This past year has been a lot of fun looking at different cameras. While some of these cameras I will have already released a review, others will be coming out next year. But that’s the thing about writing these reviews is that I’m often working 2-3 months ahead of the actual release. I put a lot of work into these reviews, between looking up specs, shooting multiple rolls of film through the cameras and trying to get the best results so I can give a fair and balanced review. But a group in the film photography blogging community decided to put out a series ofRead More →

It was raining in the city by the lake, a hard rain. A hard rain would wash the silver halides off any type of film. I was looking for something or someone for that matter. Someone contacted me about something new hitting the streets. A film stock would deliver the look of those old detective movies from the mid-century. I spent hours in the old one-screen cinema watching these films when I was a kid, growing up on the wrong side of the tracks. He called himself Shadow, Agent Shadow, although, given his love of cloak and dagger, I think the “agent” part was made-up,Read More →

We’re used to modern multi-element, multi-group lenses regarding optics. But it hasn’t always been that way; some of the earliest cameras used only a single element. But this often caused quality issues, so adding a second element limited the effects of chromatic and spherical aberration. The earliest applications of these Achromat lenses were in telescopes that trace back to the 18th Century. But Charles Chevalier’s (a noted name in early photographic optics) creation of his Daguerrotype Achromat lens changed the face of photography in those pioneering days. While Chevalier’s lenses are still sought by modern wet and dry plate photographers for us who shoot film,Read More →

Here I go again, sticking my nose into a speciality film. Copex Rapid, as the name on the tin says, is a high-contrast copy film that requires a special developer. Copex Rapid is a faster version of the original Copex. So a stop faster can be helpful in the right conditions. The trouble is that the special developer is not readily available in North America and is even harder to get in Europe. But that hasn’t stopped me before, so I took a chance. You’ll notice that I decided to drop one of my usual developers, Ilfotec HC, as it stated it was high-contrast, andRead More →

In the world of speciality lenses, there is nothing more specialized than perspective-control or tilt-shift lenses. The idea was to give 35mm photographers some movement control that large and medium format photographers used to adjust perspective. While the level of control could never be as discrete as with a large format camera, a perspective-control or PC lens provided some form of tilt and shift to grant a photographer a way to recompose an image without moving the camera body itself. Nikon’s original release in 1962 as part of the Nikon F system presented the world with the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5, a relatively simple lens withRead More →

When keeping things simple, look no further than a monobath. As the name implies, a monobath developer will do all the steps for you, from developing to fixing. All you’ll need to do afterwards is clear and wash the film. It can also act as an almost universal developer being able to develop multiple rolls of film for the same period. Perfect if you need to develop film in the field to avoid it getting cooked in an airport scanner or want to keep your life simple at home for development. Monobaths are nothing new, they’ve been around for a while, and I’ve worked withRead More →

When it comes to assistance with long processing times or the need for constant agitation, there aren’t that many options out there today. Sure there is the original Jobo system, but these are completely closed systems that often carry a high startup cost. And on the opposite end of the spectrum are the Besler and Unicolor Cibachrome bases and tanks. But what about something new, using modern solutions. Last year I had the chance to try out one such system, the AuRA film processor, and it certainly made an impression on me and my processing. Sadly these aren’t yet for sale, and given the technologyRead More →

I remember the first time I learned about the Nikon FE2; it was one of the early episodes of the Film Photography Podcast, I can’t remember which episode it was initially, but I do remember talking to him about the camera when I met up with him at one of the FPP recording sessions back in 2011. The camera didn’t particularly interest me; I still had my Nikon F3. But the camera stuck in my head. And even though I have an FE, the FE2 is an excellent addition to the stable as it is a newer camera, has a faster shutter, and the viewfinderRead More →

While not many people would notice it, but when watching a film, and you come across this amazing sequence in black & white, the rich tones across the board, and just a classic cinematic look and wonder, how can I make my still images look that good! Well if you are watching a film shot on traditional film stock the answer is rather easy, Eastman Double-X 5222. Chances are you’ve seen a film shot on this stock, such as the opening sequence of Casino Royale or Shindler’s List. I first came across Double-X a few years back when I purchased some rolls through the FilmRead More →