Tag Archives: large format

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!

CCR Review 58 – Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

At the very beginning of these review blogs I had laid out some rules, and now I’m going to break one of them and review a large format, sheet film camera. The Crown Graphic is my 4×5 camera of choice these days; it’s reliable camera that can take a hit and keep on taking photos. I mean that is what it’s designed to do, it’s a press camera. And when it comes to large format, I’m glad that my first experiences with the format were on a press camera rather than a field or monorail because I don’t think I would have taken to the format in the same way.

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Dirt

  • Make: Graflex
  • Model: Pacemaker Crown Graphic
  • Type: Press Camera, View/Rangefinder
  • Format: Multiple, Graflok Back (Roll film, or Sheet Film)
  • Len: Interchangeable, Crown Graphic Lens Boards
  • Year of Manufacture: 1955-1973 (This Model, 1968)

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Good
The number one thing I love about the Crown Graphic is that it’s versatile with a single camera I have both a handheld rangefinder based camera that I can just point, focus and shoot, at least when I’m using the Xenar 135mm lens, as I’ve calibrated the rangefinder for the lens. I much prefer to shoot the camera like a field camera, on a tripod, composing and focusing using the ground glass on the back. Using the glass gives me full creative control and use of some fantastic lenses, like the Symmar-S 210mm (which is the lens I use the most). Plus that’s the power of large format, your Crown will be able to use most lenses out there, and all the film holders and the Graflok back means you can attach all sorts of accessories such as roll film magazines and Polaroid Type 100 film holders. And finally, this camera has a nice fast setup, pop the front cover, drop the bed pull out the bellows. And if you’re using ‘pancake’ style lenses, you can keep the lens on the camera when you close the door.

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Bad
Like any large format camera, the biggest detractor to them is the size and the amount of stuff you need to bring to use the camera well. Tripod, multiple film holders, meter, and the lenses all mounted on their boards. It adds up after a while. But for me, it’s worth the effort. Another issue that only large format shooters will note with a press camera is the lack of movements, while the Crown Graphic gives more than the Speed Graphic, you are still only limited to movements on your front standard, and even then you’re relatively limited. But again this was a camera not designed for shooting that requires much in the way of movements. And finally there is starting to be a lack of spare parts for these cameras, so getting bits and pieces replaced or repaired is starting to become a problem, either you can grab ones that are already broken for spare parts or pray that you know someone who can machine the appropriate piece. Thankfully their rugged build means they are designed to last.

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

CCR Review 58 - Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic

The Lowdown
If you’re like me and shoot on a mobile basis, then the press camera is certainly the best option, and often a Crown Graphic kit can be had for an inexpensive out of pocket cost. Being highly adaptable to multiple shooting situations and with a quick setup and tear down it’s a great camera for learning on. Of course, if you’re a technical shooter who needs movements then I would avoid press cameras altogether and go for something a little more expensive. Intrepid, Shen-Hao, Takahara, Linhoff, and Sinar are all excellent options. But for me, I’m sticking to the Crown.

All Photos Taken in Georgetown, Ontario
Graflex Pacemaker Crown Graphic – Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 1:4,7/135 – Kodak Tri-X Pan @ ASA-200
Pyrocat-HD (1+1+100) 10:00 @ 20C

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)

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 17 – Some like it Wet (Plate)

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Long before we had flexible film and even dry plate it was the wet plate process that brought photography to the masses. This is by no means an easy process involving lots of nasty chemicals and a very slow process that today seems rather strange with head braces, brass lenses, and rubber gloves. But for some it’s their passion and art form, so John Meadows speaks to Shane Balkowitsch about how he got into photography and went right for wet plate.

Here are some examples of Shane’s amazing work:

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We’d also like to thank everyone who made it out to our big meetup at the beginning of the month! You can check out some of our super-fan’s reactions to the day. You can find Angela and Kelvin’s video here on YouTube or how about some photos from Kevin Collins! And Co-Host Alex has posted his photos on Flickr!

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

Polaroid Week 2016

This year it was a real shame that Polaroid Week just snuck up on me. It serves me right for not watching social media a little more closely. But I still managed to get out on the last day to get some Instant film shooting in. This year I was sort of limited. My wonderful Automatic Land Camera Model 250 has a dead battery and I didn’t have time to fix it up with the AAA battery fix. Also I didn’t get in any order from Impossible to run my Spectra (the only Integral Polaroid I have working), and didn’t get a couple packs of Instax Mini to run through my Lomo’Instant. But I did have a semi-shot box of Polaroid Type 72 film, a 545i back and my trust Intrepid camera. So I headed out into the campus on a beautiful spring day to get in some shooting! The Intrepid certainly garnered some looks as I went around shooting, and like most expired Polaroid (This stuff expired about ten years ago) there were some misses. One thing I did notice is that you really have to double check your alignment of the 545i holder so that it’s tight or you’ll get some light leaks, but overall it worked really well!

Polaroid Week 2016

Polaroid Week 2016

Polaroid Week 2016

Polaroid Week 2016

Intrepid Camera – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Polaroid Type 72
Meter: Pentax Spotmeter V
Scanner: Epson V700
Editor: Adobe Photoshop CC (2015)

Classical Camera Revival – Bonus Episode – Mike Robinson, Daguerreotype Master

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Toronto resident Mike Robinson is a master of the Daguerreotype process, producing images of unparalleled beauty and technical excellence. In this bonus episode, John talks with Mike about the challenges and rewards of this venerable photographic process

A video of Mike at work

Mike has been kind enough to supply us with some images of his recent work. All images are copyright Mike Robinson, all rights reserved.

MemorialVitrine_tinted2015_web ArtsAndLetters©M_Robinson Oenophilia©M_Robinson LarrySchaaf©M_Robinson Lacock2015_Cloisters_©MRobinsonLacock2015_Sacristy_©MRobinson (1)

 

Classic Camera Revival – Special Bonus Episode – Donna’s 8×10

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Not to be outdone by the rest of the group Donna has a new camera, and she’s going big, like 8×10 big! She recently picked up a beautiful Cambo SC Monorail 8×10 camera and so far loves it!

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  • Make: Cambo
  • Model: Legend SC
  • Type: View Camera, Monorail
  • Format: 8×10 or 4×5
  • Lens: Interchangable, Cambo SC Board

Plus Donna has already taken it out and shot a few images on it with beautiful results!!

Pour Me A Drink
Cambo Legend SC – Agfa Gevaert AG Super Intergon 1:9/305mm – Agfa RC Paper – Kodak Dektol (Stock)

Juvenile Lemon And Key Lime Trees
Cambo Legend SC – Agfa Gevaert AG Super Intergon 1:9/305mm – Agfa RC Paper – Kodak Dektol (Stock)

Bananas
Cambo Legend SC – Agfa Gevaert AG Super Intergon 1:9/305mm – Agfa RC Paper – Kodak Dektol (Stock)

Just a short podcast today, but we’ll be back with our big monthly show in a couple weeks!

Classic Camera Revival – Bonus Episode – SP-445

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In this special bonus episode, an interview with Tim Gilbert of the SP-445 Kickstarter project. In this project, Tim and his team have come up with a new kind of 4×5 development tank that can develop up to 4 sheets at once, with an economical use of chemistry.

This Kickstarter project closes on January 18th,  2016 so you still have time! Check it out!

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.

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 9 – Going Big, And we’re not Going Home

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It finally happened, we’ve gone and branched into the wonderful world of large format photography! So what is large format, well for the most part we’ve been discussing cameras that take roll film, that is 35mm and medium format, large format cameras for the most part take sheet film, measured in inches rather than millimeters or centimeters.

Cameras featured on Today’s Show…

Speed Graphic: the classic press camera the Speed Graphic has a focal plane shutter that allows for press photographers to shoot quickly using a film magazine.

Camera Collection - Feb 2013

Colour slide with 4x5

My Friend Brent

Crown Graphic: the cousin of the Speed Graphic, the only real difference is that the Crowns do not have a focal plane shutter.

The Crown

Short Days Ago We Lived

The Centre Block

Calumet CC400: The lone monorail view camera on today’s episode the camera itself is based on the Kodak Master View Camera.

Kodak Ektar 127mm ƒ/4.7

Rundown

Canonet 28 - Tri-X

Odd-Ball Lenses for Your 4×5
Large Format is probably the oldest format of photography around since it was the original format. Sure it’s moved from plates to flexable sheets of film. But the joys of being so old is that there are a pile of old, odd, and wonderful lenses that you can use with even your modern cameras.

Rapid Rectaliniar
You may thing he’s kidding but Mike really likes Rapid Rectilinear lenses. RR lenses are fairly simply optically, having only a front and rear element separated by air. The easiest way to spot an image shot on an RR lens is that you’ll note it’s soft around the edges.

EDIT: I know I could modify the text above, but that’s not something I will do as I was wrong in the podcast and the notes have to reflect the podcast.  However I’d like to make a correction here and now.  I was discussing Rapid Rectilinear and totally described Rapid Symmetrical lenses instead.  A Rapid Symmetrical lens is a lens that contains only 2 elements, where as the Rapid Rectilinear lens contains 2 compound (4) elements, which you can see in the image below. (Mike)

RR Lens Construction

Petzval Barrel Lenses
One of the oldest lens that still produces amazing images is Petzval lenses, first developed in 1840 and offered photographers a much faster lens than earlier optics. Today these remain highly sought after especially after the Lomography version was released.

Petzval Portait

The Darkroom
Not everyone can afford a Jobo, and they don’t often just fall into your lap (unless you’re super lucky). So what other options do you have to process your 4×5 at home without sending it off to a lab.

Print Tank and Roller Base: Bessler produced a line of drum and roller bases designed to process colour prints. Since these are light tight, you can get a set on the cheap, usually around 30$ used. With a drum designed for 8×10 you can easily fit up to four sheets of 4×5 (providing you have the right spacer).

Trays: The classic way of doing things, but you will need a darkroom that is completly 100% light tight, you can’t even have the safe light on (unless you’re processing orthrochromatic films).

Hangers & Tanks: Another classic way of doing things and could be consider the best, but again you’ll need a 100% light tight room.

What films are available?
All the major players in the film manufacturing market (Kodak, Ilford, and Fuji) are all still producing large format films, mostly in 4×5 and 8×10. There is still some 5×7 kicking around. But both Ilford and Kodak offer odd sized films of most of their stocks. But it’s not just these three, Adox is back in the 4×5 market with their CHS 100 II, Foma continues to produce 4×5 and even introduced their new Retropan film (which Alex is looking forward to trying). Then there’s New55 who has produced a new 4×5 single-sheet instant film and single shot “quickload” film both require a Polaroid 545 or similar holder.

Still Bananas
Fomapan 400

Midway Village School
Adox CHS 100 II

1SHOT Tests - Errosion
New55 1SHOT Atomic-X

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