheap one. But worth the money. And if I hadn’t invested in Hasselblad I’d go for one of these in a heartbeat. But these systems aren’t for the faint-hearted. They’re heavy, bulky, and designed for professional work. But they’re designed for being out in the field. But if none of these things scare you, the 67II will not let you down.

All Photos Taken in Elora, Ontario
Pentax 67II – Super-Multi-Coated Takumar/6×7 1:3.5/55 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

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

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 28 – The K-Team

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 28 – The K-Team

ccr-logo-leaf

Pentax, the name that is always linked with the student special K1000, however, Pentax had a broad range of fantastic cameras, and for this episode, the gang takes a look at their shelves to discover the hidden gems that they have from the Pentax line.

Cameras Featured on Today’s Episode

Pentax Spotmatic SP F – While not the original Pentax SLR, it certain is a big step forward with automatic lenses and TTL metering. A worthy camera for any manual shooter plue the Super-Takumar lenses have a fantastic repuation not to mention a plethora of M42 lenses will let this camera sing.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 28 - The K-Team

  • Make: Pentax
  • Model: Spotmatic SP F
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135/35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangable, M42 Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1973

Classic Camera Revival Spotmatic F
Pentax Spotmatic F – SMC Takumar 50mm ƒ/1.4 – Tri-X400 @ ASA-1600 – HC-110 Dil. B – 11:00 @ 20C @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival Spotmatic F
Pentax Spotmatic F – SMC Takumar 50mm ƒ/1.4 – Tri-X400 @ ASA-1600 – HC-110 Dil. B – 11:00 @ 20C @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival Spotmatic F
Pentax Spotmatic F – SMC Takumar 50mm ƒ/1.4 – Tri-X400 @ ASA-1600 – HC-110 Dil. B – 11:00 @ 20C @ 20C

Pentax KX – While it doesn’t get the same level of press as the K1000, the KX is still a solid choice when it comes to K-Mount cameras and as Bill says it won’t let you down and won’t break the bank!

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 28 - The K-Team

  • Make: Pentax
  • Model: KX
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135/35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangable, Pentax K-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1975–1977

The Outside Glen Morris Ruins_
Pentax KX – SMC Pentax 28mm 1:3.5 – Rollei RPX 400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

VW Van_
Pentax KX – SMC Pentax 28mm 1:3.5 – Rollei RPX 400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

The Iron Metcalfe St. Bridge_
Pentax KX – SMC Pentax 28mm 1:3.5 – Rollei RPX 400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

Pentax ME – Don’t let this camera’s small size fool you, a solid addition to the Pentax line of cameras if semi-automatic and fully automatic functionality is something you look for in a camera.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 28 - The K-Team

  • Make: Pentax
  • Model: ME
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135/35mm, 36x24mm
  • Lens: Interchangable, Pentax K-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1977-1979


Pentax ME – SMC Pentax 50mm 1:1.7 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:00 @ 20C

Toronto Film Shooters Meet - October 2013
Pentax ME Super – SMC Pentax M 50mm 1:2 (Yellow Filter) – ORWO NP55 @ ASA-50 – HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

Toronto Film Shooters Meet - October 2013
Pentax ME Super – SMC Pentax M 50mm 1:2 (Yellow Filter) – ORWO NP55 @ ASA-50 – HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

Pentax 645 – A strong workhorse camera and the main medium format kit in Alex’s bag. It’s almost a point-and-shoot medium format camera and being an underdog doesn’t command as high a price point as its cousins from Mamyia and Contax do. If you do get one, go for the original and be sure to add the 35mm wide angle lens to your kit and watch out that you get the 120 insert.

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

  • Make: Pentax
  • Model: 645
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6×4.5cm
  • Lens: Interchangable, Pentax K645-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1984-1997

City Methodist - Gary, IN
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (TXP) @ ASA-250 – PMK Pyro (1+2+100) 10:30 @ 24C

2013 Christmas Cards - Roll 3 Finalists
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Rollei Infrared @ ISO-25 – Blazinal 1+50 12:00 @ 20C

MCC - Classic Car Shoot
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX) – Kodak Tmax Developer (1+4) 7:30 @ 20C

Pentax 67II – This camera will pump you up! The Pentax 67II is the final entry in a long line of 6×7 medium format cameras from Pentax. For James it is better suited for studio work as you do feel it after a long day of shooting it in the field.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 28 - The K-Team

  • Make: Pentax
  • Model: 67II
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium Format, 120/220, 6x7cm
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K67-Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1998

Wagon Wheel 1
Pentax 67 – Super-Takumar 6×7 105mm 1:2.4 – Kodak TMax 400

By Lake Ontario
Pentax 67 – Super-Takumar 6×7 200mm 1:4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 9:00 @ 20C

Guildwood in February
Pentax 67 – Super-Takumar 6×7 55mm 1:3.5 – Fuji Neopan Acros 100 @ ASA-80 – Rodinal (1+50) 13:30 @ 20C

New Film: Cinestill 800T in 120
Bill Smith recently had the chance to take a test run with the latest offering from Cinestill, their 800T film in 120. For those who don’t know Cinestill releases a line of film that is Kodak Vision3 motion picture film but during their rolling process removes the Remjet layer leaving a regular C-41 film. Now you can easily remove the Remjet layer in home processing or send it away to a couple of labs around the USA that do the ECN-2 process. You can even do a home ECN-2 process, but with Cinestill film, you don’t have to worry about all that.

Bru
Mamiya C220F – Mamiya-Sekor 80mm 1:2.8 – Cinestill 800T Alpha

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Mamiya C220F – Mamiya-Sekor 80mm 1:2.8 – Cinestill 800T Alpha

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Mamiya C220F – Mamiya-Sekor 80mm 1:2.8 – Cinestill 800T Alpha

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. In Guelph there’s Pond’s FotoSource For those further north you can visit Foto Art Camera in Owen Sound. 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

CCR Review 51 – Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SPII

CCR Review 51 – Asahi Pentax Spotmatic SPII

There’s something to be said about a solid camera in your hands. It gives you a sense of being in the zone, a healthy weight, the feel of the mirror slamming up to expose the frame. Meet the Spotmatic, and this is one beast of an SLR. It’s clunky; it’s heavy, and yet feels so right to shoot. The Pentax Spotmatic was one of the first SLRs on the market to feature full open aperture TTL metering. And then there are the lenses, which focus smoothly and are super sharp.

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SP II

The Dirt
Make: Asahi Optical Co.
Model: Pentax Spotmatic SPII
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135, 35×24
Lens: Interchangeable, M42 Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1971

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SPII

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SPII

The Good
I’m a sucker for heavy duty mechanical cameras, and the SPII fits the bill. The SPII already gets top marks from being an all mechanical camera with only the light meter (which is match needle) requiring a battery to function. Despite being a heavy camera, it’s not an overly heavy camera; it’s solid. All the controls are easy to operate. Film advance throw is okay, a little on the long side you won’t be doing any fast shooting on this one. But the strongest part of the cameras is the lenses, most Takumar lenses, of any ilk are super smooth focusing, sharp, and is a benefit to anyone who will use them.

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SPII

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SPII

The Bad
Like any camera of the same vintage as the SPII the number one issue, is that it takes a mercury cell battery. Although being mechanical it’s not really a big deal since you can use Sunny-16 or an external meter to take care of things. That is pretty much the only downside to this camera that I can find.

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SPII

CCR Review 51 - Pentax Spotmatic SPII

The Lowdown
While I would not stop someone from buying this camera because they are a great solid photography machine. There’s enough issue that it might be best to look for something a little more modern if you’re just starting out. A Pentax K1000 or previous KM would be a better starter camera. In fact, there are even cheap adapters out there that you can save the excellent Takumar glass and use them on your K-Mount cameras.

All Photos Taken in Oakville, Ontario
Pentax Spotmatic SPII – SMC Takumar 1:1.4/50 – Kodak TMax 400 (TMY) @ ASA-200 – Blazinal (1+50) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 11 – Pentax 645

CCR Review 11 – Pentax 645

While generally an underdog camera in the 6×4.5 market, the Pentax 645 is by far my favourite of all the cameras within the line. Probably because you don’t see many of them kicking around. I know of only three other photographers in my area that use the camera. But unlike its contemporaries this wasn’t a system camera. You got the body and that was it there was little you could do. But because of that you got a camera that had a built in light meter, motordrive, and grip. Plus the backing of some fantastic optics!

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645
While a bit bulky the Pentax 645 is a well rounded medium format SLR.

The Dirt
Maker: Pentax
Model: 645
Type: Medium Format (120/220) Single Lens Reflex, 6×4.5
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K-Mount (645)
Year of Manufacture: 1984

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

The Good
This is a clean and easy to use camera, and it’s ready to go in all modes right out of the box. And it’s a workhorse. The built in grip, eye-level finder, and drive make it the perfect camera for weddings, photojournalism, or even generally carry around. I often describe it as my point-and-shoot medium format camera. Another nice feature on this camera is the dual tripod sockets. This means that when the camera is being used with a tripod you can easily switch from landscape to portrait mode by moving the camera rather than adjusting the tripod. Power for the camera comes from six AA batteries, which again seems like a lot but it also means you can get batteries for it pretty much anywhere in the world. And finally the line of lenses avalible for the camera is excellent, my personal favourite is the 35mm f/3.5 probably one of the best medium format ultra-wide lenses out there with zero distortion! Plus all the old manual focus lenses will work with the newer autofocus models (645n and 645nII).

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

The Bad
Probably the one thing that makes this camera an underdog is unlike the Maymia, Bronica, and Contax systems the Pentax 645 is not a system camera, what you get in the box is your camera. You can’t remove the eye-level finder, grip, or drive. The film is held in inserts rather than magazines so even swapping between rolls is impossible. The size/shape of the camera does make it an awkward camera to pack in a standard or smaller camera bag or backpack. While the average photographer may not need this, the camera only has a 1/60″ flash sync speed so working with strobes may be difficult as well.

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645

The Low Down
If you’re looking for an easy way to get into medium format photography some will suggest the Mamyia m645 system, which is a great camera (and I’ll probably review one later on in this series) but for someone who needs a little helping hand, the Pentax 645 is great, any model. While the 645 is limited to a center-weighted meter, the 645n and nII bring in a great matrix (average) metering system which is (according to those who’ve used it) on par with the meter in the Nikon F4. Plus being an underdog camera you can probably get a good system on the cheap and have little contest in getting it. Just make sure that you get the 120 film inserts rather than 220. You’ll really only need one.

All Photos shot in Alisa Craig and Strathroy Ontario respectivly.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-50 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 13:00 @ 20C

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Fall 2013

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Fall 2013

Back in the Summer there was a call out for unofficial FPP (Film Photography Project) meetups. As I do volunteer work for the FPP I took it upon myself to start organizing ones in Southern Ontario, but being busy I decided, hey why not just host one a season. Cross Promoting the event to APUG, and I settled on “Toronto Film Shooters Meetup” the Summer 2013 event was a good one, we took a very hot afternoon to wander around the Don Valley Brick Works. So for the fall at the suggestion of two other FPP fans in the area, Mike and John, for the Fall event we settled on Kleinburg, Ontario. Although the group was small (five of us) and the weather sucked, we still have a good time getting out doing some shooting and chatting. I took out two cameras to test for donation to the FPP, a Minolta X-700 and a Pentax ME Super. Both cameras I have used in the past, but happened across a couple more from family and friends, but not needing to add other 35mm SLRs to the mix, I simply used them on the walk to test make sure they worked before passing them along.

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Toronto Film Shooters Meetup - Oct 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meetup - Oct 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meetup - Oct 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meetup - Oct 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meet - October 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meet - October 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meet - October 2013

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Toronto Film Shooters Meet - October 2013

1-4: Minolta X-700 – Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 (Yellow K2 filter) – Kodak Plus-X (ASA-125) – Xtol (1+1) 8:15 @ 20C
5-8: Pentax ME Super – SMC Pentax M 50mm 1:2 (Yellow K2 filter) – ORWO NP55 (ASA-50) – HC-110 Dil. B 6:00 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Fort Meigs

Project:1812 – Fort Meigs

When it rains, the last place you’ll want to be is Fort Meigs, trust me on this one. The fort isn’t the nicest fort that got involved in the war, there is not a long drawn out or particularly memorable history about the depot fortification. It really is more of an afterthought, a post designed to be a stopping point for troops and supplies, and while it saw only two sieges over the course of the war it did stand out in one way. It was the largest wooden palisade wall fort in all of North America, at least when it was first built.

Project:1812 - The Siege of Fort Meigs
Unlike most blockhouses of the era, the positions at Fort Meigs were just for defensive purposes, the garrison would sleep in tents.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:30 @ 20C

Fort Meigs was one of several depot forts stretched across what is now the states of Indiana and Ohio under the orders of General William Henry Harrison. Harrison named the fort for the current governor of the territory, Jonathan Meigs Jr, who had encouraged many citizens of the territory to volunteer in the militia. These forts would serve as stopover points for troop columns and supply trains. Harrison would build on the network of posts that had been ordered by General Hull in the early days of the war. Fort Meigs construction would begin in the winter of 1813 shortly after Harrison took command of the Army of the Northwest, and it would be the largest of the network. The fort would be in the position of striking against the British-held Michigan Territory and the western reaches of Upper Canada. It would be the main staging post for Harrison’s planned invasion of Upper Canada.

Project:1812 - Fort Meigs
Support buildings inside the wall provided a cookhouse, armoury, magazine, and blacksmith to support the garrison.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tri-X Pan – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

Harrison would waste little time on construction. The fort like many of the others in his network consisted of a simple palisade wall of sharpened wooden logs, arrayed along the perimeter of the wall would be seven blockhouses. Each blockhouse served as a strongpoint on the wall many mounted smaller artillery pieces that could be used against infantry and give a defense to any infantry positioned inside. Unlike some blockhouses of the era, they were not used to quarter the fort garrison. The walls enclosed ten acres of land and could support a garrison of 2,000 troops all of which slept in tents. The fort maintained five artillery batteries along the wall, two magazines, plus a number of support buildings.

Project:52 - Week 22
British reenactors sit atop a representation of one of the many traverses that criss-crossed the interior of the fort built during the siege of 1813.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Silvano’s

The fort saw most of its action during the war in 1813. It would fall under siege twice in that year. The first siege in the spring was the deadliest. During the siege, General Harrison commanded the garrison personally and seeing the British cannon ordered twelve-foot tall traverses be built to absorb, deflect, and defend the garrison from the British artillery bombardment. After an attempt to break the British siege by using Kentucky militia failed, the two sides fought to a standstill with the British breaking the siege after only two weeks. A second attempt at capturing the fort would happen in the summer and fail even before it began.

Project:1812 - The Siege of Fort Meigs
An example of one of the artillery batteries at Fort Meigs. This one facing north across the Miami River to oppose the British artillery on the oposite shore.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:30 @ 20C

Once General Harrison’s army marched north in September 1813 after the American victory at the Battle of Lake Erie the fort itself was scaled down to a mere fraction of its former size, a single blockhouse surrounded by a small palisade wall and a small garrison to provide a fallback point and prevent the British from pushing into Ohio. It would see no further action during the war and would be abandoned once word of peace reached the area in 1815 and sit abandoned and would eventually burn down under mysterious conditions. The whole area would be purchased by Timothy Hayes as farm land. Hayes knowing the history of the area decided to use it only as pasture lands for livestock not wanting to disturb the ground where Americans soldiers died during the First Siege of Fort Meigs.

Project:1812 - The Siege of Fort Meigs
A memorial would be errected in 1908 by veterans of the American Civil War to the men who defended the fort during the war, several more would follow.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:30 @ 20C

During his presidential campaign, William Henry Harrison, would return to hold a political rally on the former grounds of the fort, a presidential race he would go onto win in 1840 and held the shortest presidency in American History to date. A rally by veterans of the American Civil War on the grounds in the early 20th-Century would see a large monument constructed to the men who died during the first siege of the fort. While the land stayed in the Hayes family, it would be sold to the Ohio Historical Society in 1960. The society would take the next fourteen years to rebuild the fort to how it would have looked in during the siege of 1813.

Cushings Company
During the open season, the fort is garrisoned by reenactors who represent one of the units to garrison the fort.
Nikon D300 – AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G

Today the Fort remains a national historic site and is open year round to visitors, although it is only staffed during the spring and summer seasons. When it is open, visitors can enjoy musket and artillery demonstrations by reenactors dressed as American troops of the era, they can take in the numerous memorials to the troops who died and served at the fort and the visitor’s centre has a small museum about the fort’s history. The site also hosts a seige weekend at the end of May on the Memorial Day long weekend.

Written with Files from:
Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812 Second Edition by Gilbert Collins – 2006 The Dundurn Group Publishers
Lossing, Benson John. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812. Gretna, LA: Pelican Pub., 2003. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict. Urbana: U of Illinois, 1989. Print.
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.
Web: www.fortmeigs.org/history/
Web: www.ohiohistory.org/museums-and-historic-sites/museum–historic-sites-by-name/fort-meigs/history

Photostock Pt. 3 – The Location

Photostock Pt. 3 – The Location

Ontario is beautiful, there’s no changing that, but sometimes you leave and go someplace else and only find that the same beauty you so like in the north can be found elsewhere, that’s exactly how I felt when I drove through Northern Michigan. I feel the state gets a bad rap because of places like Detroit and Flint (New Jersey is the same way), but there is incredable beauty to be found in the northern part of the state. You will be treated to miles of wooded areas, quant villages, friendly people, and sunsets…well sunsets.

Cross Village Port
The beach and port at Cross Village. A quick stop, before returning to the Birchwood.

The Harbor.
Harbor Springs, now a favourite town of mine. Plus a late night fudge shop helps alot.

Fort Michilimackinac - 1715-1780
Fort Michilimackinac a french outpost taken by the British in the Seven Years War, destroyed with a new fort was built out on the island.

Horses at Dusk
There was a horse paddock next to the Birchwood, which gave us a good chance to grab photos.

Petosky Harbor
The harbor in Petosky, sadly I wasn’t able to spend too much time here. Maybe next year.

Photostock 2012
Fence line along the M-119

Playing with ORWO
Lighthouse

Photostock 2012
I did promise you a sunset. And here it is.