I seem to be developing a soft spot for cheap and cheerful SLRs from the 1990s and early 2000s. These may not be the best or most robust cameras out there, but they aren’t hard on the pocketbook, make use of existing lens systems and deliver decent images without too much fuss. Plus, they make great loaner kits for those who want to try film photography but don’t want to invest in something or worry about all the details, such as manual focus or exposure. Well, meet the EOS 3000; you could almost say that this was the entry-level SLR that perfected Canon’s entry-level SLRsRead More →

Looming over the edge of the downtown, the old Stratford Motive Shops has been a source of controversy and a reminder of the city’s rich heritage for many years with the railroad. These are the surviving remains of the largest railroad maintenance yards in Ontario, if not Canada and are now only a shadow of their former glory. Metal siding hangs off the concrete superstructure; empty windows stare out darkly. On one of the first visits I made to Stratford on my own, I was immediately drawn to this ancient giant and was even granted a single glimpse into the darkness but never made itRead More →

The city of Stratford is home to some of my favourite buildings in Ontario, home to a tonne of 19th Century architecture. Still, the city’s original growth is not thanks to the tourism industry but rather the railroad. However, you would not know that today, as the city’s grand station sits outside the downtown but shows how important the town was to the railroad. In 1856 within two months of each other, two railroads crossed their lines at the seat of Huron County, the town of Stratford. Coming from the east, Grand Trunk’s push westward and from the south Buffalo & Lake Huron heading towardsRead More →

When it comes to basic bare-bones developers, you can’t get any simpler these days than Metol and Hydroquinone. And there are a lot of these developers out there, my first developer review, Kodak D-76, is one such developer, and there are numerous clones of the developer. Each has its little takes on this foundational developer. So it only makes sense that I review several different options, so today, I will be talking about Ilford ID-11. Often called the British D-76, ID-11, while at its core is the same as D-76, it does have a few things that set it apart from the colonists over inRead More →

Ever since the invention of the automobile and aeroplane, the way people moved changed rapidly. Henry Ford’s Model T put the dream of a personal car within reach; improvements in planes through the inter-war period into World War Two and the post-war period allowed long-distance travel at an even faster rate. While steam motive power continued to drive many railroad operators through the war, the rise of diesel began to reshape even the train industry. Through the war, fuel and material shortages spiked passenger train services, but even now, those were starting to decline. It became clear that the golden age of rail had comeRead More →

The late 19th century brought the final push to extend out the transcontinental line. The arrival of the 20th century, the Canadian Pacific Railway was the only line that extended across Canada, at least from Vancouver to Montreal. In Ontario, Grand Trunk managed to secure itself as the big player in the province by absorbing all the competition but could not do that with Canadian Pacific finding itself against a competitor that it simply could not buy out. This was the golden age of rail travel when mighty steam locomotives travelled across the country; rail networks connected people and places, mail and cargo were easilyRead More →

We start this week with high school English. I don’t know about you, but English seemed to love the topic of Shakespeare. Don’t get me wrong. Shakespeare is brilliant but way over analysed by the average high school student, but what does that have to do with photography? One of my first favourite historical downtowns in Ontario. That reason is Stratford, Ontario. I remember one of my first visits to the city in 2009, and it quickly became a spot where I would test out a new camera and clearly shows what a late 19th-Century City in Ontario once looked like. While the Canada CompanyRead More →

If there is one lens that I use even less than my Rokkor 135/2.8, it’s my Nikkor 135/2.8. This beat-up lens is one of the groups that I got when I received my Nikon F3 kit back many years ago. In that kit along with the 135/2.8 was the 105/2.5 which got all the attention and the glory. I was always more of a fan of the 105mm focal length and the 85mm focal length before that. The 135mm length seemed a little redundant. Then last year when Dan Novak ran the 135mm challenge I dug out this lens from the back of the shelfRead More →

These days I will rarely work with Ilfosol 3, but it remains a developer that I always keep in the back of my mind. After learning how to develop my own black & white film from my good friend Julie using Kodak D-76, it would be a few more years before I started taking on the process full time. When I went into Burlington Camera to get all the equipment I needed to take on the daunting task some eight years ago, Joan pointed me towards Ilfosol 3 as a good starting point when you didn’t want to keep a large quantity of developer mixedRead More →

Every so often a film stock will come up out of nowhere and surprise me, and today that film is FilmWashi “D”. Like all films that come out of FilmWashi, Washi D (as I’ll be calling it from now on) they take films out of their normal use and repurpose it for regular photographic duties. In the case of Washi D, it saw creation as a Russian surveillance film. The purpose of the film and what secrets it was designed to capture remains a mystery but because the film has the title ‘project: Sputnik’ on the label makes me think this film would be loadedRead More →