Tag Archives: New York

CCR Review 63 – Ricoh 500 G

I have and always will have a soft spot for compact fixed lens rangefinders since my first camera was one such camera. The Minolta Hi-Matic 7s. But the Ricoh 500 G is not a Hi-Matic, released at the end of the craze of that style of camera; it is an underdog for its time going up against the cult classic Canon QL17 GIII. And while the 500 G does not share the same spotlight at its Canon counterpart, the 500 G is a strong camera that fills the role of compact rangefinder that packs a punch but won’t break the bank. Special thanks to Mike Bitaxi for loaning this beauty out.

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

The Dirt

  • Make: Ricoh
  • Model: 500 G
  • Type: Rangefinder
  • Format: 135 (35mm), 36×24
  • Len: Fixed, Rikenon Lens f=40mm 1:2.8
  • Year of Manufacture: 1972

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

The Good
If you’re into compact rangefinders, this camera is certainly worth a second glance. This camera is small; I mean tiny. Easily fits in your pocket but I wouldn’t recommend it. When it comes to using the camera, it’s a natural fit for anyone with any experience with Minolta, Olympus, or Canon cameras of the same style. Good layout, short throw on the film advance, and an aperture priority meter to boot. But you don’t need to power this camera to get it to work and runs well as a mechanical camera, but I would still stick to aperture priority, set your aperture and run the shutter speed around it. I’ll go into that more in the next section. Optically the camera stands well on its own with the Rikenon Lens pulling off sharp images that suit the focal length perfectly. Add to this the compact size of the camera you have very little in the way of parallax error when composing your images, out of my whole roll shot I only missed the composition on one image and it was out of focus also so it was not a big deal.

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

The Bad
The main issue I had with this camera is that all the controls along the lens barrel are too close together! The aperture control is narrow and tight to the body, and you need two hands to control it. The shutter speed dial is a little better but feels too much like the focus control with the extra grips. The focusing is smooth, but again you’d think it was the shutter speed control at first as it lacks the usual grip pieces. As an automatic aperture priority camera, it wouldn’t be so bad, but I did not have the proper battery for the camera, so I was running it full manual, as you guessed it the camera uses a mercury cell to operate. And finally, there’s the issue of light seals. The entire back door of the camera is one big light seal, every square centimeter of it is covered. Thankfully it’s easy to replace with craft foam, but it makes for a very messy job.

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

CCR Review 63 - Ricoh 500 G

The Lowdown
If you’re looking for a camera to work as a compact low-profile street photography camera but don’t want to spend the cash on a camera give the 500 G a solid look. If you find one in good condition, you’ll be laughing. While I’m one to stick with cult cameras, it seems odd that this camera didn’t acquire one. It’s a real sleeper like the Minolta Hi-Matics, and they often don’t command a higher price like Canon or Olympus but quickly give you the same performance of the well known shooters.

All Photos taken in New York, New York
Ricoh 500 G – Rikenon Lens f=40mm 1:2.8 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – SPUR HRX (1+20) 9:30 @ 20C

CCR Review 45 – Minolta Minoltina-P

If you have ever used the Olympus Trip 35 then, you’ll be right at home with the Minoltina-P. The camera is a fixed lens, semi-automatic point and shoot from the 1960s and honestly before I saw it on the shelf at Burlington Camera I had never even known this camera existed. But don’t let that scare you, Minolta produced a lot of underdog cameras through the 1960s that often were as good as their competitors. The Hi-Matic went up against the Olympus 35 and Cannonet Series, and the Minoltina, well it’s an Olympus Trip 35.

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

The Dirt
Make: Minolta
Model: Minoltina-P
Type: Point and Shoot
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Fixed, Minolta Rokkor 1:2.8 f=38mm
Year of Manufacture: 1963

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

The Good
I’ve always been a fan of semi-automatic cameras, and the Minoltina is no different and what a great camera to use. The Minoltina is a nice compact camera that easily slides into a pocket or a haversack. You can adjust the settings with a simple lens mounted dial then adjust to the match needle system on the top of the camera, and that will adjust the aperture and the shutter speed based on the readings taken by the front mounted selenium meter. Additionally, there’s a window on the lens barrel which shows an EV number so if you use an external meter should the selenium cell give up, you can set an EV number for exposure, and since it’s a selenium based camera, so no batteries required. The lens on the camera is a 38mm f/2.8 Rokkor, so the images it produces are sharp, and the fast lens means it works well in low light situations. And best of all it’s quiet so that it would make an excellent street photography camera.

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

The Bad
The first thing I dislike about the camera is the focusing. Unlike the nice icons that you get with the Trip 35, there’s no such luck here. The focus is done by a click dial on the lens barrel (probably to prevent you from adjusting the wrong dial, each has a different feel). The focus is marked in distances only, meters on the top, feet on the bottom. So you do have to guess the distance. I only missed focus on two images which is not bad, but I was also shooting in bright light and was affording a wide depth of field. An external rangefinder would certainly be a useful accessory to carry around. Or just be able to guess the distance, stop down, and pray. As for flash photography, you won’t be mounting a flash on a shoe as there’s none on the camera you’ll want a flash bracket and a PC Sync cord. I’ve always been a fan of match needle metering, so I’m not ragging on this camera for having the system, it’s more a placement issue. Having the needle on the top of the camera makes it hard to meter on the fly with an eye level finder. It did not cause me too many problems but in mixed light or changing light or waiting for a shot where the exposure may change having to lower the camera to see the meter reading may bring about some issues. Also the placement of sensor cell means that I often would block it with my hands. You will also have to look out for ones with dead meters, but with a light meter that gives EV readings you can manually set the camera without trouble.

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

CCR Review 45 - Minolta Minoltina-P

The Lowdown
The Minoltina is not a bad camera, although rare. As I mentioned in the introduction, I had never heard of the Minoltina line of cameras until I had seen one. But after using it I am pretty impressed with the results. The best part is that if you do find one they’re likely to be cheaper than your average Trip 35 as they don’t hold the same cult following. But don’t let the fact that this isn’t a Trip scare you away, it is a solid camera despite having a couple of what I would call design flaws. And I could even go as far as saying that I prefer the Minoltina over the Trip 35 because it does offer a much better manual functionality through being able to adjust the aperture/shutter speed via the control dial on the lens.

Photos take at Old Fort Niagara, Youngstown, New York
Minolta Minoltina-P – Minolta Rokkor 1:2.8 f=38mm – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-100 – Kodak D-23 (Stock)

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 19 – The Great Yellow Father

ccr-logo-leaf

The 12th of July is the birthday of the Late George Eastman, one of the many who has brought this wonderful medium of photography to the masses. So in the film community, we call it Kodak Day. So this month we discuss all things Kodak! And we also welcome Andrew Hiltz, a resident of Rochester, New York, as a special guest co-host!

Kodak Tower
Kodak World Headquarters in Rochester, New York
Intrepid – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-32 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

Cameras Featured on Today’s Show…

Kodak Signet 35 – The Signet 35 was the top dog in Kodak Rangefinders following the Second World War. An all metal camera mounting the top glass of the day, the Kodak Ektar. This camera clearly does not disappoint.

Kodak Signet 35

The Kodak Signet 35 was probably one of the best of the small 35mm fixed lens rangefinders. I mentioned about the sunny 16 plate on the back of the camera. Here shows you the films depending on speed.. What type of light, and how the shutter and aperture lineups should work out.
You can easily change the names of the film to film speeds.
Kodachrome can be ISO25
Pan-X is 32 (or 50)
Plus-X is 100 (125)
Super-XX is 200 (250)
The speeds there are rough estimates, well not really, and will give you the speeds you need. You can adjust from there and correlate your shutter and aperture accordingly.

Make: Kodak
Model: Signet 35
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 35mm, 35×24
Lens: Fixed, Kodak Ektar 44mm f/3.5
Years Manufactured: 1951-1957

Old Rusted Chainguard

Frame #19

Kodak Retina IIa

Make: Kodak
Model: Retina IIa
Type: Rangefinder
Format: 35mm, 35×24
Lens: Fixed, Schneider-Kruzenack Xenar 50mm 1:2
Years Manufactured: 1939-1954

retina_iia

retina pic

The George Eastman House – The former home of George Eastman the man behind Kodak is now a museum and archive dedicated to teaching about Mr. Eastman and preserving photographic history with a vast collection of cameras, motion picture films, and photographs from all the great masters of the craft.

The George Eastman House
The main entrance to the George Eastman House
Intrepid – Fuji Fujinon-W 1:5.6/125 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-32 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

George Eastman House - Gardens
It’s not just cameras, photography, and motion pictures, the GEH has some beautiful gardens around the house.
Intrepid – Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar-S 1:5.6/210 – Kodak TMax 100 @ ASA-32 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 8:00 @ 20C

George Eastman House - May 2016
A Copy of George Eastman’s suicide note, reads: My friends, my work is done. Why wait? GE
Sony a6000 – Sony E PZ 16-50mm 1:3.5-5.6 OSS

Kodak and the Lumenizing Process – Andrew and Alex take a chance to discuss Kodak’s first lens coating technology known as Lumenizing. The process was developed in the early 1940s for some military purposes once the USA entered the Second World War, but lenses did not have with the tell-tale L until 1946. The process would improve contrast and colour reproduction in an often poorer quality lens and only make their top lenses, the Kodak Ektar even better. If you want to read more check out this blog!

Alex’s Kodak Ektar 203mm f/7.7 with the L marking visible

Leftovers
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm – Kodak Ektar 100

52:320TXP - Week 05 - The Lone Tree
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 203mm (Orange 22) – Kodak Tri-X Pan (320TX) – PMK Pyro (1+2+100) 10:30 @ 24C

Working for Kodak – We are of course rather lucky to have a former Kodak employee on our team. That’s right, Donna is a former employee of Kodak Canada located in Toronto, Ontario. During her time there she worked in various roles. However these days there isn’t much left of the Toronto plant as it was closed and mostly demolished save the historic Building 9.

Building 9
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektar 100

Smoky
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Ektar 100

Returned To Kodak
Calumet CC400 – Kodak Ektar 127mm ƒ/4.7 – Ilford FP4+ @ ASA-125 – Rodinal (1+50) 15:00 @ 20C

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

CCR Review 40 – Mamyia RB67

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

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

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

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

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

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

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

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

CCR Review 40 - Mamyia RB67

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

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

CCR Review 39 – Ricoh XR7

When Pentax developed their K-Mount, they decided that this, like the M42 they had used before would become the standard for bayonet mount SLRs. And while the K-Mount remains to this day pretty much untouched it did not become the standard with Nikon and Canon developing their own lens mounts. However this didn’t stop other companies from latching onto the K-Mount band wagon and several clones soon popped up. One such camera was the XR7 by Ricoh (oddly enough it was Ricoh that ended up buying up Pentax). And what a camera the XR7 is, this is a small light weight semi-automatic SLR that can use pretty much any K-Mount lens out there, but even the Ricoh lenses stand up to anything from the big P. Special thanks to Andrew Hiltz for loaning this camera for review.

CCR Review 40 - Ricoh XR7

The Dirt
Make: Ricoh
Model: XR7
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Pentax K-Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1982

CCR Review 39 - Ricoh XR7

CCR Review 39 - Ricoh XR7

The Good
As I kept saying as we walked through the High Falls area of Rochester New York this is a satisfying camera to use. And I would take it over any semi-automatic Pentax offering out there, hell if I didn’t have a family connection to my K1000 I would trade it for an XR7 and keep my Pentax lenses. Yes it is that good of a camera. First off the size and weight, you hardly feel this camera if it’s in your bag or in your hand it’s so compact and light weight you can easily take it on long walks shooting roll after roll without breaking a sweat. All the controls are well placed and even the film advance throw is beautifully short and can easily rapid fire without a motor drive. The view finder while a bit dimmer than others I’ve used has a diagonal split focus finder which means that you can easily get your focus nailed in both portrait or landscape without having to find a line that is better oriented to get that split screen focus locked in. And finally there’s the shutter and mirror sound, it’s a lot louder and more satisfying than you’d expect from this all plastic camera.

CCR Review 39 - Ricoh XR7

CCR Review 39 - Ricoh XR7

The Bad
No camera is perfect and while the XR7 comes pretty close there are a few things that I do take issue with. While some may light the shutter speed indicator I personally found the jumping needle distracting and often would find it hard to see if it was pointing at 1/30 or 1/60 while not that big a deal when I’m trying to compose a shot I would find my eye jumping to that. And secondly is that the body is plastic, while I’m not picky on my cameras and I do like the weight of the camera it does feel a bit like a toy at times not that it’s a bad thing in particular it just sometimes you want something a little more solid in your hands.

CCR Review 39 - Ricoh XR7

CCR Review 39 - Ricoh XR7

The Lowdown
Put a metal body on this camera and have a nice motor drive on it and honestly you’d have a serious contender for a professional camera for the early 1980s, which all the features a pro would ask for and a huge range of solid lenses behind it with the Pentax and Ricoh systems it really could have gone far. But if you’re looking for a solid budget starter camera and want some level of automation then keep an eye out for the XR7. Just don’t go driving up the price on them in the used market or Andrew would be very cross with me.

All photos taken in the High Falls Historic District, Rochester, New York, USA
Ricoh XR7 – Rikenon 1:1.7 50mm – Rollei Retro 80s – Blazinal (1+25) 8:00 @ 20C

CCR Review 38 – Nikon FA

When it comes to game changing Nikon SLRs, the FA certainly is one of them, and one of a long line of game-changing cameras out of the company. For the FA the change came in the metering system. This was the first camera that featured full matrix metering out of AI and AI-S lenses and full program shooting. The camera accomplishes this by having a small built in computer storage system that has a selection of scenes and compares the scene in front of the camera and picks the exposure based on one of the scenes in the memory. A clever trick, while not perfect, was the start of the amazing meters that found their way into the Nikon F4 and Nikon F5. While short lived, the legacy of the FA lives on even in today’s digital cameras.

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Dirt
Make: Nikon
Model: FA
Type: Single Lens Reflex
Format: 35mm, 24×35
Lens: Interchangeable, Nikon F Mount
Year of Manufacture: 1983-1987

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Good
I love manual focus lenses, there’s something special about being able to easy track, pull, and push the focus just right. Even on digital cameras I love shooting manual focus lenses. There are times when I want to pick the focus and not worry about the exposure, and that’s exact what the FA gives me, and the exposure is dead on with any AI, AI-S, or D-Type lens. And when it comes to size and ease of handling the FA is the perfect mix of both. A small form factor that is easy to handle and compact enough that it would be a perfect travel camera. And of course the big part is that the camera works with all the Nikon lenses from 1977 onwards, minus the G-Type lenses.

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Bad
Here’s the trouble, I really can’t find any real sticking issues with the camera. So I will say one little thing the camera mode selector is a bit weird, naturally I want to use the indicator to move around rather than the actual switch, so there’s that, but I’m not usually switching modes in the field, Program or Aperture Priority. Deal breaker…not really, just a minor annoyance.

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

CCR Review 38 - Nikon FA

The Lowdown
If you can get your hands on a Nikon FA you should, especially if you’re a Nikon shooter with a pile of lenses. Honestly this is a great camera and holds it own against cameras like the Nikon F3, smaller, more compact and makes for a fantastic travel camera. If I had a larger bag and this camera before I went to Europe last year I would’ve taken the FA over the G2 along with a 28mm, 50mm, and 105mm lenses. And despite being on the market for such a short time, it has truly become a cult-classic from Nikon. I really don’t have anything bad to say about it.

Want to hear more about the Nikon FA? Give a listen to CCR Episode 16 or FPP Episode 129!

All photos taken along NY-31, New York, USA
Nikon FA – AI-S Nikkor 105mm 1:2.5 – Rollei Retro 400s – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 6:30 @ 20C

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

Subway No More

I figured because it was TLR Tuesday I’d share some photos I took last year in the abandoned Rochester Subway. The subway has always fascinated me since I first visited it back in 2007. But on this particular trip I was armed with my trusty Rolleiflex and a roll of Kodak Panatomic-X. The main draw for the subway is the viaduct over the Erie Canal. This area is covered with some of the best graffiti art I have come across in my explorations. And it’s not just the usual garbage, this work is just that, works of art!

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

Rochester Subway - March 2014

It’s also the area with the best light, as the rest of the tunnel is completely underground and sealed at the other end. Of course if you choose to visit, as always be careful and be sure to enjoy a meal at Dinosaur BBQ when you’re done, or even better head a little further along South Street and hit up the Genesee Brew House, for some amazing beers and even better food!

Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Panatomic-X @ ASA-32 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 7:30 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Raid on Ogdensburg

The St. Lawrence River had remained relatively quiet during the first year of the war, in fact it was for the most part downright peaceful. Both sides were enjoying a rather healthy trade relationship. The simple fact was that most of the St. Lawrence valley was occupied by Loyalists, those who went to or were forced to move to the colony of Upper Canada following the American Revolution, and many still had family on the American side of the river. This was not going to fly in 1813, as the war escalated, raids became common. On the 6th of February, a raid lead by Major Benjamin Forsyth and members of the 1st US Rifle Regiment crossed the frozen river to free American prisoners being held in Elizabethtown, these prisoner had been taken in a British raid earlier in the month. In addition to freeing the prisoners they also took with them military and civilian supplies in the town’s storehouse.

Project:1812 - Raid on Elizbethton
Downtown Brockville, Ontario today. The town changed its name from Elizabethtown to Brockville in honour of Major-General Sir Isaac Brock
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 75mm 1:2.8 – Kodak Plus-X Pan – Kodak TMax Dev (1+4) 5:45 @ 20C

While the raid was successful, the residents of Ogdensburg, where the Rifle Regiment was based. Prevost, was in Kingston when he got wind of this action and ordered that a raid against Ogdensburg was in order. On the 22nd a mixed force under Lieutenant Colonel George MacDonell consisted of troops from the 8th (Kings) and Royal Newfoundland Regiments along with members of the Glengarry Light Infantry, local militia and three guns under the Royal Artillery moved out of Fort Wellington in Prescott onto the river. The residents of Ogdensburg thought little of this, as the British often used the frozen river to conduct drill practice.

Project:1812 - Fort Wellington
Fort Wellington as it stands today, looking as it did in the 1830s
Modified Anniversary Speed Graphic – Kodak Ektar f:7.7 – Ilford HP5+ – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

But the force split into two columns and kept marching for the shore. The artillery was almost immediately put out of action, bogged down in the deep snow. The militia manned battery to the east of the town proper was quickly overwhelmed by MacDonell’s column who then swept west through the town ensuring that any militia in the town were driven back towards the main fortification occupied by the rifle regiment. It was this fort that the second column under Captain Jenkins of the Glengarry Light Infantry threw himself against. Without artillery support the small arms fire was useless against the stone buildings. Jenkin’s was wounded under the accurate rifle fire, and his Lieutenant took command.

Project:1812 - Raid on Ogdensburg
The remains of earthworks from an old French Fur Trade fort, while these probably weren’t used during the War of 1812 they are the only remaining fortifications that can be found in the town today.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

MacDonell however had formed up on the opposite side of the fort and sent over a demand of surrender. Forsyth refused, he had no intention of letting himself or his elite rifle troops become British prisoners. Ordering the local militia to launch a diversionary attack, he snuck his troops out and headed for Sackets Harbor. The militia promptly surrendered, and MacDonell ordered the town be burned after freeing their own prisoners and recapturing the stolen supplies. He did however make an offer to the local business owners, if the town remained free of federal troops and the militia paroled, they would not fear British raids. The business owners agreed, several had friends in the government, who depended on their money for their seats, so the town would not get a new garrison.

Project:1812 - Raid on Ogdensburg
A military monument in downtown Ogdensburg, dedicated to all the soldiers from the town.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 – TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

Today there isn’t much left in Ogdensburg that dates back to the raid, most of the town was destroyed by the British. Some earthworks can be found on the eastern side of the town, but they date to 18th Century. There is a series of plaques and a self-guided walking tour through the downtown that walks you through the raid. On the Canadian side, Fort Wellington still stands in Prescott, and has been restored to how it looked in the 1830s during the Upper Canada Rebellions but still worth a visit as the 1830s fort is fairly similar to how it would have looked during the War of 1812.

Written with Files from:
Web: www.eighteentwelve.ca/?q=eng/Topic/32
Web: 1000islands.com/ogdensburg/ogdensburgs-role-in-the-war-of-1812/
Web: www.warof1812.ca/o_burg.htm

Project:1812 – The Raid on Oswego

Despite having lost Lake Erie to the Americans in 1813, Commodore James Lucas Yeo was not about to let Commodore Isaac Chauncy repeat this on Lake Ontario. As such both men engaged in one of largest arms race during the war, the constant construction of ships. Yeo at the King’s navy yards in Kingston and Chauncy at Sackets Harbor. A note on the name of the title as ‘Raid on Oswgeo’ often you will find this known as Raid on Fort Oswego, this is simply not true, the main fort in the town was Fort Ontario, and was the only manned fortification in the city. Fort Oswego was one of the older British fortifications that date back to the French-Indian war and the American Revolution, and while it was maintained as a battery, it was not the target of the raid.

Project:1812 - Kingston Royal Naval Dockyard
Fort Frederick at the old Navy Yard, the fort dates to after the war but was the site of a battery.
Pentax 645 – SMC Pentax A 645 35mm 1:3.5 – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX) – Blazinal (1+50) 12:00 @ 20C

On Lake Ontario the arms race was at full speed, Yeo had laid down the keel of H.M. Ship St. Lawrence (112) on the 12th of April, while Drummond planned another attack against Sacket’s Harbor. But ever since Prevost’s failed attack in the previous year the naval base had maintained a much larger garrison, and Drummond’s requests for additional troops had fallen on deaf ears. But he learned of a large shipment of supplies and guns that were passing through the town of Oswego, New York. A much smaller and more easily assaulted target. Intercepting these guns would prevent Chauncy from arming the ships he had under construction at Sacket’s Harbor, and would not require a lengthy siege or assault on Sacket’s.

Project:1812 - Fort Ontario
Looking out at the lake from the upper wall of Fort Ontario.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 (TMY-2) – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

Departing on the 3rd of May, Yeo’s squadron of eight ships transported a mixed force of regular, provincial, and marine troops. However poor weather prevented the force from landing, but when the garrison commander, Major George Mitchell at Fort Ontario learned that a British fleet was nearby he was able to send a word of warning to the supply convoy to avoid the town and begin the process of moving out the town’s stores as well. By the 6th however the weather had lifted and allowed Yeo to move his two big ships H.M. Frigate Princess Charlotte (42) and H.M. Frigate Prince Regent (56) to move in and suppress the small batteries on the shores and at the fort itself. The smaller ships transported the landing force to the shore and swept the woods with grape and canister shot, but they miscalculated the depth of the water so the entire forces ammunition was soaking by the time they hit land. But the commanders, Lieutenant Colonel Victor Fisher and Captain Mulcaster ordered bayonets fixed and moved in anyways. Fisher taking his own Regiment de Wattville to take the fort, while Mulcaster’s sailors and members of the Glengarry Light Infantry would secure the woods, and the Royal Marines would head into town. Mitchell’s men fought to their last, making the British pay for every bit of ground, only falling back when they had reached the top of the walls.

Project:1812 - Fort Ontario
British and Americans flags along the interiors walls of the fort, each with a name maker with a name of a soldier who died during the 1814 raid.
Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Kodak TMax 400 (TMY-2) – Kodak TMax Developer (1+9) 20:00 @ 20C

While a general success, the raid did not complete the capture of the naval guns, but they did secure some of the town’s supplies. Not wanting to take the time to secure the area, once the supplies were loaded, Yeo ordered the fortifications around the town destroyed before launching a blockade of Sacket’s Habor. The guns were eventually intercepted when the Americans tried to bring them in by smaller boat. Yeo would go on to win the naval arms race with the launching of the St. Lawrence later in 1814, and managed to keep Chauncy pinned at Sackets Harbor preventing him from aiding the entrenched American position at Fort Erie. Fort Ontario is the only surviving fortification in Oswego and has been restored to how it looked during the American civil war and is open for public tours.

Written with Files from:
Collins, Gilbert. Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812. Toronto: Dundurn, 2006. Print.
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give up the Ship!: Myths of the War of 1812. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2006. Print.
Berton, Pierre. Flames across the Border, 1813-1814. Markham, Ont.: Penguin, 1988. Print.