Tag Archives: Hasselblad

It’s a TMAX Party – Part II

The April TMax party happened to fall right into the perfect schedule with the Spring 2017 Toronto Film Shooters Meetup falling right into the shoot week! After careful consideration and having moved many of my cameras over the condo where I’ll be living before the month is up (actually next week once Heather and I get back from the honeymoon). I settled on my trusty Hasselblad 500c; it has been seeing a little less use this year after getting a lot of love with the 52:500c project.

TFSM - Spring '17
Downtown Camera where the meet started and the best spot in downtown Toronto to pickup anything film releated!

TFSM - Spring '17
A slightly sad wall, needs something more than just grey and white paint.

All through downtown Toronto, we went, taking in the various sites and sounds of the city’s core with a solid group of photographers from the little group I gathered together. This meet was the brainchild of James McFarlane. A long-time friend and the man who is going to be the photographer at the wedding in a couple of days!

TFSM - Spring '17
The man himself!

TFSM - Spring '17
St. Lawrence Hall from the park. Back in 2016 I tried to get a night shot from this angle, but failed.

Despite being a day of mixed lighting conditions with the bright cloud cover, it was great to get out with a 400-speed film so that no matter what happened I could shoot handheld which is important on a photo walk. Tracing along Queen Street and into St. James Park there were plenty of things to shoot, and because I wasn’t leading the walk, I could settle back and enjoy just shooting. And for a TFS meetup, it’s an oddity.

TFSM - Spring '17
One of the side doors of the St. James Cathedral. I would have gone inside but I wasn’t equipped for indoor shooting on the day

TFSM - Spring '17
But there’s still lots of shoot on the outside of St. James

As always big thank you to Emulsive for organizing this little party (and I look forward to the next film party, maybe a Tri-X Shindig?) and to Downtown Camera for being a big supporter of the TFS group!

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

A Cold Day on James Street

For the past several years I’ve been working on a series of photo projects that usually resulted in me going out to shoot on a regular basis but for project reasons. But this year, despite still going out and shooting film for camera reviews I’ve started just taking cameras out for the pure reason of going out to shoot for my enjoyment.

LUiNA Station

A Fountain

And while I had brought a camera to review with me, and my 4×5 along for this month’s TMAX Party I did get out and do some shooting for just me. Having shot the Hasselblad once a week every week last year I’ve been letting it sit for a bit on my shelves while I played with other cameras through the first couple months. But I thought it would survive a rather cold Saturday morning in Hamilton while Heather was at a baby shower for my future sister-in-law.

Pig in the Window

Rusted Out

So while Heather was up on the mountain, I took a wander along James Street. While there is always much to see in downtown Hamilton I, usually stick to the same box and area. So this time I wandered a bit further afield along James Street towards the waterfront. While there were many familiar sites once I got past the Christ Cathedral, they were no longer too familiar, and I finally got to see the beautiful LUiNA Station. A former train station turned event venue.

Little India

Opposing Doors

The weather it turned out was a little colder than I expected and by the time I got back to my car I was pretty uncomfortable, and so was my 4×5 that had been sitting inside the car so the other four sheets of film would have to wait for warmer weather. But I was happy with the results I got from the Hasselblad.


Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100
Blazinal (1+50) 9:00 @ 20C
Meter: Gossen Lunasix F
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2017)

52:500c – 52 Weeks, 52 Photos

Over the course of last year, I ran through another fifty-two roll project. While I didn’t post the images here to this blog, I did post them over on 52rolls.net. This year I made a point to stick to certain rules and methods that I have used in past projects of this type and settled on the following.

  1. I could only use a Hasselblad 500 series camera
  2. I could only use the Rollei RPX line of film (RPX 25, 100, and 400)
  3. I could use any lens in the Hasselblad V system

I also made a point each week I would pick my favourite photo from that week, in mind to but them together in a book (which is happening). But without further delay, here’s my picks for 52 photos from 52 weeks!

Week 01 – Welcome to the Hangover
52:500c - Week 01 - Welcome to the Hangover

Week 02 – Winter’s Fort
52:500c - Week 02 - Winter's Fort

Week 03 – In the Darkness Bind Them
52:500c - Week 03 - In the Darkness Bind Them

Week 04 – A Fort for a City
52:500c - Week 04 - A Fort for A City

Week 05 – Ghosts
52:500c - Week 05 - Ghosts

Week 06 – Organized Chaos
52:500c - Week 06 - Organized Chaos

Week 07 – A View to a Lake
52:500c - Week 07 - A View to a Lake

Week 08 – Fort Town
52:500c - Week 08 - Fort Town

Week 09 – Throwing Rocks
52:500c - Week 09 - Throwing Rocks

Week 10 – Capital National
52:500c - Week 10 - Capital National

Of course, this project I was euphoric with, I mean by the half-way point I had worked through some failures, accepted the losses and posted the photos anyways. Now I had toyed around with the idea of making a book with my first 52-Roll Project, not so much in the second, the third would have also made a good book. But this fourth one grabbed onto me, so I started collecting up my favourites from each week.

Week 11 – Jewel in the Crown
52:500c - Week 11 - Jewel in the Crown

Week 12 – A House Divided
52:500c - Week 12 - A House Divided

Week 13 – A Lovely Downtown
52:500c - Week 13 - Lovely Downtown

Week 14 – Just Won’t Quit
52:500c - Week 14 - Just Won't Quit

Week 15 – A Fort Named George
52:500c - Week 15 - A Fort Named George

The design of the book will be pure, middle gray for the background with white text in a sans-serif font and simply titled “52: A Year on Film” each image presented with a small write up on it. The write-ups will be new, not taken from any blog post or Flickr description, as the book is a reflection on the image, what it means now, not then.

Week 16 – In the Neighborhood
52:500c - Week 16 - In The Neighborhood

Week 17 – No Place I’d Rather Be
52:500c - Week 17 - No Place I'd Rather Be

Week 18 – Longwoods
52:500c - Week 18 - Longwoods

Week 19 – The Gully
52:500c - Week 19 - The Gully

Week 20 – Welcome to the Jungle
52:500c - Week 20 - Welcome to the Jungle

What goes into picking your favourite photos, thankfully some weeks I had only seven picks from the roll, others I had the full twelve. I usually trust my gut when it comes to this; I wait for a single photo just to jump out and grab me. Ones that I’m on point with exposure and composition, an image that speaks to my soul and shows the theme or subject I had photographed for the week.

Week 21 – Welcome to the Roc
52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc

Week 22 – A Farmer’s Life
52:500c - Week 22 - A Farmer's Life

Week 23 – Battlefield House
52:500c - Week 23 - Battlefield House

Week 24 – The City that Works
52:500c - Week 24 - The City that Works

Week 25 – The Old Kirk
52:500c - Week 25 - The Old Kirk

Week 26 – Close to Home
52:500c - Week 26 - Close to Home

Week 27 – Ships of Summer
52:500c - Week 27 - The Ships of Summer

Week 28 – Cruisin’
52:500c - Week 28 - Cruisin'

Week 29 – Lovely Saturday Drive
52:500c - Week 29 - Lovely Saturday Drive

Week 30 – Contest of Fortification
52:500c - Week 30 - Contest of Fortification

The big task will be to go back through my negatives and to rescan each one, then going through and editing each image again in Photoshop but using the same technique and style for each. You might have noted the jarring sepia tone on “A House Divided” Yeah, that wouldn’t look good in a book that I’m aiming to keep a consistent look. It also will allow for some of the old negatives that had a nasty curl to be scanned better.

Week 31 – Vieux-Québec
52:500c - Week 31 - Vieux-Québec

Week 32 – Lakeshore Evenings
52:500c - Week 32 - Lakeshore Evenings

Week 33 – Transit
52:500c - Week 33 - Transit

Week 34 – Wednesday Night Blues
52:500c - Week 34 - Wednesday Night Blues

Week 35 – Muskoka
52:500c - Week 35 - Muskoka

Week 36 – Castle
52:500c - Week 36 - Castle

Week 37 – Shaken, Not Stirred
52:500c - Week 37 - Shaken, Not Stirred

Week 38 – Saturday Morning Coffee
52:500c - Week 38 - Saturday Morning Coffee

Week 39 – Black Creek
52:500c - Week 39 - Black Creek

Week 40 – Grand Old House
52:500c - Week 40 - Grand Old House

The project also gave me a deep appreciation for the Rollei RPX line of films, a fantastic stock that’s new in the film community. And I do plan on continuing to shoot the RPX 25 as my new choice for slow films, RPX 100 and RPX 400 are decent films, but I’ll stick with FP4+ and Tri-X.

Week 41 – Battle Ground
52:500c - Week 41 - Battle Ground

Week 42 – Royal City
52:500c - Week 42 - Royal City

Week 43 – Make No Little Plans
52:500c - Week 43 - Make No Little Plans

Week 44 – Disillusionment
52:500c - Week 44 - Disillusionment

Week 45 – High Flight
52:500c - Week 45 - High Flight

Week 46 – Distant Voices
52:500c - Week 46 - Distant Voices

Week 47 – Finding Nemo
52:500c - Week 47 - Finding Nemo

Week 48 – Steel City Blues
52:500c - Week 48 - Steel City Blues

Week 49 – Upon Avon
52:500c - Week 49 - Upon Avon

Week 50 – Burlington Races
52:500c - Week 50 - Burlington Races

Week 51 – Once More with Feeling
52:500c - Week 51 - Once More With Feeling

Week 52 – All’s Quiet
52:500c - Week 52 - All's Quiet

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 23 – The Good, The Blad, and the Ugly

ccr-logo-leaf

So what makes a Hasselblad a Hasselblad! The whole crew sits down to talk about the magic that is the Hasselblad 500 series of cameras as three of the gang have them, but all four have shot with it. Don’t worry we’re not going fanatical over the camera but rather take a critical look at this iconic camera. Over the course of the show, we’ll be discussing mostly the 500 series of cameras, today known as the V-System as it was known after the introduction of the digital H-System in 2002.

CCR - Review 19 - Hasselblad 500c
Alex’s Hasselblad 500c.

The Dirt

  • Make: Hasselblad
  • Model: 500c and 500c/m
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Hasselblad V-Mount
  • Format: Multiple (Back Dependent)
  • Year of Manufacture: 1957 – 2013

Château Frontenac
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Portra 400 @ ASA-400 – Processing By: Burlington Camera

Project:1812 - The Battle of Tippecanoe
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Logs in the forest
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei PRX 400 – Rodinal (1+100) 1:00:00 @ 20C

Water Treatment Plant, Toronto
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei Retro 80s @ ASA-80 – Rodinal (1+50) 14:00 @ 20C

Upl - HasselbladFoma100 - PRTSCN01
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 T* – Foma Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100

HasselbladTFSMFoma100-1-12
Hasselblad 500C/M – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 T* – Foma Fomapan 100 @ ASA-100

Looking for a good spot to get your gear and material fix…check out Burlington Camera, Downtown Camera, Film Plus, Belle Arte Camera and Camtech, if you’re in the GTA region of Ontario. In Guelph there’s Pond’s FotoSource For those further north you can visit Foto Art Camera in Owen Sound. On the West Coast (British Columbia) check out Beau Photo Supply. Additionally you can order online at Argentix (Quebec), the Film Photography Project or Freestyle Photographic.

Also you can connect with us through email: classiccamerarevivial[at]gmail[dot]com or by Facebook, we’re at Classic Camera Revival or even Twitter @ccamerarevival

Film Review – Rollei RPX 100

Next in line is the middle-ground for the RPX line, RPX 100. And frankly, this is another winner in my book. Beautiful tones, fine grain structure and a tremendous latitude! The film is seriously the Portra 400 of the RPX line. I may even go as far to say this film is just a little better than my two favourite mid-speed films, Kodak TMax 100 and Ilford FP4+.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Negative Film
  • Base: Polyester (PE)
  • Film Speed: ASA-100, with a Latitude between ASA-25 and ASA-800
  • Formats Available: 35mm/120

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

52:500c - Week 27 - The Ships of Summer
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 100 @ 100 – Kodak Xtol (Stock) 8:00 @ 20C

The Good
If you’re looking for a solid middle of the road film with plenty of room on either side of the box speed, this is certainly one to try. I have not experimented with the range beyond box speed only because it looks just beautiful right at ASA-100. While I was worried about this film at first when I shot it back in October of last year, I felt that it lacked the contrast where I wanted it. But after playing around with other developers, I found that it could be done at a good contrast point. This film sings in almost any developer that you soup it in, especially the specifically designed RPX-D developer. In fact, I find this film a close cousin of Kodak TMax 100 and often behaves in the same way, in fact when I went to use FA-1027 I used the TMax 100 times with great results. I have also noticed that it does respond well to contrast filters especially with either Orange or Red filters to darken the sky on bright days with beautiful clouds. And finally there’s the grain, it’s a good structure and even in sharp developers like Rodinal, it doesn’t make the grain look terrible.

52:500c - Week 31 - Vieux-Québec
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 9:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 19 - The Gully
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-50 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:30 @ 20C

The Bad
The one thing I don’t like about the film is that in certain developers you can get a lack of contrast, mostly in Xtol cut 1+1, but I mean that’s just a personal preference. As I mentioned before the film is fine grain, which is true but you have to keep that agitation light. I’ve found that in HC-110 if I’m a little rough on the tank, you will get a bit of an uptick in grain.

52:500c - Week 22 - A Farmer's Life
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100 – Blazinal (1+50) 17:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 26 - Close to Home
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 100 @ ASA-100 – FA-1027 (1+14) 9:30 @ 20C

The Lowdown
If you’re balking at the price increase on Kodak TMax films then this might be a good alternative and it readily available both in Canada and the United States and offers similar times so even with the limited ones specifically for RPX100 you can experiment and begin to use the TMax times. Just remember if you’re a little unsure give a clip test first. I wish that Rollei would begin to produce this film in 4×5 as well, but hey, you can’t be too picky these days.

Film Review – Rollei RPX 25

When I first learned about the RPX line of film I was pretty excited, these days we often get news of discontinuation of films more than the addition of a new film stock. I was also excited when I learned that these would be the modern reincarnation of the legendary Agfa APX films and what a return to the photographic stage. Now these films are produced by Agfa but marketed under the Rollei Name. So with my on going 52-Roll project just past the halfway mark I figured now would be a time to give them a bit of a review! So to kick it off I’m going to review the slowest of the three flavours, RPX 25 and so far my favourite of the lot.

Product Highlights

  • Type: Panchromatic B&W Negative Film
  • Base: Polyester (PE)
  • Film Speed: ASA-25, with a Latitude between ASA-12 and ASA-50
  • Formats Available: 35mm/120/4×5

The Good
I’m not going to lie; I love slower films these days, and the RPX25 doesn’t fail. The film delivers on its promise of being a fine grained film and sharp. I mean razor sharp. I’ve had excellent results developing this film in Rodinal and HC-110. It really likes Rodinal at 1+50 dilution and delivers super sharp negatives and fine grain which is something coming from a sharp developer. In HC-110 the high contrast nature of the film really shines but still provides a sharp image with a bit of an uptick in the visible (but beautiful) grain and you still have some great mid-tones. A huge plus for the RPX 25 is that it’s available in both roll film and sheet film, that’s right an ASA-25 sheet film. Something that hasn’t been seen natively in a long time.

52:500c - Week 10 - Capital National
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 (Yellow) – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+50) 11:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 17 - No Place I'd Rather Be
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

The Bad
There are a couple of points against this film, which aren’t really all that bad, they’re more minor annoyances. The first is developing times, often if you’re getting into highly-dilute developers, even 1:1 you’re looking at 10+ minutes but the results speak for themselves. And these are just the results using medium format, I haven’t had a chance to shoot this film in 4×5 but I’m sure the results will be even better. Another thing that might be of an issue with some folks is that if you’re developing for under ten minutes you will want to use a chemical stop bath. And continuing on the theme of developers there are a limited number of times available for this film stock. But it is still the new kid on the block, so it is just a matter of time.

52:500c - Week 21 - Welcome to the Roc
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+25) 6:00 @ 20C

52:500c - Week 29 - Lovely Saturday Drive
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Distagon 50mm 1:4 (Yellow) – Rollei RPX 25 @ ASA-25 – Blazinal (1+50) 11:00 @ 20C

The Lowdown
If you’re a fan of slow films, this is not one to overlook, or if you’re in the old school and loved APX 25 then this film is certainly a real winner for you. A future classic for sure. Ideal for landscape and architecture work as you do want to use a tripod to get the full experience with it. Although even on a sunny day you can hand-hold it. And being available in the three top sizes for photography it certainly is an excellent product that I plan on using in the future. And plan on expanding that list of developing times.

Project:1812 – Siege of Prairie du Chien

While one of the least known engagements during the War of 1812, the siege of Prarie du Chien, was part of the drama that happened during the entire span of the war and sealed British dominance in the northwest until the signing of the Treaty of Gent that ended the way. The battle was the only one fought on the soil of what would become the state of Wisconsin. Two hundred years ago the small fur trading post of Prarie du Chien was a part of the Illinois Territory. Founded by the French in the late 1600s, turned over to British control following the French-Indian War of the mid-1700s and became a part of the new United States of America until the Treaty of Paris in 1783. While officially the post and the small population of fewer than one hundred people were American citizens the post was British in all but name, and the population was mostly French.

The Mighty Mississippi
The Mississippi River as it stands today near the battlesite
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 (Orange) – Kodak TMax 100 – FA-1027 (1+14) 9:30 @ 20C

But the United States did see the value in the small settlement, but the start of the War of 1812 saw their energies focused elsewhere. But when William Clark (of Lewis & Clark Fame) became governor of the Missouri Territory in 1813 he started to see a problem with a very pro-British settlement to his north. Should the British decide to enforce their influence at Prarie du Chien there would be little to stop them from sailing south on the Mississippi and capturing St. Louis and gaining an even bigger foothold. Governor Clark became annoyed as the far-flung outpost received little support from Washington. Using his authority he spoke with two local leaders, Fredrick Yeizer and John Sullivan both captains in the local militia. Together they raised a volunteer force of 150 men on a sixty-day enlistment. The volunteer army gained strength by the arrival of 61 men of the 7th US Infantry under the command of Brevet Major Zachary Taylor (who would become President of the United States). Though destined for Fort Clark, Governor Clark presented his case, and Major Taylor agreed to head north to establish a garrison at Prarie du Chien. Three gunboats would provide transport north. Just as the expedition was to start, Taylor was recalled to Kentucky to attend a family member who was ill, in his place Lieutenant Joseph Perkins, who was in St. Louis recruiting for the 24th US Infantry was installed as the commander of the regulars. The expedition departed St. Louis on the 1st of May, with Governor Clark joining them a few days up-river. The flotilla saw minor action along the route but landed without resistance by early June. Using a local warehouse of the Mackinac Trading Company, Clark realized they would have to work fast as his volunteer force was already half-way through their enlistment period. Soon a wooden palisade fort with a pair of blockhouses rose on a mound to the north of the village proper. Governor Clark named the post, Fort Shelby, after Governor Isaac Shelby, the governor of his native territory of Kentucky. With the post’s construction well in hand, Governor Clark returned to St. Louis with much fanfare upon his return. But in the North Perkins realized that if he didn’t have the post done soon, he would lose a majority of his force. But by the 19th, the post was nearly complete.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
A reconstruction of a blockhouse that would have stood over Fort Shelby and later the first Fort Crawford.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Photographer’s Formulary Developer 23 (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

The local population was not too pleased with the arrival of the Americans and three days later two men showed up at Mackinac Island with news for the commandant of the post, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert McDouall. McDouall was disturbed at the news of the American garrison and was even more troubled with natives brought rumors of violence against their tribes at the hands of the Americans at Prarie du Chien. These rumors reached McDouall as the native allies cried out for revenge. The main reason that McDouall was concerned was for the extensive fur trade network, and without Prarie du Chien it would be difficult to maintain the supply lines. McDouall had his problems with a limited force and word of an American attack against Mackinac, but he could not ignore his allies. Giving local militia captain a field promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel, William McKay, would take a force from his unit, the Michigan Fencibles along with local traders that formed a group called the Mississippi Volunteers, a single 3-pound field gun with a Royal Artillery crew was attached to McKay’s force as well. The local tribes provided warriors from the Sioux and Winnebago tribes commanded by two captains from the British Indian Department Thomas Anderson and Joseph Rolette. Departing on the 28th of June, McKay would gather more militia and native troops at Green Bay. When McKay’s force landed at Prarie du Chien on the 17th of July it numbered 650 troops. For Perkins he only saw his numbers drop as a majority of his volunteer force left with Captain Sullivan, Captain Yeizer was willing to stay with forty volunteers to man the gunboat Governor Clark. But the sudden arrival of McKay gave the American garrison a start when Captain Anderson approached Lieutenant Perkins, who was out on a ride with the order of surrender. The garrison refused the surrender order promising to fight to the last man.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
The historic plaque on site outlining the battle.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Photographer’s Formulary Developer 23 (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

McKay realizing that his biggest threat was the gunboat on the river ordered his lone artillery piece to fire on it first. The Royal Artillery crew worked fast, moving the gun around to give the crew aboard the gunboat the impression they were under attack by multiple guns and after a few hours had taken massive damage. Rather than risk the boat and the crew Captain Yeizer cut his moorings and headed south. The fort’s garrison watched in dismay, trying to call them back, as most of their supplies and ammunition were aboard the gunboat still. Both sides managed to fight to a stalemate, with both McKay and Perkins running low on ammunition, McKay going as far as to collect the American round shots and fire them back, of course, neither side realized this of the other. Inside the fort was another story, the well had run dry, and in an attempt to deepen it, the whole thing had collapsed. And while McKay was preparing heated shots to set Fort Shelby on fire, Lieutenant Perkins raises the white flag of truce, after two days of solid resistance. Both Perkins and McKay agree to delay a formal surrender for fear of retaliation against the Americans by the native warriors in light of the rumors. McKay would use his Michigan Fencibles to guard both the American prisoners and the native troops before the formal surrender the next day and then has the Americans escorted down-river without any incident. With a British flag flying over the fort, now named Fort McKay the northwest was firmly in British hands. The Americans would twice send a force to attempt to retake Prarie du Chien both would be stopped first at the Rock Island Rapids and again at the Battle of Credit Island. The British maintained the post at Prairie du Chien throughout the remainder of the war, destroying it in 1815 when they marched out to conform to the terms of the Treaty of Gent.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
Probably not the original well from the battle, but I figured it would be good to have a photo of one anyways.
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Photographer’s Formulary Developer 23 (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Today you can still visit the site of the battle, and while the town has moved over to the mainland, the battle site is open to the public as part of the Historic Villa Louis, a historic home built in the 1840s after the American Army abandoned the site completely for a mainland fort in 1832. But visitors can see the footings from the 1816 American fort (Fort Crawford) and a rebuilt blockhouse. The site also hosts a reenactment of the siege in July.

A special thanks to the volunteers at Villa Louis for helping me out and letting me freely wander the site for photographic purposes.

Written with files from:
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.
Ferguson, Gillum. Illinois in the War of 1812. Champaign, IL.: University of Illinois Press, 2012. Print.
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Web: villalouis.wisconsinhistory.org/About/History.aspx

Project:1812 – Fort Shelby, Fort McKay, and Fort Crawford

The small fur trading post of Prairie du Chien was founded long before the British or Americans came to the old northwest. But rather the post was founded by the French in 1685 and soon became a small post along the Mississippi trade route. Even after the British gained the territory at the end of the French-Indian/Seven Years War in 1763 the population remained French, but the loyalties shifted to the British and remained there even after the Treaty of Paris ceded the territory to the newly formed United States of America.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
A reconstruction of one of the fort’s blockhouses

The first effort to fortify the town took place in 1814 when an expedition led by Governor William Clark (of Lewis & Clark Fame) established an American garrison in the small community. Governor Clark feared that the British may choose to enforce their influence in the community then march on St. Louis with nothing to stop them. While the community did nothing to resist the Americans they were not happy with the new garrison and alerted the nearest British outpost, Mackinac Island, of them. Clark’s fort; named after Isaac Shelby, governor of his native territory of Kentucky consisted of a warehouse annexed from the Mackinac Trading Company, two blockhouses and the northwest and southwest corners surrounded by a wooden palisade. The American garrison, under the command of Lieutenant Joseph Perkins of the 24th Regiment, was short lived in the fort. An expedition of militia and native troops dislodged the Americans after a three-day siege. The British were quick to rename the post after their commander, William McKay. For the rest of the War of 1812, the British remained watchful over Prarie du Chien from Fort McKay. The Americans would try, twice, to take the post back. Both efforts would fail far from the post. When word of peace reached the fort, and the terms of that peace the garrison was in shock. Everything was to return to how it was before the war. So the garrison followed the order to the letter and burned Fort McKay to the ground and marched out. The American army was quick to re-establish an outpost mirroring the original fort but this time naming it Fort Crawford in 1816. The garrison would serve the local population keeping the peace and enforcing trade regulations. It also served as the site for the signing of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien which would establish boundaries between tribal lands of the local natives. The fort was evacuated and abandoned in 1826 after the Mississippi River overflowed its banks. Two murders would see the army return to prevent the violence from turning into a full-blown conflict. And while it didn’t happen it was decided that the army would stay.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
Stone footings from the first Fort Crawford

The trouble was that due to the location of the old fort. The flood had done serious damage to the work. There was additional flood danger not to mention a cesspool where diseases would flourish among the garrison. But the garrison would have to remain there while a new fort was built to the south of the town on the mainland under the watchful eye of Colonel Zachary Taylor, future President of the United States and Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, future President of the Confederate States of America. The garrison at the old fort was in good hands, Dr. William Beaumont was in charge of keeping the men in good health and took the opportunity to conduct research on the human digestive system, the knowledge he gained formed the basis of our modern understanding of the system, much of his work was conducted at the old Fort Crawford. The old fort was finally abandoned in 1832 when the garrison moved into their new stone barracks. The site would sit empty for a decade or so before being purchased by Hercules Louis Dousman. Hercules was a business owner and son of Michael Dousman, the man who helped keep the population of Mackinac Island safe during the British capture in the opening action of the War of 1812. Hercules would begin to establish a family estate on the site in the mid-1840s. The site would be passed along to his son H. Louis Dousman and his widow after his death in 1868. Under the junior Dousman, an Italian Styled villa was constructed on the property and occupied by his mother until her death in 1882. The Dousman family would continue to occupy the home, known as Villa Louis until 1913. The villa was restored and turned into a museum in 1930s thanks largely to the efforts of Hercules’ granddaughters, Victoria Dousman Bigelow, and Violet Dousman Young. The site was taken over by the state’s historical society in 1950.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
Villa Louis as it stands today

The new Fort Crawford on the mainland would continue to watch over the area through the mid-19th century. The garrison would participate in the Black Hawk War and the titular Chief Black Hawk would surrender and become a prisoner of Fort Crawford. With the force relocation of the area tribes to Iowa, of which the garrison would again be a part. The need for the post decreased with the last troops marching out in 1856. When the American Civil War began the fort was used as a recruit depot and training station. It was also selected as a site for a US Army General Hospital. The Swift Hospital opened in 1864 and would serve close to 1500 Union troops during its single year of operation. With the hospital’s closure in 1865, the fort would never see military service again. The land was sold off in parcels, the buildings were either sold as homes or simply torn down for building materials. The Swift Hospital building was turned into a Roman Catholic private girls school. When the twentieth-century dawned all that was left was the ruins of the fort’s old hospital. The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution started a fundraising campaign to purchase the ruins and the three-and-a-half parcels of land it sat on, and in 1925 they had raised all the needed funds. The old hospital was restored and rebuilt and in 1960 opened as a museum dedicated to the efforts of Dr. Beaumont and the fort’s history.

Project:1812 - The Forts of Prairie Du Chien
The second Fort Crawford’s hospital as it stands today as a museum

Today you can visit both sites. Historic Villa Louis features the 1868 Italian villa as well visitors can see a restored Blockhouse similar to the ones that once stood over Fort Shelby/McKay/Crawford as well as ruins and footings that were discovered during the restoration of the site. The Fort Crawford Museum was turned over to the City of Prairie du Chien in 1996 and has expanded to include all local history as well as the original exhibits about the fort and the work of Dr. Beaumont. The Swift Hospital building has long since been demolished in its place is a prison.

For more details on visiting these history sites, please check out their websites:
Fort Crawford Museum: www.fortcrawfordmuseum.com
Historic Villa Louis: villalouis.wisconsinhistory.org

Written with files from:
Ferguson, Gillum. Illinois in the War of 1812. Champaign, IL.: University of Illinois Press, 2012. Print.
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Web: villalouis.wisconsinhistory.org/About/History.aspx
Web: www.fortcrawfordmuseum.com

Photos: Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Photographer’s Formulary Developer 23 (stock) 6:00 @ 20C

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 10 – Route 66 aka Square Format

ccr-logo-leaf

6×6, 2.25×2.25, square format…no matter how you cut it, everyone loves a good square format negative, you can print it three different ways, square, portrait, or landscape, it’s big, it’s beautiful and there’s lots of awesome cameras out there that shoot in that format.

Cameras featured on Today’s Show…

Rolleiflex 3.5E3: One of the iconic Twin Lens Reflex cameras that feature some amazing optics. And even though it’s not a Zeiss Rolleiflex the results are just as good!

  • Make: Franke & Heidecke
  • Model: Rolleiflex 3.5 E3
  • Type: Twin Lens Reflex
  • Format: Medium Format, 120, 6×6
  • Dates of Manufacture: 1961-1965

Three old timers

The Dance of the Seasons
Rolleiflex 3.5E – Schneider-Kreuznack Xentar 75mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Ektar 100

The gate
Rolleiflex 3.5E – Schneider-Kreuznack Xentar 75mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Plus-X – Kodak TMax Developer (1+4) 5:45 @ 20C

Hasselblad 500c: Another iconic camera, this Sweedish made SLR equipped with Carl Zeiss Optics (although earlier models used Kodak Ektar lenses or Nikkor glass) is one that is drooled over by many a photographer.

  • Make: Victor Hasselblad AB
  • Model: 500c
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Multi-Format, depends on the film magazine
  • Dates of Manufacture: 1957-1970

CCR - Review 19 - Hasselblad 500c

CCR - Review 19 - Hasselblad 500c
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C

Off the Deep End
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Tri-X 400 @ ASA-200 – Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

Bronica SQ-Ai: A Japanese system camera with lots of accessories, made in the 1980s it’s a bit of a battery hog.

  • Make: Bronica
  • Model: SQ-Ai
  • Type: Single Lens Reflex
  • Format: Multi-Format, depends on film magazine
  • Dates of Manufacture: 1990

Bronica SQ-Ai

Into The Depths of Dementia
Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon 150mm ƒ/4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak TMAX 1+9

Me - I am Here
Zenza Bronica SQ-Ai – Zenzanon 150mm ƒ/4 – Kodak Tri-X 400 – Kodak TMAX 1+9

The Darkroom
Colour developing at home is something that’s starting to become almost needed here in Canada, with only a handful of labs still doing colour. But the good news is that developing colour at home is a lot easier today than in the past, and that’s both E-6 and C-41 films! The only thing you really have to watch for is temperature control. And if you think getting the chemistry in Canada is hard, think again! Our friends at Argentix have a full range of colour chemistry available, Unicolor, Rollei, and Tetenal! Additionally the Film Photography Project stocks (and ships to Canada) the Unicolor Rapid E-6 and C-41 kits!

A Sunday in Bruges
Bruges, Belgium – Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T* – FPP High Speed Retrochrome 320 – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

Maria and Coner
Maria and Coner – Anniversary Speed Graphic – 1860 Petzval Lens – Fuji Provia 100F (RDPIII) – Unicolor Rapid E-6 Kit

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

CCR Review 19 – Hasselblad 500c

After giving up the Bronica I said that I really didn’t like this type of camera…but then I got to thinking, I really liked my Kiev 88 which was exactly this style of camera. Maybe it wasn’t the format, maybe it was just the Bronica? So I gave a Hasselblad a try, and found that yes, I did like this style of camera and went on the hunt. After finding a kit at an amazing price, I finally had joined the ranks of many photographers I looked up to and had a Hasselblad!

CCR - Review 19 - Hasselblad 500c

The Dirt
Make: Hasselblad AD
Model: 500c
Type: Medium Format, Single Lens Reflex
Lens: Interchangeable, Hasselblad C Mount
Years Manufactured: 1957-1971

CCR - Review 20 - Hasselblad 500c

CCR - Review 20 - Hasselblad 500c

The Good
Solid build, this like the Nikon F2 can survive pretty much anything you throw at it while providing beautiful photos of the action. And that comes from the Zeiss optics. Now I’ve raved about Zeiss optics in the past with the Rolleiflex 2.8F and Contax G2, the Hasselblad is no different, mounting the same lens at the Rolleiflex. But unlike the Rolleiflex you have the chance to switch out the lenses (which will be a next investment for me). When it comes to ease of use the camera works great both hand-held with a waist level finder or tripod mounted. And being an SLR means you see exactly what the lens sees (just remember the images are backwards on the ground glass). There’s no batteries on this camera, fully mechanical so unless you’re using a metered finder, you don’t have to worry about running out of power just just film. And finally this is a full system camera, everything can be swapped out. You can load up multiple film backs and swap mid-roll, change out the ground glass, finder, and lenses. this camera will do it all in anyway you like. The film backs come in 6×6, 6×4.5, and even a rare 35mm one as well.

CCR - Review 20 - Hasselblad 500c

CCR - Review 20 - Hasselblad 500c

The Bad
Probably the top thing with this camera is the price, for a kit you’re looking at shelling out close to 1,000 to 1,500 on average. But it’s well worth the investment. There’s no meter on this camera on its own, you can get a right angle finder with a built in TTL meter, both the Hasselblad and Kiev units will work well on the 500c but they’re old and often cost again…more money. And speaking of the right angle finder, I actually don’t like using that style of viewer on these cameras it makes them a bit awkward to use, the waist level is much better in my opinion.

CCR - Review 20 - Hasselblad 500c

CCR - Review 20 - Hasselblad 500c

The Low Down
These are the cameras that went to the moon (well a modified and modernized version of the 500c called the 500EL) so if you’re looking for a camera with building quality second to almost none, this is the camera for you. Now picking up one of these cameras will not make you a better photographer, in fact no camera can make you a better photographer. But if you’re looking for quality both in the Zeiss optics and build then this is a great camera. Now it doesn’t come cheap, but you may be able to find a good deal on a kit.

Photos shot at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York
Hasselblad 500c – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford HP5+ @ ASA-200
Photographer’s Formulary Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 9:00 @ 20C