Tag: Pyrocat-HD

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:FRB – Review 09 – Ilford Delta 400

CCR:FRB – Review 09 – Ilford Delta 400

If there is one film out there that I have disliked the most but have had a radical change of viewpoints Delta 400 is that film. Like TMax 400, I just find Delta 400 too modern, and boring. It’s not a bad film; it’s just not exciting. It gives you a film that is almost equal in performance as TMax 400. And while I’ve found that the film isn’t bad, it just needs better development in many cases. While some people have managed to tame the film, I do have found through Delta Def Jam; it’s a great choice if you can’t get your hands on TMax 400.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-3200
Formats Avaliable: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak HC-110
I don’t think HC-110 has ever steered me wrong and I do have the Delta Def Jam event to thank for this one as it was here I discovered what I could get out of Delta 400. With HC-110 you get the rich tones and smooth grain. While you do lose a touch of sharpness, it isn’t much to worry about. As for contrast, that’s easily controlled by increasing or decreasing the dilution, but for me, it’s right to perfect at Dilution B.

Waldie's BlacksmithThe Old Post OfficeBob'sNever Forget

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Ilford DD-X
While I’ve been using TMax developer and it does work well with Delta 400, I decided to switch over to DD-X the Ilford equivalent for the Delta films. DD-X is probably the best choice for this film using the 1+4 dilution as standard you see the full power of the modern T-Grain, good tones, sharpness, and decent grain control. While you do see an uptick in grain, it really isn’t too bad once you get into the larger formats. Also, make sure your camera’s exposure is dead on, or else you’ll get some terrible results.

Toronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's DayToronto - New Year's Day

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Ilford DD-X (1+4) 8:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak D-76
To be perfectly honest this was the singular roll I shot for this review that I was the most concerned about. I had a rough time the last roll of Delta 400 I had shot in 35mm. But this time around I remained pleasantly surprised. Like TMax 400, Delta 400 responds wonderfully to D-76, and even in 35mm you get a moderate contrast, I would like a little bit more. But you have the sharpness and modern look of the film. While I do notice an uptick in grain, I was expecting this when I pulled the negatives out, but you do get a sharp image at the same time, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off. That being said I do prefer Delta 400 in the older D-23 over D-76.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 03 (D-76)

Techincal Details:
Nikon FE – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Pyrocat-HD
I had originally planned to use Pyrocat-HD with one of the Delta Def Jam entries but instead ended up using Kodak D-23. And you know, the wait was worth it. While Pyrocat-HD is based on some of the oldest developers out there, it works wonders on modern films. Giving you a clean, almost grainless look, sharp images, and amazing tones and contrast. Plus it almost gives the film a classic look about it.

CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 09 - Ilford Delta 400 - Roll 04 (Pyrocat-HD)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 C – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-32
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 16:00 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
So where does that leave us? Well, I can’t say I’ve been won over with modern films, but it certainly does give me one more type of film to shoot in a pinch when I can’t always get the ones I want. And certainly, if I can’t get my hands on TMax 400, I can get the same results with Delta 400 and I would give the edge to Delta 400 over the Kodak film stock. And for me, that’s saying something. Plus overall, it’s just a bit more exciting than TMax 400 in my view.

CCR:FRB – Review 08 – Ilford HP5+

CCR:FRB – Review 08 – Ilford HP5+

When it comes to iconic films, Ilford HP5+ rates as one of the big ones, with a history as old as Ilford FP4+ and dates back to 1935. And while it only got its ASA-400 speed rating in 1960 is certainly is a film that can take amazing images. While many see HP5+ as a direct competitor to Kodak Tri-X, I do see two separate films each responding differently to the range of developers out there. And while I’ve had a rocky time with the 35mm version of the film, I’ve come to accept HP5+ is certainly an amazing film!

CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 100-6400
Formats Available: 35mm, 120, Sheets

Roll 01 – Kodak D-76
You usually cannot go wrong with D-76, however, in this case, I cannot recommend the developer as I feel it doesn’t show off the film as well as I’ve come to know the product. Which is strange because the film does better in the slower D-23. The biggest issue here is that they produce a rather boring image, the tones are too close together and a bit more grainy that I have come to expect from the film stock. While not a bad combination, I do think there are better choices.

CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)CCR:FRB - Review 08 - Ilford HP5+ - Roll 01 (D-76)

Technical Details:
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Pyrocat-HD
I remember the first time seeing Mat Marrash’s work with Ilford HP5+ and Pyrocat-HD and decided that is the look I want out of my HP5+. And while you lose a stop of speed, the loss is well worth it. You get amazing tones across the board, fine grain (even in 35mm), and sharp images. Great for when you’re shooting in any light as you have a compensating developer to back you up. Not to mention as a fun little note, if you look at the actual negatives, you have a 3D relief similar to what you have with Kodachrome slides.

The Old Mission ChurchAmong the CrossesThe Old 31The Ore Dock -- From Above

Technical Details:
Intrepid 4×5 – SK Symmar-S 210/5.6, Fujinon-W 125/5.6 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Kodak HC-110
When I was exploring how to develop HP5+ in 35mm better, one of my obvious choices was HC-110. It’s always done well in most films I’ve developed in it, and HP5+ is no exception. Rich tones, smooth grain, and sharpness all in one package in no matter what format you shoot it in. You can easily shoot the film in mixed light with this developer and find all your details right there and makes the film easy to print!

A Space between ThemMaking an ExitLow LevelsA Mere Trickle

Techincal Details:
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak TMax Developer
Sadly, in this case, TMax developer and HP5+ do not play well together. And I’m honestly not surprised because the beginning of reviewing cameras I used HP5+ in Ilford DD-X and wasn’t too pleased with the results. The resulting images I found were muddy, grainier than normal and just plain boring in the long run! I certainly would not be using a T-Grain developer with this film.

CCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690IICCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690IICCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690IICCR Review 83 - Fuji GSW690II

Technical Details:
Fuji GSW690ii – EBC Fujinon-W f=65mm 1:5.6 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 6:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While I only came up with two solid options for developing this film in this blog post that doesn’t make the film a bad option. In fact, HP5+ is a wonderful film that if you want something different than Tri-X is certainly worth a purchase. And there are plenty of other amazing developers that work well with the film. While I haven’t developed it in Rodinal, I really should give it a pull to ASA-100 and give it a go, also several other Ilford Developers such as Perceptol and Microphen allow you to push to film to the top of its latitude of ASA-6400. While it’s not Tri-X, nor should it be compared to it, HP5+ stands tall on its very own as a good choice for a fast film.

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

CCR:FRB – Review 04 – Kodak TMax 400

When it comes to T-Grained (modern films like TMax and Delta) I can be fairly picky, the 100-speed ones I tend to like while the faster 400-speed ones I can be overly critical about. That being said I’ve found that recently I’ve been warming up to these faster emulsions the more I experiment with them. As with Delta 400, I’ve warmed up a little to TMax 400. Oddly, TMax 400 was the first roll of film I processed on my own under the watchful eye of Julie Douglas back in 2010.

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400

Film Specs
Type: Panchromatic B&W, T-Grain
Film Base: Acetate
Film Speed: ASA-400, Latitude: 50-3200
Formats Avaliable: 135, 120, 4×5, 8×10

Roll 01 – Kodak TMax Developer
It’s only fair that we start the film off right using the native TMax developer. And when it comes to TMax 400 whether you’re using the strong 1+4 dilution or the 1+9 dilution you’ll get excellent results from this film. You can get the upper side of the film’s latitude with the developer and show off the fine grain and sharpness of the film with this developer. And even in 1+9, there’s no real loss of contrast, you get smooth tones across the board without any loss of blacks or whites. Of course, in 1+4, you’ll find a greater level of contrast but it won’t affect grain or sharpness.

Project:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort OntarioProject:1812 - Fort Ontario

Technical Details:
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 22:00 @ 20C

Roll 02 – Kodak HC-110
You would think that a high contrast developer would be able to pull out some level of contrast in a film, well here in lies my main issue with TMax 400, in certain developers you just can’t get contrast. Sure I could do this in post-processing but that would be cheating in my mind. That being said, HC-110 and TMax 400 is not a bad combination, you still get the sharpness and fine grain nature of the film, and even with Dilution B, you can still push to film to the top of its latitude with amazing results.

TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17TFSM - Spring '17

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C

Roll 03 – Pyrocat-HD
When it comes to developers, if you have talked to me, Pyro developers are a magic bullet. I tend to use it when I what sharpness but desire some grain control so it makes perfect sense for me to use it with TMax 400. Sadly this roll got developed in the dregs of a bottle and was a little underdeveloped. But thankfully due to the power of TMax 400, I could still pull decent images out of the negatives. I found that it produced a very classic look, bright and crispy, and sure enough I actually enjoyed the results while it’s a good option I feel it would be better suited to larger formats (medium and large).

CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)CCR:FRB - Review 04 - Kodak TMax 400 - Roll 03 (Pyrocat-HD)

Techincal Details:
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D (Yellow-15) – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll 04 – Kodak D-76
Is there nothing D-76 cannot do? Well, I’m sure there is, but when it comes to TMax films this developer is king because you can push and pull the film to your heart’s content and just dilute to 1+1 and go. My first experience with TMax 400 was souping it in D-76 and I can say you get everything you want out of the film with this developer. I would even hazard saying the film responds better in D-76 than TMax Developer.

CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1CCR - Season 4 - Recording Session 1

Technical Details:
Nikon F90 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D – Kodak TMax 400 @ ASA-400
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Final Thoughts
While TMax 400 does not remain a favourite film of mine, I really don’t mind it as much as I think I do. I know that sounds weird, but in the end, it just comes down to personal preference. And my preference is for classic/traditional grained films like Tri-X and HP5+ but it’s not a bad film. It’s still sharp, and the grain is super fine even for sharp developers. It works the best for the native TMax developer and does well with the basic as well D-76. While I haven’t developed the film in Pyrocat-HD or D-23 two more present chemicals in my toolkit, I’m sure it would do just fine. But if you want a film you can push to the limit like Tri-X but you want a more modern feel, then TMax 400 is your film.

CCR Review 81 – Leitz Leicaflex SL2

CCR Review 81 – Leitz Leicaflex SL2

In the past, I’ve described the Bronica SQ-Am as the camera used by Darth Vader, I’d like to revise that statement, the Leicaflex SL2 is the camera of choice for the Dark Lord of the Sith. While my previous experience with Leica SLRs has been lacklustre, the SL2 makes up for that experience without question. The camera is a mechanical beast and shows off exactly what makes a Leica, a Leica. From amazing optics to precision mechanics. And yet of all the Leica cameras, I’ve used the SL2 is the first one I’ve picked up that felt instantly familiar I didn’t even have to check out the manual to know how to use it. Special thanks to James Lee for loaning out this beauty.

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Dirt
Make: Leitz
Model: Leicaflex SL2
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135 (35mm), 36x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Leica R-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1964-1976

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Good
The number one thing that the SL2 has going for it is the fact that it’s all mechanical, battery or no the camera will operate and will probably operate in any weather condition. And if you’ve used any mechanical camera from this era then the SL2 will be instantly familiar from the Nikon F2 series into the early FM and FE cameras, with the meter being powered on by flipped out the film advance lever. Metering is fairly accurate and with a match needle system and a full readout in the viewfinder, you get instant feedback and know where all your settings are without having to take your eye out of the finder. While a heavy camera, the weight isn’t too much of an issue even on extended use, and the camera controls are well laid out and easy to pick out without having to look too hard. But you don’t buy a Leica just for the camera, you get one for the optics. And the R-Mount lenses stand up to the iconic M-Mount lenses as both are built to the same exacting standards. And while for the review I had to shoot mostly wide open, I took the opportunity to shoot a second roll in better conditions and both wide open and stopped down the optics are tack sharp and produce incredible results.

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Bad
There are still a few issues with the SL2, the first being the size of it. As much as the Retina was cramped U-Boat, the SL2 seems like a Battleship in comparison. And it doesn’t have to be, everything on the camera could have been combined into a smaller package without compromising build quality. While the camera can be carried the whole day, it wouldn’t be too comfortable by the end of it. The second issue I have with the camera is the film advance. Now, film advances are something I’ve been critical about from the beginning but the film advance is fairly funky on this one. First off the draw is too long and the sudden spring return threw me and while I did get into the habit of putting the brakes on the advance I also found that it sprung back to the off position, meaning I’d have to pull it out before getting the next shot metered. While I know this might be to conserve the battery it just seems over-engineered. And finally I couldn’t talk about a Leica without covering price, while the SLR cameras from Leica are generally pushed aside in favour of their rangefinder counterparts the R-Mount lenses and even the SLR bodies still go for a premium price on the used market.

CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2CCR Review 81 - Leicaflex SL2

The Lowdown
Of the few Leica cameras I’ve reviewed, the SL2 is probably the only one that I’d actually go out and buy for myself, but again the price will keep me at bay. But don’t let the price scare you, if you have the money and want one of the best mechanical SLRs out there in the premium category then the SL2 should be your choice. From start to finish the camera outputs quality images and in the right hands with the right strap will take care of all your photography needs. In fact, if it had been at an affordable price point the SL2 might be among the choice system cameras with the Nikon F2 and Canon F-1, and it like these two iconic cameras show what an SLR should be, simple, quality, robust, and optically sound.

All Photos Taken at the Terra Winter Market in Milton, Ontario, Canada
Letiz Leicaflex SL2 – Leitz Wetzlar Summicron-R 1:2/50 – Rollei Retro 400s @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 14:00 @ 20C

FP4Party – Redeux

FP4Party – Redeux

Finally, we have snow here in Southern Ontario which for me is wonderful! The cold weather is only made bearable by the presence of the white stuff. It also makes it more fun to go out tromping in the snow! But I shot most of my FP4 back in December, and with a deep freeze settled into the area after Christmas I really didn’t want to take any chances. But the arrival of the Secret Santa gift from the Emulsive gift exchange included a roll of FP4+ in 120 and with five sheets of 4×5 I was ready to go, on a much-reduced scale.

Group One – Erchless – I love shooting around downtown Oakville, and the pastoral setting around the home of the town’s founder William Chisholm was the backdrop of the sheets for this month’s FP4Party. Erchless is one local museum I have yet to visit but certainly will for my history project this year (Project:1867), as Chisholm played a bit part in the rocky road that led up to Confederation, from radical to tory, Chisholm’s effort to build an empire ultimately was his undoing as he died deep in debt and destitute. His family, however, continued to live at his grand home until 1910.

The HuntedThe AlphaKeep Pumping!Erchless

Technical Details:
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 & Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Group Two – Niagara – Finally the cold weather broke on Sunday, the final day to shoot for the party. And having already planned to head down to the Niagara region I brought along the Hasselblad and the Minolta SR-T (shooting for review later this month). Niagara-On-The-Lake has been one of two towns that show up often in my photography. Destroyed in the Anglo-American War of 1812, and risen from the ashes. It was the first capital of Upper Canada, established by only by the need for space for Loyalist troops during the American Revolution and today is a tourist attraction, but in the recent cold weather, the streets were fairly empty which was nice for shooting.

Prince of WalesSanta Shaw?Drugs Galore!A Tower

Technical Details:
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak D-76 (Stock) 8:30 @ 20C

Return of the FP4Party

Return of the FP4Party

Well, looks who’s back! It’s the FP4Party! This time around I have no outstanding projects so unlike in the final FP4Party I can actually work hard on this one, unlike the last time I gave a rather lack-lustre performance. I sat down early and planned out my week, collecting five ideas of where to shoot and what I wanted to shoot with. The film, of course, a favourite of mine, Ilford FP4+. I came up with one roll of 35mm, three rolls of 120 and a box of 4×5. Now in the past, I’ve usually stuck to one day of shooting for these parties. But after the third month of the Delta Def Jam, I realized it can be a lot more fun to get out there and shoot over the course of the whole week and really get into the event. I wasn’t going to let the weather stop me and managed to get a solid seven days of shooting! The final count is 20 sheets of 4×5, all three rolls of 120 and then a roll of 35mm. With a bit of planning, I had everything processed in three days and three days worth of scanning and post-processing.

Day One – White Christmas – Oakville
It might be the first week of December, but for me, the Christmas season is in full swing. So why not head down to lovely downtown of Oakville, Ontario. Beautiful old homes and 19th Century charm to go with the large Christmas tree in the middle of the downtown. It helps me dream a little bit of a White Christmas. Plus it gives me a chance to escape from work just a little bit.

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Day Two – If It’s Love – McCraney Valley Park
When you work in IT and also have a love of Photography, and you have access to plenty of amazing spots to take photos. Including one that has appeared many times in my work, McCraney Valley Park, located just behind the Sheridan Trafalgar Campus. But unlike many other times I’ve photographed this little gem, I made a point to get in close, shooting nothing beyond f/16 just to show off the nice out-of-focus areas that my large format lenses can produce. If it’s love, why not shoot with it! I decided to stand-develop this film, while not my usual method its one that’s been coming back into my technique drawer.

Organic By NatureThe Claw!A Gently Running Stream

Day Three – Empty Streets – 4th Line/Omagh
If you look hard enough around the rural areas of Oakville and Milton you’ll discover that there are lots to explore. From the empty streets of the 4th line, now Glenorchy Conservation Area, to empty farmhouses in the village of Omagh. Not everything has been knocked down. While the 4th Line was shot at the noon hour, the abandoned buildings were better lent to the dying light of the day. Nothing like a seven-minute exposure in minus seven-degree celsius weather. But totally worth it!

The Old Road16 Miles The Robertson FarmThe 5th Line Farm

Day Four – Rather Be – Milton
For a few years, I did my hardest to escape my hometown. Of course this was all in vain, because I was never meant to leave when I wanted to, and today, by the Grace of God alone, my staying has been a blessing for me, as by staying I met my future wife, fell in love, got married and now there’s no place I’d rather be.

Brick and StoneStone CottageSt. Pauls

Day Five – River Constantine – Limehouse
While the river that once powered a mill and the lime kilns at Limehouse is no River Constantine, it still provides a quiet place to sit, walk, and enjoy the deepness of winter and nature. Not to mention it’s a rather a rather special place for me and my wife.

A Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse SaturdayA Limehouse Saturday

Day Six – Beyond the Veil – Erin
The small town of Erin is another gem along an old provincial highway, now often missed because of freeways. But if you look Beyond the Veil of speed, and just want a lazy drive with a comfortable place to stop, walk, and enjoy then maybe take a scenic route.

Downtown ErinDowntown ErinDowntown Erin

Day Seven – Winter Wonderland – Belfountain
Well we’ve reached the end point of the party and if you’ve been tracking my locations on the map you’ll see I’ve moved from south to north and found myself in my favourite Winter Wonderland, that of Belfountain. I first learned of this little quiet area thanks to Bill Smith, and if I remember correctly I ran into him once in the quiet winter. Officially, the conservation area is closed in the winter, but you can still access it. Not to mention the beautiful little village that surrounds the area. Sadly by the start of December, it wasn’t much of a winter wonderland, but still a good spot!

AntiquesThe CascadeThe Village Church

Thank you for partying on with me as we journeyed through Ontario using one of my favourite film stocks that is still produced. Ilford FP4+, in a previous entry you’ll see that FP4+ is going to play a big roll in the new year as the film of choice for the Project:1867 – Acts of Confederation Project which kicks off in a couple weeks!

Technical Details:
Day One – Downtown Oakville, Ontario
Mamiya m645 – Mamiya-Sekor C 150mm 1:3.5 N – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

Day Two – McCraney Valley Park Park – Oakville, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+100) 60:00 @ 20C

Day Three Pt.1 – Glenorchy Conservation Area, Formerly 4th Line, Oakville, ON
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 & Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Day Three Pt.2 – Omagh, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Day Four – Downtown Milton, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI Nikkor 28mm 1:3.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

Day Five – Limehouse Conservation Area – Limehouse, Ontario
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125
Blazinal (1+25) 9:00 @ 20C

Day Six – Downtown Erin, Ontario
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Day Seven – Belfountain, Ontario
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-64
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 8:00 @ 20C

I Will Remember

I Will Remember

Here, at the end of history, we know that the war that is The Great War would only last one more year until on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour the guns across Europe would fall silent. But one hundred years ago they did not know that.

Least We Forget

The men and women who served, in another 100 years will they names be read aloud by the public? Will their names still be remembered? Will our grandchildren know of the sacrifice of those who died 200 years before? Will there be the same fanfare of sober celebration?

In Memorial

I don’t know about then, that’s the future, I’m here now, and I know that I will remember. And I take my duty actively to make sure the generation after me remembers as well.

Least We Forget

Because if I forget, how can the future remember?

DO:T 2017 - Church of the Redeemer

All the photos featured here were taken in 2017 of war memorials I have photographed in my travels. The icon on social media is a simple 3D replica of a carving found in the tunnels beneath Vimy Ridge in France. I hope you, dear reader, take the time to attend a ceremony tomorrow or take a moment to be silent and remember at 11 am. If you need to know where you can attend such a ceremony in Ontario, you can find the details on the Ontario Government Site.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

Technical Details (From Top to Bottom)
Cambridge, Ontario – Downtown Galt
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – Kew Gardens
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-15) – Efke KB 100 @ ASA-100
Pyrocat-HD (2+2+100) 8:00 @ 20C

Oakville, Ontario – Georges’ Square
Nikon F5 – Lomography Achromat 64mm/2.9 (Orange-22) – Efke KB100 @ ASA-100
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:45 @ 20C

Toronto, Ontario – 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

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

Five Rolls – A Journey of HP5+

If you’ve ever listened to me talk about film, you’ll know there are some films I have a strong view. I love my Kodak Tri-X and JCH Streetpan 400; then there are the ones I’m not too happy with, that is Ilford HP5+ in 35mm and Delta 400 in general. But what if I could change my mind on just one? Would it give me another tool in the kit to use to get a specific look? Could I shoot four rolls of a film stock and come to like it, even go as far as recommending it? Challenge Accepted.

That film isn’t Delta 400, I don’t think I’ll ever grow to like the stock actually I just developed Delta 400 in Kodak D-23 and it turns out it’s not a bad film stock either, but I feel HP5+ can be one that I just might be able to. So I’ll give it a shot, get five rolls of the stock, load it up into trusted cameras, visit suitable locations, and then pick developers I’ve never used with 35mm HP5+ and go to town.

Roll One: SPUR HRX
I got the idea of using SPUR HRX after looking on Flickr after Tony posted a question on the Toronto Film Shooters Group. Tony had asked for developer recommendations for HP5+ and Mike suggested SPUR HRX. To be fair in this case, I also pushed the film a little bit more than an average day of shooting. I shot the roll indoors in a sort of abandoned, or rather closed campus of Sheridan College. I figured, if I’m going to learn to like the film, I might as well take it into a familiar situation for me.


Bravo Six


The Moody Darkness

The results they speak for themselves, the images are dark, moody, and the contrast is rich. Not surprising given the lighting conditions. I did note that there a more substantial grain pattern, but using a sharp developer on a 400-speed film will do that, but it isn’t anything worth complaining.

Roll Two: Pyrocat-HD
When in doubt just run with a Pyro developer. I started working with Pyro based developers after seeing some of the amazing work Mat Marrash has been doing with HP5+ in 8×10 and this developer. Having some early morning light in Toronto, I loaded up the roll into my trusty Contax G2 and went to town!

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

Toronto - September 2017

When I pulled the negatives out of the tank, I noticed something different, something I had only seen with Kodachrome. Yes, the layers of exposure on the film had a relief to them, as if the silver had been hand etched onto the film base itself. And then into the scanner and you saw this clean three-dimensional image, smooth tones and no grain at all.

Roll Three: Kodak D-23
One of the first developers I ever used was Kodak D-76, it was at the time the preferred developer of my teacher Julie Douglas. While I have only used a single jug of the stuff since, I have latched onto its cousin, the slower acting D-23. I’ve souped plenty of film stocks in it and like how it makes Tri-X look, so I figured it would be a good candidate.

Nature Trail...

Roughing It

Taking on the CRAIG

Take a Seat

I really liked D-23, it performed as I expected it would give the usual smooth tones all the way through the grayscale. Indeed an excellent choice for the film. I’m now hankering to try this with medium and large format versions of HP5+.

Roll Four: Kodak Microdol-X
I happened across this developer completely by accident during my 52-sheet project and came to enjoy using it. While an older Kodak developer again, and not available under the Kodak name, but Legacy Pro has their Mic-X which is the same. Microdol is a fine grain soft developer so it should be able to work a bit of magic.

The Masons

Back to the War

Lighting the Way

Pick Me Up

I honestly don’t know what went wrong with these photos. They all seemed overexposed. The camera, my Nikon F5 has a solid meter, the ASA/ISO setting was correct. Maybe it was the Orange-22 filter I used or the harsh sunlight. I had to work some post-processing magic on these. I think that I need to reduce the developing times by 1 minute or give the film a slight pull to make Microdol-X work.

Roll Five: Kodak HC-110
When you’re having trouble with something, how about going back to an old friend. Kodak HC-110 is one of two developers I have not stopped using since I started developing my own black & white film. The other is Rodinal, but not wanting to give the film one hell of a pull, I figured HC-110 in the standard Dilution B would be a good way to help out.

Blown Open

Eroded Away

Follow the Rails

Sun Dappled

HP5 sings with HC-110, you get to see how sharp the film stock is with this Kodak developer, and the contrast is dead on point even in the strange lighting conditions that are a sun-dappled forest at high-noon. While not exactly the best time to be out shooting it provides a real test for what a film and developer can do, and HC-110 is a sure winner in this case.

When I first set out to shoot these five rolls of HP5+ I went into it thinking I didn’t like the film stock in 35mm, however, upon shooting these five rolls I realised that I did like the film, I had just had some bad encounters with it in the past. In the end, it’s a solid film stock one that I will use in the future because I won’t always be able to find Kodak Tri-X, and now I have several developing options. I also plan on trying to perfect that Microdol-X time/speed issue.

Technical Data:
Roll One: Sheridan College, Skilled Trades Centre, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
SPUR HRX (1+17) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Two: Toronto, Ontario
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Roll Three: Rattlesnake Point, Milton, Ontario
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak D-23 (Stock) 7:30 @ 20C

Roll Four: Ancaster, Ontario
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Orange-22) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak Microdol-X (Stock) 11:00 @ 20C

Roll Five: McCraney Valley Park, Oakville, Ontario
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 (Yellow-12) – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400
Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

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.