Tag Archives: 100tmx

CCR Review 60 – KMZ Zenit E

Soviet cameras and I have had a rocky relationship. There’s only a handful out there that I like, and then there’s the Zenit E. This is a beautiful camera that is probably the pick of the litter from the Zenit line. One of my first SLRs was a Zenit B, the non-metered version of the E. And despite never getting a single frame from the camera. Because I had no clue what I was doing at the time, finding myself instantly familiar with the workings of the Zenit E and it certainly makes for a much better Soviet SLR than the other’s I’ve worked with in the past. Special thanks to James Lee for loaning out this camera for a review.

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

The Dirt

  • Make: KMZ
  • Model: Zenit E
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 36×24
  • Len: Interchangeable, M42 Screw Mount
  • Year of Manufacture: 1965-1968

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

The Good
There is nothing complicated about this camera. The operation, layout and general use of the camera make it easy for anyone to pickup and use. The only feature that this camera has is the uncoupled light meter, but more on that later. Despite the weight of the camera, it doesn’t detract from its use, although a nice heavy duty padded strap would be a good idea. A carbine style cross strap would be best. The M42 mount gives you a wide range of lenses to use on the camera both German and Soviet optics can easily mount on the camera. And as a bonus, most Soviet optics are direct copies of their German counterparts and often have their unique features that you don’t find in other lenses. Even though there is no automatic aperture on the camera that doesn’t detract from the operation, as you can easily set the aperture then open and close it with a simple twist ring that will stop at the correct aperture. The one thing to watch out for is the shutter speed dial; you can only set your shutter speed once the film has been advanced and shutter cocked, much like the rangefinders from the FED and Zorki line. Finally, there’s the sound of the camera, the noise the shutter and mirror make when in operation is substantial and pleasing, there’s no mistaking when you’ve fired a shot.

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

The Bad
Usually, if a camera has a selenium meter that tends to be a positive feature to a camera, no batteries needed, and usually still operates. In this case, however, the meter isn’t a handy thing to have on this camera. First, off the meter is uncoupled, this means that no matter how you adjust the camera settings the meter doesn’t react, there’s a second dial that you set to give you the camera settings based on the meter reading. Add to that the meter read out is on the top of the camera body only. It would be better to stick with Sunny-16 or an external meter. In addition to this, you’ll have a hard time ensure the correct film speed setting as the camera is calibrated more towards the old GOST scale with corresponding DIN numbers. Sadly these film speeds do not line up with most modern films, you do have options like GOST-130, but I’ve never seen that sort of film. There is also the matter of the long film advance crank, while a minor nuisance does make it difficult to fire off several shots in succession. And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the Soviet Bloc did not have the best quality control so there is a chance that these cameras can break easily or purchased in a broken state. At least there’s a high chance with the right tools and manual you can do the repair yourself.

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

CCR Review 60 - KMZ Zenit E

The Lowdown
Out of all the Soviet cameras I’ve reviewed to date, the Zenit E is only one of two that I would recommend picking up, but I would lean someone more towards a Zenit B, the non-metered version. Both are strong mechanical cameras that have a nice look and feel to take out on International Communist Camera day and are better than most of the later model Zenit cameras. But there is one thing that you should look for if you are thinking of getting one and that’s the lens. Most of these cameras shipped with and still come with a Helios 44-2 lens, this 58mm f/2 is a copy of the Carl Zeiss Biotar. It has also become somewhat of a cult lens in the portrait market even I have one that I use with my Sony a6000. The reason is that when you shoot a subject at about 5 feet away with the lens opened to f/2 you get a classic Petzval style swirl. So even if you get a broken Zenit, you still get an amazing lens to add to your collection.

All Photos Taken in Hamilton, Ontario
KMZ Zenit E – KMZ Helios 44-2 2/58 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

It’s a TMAX Party – Part I

The fine folks behind the film photography promotion website Emulsive have done it again! In the footsteps of last year’s FP4Party, they have started to run a couple of different monthly participation events for film photographers around the globe through the use of Twitter. Sadly I didn’t participate much in the FP4Party mostly because of time conflicts; I decided to make a point to join in on this year’s film parties. Being free of most projects it freed my hand to keep up this time around. This year’s first party is a celebration of Kodak TMax. Tmax a modern film emulsion that was released in the late 20th-Century and use a tabular grain rather than a traditional grain like Tri-X or Plus-X.

While I figured the easiest way to jump into the TMaxParty was to dig into my box of 4×5 TMax 100. While TMax isn’t always my first choice, I’m more of a classic grain shooter. But hey sometimes it’s good to jump a little bit outside of your comfort zone. So into Hamilton, I went, and while I had planned to shoot all eight loaded sheets that day but the cold weather told me otherwise.

HMCS Haida
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Craft Beers
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Whitehern
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

Well in Canada, March can be a bit of a hit and miss, and while the weather kept me from shooting outside, my shutters tend to get laggy in sub-zero weather I again had to dive outside of my comfort zone. Usually, when I’m shooting large format I stick to deep depth-of-field, we’re talking f/32 and up on my aperture. Sure it makes for longer shutter times, but it gives the images incredible sharpness. Well, the temperatures stuck below zero so open up the lens I did.

Retention
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

Take Flight
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

The Lights Above
Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 9:30 @ 20C

While I’m pretty happy with my results for this month, I hope next month’s TMax Party I’ll have some more outdoor shots. Of course, the big question is what format will I shoot, and in what camera! Current runners are my Contax IIIa, Rolleiflex 2.8F, or Hasselblad 500c. So we’ll see next month!

Frozen Shutters – The Dangers of Winter Photo Walks

Ah yes, the winter, cold, snow, and frozen shutters. Back in January, a small, brave group from the Toronto Film Shooters community decided to head out to Milton’s Hilton Falls Conservation area. I, deciding to ignore my own advice brought my Crown Graphic along for the trip.

TFSM - Phrozen Phingers

While we had a decent snowfall at the end of December, a warm spell through early January melted everything, and when the temperature dropped, everything was frozen over, and the trails were ice rinks. I was started to think I should have brought a simple 35mm camera to run with. Despite this, it was good to get out with the 4×5 again. Since the loss of my Intrepid I haven’t been shooting much, but this walk got me back into the game because I now have access to all my lenses.

TFSM - Phrozen Phingers

One of the more interesting gems I brought along is a lens I picked up a while back. A 1921 Kodak Anastigmat f:7.7 170mm. The Anastigmat design was first released in 1914 based on a four element Dialyt design, like the Goerz/Schneider Artars. I was, of course, hoping for some strange look about the image, but for an old lens, it was pretty sharp. And the shutter speeds seemed to still be on point.

TFSM - Phrozen Phingers

There was one good thing about the melt; the water was flowing nicely over the falls. Which made shooting at f/64 all the sweeter to catch that falling water.

TFSM - Phrozen Phingers

TFSM - Phrozen Phingers

Hopefully, I’ll make a trip when the weather gets warmer so that my shutters won’t complain as much.

Camera: Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic
Lenses: Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125, Kodak Anastigmat f:7.7 170mm, & Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm
Film: Kodak TMax 100 (100TMX) @ ASA-100
Developer: Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:30 @ 20C
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015.5)

CCR Review 54 – Minolta Maxxum 5000

Sometimes a camera sings, sometimes a camera just sucks, and then there’s the Maxxum 5000. It’s a meh camera, K-Car of cameras, the Maxxum 5000 isn’t the bell of the ball, and it is a little meh on the handling, but for basic, no-nonsense SLR photography, the 5000 is a cheap option with an A-Mount. Let me explain a little bit more. Some cameras are amazing that they grab your attention as soon as you pick it up, for me that would be the Nikon F2, F3, and F5. Also the Rolleiflex 2.8F and several other cameras. Others are so downright terrible that you want to light them on fire. The Maxxum 5000 is one that you know it’ll take pictures; it’ll take decent pictures with good lenses, but it doesn’t excite you. Just like a K-Car, it’ll get you from point a to point b without hassle, but it won’t be an exciting ride.

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

The Dirt
Make: Minolta
Model: Maxxum 5000
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 135, 35x24mm
Lens: Interchangeable, Minolta A-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1986

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

The Good
I’ve been sitting and stewing over what to write about this camera for its good features, and it’s hard with a camera that is just ‘meh’ there’s nothing wrong about the camera. It’s a cheap option to get into film photography if you have some A-Mount full-frame lenses for a digital camera, a nice easy way to learn without going into a fully featured camera that could cost more. The camera’s meter is accurate; controls are easily accessible and straightforward to identify as there isn’t much in the way of using it. The camera is powered by four AAA batteries so you can easily power the camera even in the middle of nowhere.

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

The Bad
The Maxxum 5000 isn’t an impressive camera, it looks and feels like a VCR from the 1980s, the first stumbling steps if you catch my drift. Sure it’ll take good photos with a good lens attached, but you won’t have to do any thinking beside composition. There are no options besides Program and Manual, and the manual control is difficult to operate. The Autofocus is slow and not very accurate I would often have to wait for the camera to lock onto where I wanted it to focus.

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

CCR Review 53 - Minolta Maxxum 5000

The Lowdown
Nope, Nope, Nope. I would not recommend this camera really to anyone, while a cheap way to get into film photography there are much better options out there. Yes, the 5000 will get you there, it’s not a camera I would choose. Look at the Maxxum 7000 or even the odd duck 9000 to get rolling into Minolta Autofocus cameras. The 5000 is a cheap camera, but I would recommend an inexpensive one.

All Photos Taken in Oakville, Ontario
Minolta Maxxum 5000 – Maxxum AF 35-70mm 1:4 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-64 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 40 – Mamyia RB67

There is a reason that this camera is nicknamed the fridge it’s big, heavy, clunky, and near awkward to carry with you. But if you treat it right it will give you big beautiful images that will give you a cheaper alternative to 4×5 with near the same quality and more importantly the same aspect ratio in your negatives! Of course, for those unfamiliar with the system, there are two models of 6×7 Mamiya cameras the one being reviewed is the RB version. Special thanks to Alex Koroleski for loaning out this camera for this review!

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

The Dirt
Make: Mamiya
Model: RB67
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 120/220/Type 100, 6×7
Lens: Interchangeable, RB Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1970-1974

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

The Good
This is a beast of a camera like many 6×7 cameras it can easily be used as a self-defense weapon in a pinch. But it also means that it is a very solid camera, and Mamiya medium format cameras are no slouches. With the small but mighty m645 system was the mainstay of wedding photographers for many years the RB and RZ series cameras were king of studio work. Because honestly this is a studio camera but I have seen many people use these as their field cameras for the fact they don’t want to use a 4×5. The big 6×7 negative was perfect for many different applications and was for many years the standard for the fashion photography industry. And the lenses are fantastic as well, and probably the best part of the system is that you can get one with a back, lens, and finder for fairly cheap these days on the used market. But probably the thing I really like about this camera is the big bright finder I had no issues focusing without the lope and composing my images. The one thing I could see being an issue on the RB models is going into portrait mode.

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

The Bad
Okay so the biggest issue I have with this camera is weight in the field. Honestly, my Crown Graphic is lighter! So I can see after a day of lugging this thing around I would not be too happy with myself and probably my other body parts would begin to complain as well. Now if I had a studio I certainly would want to keep on there on a tripod. Now coming to the actual operation, loading the back is a pain in the butt, of course, this could just be that I had never loaded one before and was just randomly guessing at what I had to do. I’m sure with practice it would become easier but would still be a pain, I’ll take my Hasselblad and Pentax 645 any day. And finally, there is just general operation. While setting the shutter speed and aperture is pretty easy with the lens mounted controls, the mirror return and film advance that is a two-step process, mirror up, advance film, with two separate controls. Not exactly the best system out there, but this also is not a run and gun camera, nor is it meant to be.

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

The Lowdown
Honestly, I can see why people like these cameras and use them. They produce great images and can produce a good volume of images over say a 4×5 but for me, I just can’t see myself getting into 6×7 in general especially the Mamiya system. For the fact that I already have a good investment in two 4×5 cameras that produce a bigger negative and I have a solid lens kit for it, and secondly, I find the cameras a little t0o finicky to operate out in the field, especially the film loading. So while I would recommend this for someone with a strong back who does not want to get into large format but still wants a similar system using roll film, the RB/RZ67 is a winner. Probably the only way a Mamiya 6×7 would come into my kit would be in the form of the Mamiya 7 rangefinder, but the RB/RZ67 won’t be added to my kit.

All photos taken at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rochester, New York, USA
Mamyia RB67 – Mamyia-Sekor 1:3.8 f=127mm – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-100
Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 7:30 @ 20C

The Grudge Match – 1950s German Style

These days the two big camera names that see fanboys (and girls) in both camps is Cannon vs. Nikon. But that wasn’t always the case. In the 1950s Nikon and Canon were still fairly unknown in the pro-market, both were producing rangefinder cameras stamped with “Made in occupied Japan” the real competitors of the 1950s was Contax and Leica. Since I have both a Leica IIIc and a Contax IIIa I figured I should do a side by side comparison and have these two heavy-weights of the mid-century fight it out. Before you continue, I suggest reading by reviews of each camera, first the Contax IIIa then the Leica IIIc. So let’s begin! In one corner we have the Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa, a 35mm Rangefinder with a Contax RF lens mount, manufactured between 1940 and 1951 equipped with a selenium meter! In the other corner we have the Leica IIIa also a 35mm rangefinder with a M39 thread mount, manufactured between 1951 and 1962! For the purpose of this match we have both running a standard 50mm lens, the Contax has a Zeiss-Opton Sonnar 50mm f/1.5 while the Leica is running a Lietz Summitar 50mm f/2! Each has been loaded with Kodak Tmax 100 film, rated at ASA-32 developed in Xtol (1+1) for 8:45 at 20C. Both metered with a Gossen Lunasix F.

grudge-match

Film Loading
So I’m not going to lie, the method of loading the Leica IIIc is a pain in the butt, and usually takes me a couple tries before I get it right. I’ve actually seen a fellow photographer fail many times to load his M6, which has the handy back door to see if you got it, the IIIc doesn’t have that. I’m sure with practice and some pre-cut rolls of film you can easily load it on the fly, but honestly, it would still be one that you’d want two around your neck and your assistant nearby to load and unload as you shoot. The Contax IIIa is a little easier as you can remove the entire back, which also slows down reloading and you have to juggle a bit but you’d have an easier getting the film loaded right the first time. But I do see why Capa carried two into combat, you don’t want to be juggling three things with bullets flying.

CCR - Review 35 - Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa
Contax IIIa

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc
Leica IIIc

Optics
This is where both cameras stand out is the optics. While some might hold Leica glass over Zeiss glass. I really cannot tell the difference between the two. The only real difference is the aperture on the Summitar and the Sonnar that gives different effects with the out of focus area, but both produce a pleasing Bokeh. But when it comes to the optics I’ll give the edge to Leica, not for the glass but for the mount. Going with the M39 (aka Leica Thread Mount) was probably the part that wins out because there is a lot more glass available for it and it remains adaptable easily for compact digital system cameras. The bayonet mount on the Contax IIIa is a bit finicky and with the lack of a focusing helical on many of the lenses makes it difficult to use this wonderful glass on my a6000 (which is a big selling point for me).

CCR - Review 35 - Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa
Contax IIIa

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc
Leica IIIc

Usability
Both cameras are solid performers, easy to handle, not to heavy, not too light, great for carrying with you for a long time. The one draw back to the IIIc is the twin window rangefinder. And it’s really tiny so I’ve often found I’ve missed the focus mark. The Contax IIIa on the other hand has a single window view/rangefinder and it’s pretty bright so I’ve been able to focus with ease. Of course the Contax isn’t perfect, the way I hold the camera and use the focus dial (as opposed to the focus ring), I find that I block out the second rangefinder window at the front of the camera making it near impossible to nail the focus. This is where the Leica wins with the focusing handle on the bottom of the lens preventing this from happening. Similarly both cameras have an infinity lock, but the Leica’s is much easier to operate than the one on the Contax. When it comes to the shutter speed the Contax has a much nicer layout of the control dial with only a single dial to control all shutter speeds (and you can adjust without having the shutter cocked like the Leica), so if you are shooting at speeds under a 1/30″ you aren’t fiddling with a much smaller dial. The rest of the camera functions, shutter release, film advance are pretty similar is style and function and really aren’t worth mentioning overall. Both cameras are easily to use really with the functions easily accessed while holding and nothing really super out of place.

CCR - Review 35 - Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa
Contax IIIa

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc
Leica IIIc

Final Words
Like Cannon and Nikon these days I really cannot find anything that makes one camera better than the other beyond my own personal preference. I’m sure Contax and Leica fanboys of the time would be able to point out things that I failed to or didn’t want to notice. Like anything in photography these were the top dogs of their day, both operated in a similar manner, produced similar quality images, and both were handled and used by the greats of their day. Is one better than the other, no. Do I like one better than the other, yes. But as I said, the only major points that make the Contax stand out to me more than the Leica is the rangefinder window and the film loading. But that’s just my personal taste, as both are amazing cameras and worth looking at if you want a mid-twentieth century rangefinder with some class and style. So in my view the results of the match, is a tie.

CCR Review 36 – Leica IIIc

Before the infamous red-dot there were the Barnack Leica’s. These compact rangefinders were designed by Barnack to take motion picture (35mm) film so that he could carry them around without giving him trouble with his asthma. The Leica III was the companies World War 2 camera and was the direct competitor to the Zeiss Ikon Contax line (which is why the Contax IIIa was featured earlier this month). I do like this camera but it really is one I like to hate so I don’t want to get rid of it really, it’s an excellent camera mostly due to the lens and it is small enough to fit in any sort of pocket and of course has the cache of being a Leica with everything that entails.

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

The Dirt
Make: Leica
Model: IIIc
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Leica Thread Mount (LTM)/M39
Year of Manufacture: 1940-1951

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

The Good
Despite my personal issues with this camera which I will discuss in the next section this really isn’t a bad camera. It’s small, fairly light, without feeling cheap. Add a collapsible lens like the Summitar or Elmar and you can easily toss this camera into a pocket and go out onto the streets. And as for the camera it’s pretty low key, low profile and I can really see why street photographers and combat photographers would use them. Along with the simple construction comes a simple and easy to use design, remember these were designed by a man who had aesthma and needed something small and compact. And finally…I can’t let this go without mentioning the amazing optics that you can get for this camera!

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

The Bad
Despite this camera holding pretty high status among photographers there are two things that for me really keep this camera more on the shelf and the lens mounted on an M39 to E-Mount adapter for use on my digital camera. The first is the loading, drop in, from the bottom. Yep and it is really difficult to master and get it working as you also have to pull out the leader and re-cut it so that everything catches…if you’re lucky (I was lucky this time around and it worked the first time). The second is the dual window rangefinder/viewfinder. The rangefinder is incredibly small and hard to work with I have missed the focus several times because of this.

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

CCR - Review 36 - Leica IIIc

The Lowdown
I like this camera, I really do, but because of the two major sticking points, I tend to leave it at home in favour of something a little easy to use on the go. Not to say you shouldn’t get one, they are really well built cameras with top notch optics that are equal to Carl Zeiss. So if you like this style of camera and want to fashion yourself after Henri-Cartier Bresson and do B&W street photography in Paris by all means. On the plus side these are the cheaper of the Leica cameras on the used market. But if I had a choice, I’d spend the extra money and pickup a Leica M2 or M3 body and mount Voeitlander glass or use an adapter to mount the Summitar I have.

The one thing I will point out is on the used market there are a tonne of copies out there that are branded Leica but really aren’t. Probably the easiest way to tell is if they are marked with Third Reich (yes, Nazis) military markings you’re actually holding a Ukrainian copy by Zorki. If you’re in the Greater Toronto Area and have a Leica III series camera and need it identified I suggest North Halton Camera Exchange, one of the owners is a former Leica Employee and will gladly give you a hand!

All photos taken in Oakville & Burlington, Ontario
Leica IIIc – Leitz Summitar f=5cm 1:2 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-32 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:45 @ 20C

CCR Review 32 – Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

The bakelite beast, the snap shot camera of the 1950s and a staple camera in most every antique camera store I’ve visited. The Brownie Hawkeye flash was one of many cheap Kodak snapshot cameras that was a staple of plenty of families and still stands up today as a solid starter 620 camera because you can actually use a 120 spool in the camera providing you have a 620 spool in the take up! But although it works, I really don’t recommend it, as you’ll often damage the film itself.

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

The Dirt
Make: Kodak
Model: Brownie Hawkeye Flash
Type: Point and Shoot
Format: Medium Format (620), 6×6
Lens: Fixed, Kodak Meniscus Lens f=75mm f/14.5
Year of Manufacture: 1950-1961

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

The Good
Probably the best part about this camera is the ease of use, no need for any sort of clunky zone focus, strange exposure settings, just point and shoot. As the old Kodak slogan says, you press the button, we do the rest. And the lens on the camera produces some of the best dreamy and nostalgic images I have seen. Even more so than the plastic lens Holga. And one of the best features of this camera is the fact that even though it’s a 620 camera you can still use with some success a 120 spooled film providing you have a 620 spool as take up. This does cause some bulging so keep the film in the camera after you’re done and take it out in a dark/dim area and load into a light-tight container for process and be sure to get your lab to keep your spool! You’ll need it again.

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

The Bad
The camera is far from perfect. Honestly, you will have to deal with dirty lenses, slow/erratic shutter speeds, light leaks and similar issues. Also if you’re a fan of sharp images, this is not your camera, a single element lens isn’t the sharpest on the planet and with a fixed aperture and shutter speed you won’t be doing any professional work in the long run. This is by today’s standards a toy camera. But they are cheap and plentiful.

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

CCR - Review 32 - Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash

The Lowdown
If you’re looking for something a little different than your Holga this would be an excellent camera for you. You can find working ones in almost every antique store across Canada and the United States and even as a 1950s photoshoot prop this is perfect. They also make great decorations if you find a non-working one. But they are a joy to shoot if you’re going for that soft toy look. And they run cheaper than most of the toy cameras that are new on market today.

If you’re looking to purchase re-spooled 620 film look no further than the Film Photography Project, they have a wide range of fresh and expired 620 film in their wonderful online store!

All photos taken in Downtown Milton, Ontario
Kodak Brownie Hawkeye Flash – Kodak Meniscus Lens f=75mm f/14.5 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-50 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:45 @ 20C

CCR Review 31 – Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C

If you ever wondered how the average consumer took photos 100 years ago look no further. This is the oldest camera in my collection with a manufacturing date of 1916 but despite the age it still works perfectly! Mostly because it takes a still available film size! And even more impressive is that it still works like a charm. Oddly enough for the longest time I thought that this camera was some weird Canadian version of a No. 2 Brownie and had continued to all it as such it was only recently that I learned the actual name for the camera, the No.2 Hawk-Eye Model C, a simplified version of the No. 2 Hawk-Eye.

CCR - Review 31 - Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C

The Dirt
Make: Kodak
Model: No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C
Type: Point and Shoot
Format: Medium Format (120), 6×9
Lens: Fixed, Kodak Meniscus Lens 10cm f/11
Year of Manufacture: 1913-1924, this particular model was produced 1st of February, 1916.

CCR - Review 31 - Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C

The Good
For 100 years old this camera surprisingly takes some beautiful photos even with a single element lens you’re getting actual sharp images and having a beautiful 6×9 negative helps also. And for a camera made out of card stock on the exterior body it remains light tight. As for ease of use it is a point and shoot. Guess aim and pull the trigger. But it is hard to carry.

CCR - Review 31 - Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C

The Bad
Probably my biggest issue with the camera is that you are pretty much limited to portrait orientation and there is no viewfinder for landscape, not that you need it anyways considering you really just aim and shoot. Despite being a native 120 camera the film take up isn’t exactly even, and you do even up with some bulging in the taken up film so watching with the unloading of the camera. And finally the construction of these cameras were pretty cheap with exterior made of a stiffened paper/cardboard/cardstock product they are very easy to damage mainly the red window to show the frame number. Most cameras I’ve seen in antique stores are in rough shape.

CCR - Review 31 - Kodak No. 2 Hawk-Eye Model C

The Lowdown
Unless you really want to get down in the mud of reenacting World War 1 this really isn’t a camera I can recommend anyone get. And even for WW1 reenacting a Kodak Vest Pocket would be a better choice historically (and yes you can still get 127 film). This camera would make a better choice for a decoration piece or photoshoot prop than an actual camera out in the field. Mostly because of the age and construction they could easily be damaged. Of interesting note this particular model camera was so popular it was re-released in the 1930s at the 50th Anniversary of Eastman Kodak.

If you want to read more about the No. 2 Hawk-Eye, check out Brian Moore’s blog on the Film Photography Project site.

All photos taken at Bronte Harbor, Oakville, Ontario
Kodak Hawk-Eye No. 2 Model C – Kodak Meniscus Lens 10cm f/11 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-50 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:45 @ 20C

ICCD or How I learned to stop worrying and just Shot from the hip

Comrades!

May 1st (well the whole week apparently) was International Commie Camera Day. Of course to the average person wouldn’t know a communist camera from a regular one. So what makes a camera communist? Last time I checked Cameras don’t hold to political ideologies (or do they?), but rather what makes a camera communist is where it was made and when. For the most part a camera is communist when it it well made in a communist country (so yes, those Chinese cameras that are still produced today, yep, communist). But for the most part a “Commie Camera” was one that was produced in the Soviet Bloc during the Cold War.

The Collection - September 2012

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Soviet cameras. I’ve had several pass through my collection such as a Lubitel 2 (great camera btw), a Keiv 88, and a Zorki 4. My current Commie Camera (pictured above) is a Smena 8m which I got from Michael Raso of the Film Photography Project after helping guest host several postcasts back in 2011 and 2012 (and continue to write show notes for). The Smena I have was built in 1979 and is an interesting camera to use. The photos it produces are surprisingly sharp for a plastic bodied camera but the real power is the T-43 40mm f/4 glass lens. However the camera itself is pretty hard to use, first off the film counter doesn’t work, at all, well it does, but it’s impossible to use to track your frame count. Advancing the film does not cock the shutter, you have to do that separately, which gives great opportunities for double exposures. No light meter, zone focus, aperture and shutter speed are done…weird. But it’s oddly fun, and when you can get a good image out of the camera, it’s good.

International Commie Camera Day - 2013

But despite all the troubles I have with this little camera, I like using it, not all the time of course, but it is oddly fun.

International Commie Camera Day - 2013

International Commie Camera Day - 2013

Having a new area to photograph helped alot, with nice abstract lines, a campus with lots of light, it really helped.

International Commie Camera Day - 2013

Maybe before next year’s ICCD, I’ll have another Commie Camera to break out.

ЛОМО ϹМЕНА 8M – T-43 4/40 ЛОМО – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX)
Dev: Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C