Tag Archives: film photography

Toronto Film Shooters Meetup – Winter ’17

I never thought that this little idea of mine would catch on. I never believe that my little social ideas would go over. And yet they usually do in some form or another. For example, the Toronto Film Shooters Meetup, now starting on its the fourth year. TFSM, a quarterly gathering of photographers in the Southern Ontario region who loves to shoot traditional film based cameras is an idea I floated back in 2013. I was still an active member of the Analog Photography User Group (APUG), and in the Toronto Sub-Forum, someone was complaining that there was not enough photo walks in the Greater Toronto Region specifically for film photographers.

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

So I, a young, mid-twenty some-odd kid, piped up. I’ll organize a quarterly photo walk one for each season. So on a bright summer day in 2013, I launched the Toronto Film Shooters Meetup or TFSM. It’s had varied success over the four years; there was even an event where I was the only one in attendance. The winter ones are usually the least attended walks mostly because the weather can be rather terrible, or just plain cold. But the walk a couple of weeks back it was a bit gray, but the weather was okay.

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Zeiss Ikon Contax IIIa – Zeiss Opton Sonnar 1:1,5 f=50mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

The six brave souls who attended took in an icy view along Toronto’s lakeshore, which during the summer is fairly active, but not so much in the winter. And yet there was still lots to photograph along the way. Earlier in the day, I had taken my Contax IIIa through the downtown core to give the beauty of a camera a bit of a workout. A stop at Downtown Camera to stock up one some film, and even got my hands on a box of RPX400 in 4×5.

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

I’m surprised as for how well all my photos came out. Usually, I don’t post much in the way of volume from these meets. But making a choice to bring only two cameras and only actively shooting one at any given time probably helped. And I was using several new-to-me items this time around. The Nikon F2 was loaded up with Bergger BRF 400+ and an AI-S 35mm lens, while the Contax IIIa had an old favourite FP4+ but this time around I developed with SPUR HRX, a new developer that I got introduced to by Mike.

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Winter '17
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 35mm 1:2.8 – Bergger BRF400+ @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 7:00 @ 20C

If you’re in the Toronto area or even beyond, we have regular attendees from Peterborough, feel free to join us on Facebook to hear about all the madness that is the Toronto Film Shooters group!

Photo Notebook Show Down

For anyone who shoots a large volume of film and doesn’t always process it right away or sends it off to get processed. It can be difficult to retain a lot of the details in your head. So when I began to send film away to the awesome folks at Old School Photolab and The Darkroom. I needed something to record the date, camera, location, lens, film, and any other details that I may need for when I posted the images. I started carrying around a simple notebook and pen to record all this in. It worked! When I started shooting large format, I would also record the exposure information. I would then transfer the information into a spreadsheet, with additional information such as processing and where I stored the negatives. But there weren’t any dedicated notebooks on the market specifically for film photography. But in 2016 two dedicated photo notebooks entered the market and it’s those notebooks I’m going to talk about today.


(L-R): TWSBI Diamond 580 (for scale)k, The Galaxy Handbook, The Photomemo Book, and my normal notebook.

Galaxy Photographer’s Planer and Handbook (GPP&H)
The Galaxy notebook was a highly anticipated notebook from the folks at Galaxy who brought us a high speed direct positive photographic paper. The journal is based on one used by photographer George Murray Levick during the Terra Nova Expedition. The GPP&H is a beautiful journal, well made, leatherette cover, ribbon bookmark, and an elastic to hold it closed. The paper is heavy weight and holds ink well without any feathering (what happens when the ink spreads into other fibers of the paper). The paper texture is smooth making it easy to write on. Inside the book, you’ll find a wealth of information for almost everything related to photography. Exposure information, the Sunny-16 Rule, Online Resources, there’s even a pile of film and paper developer formulas. There’s also a calendar and plenty of space for your photography logs; this is where the book fails. While this keeps the book fairly thick, it isn’t too bad to carry around in your camera bag or even a pocket.


The large format log sheet, lots of space for all the gritty details of shooting LF. Most of which I don’t use.

The simple fact is that the GPP&H tries too hard. Is it a planner, Handbook, or journal? Well, it attempts to be all three and loses out because of that. The book contains a full history of the journal and its design, a pile of key dates, calendar, exposure logs, location scouting, and blank note space. It’s all well and good, but seriously it’s a bit overloaded when all I want in such a book is to record the film I’ve shot. The first of these logs is the Ansel Adams’ designed “Exposure Record” I can’t make heads or tails of these sheets. I know they have something to do with the zone system, but not knowing much about that system, beyond how I apply it (Shadows in Zone IV, thanks, Mat!). Next up is the Large Format records, these are my favourite part of the book. I pretty much have everything here that I usually would record and then some, the only thing missing is a spot to record any camera movements. The roll film section just asks too much information that I simply do not record such as lens and exposure data. So these sections just are a waste of space, to be honest. Also, the notebook states that it’s for all types of roll film yet there are only 12 spots per page, which means you’ll have to take over several pages per roll and heaven forbid you’re shooting half-frame on a 36 exposure roll. The area for darkroom prints is pretty handy, and I’ll probably give that some love when I get back into the darkroom printing. The location scouting section is well laid out also giving you plenty of space to make notes on spots you come across in your travels, and I’ll certainly use it to keep notes for future shoots and walks.


The Roll film log sheets, you only get twelve shots per page, and I just wrote a single roll on each line./em>

Despite some added bulk, the GPP&H isn’t a bad notebook; it just tries too hard. And with the calendar element to it, you loose out because once the year ends, two whole sections of the journal can no longer see use. And while I probably won’t be using it on a regular basis as one that comes with me on trips, it will have a spot on my shelf for various other uses like the formulas and journalling locations and darkroom prints.


A comparison of thickness between the two

Shot Film Co. PhotoMemo (SFPM)
If the GPP&H is the Moleskine, then the SFPM is the Field Notes of the Photography Notebook world. The SFPM does not try to be anything other than a practical book that does one thing and one thing only, record notes on roll film. But don’t let the small thin size scare you off, I don’t call it similar to Field Notes for nothing. This one is tough, having used several Field Notes books in the past this thing can take a beating. Inside you’ll find smooth paper, that is nominally thick and can hold pen ink well, and I’m talking fountain pen here. There is a small amount of feathering and some bleed through but nothing to cause me alarm.


A close up of the ink on the page, you can start to see some of the feathering from the ink

While the SFPM doesn’t try to be anything more than a book to record roll film notes, It does suffer the same problem as the GPP&H on the log pages; there’s way too much space for what I record, so I end up only using the top sections and recording some additional notes below. Which makes me feel bad that I’m wasting such a great notebook. But if you do record everything about every frame you shoot than there’s plenty of space for around 35 exposures per record. Honestly, if you don’t like drawing up your notes in a simple notebook, the SFPM is the book I would personally recommend, especially if you take a pile of notes on each roll. While smaller than the GPP&H you certainly have more space to record details in the PhotoMemo.


While the SFPM book gives you more room, I still only use the top section.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’ll be using either notebook in any substantial capacity in the field. I’ve come to realize that I only record the necessary information when I’m in the field and my simple reporter style notebook is enough for me plus I can always fill in the gaps when I go to enter the data into the Excel spreadsheet. But if you’re the type who likes a dedicated notebook you can pick up both items online, The Galaxy Photographer’s Planer and Handbook from B&H and the PhotoMemo directly from Shoot Film Co. And to close I would like to give big thanks to Shoot Film Co. who graciously donated their PhotoMemo book to me for this review.

Developer Review – Rollei RPX-D

Along with their wonderful line up of RPX films, the folks over at Rollei have also got some developers specifically for their film. Similar to Kodak’s TMax Developer for their TMax line of films. So as part of my ongoing 52-Roll project I’ve been using the RPX line of films exclusively. So when I saw the RPX-D developer I figured to give it a shot to see if it gives something more to this film that I wasn’t seeing with my usual chemistry. Before I start I was a little disappointed with the developer, specifically because it seems to be a two trick horse, only having times for the RPX 100 and RPX 400 films, and really was more suited for the RPX 400 films and pushing it beyond the ASA-400 box speed.

RPX 100 – I really do like this film, and the RPX-D developer did a good job with it. The contrast was right on point and the film scans were nice and sharp. There was a decrease on the grain when I scanned it as well. But really it wasn’t anything more or less than what I could get out of Xtol or Blazinal with the film.

52:500c - Week 15 - A Fort Named George
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 100 @ 100 – Rollei RPX-D (1+15) 6:30 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 04 - A Fort for A City
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 (Yellow Filter) – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100 – Rollei RPX-D (1+15) 6:30 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 03 - In the Darkness Bind Them
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100 Rollei RPX-D (1+15) 6:30 @ 20C

RPX 400 – So the one big issue I have with this film is that it just lacks contrast, sort of like why I’m not a fan of Ilford’s Delta 400. So I was hoping that the RPX-D would bring out a bit more in the film to a point where I preferred it, and you know what, it really did! Both at ASA-400 and ASA-800. However it really didn’t tone down the grain on the film like it claimed and actually softened the film I feel.

52:500c - Week 14 - Just Won't Quit
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Disagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-800 – Rollei RPX-D (1+7) 13:00 @ 22C

52:500c - Week 08 - Fort Town
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 400 – Rollei RPX-D (1+11) 11:00 @ 20C

So my final say on this developer is really don’t worry about it. It really doesn’t add anything to the film that you can’t get with your standard developers like Xtol, HC-110, and Blazinal. In fact I’d go as far to say I actually prefer the film in my standard chemicals. But in the end it is all about personal preference. But in the end stick to what you know, and I know that I probably won’t go for any other specific Rollei developers for the rest of the project.

Why Shoot Expired?

This past Tuesday, the Ides of March, is also Expired Film Day. So I figured I would do a post about shooting expired film along with tips/tricks that I’ve come across with shooting old/expired film stocks. While I do a majority of my shooting with fresh film stock there is a certain level of fun and intrigue when shooting with expired film stock.

1. You can Shoot Film that is no longer available fresh.
There are plenty of film stocks out there that is new that you can often make behave like well loved film stock in the past but it just never will be the same. These days you can’t go out and pick up a fresh roll of Plus-X or Panatomic-X not to mention tonnes of other film stocks that have been discontinued and are only available in expired stocks. But if you’re lucky you can pick up only slightly expired.

Opened
Nikon F4 – AF Nikkor 35mm 1:2D – Kodak Panatomic-X (FX) @ ASA-32 – Xtol (1+1) 7:30 @ 20C

Taking Shelter
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Verichrome Pan (VP) @ ASA-125 – Kodak Xtol (1+2) 8:30 @ 20C

Expired Film Day!
Nikon FM2n – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Plus-X (PX) @ ASA-64 – Blazinal (1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

2. You know Instagram/Hipstamic…where do you think they got the idea from?
All that strange colour shifting, gritty, odd looks that you get with your favourite application those old rolls of colour films you have laying around that may have been stored in a dodgy area, you’re going to love some of the stranger shifts that you can get with older film stocks like Fuji Velvia, Kodak Ektachrome, and more!

Band Saw
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Fuji Velvia (RVP)

Overlook
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektachrome E100VS

SUPER8
Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – FPP Retrochrome 320 @ ASA-320 (Eastman Ektachrome 2253) – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

3. It’s Cheap!
Many folks out there are looking to save several dollars these days well short dated film could be your answer! Seriously, if you frequent camera sales (the big ones with lots of vendors) you can usually find the film bins filled with the 1-2$ rolls of 120/35mm that you can pick through to find some deals. Nothing like walking out with twenty rolls for that bill in your wallet. And often it’s the best deal you can get at these shows. Not to mention FPP Retrochrome is cheap fun slide film and of course massive film lots from Ebay!

Sarah at the Garden
Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Polaroid Type 79

Sunday Morning Stroll
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Ektar 25 (PHR)

For Rent
Nikon F4 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Ilford Pan F (Expired: 1978)

Of course there are some pitfalls and things to look out for when buying expired film and some ideas when shooting the stock once you get it.

1. Storage – Usually try to purchase film that have either been frozen or refrigerated, most Ebay auctions will give you some idea of how it was stored, and vendors at shows are usually up front. I’ve shot some dodgy Kodachrome and some frozen stock and the difference is night and day.

Poorly Stored:
Kent Street
Nikon F3 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Kodak Kodachrome 64

Properly Stored:
king/parliment
Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2,8/28 T* – Kodak Kodachrome 64 (KR)

2. Processing – This is mostly important for Slide and Colour Negative films, before we got to our C-41 and E-6 processes today there were several older methods. Today most labs cannot process these older stocks so you’re on your own or sending them off to Film Rescue International, The Darkroom, or Blue Moon Camera and Machine to get done up in B&W chemistry, just be sure to reach out to them first (and the folks that run these companies know their shit) before just sending off random rolls. And while we’re on the topic, I would personally avoid Kodachrome, while you can process it in B&W chemistry it’s really mess and not worth the effort.

3. Pulling the Film – Pulling film is shooting it at a slower speed, the guideline is usually 1 stop per decade. This means that if you have a roll of Kodak High Definition Film that expired in 1994 and has a box speed (the film speed printed on the box) of ASA-400, you’ll want to shoot the film at ASA-100 so two stops. A stop is halving the speed of the film (ASA-400/2 = ASA-200/2 = ASA-100). Of course there are some films that can handle their full box speeds even expired. I’ve shot Plus-X, Panatomic-X, Verichrome Pan, FP4, Pan F all at box speeds with some rolls having expired in the 1960s and the results were fantastic! Of course if you change the film speeds you’ll need to adjust your developing times.

And that’s about it! Now go out there are scour ebay and your aunt’s house for some tasty film treats to run through your cameras. Of course you can also purchase some great stocks from the Film Photography Project Store!

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 14 – We See the Light

ccr-logo-leaf

Sometimes you just can’t trust a camera’s meter or you want to do something creative with how you meter your photos. And then there are times your camera just doesn’t have a trusty built in meter. So you have to do things old school and that’s use an external meter. Something that lives in almost every photographer’s bag.

To give a quick review there are two types of meters based on how they measure light. The first is incident metering that measures the amount of light falling on the subject and then there’s reflective meters that measure the amount of light reflected off the subject.

Meters Featured on Today’s Show…

Pentax Spotmeter V – This is Alex’s go-to meter when shooting medium and large format black & white as well as some colour negative film like Portra 400. It is a pretty simple 1 degree spotmeter that gives an EV reading which you then dial-in with the calculator on the side of the meter, giving you a full range of apertures and shutter speeds. The only thing he wishes it could do is go lower than ASA-6.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 14 - We See the Light

Make: Pentax
Model: Spotmeter V
Type: 1° Reflective Spot Meter
Photocell: Silicon Photo Diode
Scales: ASA-6 to ASA-6400, EV 1 to 19, 4′ to 1/4000″, f/1 to f/128

Jubilee Presbyterian Church
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Adox CHS 100 II – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

Flatiron
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Plus-X (PXE) @ ASA-64 – Blazinal (1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

Weston Master I Model 715 – This World War II era meter is still going strong and next to John’s iPhone is his meter of choice. Of course you need to use a calculator to figure out the Weston Scale for film speeds which was one developed by the company as film speeds in the 1930s and 40s weren’t as accurate as they are today.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 14 - We See the Light

Make: Weston
Model: Master I Type 715
Type: Reflective meter
Photocell: Selenium
Scales: ASA-6 to ASA-820, 100″ to 1/1200″, f/1.5 to f/32

Capturing the View
Pentax Spotmatic SP1000 – Carl Zeiss Jenna 50mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ – Rodinal

Gossen Luna Pro SBC – The non-flash version of the legendary Gossen Lunasix F or Luna Pro F (for those in the US). Well loved and respected by both photographers and cinematographers this meter will not steer you wrong according to Mike. SBC stands for Silicon Blue Cell, after the CdS cell that reads the light. Plus it takes a readily available 9v battery.

Cameras for the Scott Kelby Photowalk

Make: Gossen
Model: Luna Pro SBC
Type: 30° Reflective or 180° Incident meter
Photocell: Silicon Blue Cell
Scales: ASA-0.8 to ASA-100,000, EV -8 to EV +24, 8hrs to 1/8000″, f/0.7 to f/128

Ricoh Mirai 35-135 Slr ZOOM
Calumet CC400 4×5 Monorail – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar 210mm 1:5,6 – Kodak Tri-X Pan (TXP) @ ASA-12 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. M 60:00

Collapse To Ruin
Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon 65mm ƒ/4 – Kodak TMAX400 – Ilford Ilfosol-3 1+14

Sekonic L-398a Studio Deluxe III – This is a wonderful entry level meter with the option for incident and reflective metering, though Donna prefers to meter for reflective light rather than incident. And since it’s a selenium based meter no need to worry about batteries.

Classic Camera Revival - Episode 14 - We See the Light

Make: Sekonic
Model: L-398a Studio Deluxe III
Type: Incident/Reflective
Photocell: Selenium
Scales: ASA-6 to ASA-1200, EV 4 to EV 17, 60′ to 1/8000″, f/0.7 to f/128

Rollei RPX Films: Rollei’s RPX film are in Alex’s words the spiritually successors to the legendary Agfa APX films. Like the APX line they are available in three flavours: ASA-25, ASA-100, and ASA-400 and have really hit the film world. The film is avalible in 35mm and 120 formats but we’d really like to see it in 4×5 maybe? While there are many detractors there are still plenty of fans of the film itself! And the best part is that it’s now very easily accessible here in Canada through our friends at Argentix, Burlington Camera, and Downtown Camera!

Samples from RPX 25
52:500c - Week 02 - Winter's Fort
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+50) 11:00 @ 20C

Front of old Dodge Pickup
Olympus Pen F – SMC Pentax M 50mm 1:1.4 – Rollei RPX 25 – Rodinal (1+50) 11:00 @ 20C

Hobson United
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Rollei RPX 25 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 7:00 @ 20C

Samples from RPX 100
52:500c - Week 04 - A Fort for A City
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100 – Rollei RPX-D (1+15) 6:30 @ 20C

Birds Eye View
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 – 35mm 1:3.5 – Rollei RPX 100 – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Mill Pond - Diacord L
Rochoflex Diacord L – Rikenon 80mm 1:3.5 – Rollei RPX 100 – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

Samples from RPX 400

52:500c - Week 06 - Organized Chaos
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-800 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 14:30 @ 20C

TFSM Fall '15  - The Distillery District
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 400 @ ASA-320 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 18:00 @ 20C

In A Mirror, Darkly
Nikon F5 – AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Rollei RPX 400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

We’re having a meet ‘n greet! That’s right this is your chance to network, drool, and photograph with the hosts of Classic Camera Revival and the fans and listeners in downtown Hamilton on the 7th of May, 2016! The best part is that it’s also the same weekend as Doors Open Hamilton so there will be plenty to shoot. If you plan on coming please RSVP either on our Facebook Event or by Email. And we hope to see you there!

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, if you’re 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

Camera Review – The Intrepid Camera

Anyone who’s ever looked into ‘getting into’ large format photography can be pretty intimidated, I know I was when I first picked up a Speed Graphic in Rochester. But since then it’s become pretty natural for me. I no longer use that beat up Speed Graphic, it died part way through my 52-sheet project last year and was soon replaced with a very nice Crown Graphic. I then started to hear about a new player on the block, coming out of England from the Interpid Camera Co. I started following them on their various social media accounts hoping for something big. And sure enough, something big happened. They were building a new 4×5 field camera that was affordable, I backed their kickstarter campaign as fast as my computer would allow, enough to pick up an early bird special on the camera. It was a wild success, after an initial goal of £27,000, they ended up making £63,158! Then it was a matter of waiting. And finally the day arrived and I was able to unpack a very handsome box with this beautiful camera inside. I mean I still have the box. But anyways, enough gushing, time to get down to business.

The Intrepid

The Dirt

  • Make: Intrepid Camera Co.
  • Model: Intrepid 4×5
  • Type: Field Camera
  • Format: Sheet Film: 4×5
  • Year of Manufacture: 2015
  • Lens: Interchangable, Technika Board

Flatiron
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Plus-X (PXE) @ ASA-64 – Blazinal (1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

The Christmas Rush
Intrepid – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak Plus-X (PXE) @ ASA-64 – Blazinal (1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

The Good
The first thing that I really noticed about the camera is the weight, compared to my Crown Graphic this thing is light. Mostly due to the plywood/aluminium construction, which is still damned sturdy, even with my heaviest lens (Schneider Symmar-S 210mm) there’s no movements in the front standard. Speaking of movements you get pretty much every move with a field camera in the Intrepid, Front Swing, tilt, rise, and fall. You can even do back focus if needed. Three points to mount the front standard so you can use pretty much any lens between 90mm and 300mm, sorry ultra-wide junkies, but there’s a TravelWide for that. It takes a widely available Technika style lens board and since the camera came with a pinhole board, you could even manufacture your own boards from wood or 3D printing with the right tools. The camera also featured something I’ve been wanting in an owned 4×5 for some time now a rotating back, and yes the Intrepid has that! And continuing on the back it works perfectly with any existing film holders even the Polaroid 545 so you can use any old Polaroid Stock or New55’s PN or 1SHOT film products. It should also work with pack film holders as well, but I can’t speak to that as I don’t have one. The back is also Graflok compatible and the ground glass is removable to mount a roll film adapter or Polaroid pack.

A MiG
Intrepid – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Adox CHS 100 II – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

Jubilee Presbyterian Church
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Adox CHS 100 II – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

The Bad
If you’re looking for speed you have the wrong camera. This is a camera that requires a good multi-minute setup (and that’s even after I’ve setup and taken down the camera multiple times). But with the weight you really don’t have to if you’re in the field and can easily carry it on a lighter tripod because the camera itself is so light. But out in the streets of Toronto…keep that thing packed away when on the move through the streets, but for a smaller town like Stayner, Ontario shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Probably the biggest issue I found with the camera is the front standard the one thumb screw (on mine at least) has a tendency to fall out when making movements.

St. Lawrence Hall
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak Plus-X (PXE) @ ASA-64 – Blazinal (1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

Airport Road Barn
Intrepid – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Adox CHS 100 II – Blazinal (1+25) 5:00 @ 20C

The Down Low
So you want to get into large format photography and you don’t want to mess around with vintage gear that could have plenty of problems. You don’t want to drop a tonne of cash on a premium camera like a Canham, ShenHao, or similar. But you also want a little more freedom of movement than a travelwide. Well this is where the Intrepid fits into place. You have an affordable (£199/407CAD/300USD), precision crafted field camera that is ready to shoot right out of the box. I mean, if you have the holders already, there’s a pinhole lens so you can shoot while you hunt down some good glass. As for lenses, if you’re getting started something like a 125mm or 135mm lens would be a great place to start. Want to learn more? Check out the Intrepid Camera page and maybe if you want…place an order.

Exploring Ilford – Part 4 – Microphen

Another new developer for me and when I find a new developer I’m usually excited to see how different films react to it. And to make it even sweeter the Kodak equivalent, DK-50, is a developer I had never even heard of until now! According to the Ilford Product page this is a fine grain developer designed for push processing faster films. So for slow and medium speed films I chose to shoot at box speed, while faster films I went and did some pushing.

With Ilford FP4+
In all honesty you really can’t go wrong with FP4, this is one of those films that just always looks good in almost every developer I’ve run it through and the same can be said about FP4 and Microphen. Producing next to no grain and a pleasing grain at that and amazing sharpness and contrast. While it looks great in 35mm I would love to see what it does in Medium and Large formats…but that the topic of another set of blogs coming next year!

CCR - Review 24 - Nikon F3
Nikon F3 – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) @ 20C

CCR - Review 23 - Argus C3
Argus C3 – Argus Cintar 50mm f/3.5 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) @ 20C

With Ilford Delta 100
I actually found that Microphen pretty much produced a level playing field with the tradition FP4 and the modern Delta 100 films (and actually both take ten minutes in the soup). You get again contrast on point, no grain, and just overall a very pleasing and very printable negative as a result.

CCR - Review 25 - FPP Debonair
FPP Debonair – Super Lens 1:8/80MM – Ilford Delta 100 @ ~ASA-100 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) @ 20C

Hitchcock Would be Proud
FPP Debonair – Super Lens 1:8/80MM – Ilford Delta 100 @ ~ASA-100 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) @ 20C

With Ilford HP5+
Okay so I’ll admit I’ve been giving HP5 a bad wrap through the first three parts of exploring Ilford’s chemistry line. And that’s mostly because I’ve been shooting it in 35mm format. So I’m going to even the score a little and give the medium format a shot. Now this, this is what I like my B&W films to look like, smooth grain, even tones and good strong blacks and whites. HP5 even at ASA-400 in medium format really sings especially in Microphen. It really helps smooth out the grain and gives really good contrast.

TFSM - Summer '15 - The Streets
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Summer '15 - The Streets
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-400 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

With Kodak Tri-X
I’ve always been a fan of Tri-X and will remain a fan of Tri-X to my dying day. And while I’m usually wary of taking this film out of Kodak/Pyro chemistry when I shot it and developed in Perceptol I got some great results. So with Microphen being a developer good for push processing, and I do enjoy Tri-X at ASA-800 I gave it a shot and was rather pleased with the results!

CCR - Review 22 - Canon EOS-1n
Canon EOS-1n – Canon EF Lens 35mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-800 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

CCR - Review 22 - Canon EOS-1n
Canon EOS-1n – Canon EF Lens 35mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-800 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

With Ilford Pan F+ There are some films that just look great with all developers and others that only look good in one or two. Then there is the odd case where you find a film and developer combination that just looks like pure magic. Pan F remains hands down my favourite film from the Ilford line but when you pair it with Microphen it just goes to a whole other level of film nirvana. Throw on a contrast filter and you probably have the perfect film at least for me.

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Green-1) – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C

CCR - Review 22 - Nikon F5
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Green-1) – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Microphen (1+1) 6:00 @ 20C

Like Perceptol this developer only comes in 1L kits and when I’m using 500mL of chemistry 1 to 1 it does go through a bottle fairly quickly so this time I bought two kits right off the bat. Overall I was really happy with this developer, and will certainly use it again especially if I do a project that would be best done on Pan F. And while this brings us to the end of exploring Ilford’s film chemistry line. Stay tuned for Part 5 where I go over the best and worst in the way of Ilford products at least in my humble opinion.

FPP Retrochrome – Slide Film you can Afford

Michael Raso and the Film Photography Project have always been on the hunt for fun oddball films that many people have never heard of or had a chance to use in their still cameras. In fact I’ve written several posts about some of these magical motion picture films in the past, such as Eastman Double-X 5222 and my favourite Eastman 5363! But now they’ve done it again this time unearthing from a deep military vault in the Nevada desert and not as radioactive as you might think two types of motion picture slide film that was used to record nuclear tests. And they have miles and miles of this stuff. And they’re calling it Retrochrome, with good reason.

FPP Retrochrome 320
I personally think this should be called Nostalgachrome, this warm toned slide film produces wonderful results that give that old timey feel in any condition. Bright sun to dull overcast and rainy, you may be taking pictures in the 21st century but you get the look that it’s actually slides from those old family vacations you took as a kid or your parents took as kids (depending on how old you are). Plus being rated at ASA-320 (you can also shoot at ASA-400 and not adjust your developing and have no issues) it gives you a nice fast slide film which is something that is harder to find these days. After a bit of research I found that the film itself is Eastman Ektachrome 2253.

Almost Directionless
FPP Ann Arbor Photowalk – Nikon F2 Photomic – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4 – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

A Sunday in Bruges
Historic Center of Bruges, BE – Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

FPP Retrochrome 160
If the warm tone is not your thing they maybe consider the slower Retrochrome 160, there is definitely a blue cast to this film it also appears to be a tungsten balance but being Eastman Ektachrome 2239 means it is a daylight film, so maybe I messed up somewhere but still produces some wonderful images!

Amsterdam...The First Day
Old City of Amsterdam, NL – Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.8/28 T* – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

Amsterdam...The First Day
Old City of Amsterdam, NL – Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2.8/28 T* – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

Overall both these films brings freedom of choice to shooting colour reversal film and these days where slide film is getting either hard to come by or expensive to buy this is an affordable option. Plus gives you a great film to learn with on developing your own slide film. If you want to give it a shot you can pick up a slide film starter kit from the Film Photography Project! Or pick up a roll of Retrochrome 320 or Retrochrome 160 on their own from the FPP Store! Both are also available in a nine roll pack!

Exploring Ilford – Part 2 – Perceptol

After the lack luster across the board performance of Ilford DD-X (Which I have since tried with Delta 3200 which DD-X was designed for, and my good friend Julie Douglas saying it works well with Kodak films) I decided to give another Ilford developer a try, Perceptol. According to the Ilford site the developer is a very fine grain developer with excellent image quality. While designed for the slower films in the Ilford line up it would produce noticeably finer grain with faster films. This is Ilford’s version of the classic Microdol-X from Kodak, a developer that actually grew on me the more I used it, so I was looking forward to the results!

With Delta 400
So the first film I gave the developer a go on was a film I don’t really have a good feeling on, Delta 400, mostly because I just don’t like the contrast, but that’s a rant for Part 5 of Exploring Ilford. I also decided to help cut the grain and boost the contrast by pulling the film one stop. It worked, a bit, but the one thing that I really liked about this is that the developer did exactly what it said it would do, it reduced the grain to something a lot more pleasing in the film scans and produced a super sharp image! I mean, razor sharp.

Ottawa Wanderings - March 2015
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-200 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 12:30 @ 20C

Ottawa Wanderings - March 2015
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 400 @ ASA-200 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 12:30 @ 20C

With Pan F+
The next film up was Ilford Pan F, a favourite of mine. Now I’ve developed Pan F in plenty of other developers, some of my favourites being Rodinal and Xtol. But Perceptol really added something to the film. Pan F on it’s own is already a fine grained film with good contrast because of the slow speed, but Perceptol really brought out all the great qualities of the film. The grain was reduced to nothing which is going to make printing it all the more interesting while trying to focus it. But the grain that is there is oh so pleasing.

CCR - Review 7 - Fuji GX680iii
Fuji GX680iii – Fuji Fujinon EBC 80mm 1:5.6 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 15:00 @ 20C

CCR - Review 7 - Fuji GX680iii
Fuji GX680iii – Fuji Fujinon EBC 80mm 1:5.6 – Ilford Pan F+ @ ASA-50 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 15:00 @ 20C

With FP4+
I already was a big fan of FP4+ but souping this film in Perceptol while generally enhancing the grain of the grain of the film (which really isn’t a bad thing since it’s a pleasing grain) made the film razor sharp. And probably my favourite part of the film was the contrast, dead on, exactly where I like my contrast to be!

CCR - Review 8 - Minolta Hi-Matic 7s
Minolta Hi-Matic 7s – Rokkor-PF 1:1.8 f=45mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 15:00 @ 20C

CCR - Review 8 - Minolta Hi-Matic 7s
Minolta Hi-Matic 7s – Rokkor-PF 1:1.8 f=45mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 15:00 @ 20C

With Delta 100
Next film on the list is Delta 100 and I was even more impressed with the results. Contrast, Sharp, and next to no grain. I mean the grain of Delta 100 wasn’t exactly my favourite in some other developers (it was okay in DD-X), but in Perceptol it was giving results of Pan F+ and contrast again right where I want it, if not more than I was getting with FP4.

CCR - Review 10 - Fed-2 (ФЭД-2)
Fed-2 – Jupiter-8 2/50 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-100 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

CCR - Review 11 - Pentax 645
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Ilford Delta 100 @ ASA-50 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 13:00 @ 20C

With HP5+
HP5+ in 35mm is a rough film to work with, so I figured I got some decent results out of Delta 400 (sure in medium format) and not wanting to give HP5 a bum rap I took a roll out to test out a camera and again pulled the film just a touch to a classic ASA-320. Well the grain is still there, but the contrast has certainly improved. While HP5 is still not my favourite film in 35mm ASA-400 offering, in Perceptol it certainly looks better than Delta 400.

TFSM - Spring '15 - Queen Street
Pentax K1000 – SMC Pentax 55mm 1:2 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-320

TFSM - Spring '15 - Queen Street
Pentax K1000 – SMC Pentax 55mm 1:2 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-320

TFSM - Spring '15 - Queen Street
Pentax K1000 – SMC Pentax 55mm 1:2 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-320

With Kodak Tri-X 400
Having enough developer left over, I figured, why not give it a shot with a film other than Ilford to see what happens, and having a couple of rolls of Kodak Tri-X laying around, and Doors Open Toronto here…I thought…why not! Now I’ve always used Ilford film in non-Ilford developers and have enjoyed the results, and as my good friend Julie pointed out to me she loves using Kodak films in Ilford developers. And well I was seriously impressed with the results of my beloved Tri-X in Perceptol, smoothed out the grain, kept the contrast and gave a very very very classic Tri-X look.

DO:T - John Street Roundhouse
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-320 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

DO:T - John Street Roundhouse
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-320 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 12:00 @ 20C

However there is one thing that I really don’t like with Perceptol and that it only comes in packages to make 1 liter of the stock solution, I know that you can just use it as stock and keep reusing it for a specific amount of processed rolls but I’m a diluting guy, so if I’m using 250mL of chemistry of each batch of 500mL (2 rolls of 120 or 2 of 35mm) that’s only four rolls per bottle. But at least the cost is lower. In the final say, I won’t keep Perceptol all the time, but if I want a better look out of HP5+ or a really fine grain look on Tri-X I’ll make sure I shoot enough film to use up a single 1 liter bottle in one go.

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 5 – Communist Camera Revival

CCR-Soviet

Comrades! Welcome to Communist Camera Revival. Don’t get the (red) scare, we’re just covering Communist Cameras this month as the 1st of May marks International Communist Camera Day! So why was the 1st ICCD? Because the day was a major holiday in the Soviet Union. So let’s get our lomo on and explore the wondrous cameras that have come out of Communist countries. But where did these cameras come from, many look like top end German cameras? Well the simple fact is that they came from Germany, when the Red Army overran Germany they carried away parts, tools, and employees that worked for the major camera companies and setup shop mostly in the Ukraine.

Cameras Featured on Today’s Episode

Seagull 4A-103 – While not a Russian camera, this Chinese twin lens reflex (TLR) camera is a great option if you don’t want to drop a lot of coin on a Rolleiflex. And despite the low cost, well some do cost a little more, this still produced camera produces quality images.

Seagull 4A-103 TLR

Wood And Wire

Lucky Horseshoes

Low-Power Comfort

Lubitel 2 (Любитель-2) – Another Twin Lens camera the Lubitel-2 is a great starter TLR and a copy of the Voitlander Brilliant. While the optics on this camera is solid (Lomo T-22 glass optics), the focusing has much to be desired, having only a small loupe, and the focusing is a geared method and can wreak your fingers if you aren’t careful.

In Soviet Russia...Camera Shoots You

Rail Fencing

AER943

Downtown Millbrook

Zenit 3M (Зенит-3M) – The Zenit 3m is unique in the 35mm SLR field in the fact that instead of hte more common M42 thread mount it uses the smaller M39 similar to rangefinder cameras of the era. Another chunk of metal but is a solid machine all the same.

DSC00222

Naima

Shooting film

Naima

Kiev 88 (Киев 88) – While many Russian cameras from the Soviet Bloc were copies of German cameras, the Kiev 88 is a copy of the Swedish Hasselblad. In fact you can swap out some accessories with Hasselblad cameras even. Despite being a Soviet camera the lenses on this camera area pretty good, even at a shallow depth of field. But like any camera from the USSR expect to do some repair work.

The Kiev

Ancient Halls

Carts!

Vat Room

Kiev 3A (Киев 3A) – The Kiev 3A is a direct copy of the famous Contax Rangefinder that Robert Cappa took onto the beaches of Normandy during the Operation Overlord Landings on D-Day. In fact many of the early cameras were branded Contax as they used original parts when they captured the factories in Germany. While equipped with a selenium light meter don’t expect it to work anymore.

Kiev plus Jupiter 12

Kiev plus Jupiter 12

Kiev plus Jupiter 12

Fed 2 (ФРС 2) – A Leica copy rangefinder that is basically a chunk of metal. And a favoured camera among those who shoot Russian cameras. When paired with a Jupiter-8 or similar lens the camera offers a solid piece of equipment and sound optics. Just watch out for pinholing in the shutter curtain, but you’ll be able to fix smaller holes with just a sharpie marker.

Fed 2 - Russian Rangefinder

Canadian Maple - Explored - May 28 - 2012

Sider Silk

Pathways..

In addition to these hidden camera gems from the Soviet Bloc, they also produced a large number of lenses that have such a unique look and feel in their optics, and most use the universal thread mount either M39 (Leica Thread Mount LTM), or the M42 (Prakitca) mount. These lenses will work great on any camera with the proper mount, or even with an adapter onto your digital camera! Co-Host Alex has picked up a Fotodiox adapter and has tested it on a Sony a6000 with a Jupiter-8 and Industar-22 lens and gotten some spectacular results!

Under The Overpass
Leica IIIa – Industar 61-N 2.8/53 (Индустар И61-л/д 2.8/53) w/ K2 Yellow Filter – Rollei Retro 80s – Rodinal 1+100 Semi-Stand

Helios 44/2
Yashica TL-Electro – Helios-44-2 2/58 – Kodak Double-X (5222) @ ASA-200 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00

If you want to try any of these cameras out but don’t want to go the Ebay route, which could lead to getting a bad copy (which does happen) but at least it’s not an expensive camera to replace, you can always go through the Lomography company. They have modern copies of some classic Russian Cameras. Such as the Lomo Compact Automatic (LC-A), the Lubitel 166+, even the Zenit Horizon Panoramic Camera.

The Darkroom…
After the iron curtain fell, in addition to cameras making their way west, so did some Russian films (eventually) while the former Soviet States started consuming the western films (like Kodak, Ilford, Agfa ect) the films that were avalible in the bloc started taking a backseat but today you can get them rather easily here in the west. One such film brand is ORWO, available from ORWO North America in bulk rolls as it is motion picture film, but works well as a still photography film, in two flavours, the UN54 a nice ASA-100 film and NP74 a gritty ASA-400 speed.

Downtown Cincinnati
ORWO UN54 in PMK Pyro

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School
ORWO NP74+ in Kodak Xtol

But the more prolific Russian film is the Svema line of products. The company name, Свема is a compound of two words, Светочувствительные Материалы, which when translated literally means Photosensitive Material! Originally the company only produced B&W products but when the Russians got their hands on Agfa’s colour technology during the Second World War Svema started to produce colour films. In North America the easiest place to get your hands on this beautiful film is through our friends at the Film Photography Project! This is fresh film, made in a top secret factory still in the Ukraine. So what can you get from the FPP?

Color 125 – If you want to get away from the Kodak and Fuji colour pallets, this film is for you!

Milk Thistle

Foto 200 – If you like B&W film this film is pure magic and makes the world look like you want to see it. Don’t let the polyester base scare you, while a bit of a struggle to load up on your film reels the effort is worth it!

Steel and Concrete

FN64 – A classic old school emulsion from Svema, the FN64 is a super fine grain B&W motion picture film. Expose at either ASA-64 or ASA-80.

Triple Benches

MZ-3 – If you’re a fan of slow films, MZ-3 is a great zero grain blue-senstive copy film that works great for capturing fine details. Shoot it at ASA-3 and it’ll look great developed in HC-110 Dil. E for 6 minutes.

Wiarton, Ontario - Svema MZ-3 Test Roll 2

Blue – If you thought MZ-3 was slow thing again, Svema Blue is an ASA-1.5 blue sensitive film that will again blow you away with zero grain and high contrast.

Streetscape

Of course these are just scratching the surface of the Svema catalog and the best part is that some of these films are avalible in 35mm, 120, and 620 formats through the FPP Store!

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix…check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, or Film Plus if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario, if you’re 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