Tag Archives: rodinal

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!

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)

Film Review – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400

So I’ve managed to shoot through my brick of JCH Streetpan 400 film and feel I’m good to begin writing an in-depth review of the film. I’m going to start off with saying that this is a fantastic film! Well worth the time and effort that Bellamy has put into researching, marketing, and tweaking to suit his amazing photography and now has taken the bold step in bringing it to the rest of us. You will have probably heard a lot of negative press related to this film, even recently someone put a comment on one of my Streetpan images to a video review of the film that stated that it was an old Agfa stock that Bellamy found a core roll of and just spooled and repacked. Well, I just can’t believe that, because the film edges are branded, and there’s a current expiry date on them, and from all my interactions with Bellamy, he’s not to type to pull the wool over the eyes of thousands. I’m glad I went ahead and invested in this film early. These days we hear too much about film stocks cut, but 2016 has been a great year for film, Rollei, Kodak, and Ilford all holding steady with their commitments to maintain traditional stocks, and the continued promise of Ferrania pulling out a new E-6 film. Streetpan, it was a bonus, an excellent bonus!

Product Highlights

  • Type: B&W Panchromatic up to 750nm
  • Base: Polyester (0.10 mm)
  • Film Speed: ASA-400
  • Formats Available: 35mm

So now that we’ve gotten the dirt taken care of let’s dig in. I decided to approach this review a little differently that my other reviews have been because it’s a film, not a camera it changes depending on how you develop it. Using my trusty Nikon F5 to make sure the film was being exposed with the same meter with every roll I set about using the developers I had access to and the times listed on the box.

Kodak HC-110
My first experience with Streetpan 400 was under cloudy conditions and developed in HC-110 Dil. B. I was hooked right off the bat with this combo. The contrast is dead on, the extended red sensitivity shows up by cutting through the haze that was 5000% humidity. For a 400 speed film paired with HC-110, the grain looks like something from a 100 or 200-speed film even when scanned. What makes this combo shine is the contrast, not too harsh, not too soft. You have blacks and white complete with mid tones across the spectrum.

TFSM - Summer '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Summer '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Summer '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak HC-110 Dil. B 5:00 @ 20C

Kodak Xtol
Now I’m a big fan of Xtol as a developer, but in this case, it wasn’t that good of a chemical to use with Streetpan. It made the images look soft, and not in a good way. The shots I took were on a dull day that was humid, but my lens was often working in the f/5.6 to f/8 range, and since it’s the same 105mm f/2D it should be sharp. But the edges appear soft. I actually had a bit of a scare when I first pulled the film out of the tank, I thought that I had over developed it, but once I got it in the scanner I realized I hadn’t. Development was again spot on with little adjustment needed in Photoshop with the levels/curves. The tone was excellent, with great blacks and whites with stable mid-tones. There was also no real difference in grain, it wasn’t any finer, compared to HC-110. Xtol would not be my first choice however for this film.

Reflection
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

The Brush Past
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

An Entertaining Conversation
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Kodak Xtol (1+1) 17:00 @ 20C

Ilford Perceptol
Now these are the results from Streetpan that I have come to expect from the film. Clean, fine grain, sharp and the contrast point is dead on. The only trouble was that the negatives were a bit dark and needed some heavy adjustments in Photoshop to pull up the images. So I would say that either an additional 30 seconds in the developer or a slight pull to say ASA-320 would be enough to produce a cleaner negative. But overall Perceptol is another winner for developing this film to give the best results.

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

TFSM - Fall '16
Nikon F5 – AF DC-Nikkor 105mm 1:2D – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Perceptol (1+1) 10:00 @ 20C

Ilford Ilfosol 3
Ilfosol 3 was one of the first developers outside of D-76 that I worked with so it remains a bit of a soft spot for me. And for Streetpan it does a fine job, despite me shooting the film in less-than-ideal conditions. The grain is acceptable but noticeable more than other developers, and the film shows off the tonality that it can produce. While Ilfosol 3 wouldn’t be my first choice for developing the film if it’s all you got, you’ll create some fantastic images! As for the time, I might opt to bump it up 30 seconds, but I’d have to test it out under better conditions.

Bending Light
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+3) 5:00 @ 20C

Halfsmoke?
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+3) 5:00 @ 20C

Ending the Day
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 14-24mm 1:2.8G – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Ilford Ilfosol 3 (1+3) 5:00 @ 20C

Rodinal
If you had to pick two developers to use with this film, HC-110 would be the first. And in a very close second would be Rodinal. Usually, you would avoid using a sharp developer with a 400-speed film in 35mm. But in this case, the film itself is designed to produce a fine grain even with a sharp developer and the negatives look good! Right out of the tank I could see to fantastic tonality and stunning contrast that I saw with HC-110. And yes the grain is a little more noticeable but nothing that would take away from the quality of the images.

Deco
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Yellow-15) – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Heather
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Yellow-15) – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

Everywhere
Nikon F5 – AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4D (Yellow-15) – Japan Camera Hunter Streetpan 400 @ ASA-400 – Blazinal (1+25) 10:30 @ 20C

The Final Word
Streetpan is certainly a film I’ll be working with again. There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, I will have already ordered another brick of 10 rolls of the film from the JCH site. For use on my honeymoon in April in New York City and at a wedding I’m photographing in April. Despite all the praise I have heaped on Street Pan, there is one thing I have noticed with it. It likes light; it doesn’t need direct light, I would avoid shooting in it harsh light, but it wants gray days, soft even light or open shadow. But it does suffer in low light; I had a tough time pulling out good images when I was shooting it just after dusk or in darkened interiors. As for the developers, I do highly recommend using either Rodinal or HC-110 to develop this film as I got the best results from those with good tone, not overly contrasty and it shows off the sharp fine-grained nature of the film stock. It’s a good stock, and a welcome addition to my choice of shooting media.

Big thanks to Bellamy, the Japan Camera Hunter himself, for taking the plunge and bringing Street Pan to us hungry film photographers, he took a leap of faith, and the results are stunning. You can pickup the film directly from his shop and now you can buy single rolls, three and five packs, or a full brick of ten. I recommend the ten. If you’re in Toronto you can pick up the film from Downtown Camera, currently the only Canadian Supplier of the film!

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

Classic Camera Revival – Episode 3 – Rangefinders

ccr-logo-leaf

A favoured camera of the street photography group, the rangefinder, is one of those niche cameras that is often associated with brands like Leica. However while none of us have a Leica to present this episode we have some fine (cheaper) alternatives to the Leica that are sure to get your attention. The main feature of the rangefinder is that the viewfinder is often off-set from the taking lens, and uses a super-imposed image that you ‘line up’ to get the focus. However, composing takes a bit of work. The first rangefinders were produced by Kodak back in 1916, but really got popular in 1925 with the first Leica camera.

The cameras featured on this episode are:

Minolta Hi-Matic 7s – The Upgraded version of the Hi-Matic 7, this beautiful fixed lens rangefinder has a Rokkor 45mm f/1.7 lens, hot shoe and an auto exposure system from the SRT line of SLRs. But since it takes a mercury cell is no longer usable. But being mechanical the camera still works like a charm!

The Collection - September 2012

Foggy Dew

Golden

Parking

Kodak 35 RF – The coupled rangefinder version of the original Kodak 35, this ungainly looking camera was introduced in 1940 but don’t let the weird looks fool you, it’s a solid camera with legendary Kodak optics backing it up.

kodak35

k35-02

k35-01

Olympus 35 SP – Another cult favourite of Olympus with both a centre weighted and spot metering system built in, and a 42mm f/1.7 Zuiko lens to back it all up, this compact rangefinder is very user friendly with wickedly sharp optics!

olympus35sp

oly35sp-01

oly35sp-02

oly35sp-03

Voigtlander Bessa R – The only interchangeable lens rangefinder on the show today, the Bessa R, gives all those folks who are fans of the Leica Thread Mount (LTM/M39) a camera with TTL metering and easy loading! While not actually from the famous Voigtlander name, but rather designed and built by the Japanese company ‘Cosina,’ the the Bessa R is a solid contender.

bessa-r

bessar-02

16722352580_190d09e416_o

16341748972_ddb2804854_b

Of course, this is far from a complete list of rangefinders out there. In addition to the iconic Leica lineup there are some other good cameras to look at.  Such as the Yashica Electro 35G, Canonet QL17 GIII, Konica S3, and Olympus XA.

The Darkroom
A topic that will get any traditional photographer going for hours (thankfully it didn’t for this episode) is developers! Even today there are still a pile of different developers available for black and white films, and they come in two different varieties. First being powder which you combine with water to create a stock solution which can be used on its own in many cases or diluted down with water. Second is liquid, which can be mixed into a stock solution (like Kodak HC-110) or diluted straight with water into a one-shot working dilution, such as Rodinal.

Some of the developers mentioned in today’s show include.

  • Rodinal – The oldest commercial developer still in production today, however it’s known as Blazinal, Adonal, or Agfa R09 One Shot. Produces incredibly sharp images but does enhance grain.
  • Pyro Developers – These are staining developers that produce amazing tones, fine grain, and sharp images. They do leave almost a sepia stain on the negs. Two types are mentioned, Pyrocat-HD and PMK Pyro, both are avalible from Photographer’s Formulary.
  • Diafine – This unique two bath developer (don’t mix the two baths) will produce ultra-fine grain, and increase film speed, sharpness, and resolution. Oh and the stuff lasts forever!
  • Kodak Xtol – A powdered fine grain developer from Kodak that produces good sharpeness and fine grain. It’s also one of the more environmentally friendly developers out there being based on Vitamin C. The downside is that you have to mix it up 5 liters at a time. A jerry can is a good idea for storage.
  • Caffenol – a developer that you can mix up yourself and you can make it in so many different ways. At the core is instant coffee, then you add additional stuff to change the results. Best part there’s nothing really dangerous that mixes in with it, just don’t drink it. Co-Host Alex did a good experiment with Caffenol a year or so back.
  • Kodak HC-110 – One of the more interesting developers because of the alphabet dilution table, and introduced without much fanfare. You can mix it up as a stock solution and dilute from there, or just dilute straight from syrup. If you want that ‘Tri-X look’ HC-110, Dilution B.
  • Kodak TMax Developer – Designed for use with the T-Grain (TMax) films, but don’t let that scare you, this is a fantastic developer that makes most film (even Tri-X and Plus-X) sing! There’s a little more grain but you do get nice sharp negs.
  • Ilfosol 3 – A general purpose film developer designed for use with slower films with great results especially with Pan F and Delta 100

If you want to try mix up your own developers you can find a pile of great recipes online at the Unblinking Eye. Also check out the Massive Dev Chart to get starting developing times. If you’re just starting out with film developing a good one to start with is Kodak D-76 or Ilford ID-11, as it’s cheap and works with almost every film out there! And more importantly don’t be afraid to experiment and find your favourites that get the results that you want! Just note that if you order liquid developers from US distributors you may not be able to ship them across the border, you may even face some restrictions with powder as well. New York City isn’t that far away and totally worth the trip just to see the awesomeness that is B&H!

If you are in the Toronto area be sure to check out host, John Meadow’s first gallery show: The Silver Path. Running from the 10th of April to the 19th. Check out his site for more details: johnmeadowsphotography.wordpress.com/the-silver-path-film-photography-by-john-meadows/!

Looking for a place to get this chemistry, 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.

Eastman 5363 Positive Film II

Back in December I was approached by Michael Raso of the Film Photography Project if I wanted to help test a new (to the FPP) film stock. Just before Christmas the film arrived with a little note saying “ASA-6, we think” there was no real indication online how to develop this film in traditional B&W chemistry or it’s exact sensitivity. Google yielded a document by Eastman Kodak on this film stock, Eastman 5363 Positive Film II was a high contrast motion picture film designed for the creation of both positive and negative titles for films. And to develop using Kodak’s D-97 chemistry. Last time I checked I couldn’t just walk into my usual camera shop, Burlington Camera and get D-97. So I had to go with my gut, what other high-contrast film had I used from Kodak’s Motion picture line. The first thing that came into my head was the John Meadow’s found SO-331!

The first roll I shot in High Park in Toronto at ASA-50 (I meant to shoot it at ASA-25) I really wasn’t convinced at the ASA-6 rating and I really didn’t want to have to lug a tripod around that day. Plus I figured as a motion picture film it would have a pretty wide latitude. Besides I still had two other rolls to shoot so why not? After shooting it I got it home and developed it in Kodak Xtol, Stock Solution for 5 minutes (per times for SO-331 at ASA-50), constant agitation for the first minute, then 10 seconds for each following minute. Water stop with constant agitation for a full minute. Then Kodafix Rapid Fixer with Hardener for five minutes following the same agitation pattern as with developing. Then two minutes in Kodak Hypoclear, then washed using the Ilford wash method, straight water for the first three cycles, then Photoflo introduced for the final cycle. The results very very contrasty image, pure B&W very little in the way of midtones but rather unique all the same.

Eastman 5363 Test - Roll 1 - High Park

Eastman 5363 Test - Roll 1 - High Park

Eastman 5363 Test - Roll 1 - High Park

The second roll I shot in downtown Stratford at ASA-25. But this time I went with a forumula developed by friend and fellow FPP Volunteer and all around awesome lady Leslie from Imagine That! and the Mecca. HC-110 Dilution G (1+29 from the stock solution) for 22 minutes. Constant agitation for the first minute, then 10 seconds for each following minute. Water stop with constant agitation for a full minute. Then Kodafix Rapid Fixer with Hardener for five minutes following the same agitation pattern as with developing. Then two minutes in Kodak Hypoclear, then washed using the Ilford wash method, straight water for the first three cycles, then Photoflo introduced for the final cycle. Much cleaner results, and a very metallic chrome feel to the image. Still High Contrast but with more mid-tones.

Eastman 5363 Test - Roll 2

Eastman 5363 Test - Roll 2

Eastman 5363 Test - Roll 2

The third roll was also shot in Stratford, and since I still had lots of sun I decided to knock it down one more stop to ASA-12. Developing this time I took a huge step and went a bit crazy, stand developing. I used Blazinal (the locally available Rodinal blend) at 1+100, and stand developed for one hour. Constant agitation for the first minute, then two inversions every 15 minutes. Water stop with constant agitation for a full minute. Then Kodafix Rapid Fixer with Hardener for five minutes following the same agitation pattern as with developing. Then two minutes in Kodak Hypoclear, then washed using the Ilford wash method, straight water for the first three cycles, then Photoflo introduced for the final cycle. The results…failure. Everything was way over exposed that I didn’t even bother scanning it in. But when it comes to testing a new film stock failures are bound to happen, and that means that the other testers can work from there to make it better.

This film does work at ASA-6 as well, Michael Raso has had great luck with D-76 at 1+1 for 12 minutes. Over all I rather like this film, it’s a great slow speed film and has a lot of potential for unique landscapes and crazy portraiture. If you want to try this film out you can pick up rolls at the FPP store! Have other ideas on how it could be processed, please feel free to contact me by email, or you can contact the FPP directly.

High Park Photos: Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Planar 2/45 T*
Stratford Photos: Contax G2 – Carl Zeiss Biogon 2,8/28 T*

A New Method

City Methodist, a grand old church brought low by the slow march of time. Built in 1925 to the tune of one million dollars, most of that being fund-raised by Reverend William Seaman, and US Steel footing some of the bill as well. Constructed in the English Gothic style the sanctuary alone stands nine stories tall and could house 950 people. But the church was more than just the sanctuary. The whole complex had a school, theater for both traditional plays and films. Also had space for store fronts. At its peek there were 3,000 members on the church roll. But when the steel industry crashed…the people moved away from Gary. By the time the church closed the doors in 1975 there were less than 100 people in attendance on Sunday mornings. The city took ownership of the property. A string of arson in 1997 did major damage to the grand old church. Although several efforts to save the church have sadly failed at this point, the most recent one was the turn it into a European Style ruins garden preserving and stabilizing the sanctuary. But in the end it all comes down to money, money that the city doesn’t have.

And so, I continue to enjoy the church as it is.

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

City Methodist

Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Adox CHS 100
Blazinal 1+25 6:00 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Bakus Mills

The battle of Bakus Mills was the battle that never happened. By 1814 American raiding parties roamed unopposed through the western stretches of Upper Canada (now Ontario). On the Niagara frontier the war had been fought to a stalemate and the balance of power depended on the supply lines that provided much needed food for the British Army. American forces attempted to disrupt these supply lines by sending raiding parties across Lake Erie and through Detroit.

Project:1812 - Bakus Mills
The JC Backhouse Mill, yes, this is the original one built in 1798.

The J.C. Backhouse mill was constructed in 1798, and being a grist mill made it a target for these raids, as it was a major supplier of flour for the British Army. But for one reason or another it was never targeted. There are several stories surrounding why the mill was never targeted, while many others in the general area were destroyed. Backhouse was a major in the Norfolk militia, it was said that he had members of the militia light more bonfires than actual troops around the mill to trick the Americans into believing that there were more troops stationed there than there actually were. Another theory is that that many of the American officers were masons, deliberately avoided Backhouse’s property out of respect for a fellow mason. However the more likely theory is that the American’s never were able to find the mill in the first place.

Project:1812 - Bakus Mills
Prospect Hill, the home of the Backhouse Family

Even though the mill survived the war, there were several skirmishes around the area that saw the local economy and private property destroyed. The local militia were outmanned and out gunned by the highly trained and well equipped American regular troops and volunteers that made up the raiding parties. The British had not been able to field an army in the west since their defeat at the Battle of the Thames, leaving the militia to fend for themselves.

Project:1812 - Bakus Mills
A Log cabin, the Headquarters for the local Militia

The Backhouse Mill continued to operate until 1955 as a commercial flour producer. Today it still produces flour in the traditional method, being the oldest mill still in operation in Canada today. It’s the central building in the Bakus Heritage Village. Each September the village hosts reenactors, despite no battles actually being fought on the site.

Written with files from:
Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812 Second Edition by Gilbert Collins – 2006 The Dundurn Group Publishers
lprca.on.ca/backus/1812/

Photos:
Nikon FM2 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX)
Rodinal 1+50 12:00 @ 20C

Project:1812 – Port Dover

Located on a natural harbor on the shores of Lake Erie, the small town of Port Dover is known more for its famous Friday the Thirteenth motorcycle event than its involvement in the War of 1812. In the early 19th century the town was one of the key ports to the British control, the others at Turkey Port (Fort Norfolk), Port Ryerse, and Long Point provided shelter for the Royal Navy and the Provincial Marine. Using these ports the British maintained complete control over Lake Erie for the first half of the war, blockading the Americans, at least until an American Squadron under Oliver Hazard Perry defeated the British fleet on Lake Erie in 1813.

Project:1812 - Port Dover
Downtown Port Dover as it appears today.

However Port Dover’s involvement in the War of 1812 started early on in the conflict when it served as the embarkation point for General Brock’s successful siege and capture of Fort Detroit. Brock along with members of the 41st Regiment of Foot arrived on August 2nd, 1812, linking up with elements from the York, Oxford, Lincoln, and Norfolk Militia, a 300 man strong force to reinforce the 41st Regiment at Fort Amhurstburg under attack from General Hull and the Americans. However water transport for only 100 men could be secured, Brock took the first 100 while the remainder marched overland. Brock’s campaign not only secured Fort Detroit, but also the now famous alliance with Shawnee Chief Tecumseh.

Project:1812 - Port Dover
Brock’s cairn.

However by 1814, the western areas of Upper Canada had been vacated by most British Regular forces after their defeat at the Battle of the Thames, allowing American forces to raid along the coast destroying, for the most part Mills and supply lines feeding the British army now concentrated on the Niagara frontier. On May 14th, 1814 Lieutenant Colonel John Campbell landed with 800 US Regulars and a group of volunteers from the Pennsylvania Militia, and a group of artillery at Patterson Creek. After a minor skirmish with local militia the force marched on Port Dover on May 15th, unopposed they proceeded to take any supplies they could get their hands on before setting the entire town, including private residences on fire, after allowing the families to remove small objects from the homes, an empty gesture. After reducing Port Dover to ashes, Campbell’s force moved on to Port Ryerse, repeating what they had done to Port Dover. Over all Campbell’s forces destroyed twenty homes, six mills, three distilleries, and various other buildings. A local citizen overheard that this was in retaliation for British attacks on Havre Du Grace, Maryland, and Buffalo. The officers under Campbell were outraged with Campbell’s actions as where his superiors and he was brought before a court martial. The court censured Campbell for his wanton destruction of private property, disavowing it completely.

Project:1812 - Port Dover
Port Dover’s freshly restored 18-pound carronade.

A letter sent to General Riall explaining this did little to prevent the massive assault against the American east coast later in August of 1814, resulting in the occupation of Maine, and the destruction of government property in Washington DC. Campbell died of wounds received during the Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

Project:1812 - Port Dover
Port Dover’s harbor today.

Very little remains from the War of 1812 in Port Dover, a plaque outside of town speaks on Campbell’s destructive raids, and a cairn in a downtown park talks on Brock’s embarkation. A restored carronade and an information plaque stands in the same park explaining the town’s involvement in the war. Port Dover remains an active harbor on Lake Erie, but instead of military vessels it mostly focuses on a fishing fleet and pleasure craft.

Written with files from:
Guidebook to the Historic Sites of the War of 1812 Second Edition by Gilbert Collins – 2006 The Dundurn Group Publishers
Web: www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_MNO/Plaque_Norfolk02.html

Photos:
Nikon FM2 – AI-S Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 – Kodak Tmax 100 (100TMX)
Rodinal 1+50 12:00 @ 20C

The Beautiful Aftermath

So after Friday’s winter storm, Saturday dawned bright and clear so I loaded up three cameras and went to Hamilton. For these shots I really slowed down my shooting, one maybe two shots each place I stopped with the Rolleiflex. I carefully looked at each area, pre-visualized what I’d want the final print to look like. Using a Pentax Spotmeter V, I metered for shadows I wanted the most details in, then underexposed by a stop (Putting the shadows in Zone IV), focused, and shot. Then made notes on the exposure. It was basically like shooting large format (I did see a guy with a 4×5 out and about). I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Rolleiflex 2.8F – Carl Zeiss Planar 80mm 1:2.8 – Ilford Pan F+ (ISO-50)
Blazinal 1+50 11:00 @ 20C