Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Winter Photography in Caledon Part One

The Farmers Almanac predicted a snowy winter for my part of the world, and sorta delivered a couple of weeks ago, I even skied before Christmas which I didn't do last year.

No I didn't go skiing with my Mamiya C220f. I took my shots after I packed it in. Pity temperatures spiked after Christmas. My second day on the boards won't be until after New Year's. A quick note, there will be only one post per week for the next two weeks with the holiday season. Stay tuned for my JCH400 and Rollei Retro 400S film comparison in 2017.


Camera: Mamiya C220f, Sekor 80 f2.8 lens.
Film: Fuji Neopan Acros 100, HC110 B.



Abandoned HIghway 10 Farmhouse

Belfountain Village Store_

Getting Off At The Top Of West Hill_

Top End of the West Hill Chairlift

Skiing West Hill_

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all the best for the Holiday Season and a happy healthy (and hopefully better) 2017!


Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Halton Region with a Nikon N90s.

I don't really do autofocus, but there is one camera in my current lineup that is one, the Nikon N90s (F90x for the rest of the world) and forgot how nice it is to work with. This camera is a steal, to put into current context, this was the D810 to the D5 if we're comparing Nikon FX DSLRS. Today you can grab one for about $50-75 if you shop smart.

What's great: metering for starters! The N90s has a sophisticated metering that quite honestly, since I don't own any autofocus lenses am really not taking full advantage of. With centre weight and spot metering, I'm pretty much good to go, even then, I got the exposure bang on with my brother Alex's portrait. Now if I had some autofocus glass, I could take advantage of the matrix metering function.

The camera also takes AA batteries which is the best thing ever, they are available anywhere on this planet without a hassle. The only weak spot is the Err message which is the camera's on board CPU telling me the ISO is incorrect even though that was intentional (I like to over expose my 400 ISO films) on my part. The fix is easy, but just annoying to deal with when you're in the middle of a shoot.

I do have a Nikkor AF-D 70-210 F 3.5-5.6 lens on the way, so it would be nice to grab a nifty fifty lens and I can use my Ais 28 f2.8 manual focus glass because it beats the autofocus version by miles.

In a fit of inspiration I wrote an article for the Film Shooters Collective which will be published on there at a later date. The second that happens, I will link back to here.

Camera: Nikon N90s, Nikkor Ai 50 f1.4 lens.
Film: Rollei RPX 400 HC110 B.

Nikon N90s

Limehouse Garage_

Bridge Through Limestone_

London Bound Via Train_

Bruce Trail in Limehouse_

Snow Covered Lime Kiln 2_

The Bridge Across_

What's Left of the Mill_

Limehouse Community Hall_

Rare Shot of Alex_ 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Downtown Toronto on JCH Streetpan 400

JCH Street Pan 400 is an interesting film, I ordered some Rollei Retro 400S which has similar characteristics for comparison, this particular film is a little easier on the wallet. Stay tuned......

Camera: Nikon FM2n, Nikkor Ais 50 f1.8 lens.
Film: Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400, HC110 B.

Mid Afternoon on York St

Crossing Front at York

Bay St. Christmas Tree_

Bell Mosaics_

Concourse Building V2

Thursday, December 15, 2016

New Film: Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400


While photographic film has become a more niche product in the photographic world, new emulsions are hitting the market every year. Some from storage others made to order. JCH Street Pan 400 falls under made to order. A British expat living Japan built quite a following online acting as concierge for those looking for a particular cameras and lenses in Japan. Along the way Japan Camera Hunter evolved into an information website as well on all things analogue photography. Along the way Bellamy Hunt reached out to Agfa Geavert in Belgium to manufacture Street Pan 400 which is a resurrected traffic surveillance film.

What's so special, well for starters JCH 400 is almost a near infrared film, well very least red spectrum sensitive which makes it imperative you load and unload in subdued light so you don't fog the first three frames. Two that red spectrum sensitivity makes this film from friends' experiences using it back in the Summer too contrasty but from mid November to about mid February makes JCH 400 the go to black and white film for places like Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, NYC, London, Paris, Berlin etc. this time of year when light goes flat as a pancake and you are begging for some contrast.

I use HC110 Dilution B for processing and I get nice fine grained negatives. Oh yeah about the negatives, handle with care, the base is thinner compared to Rollei RPX 400,  Ilford HP5, even Fomapan 400, so be gentle. The other big bonus, the negatives dry flat for easy scanning and printing in an enlarger.

One thing, cost. JCH Street Pan 400 retails for about $15 CAD a roll, and it doesn't matter if order directly from Japan Camera Hunter, MACO Direct in Germany or purchasing locally at Downtown Camera. One hopes the more film is purchased, the cheaper it will get. I'm not going to go whole hog and buy a dozen rolls but I will buy a couple more to carry me over during the late part of fall and early part of winter when the light is dimmest.



Camera: Nikon FM2n, Nikkor Ais 50 f1.8 lens, 28 f2.8 lens.
Film: JCH Street Pan 400, HC110 B.

Books in the Box

Dial Up

Side of Bridgepoint_

Metal Surfer

Gloomy Toronto

The Rooster on a Grey Day_

Broadview House

Late Saturday Afternoon On Broadview

Crossing Busy Danforth

Don Valley Parkway Going Into the Curve

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Toronto in November

From before the snow fell, you could walk the streets and not mess your boots up with slush. It's going to be a while before you can do that again.

After an extended binge with Rollei RPX 400 I popped a roll of Ilford HP5 in my camera. Get hung up on a particular film you wind up rediscovering an old favourite. Next week I'm going to show off the results from my first roll of Japan Camera Hunter Street pan 400. Stay tuned for that....

Camera: Nikon FM2n, Nikkor Ais lenses.
Film: Ilford HP5 400, HC110 B.

Bathurst and King Wait at the Light_

Walking Along King Past Sasur Lee's_

Waiting Paitently at King and Spadina on the Bike

Gooderham Flatiron Building_

Reflected in the TD Tower

York St. Migration_

Metal Critters_

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Somewhere, Up There...

The view is different up in the clouds at City Place....



Camera: Nikon FM2n, Nikkor Ais 50 f1.8 lens.
Film: Ilford HP5 400, D76 1+1.

View over Spadina_

Front St. Condo Skyline_

Sunset Between the Towers_

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

New Toy Alert: Minolta Autocord CDSIII


Photographers suffer from a disease called Gear Acquisition Syndrome or GAS for short. There is no cure, only temporary remission. I like my Twin Lens Reflex cameras, owning a pair of Rolleicords, a Series E 3.5 Planar Rolleiflex and a Mamiya C220f is testament to that. Now I was always curious about Minolta Autocords because of their reputation for amazing lenses. Well, I found one at Burlington Camera, everything worked except the meter which is no surprise.

Autocords are a different beast than Rollei and Mamiya TLRs. You load the film up top instead of the bottom and you don't have a focus knob on the side but a lever on the bottom. The dreaded lever, if you're to stumble across an Autocord chances are that lever is seized up, don't force it. The engineers at Minolta made the fatal mistake of using "Pot Metal" alloy which is pretty weak. There are a lot of Autocords out there with broken levers. Now I remember one photographer/tinkerer posted on his website how to make a replacement lever in brass, a much sturdier metal. If I find that link I'm posting it for sure as a public service.

How does it handle? Different, the ergonomics take some getting used to if you are used to the world of Rollei. I was brave and decided to use a roll of Kodak Portra 400 as my test roll, my Autocord's speeds are bang on. The results speak for themselves. Now I did have to clean the focusing screen, which requires patience and steady hands. Turns out there was foam between the waist level finder and the dead meter, I replaced that and cleaned the mirror and carefully dusted out all the debris. This camera is a keeper. Unfortunately, I don't have a camera strap for it, again in Minolta's infinite wisdom went with a proprietary lug system which is a pain in the ass. I might improvise a Gordy's Wrist Strap until I can find the OEM neck strap.

The photos were taken on the 7th Anniversary Toronto Photo Walk  mostly in Toronto's east end.

Camera: Minolta Autocord CDSIII
Film: Kodak Portra 400


Front St. on Saturday Morning_

East End Corner On Dundas

East End Row Houses

Small Duplex

Street Car Loading_

Corner of Broadview and Gerrard


Minolta Autocord CDS III


Thursday, December 01, 2016

Return to Billie Bear Part Two

Waiting to go back to Billie Bear will be an eternity, but that's ok, it just makes each visit more special.

Camera: Asahi Pentax KX, SMC Pentax lenses.
Film: Lomo 400 C-41 and Kodak Portra 400

Boats for Anglers_

Private Viewing Deck on the Helipad

Yellow Paddle Boats

Empty Deck

Billie Bear Cottage 1

Billie Bear Cottages 2

Chilling in front of the Explorer Lodge

Priorty Seating by the Big Lodge

Billie Bear Staff Cottage_

Billie Bear Social Hall_