Friday, July 20, 2018

Milton Ontario on a Really Hot Canada Day and Podcasting

I was up in Milton Ontario Canada Day (July 1) to record some Classic Camera Revival Podcasts over at my friend James Lee's place. I had some time to kill and wandered around the downtown. The Canon FTBn was for an upcoming episode on cameras that got passed around the group, this case Mike Bitaxi sold me the Canon for $40. Tossed another $60 for a CLA and she works.

Some people ask me if I'm a professional photographer, the answer is no, I do sell prints on occasion and if you ask me really, really nicely, give me complete creative control, and don't be an ass about it after the fact, I'll photograph your portraits. Just to prove I'm not in it for the money, I shoot film, only film unless I'm grabbing a snapshot or event photo on my iPhone.

The film photography community is very welcoming, even more so in the film photography podcast community, I was invited onto the Classic Camera Revival, I guess going on two years ago, and I am happy to count Alex, John, James, Mike and Donna as dear friends/co-conspiritors/enablers.

The other thing about podcasting about film photography is meeting other film photography podcasters, in this case online. I have a lot of respect for Mike Gutterman and Andre Domingues for pumping out two episodes per week with the Negative Positives Film Photography Podcast and their Facebook group has become hangout for other film photography podcasters.

I also had the privilage of meeting Mark O'Brien from the granddaddy of them all The Film Photography Project and Podcast back in the winter, showed him around Toronto during a snowstorm, and chatted with Mike Rasso online. One day I'll get a chance to hang out with the rest of that group.

While I'm on the subject of film photography podcasts, I also listen to Analog Talk, Studio C-41and on the odd occasion Sunny 16.

If I were advising someone who is trying film photography out and is looking for more information and community tap into, listen to podcasts, not just the one I'm on.

Canon FTBn, FD 50 f1.4 chrome nose lens.
Film: Fomapan 400 Action, Tmax Dev 1+4.

Former Milton Town Hall_

Former Milton Town Hall Door Detail

North Side of Main St. Near the Post Office

Corner of Main and Martin_

Downtown Milton in the Heat_

Hot Rod Chevy

Hot Rod Chevy II

Canada Day Ceremony I

Canada Day Ceremony II

Milton Subdivision_

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Summer 2017 in the City, The Misplaced Roll

Funny what you find in the Lightroom catalogue, I had a bunch of photos from the rare nice day last Summer and I never published them. I'm thinking the FE2 was one of Nikon's best cameras after seeing these images, again as mentioned in a previous post I wish there was a battery check lever like the FE. I sent the camera off for a CLA to deal with the over exposing meter issue, I'm trying a repair tech in Quebec City who was highly recommended to my by fellow Classic Camera Revival host John Meadows.

What also got my attention was Portra 400, I've been shooting mostly Kodak Ultramax, Lomo 400 C-41 and Kodak Ektar, I forgot the Portra series of films. Oh wow, I have to shoot some more. Now, what I should do is try some Portra 160. My brother shot some in medium format and I was in awe with what he got out of it.

Camera: Nikon FE2, Nikkor Ai lenses.
Film: Kodak Portra 400

Receding Water at Harbourfront

Chilling at the Artificial Beach

Yellow Umbrellas of Toronto

Fire Boat And Tall Ship

Two Silver and One Black Bike

Inner Marina

Outer Marina

Capt. Matthew Flinders In the Shade Partially

Foot of Bay St

Front Street, The Sunny Side

August Dominion Building

Summer on Bay

Rent a Bike_

Waiting at on the West Side of Bay and Wellington_


Monday, July 16, 2018

Asahi Pentax KM and The Abused Roll of Film.

I think my K mount kit is complete, a KX, a recently acquired K2 and now this lovely black KM. I had a black KX and chrome ME Super but they left in a partial trade for a Nikon F2A, another blog post.

Using the KM, it is a fully featured K1000, or a Spotmatic F with a K mount minus a shutter lock. Either way, it's open aperture metering with your lens cap as the off switch. The meter underexposes two stops but with sunny 16 and 100 ISO film it was pretty easy getting the exposure right.

Ok, another blatant plug for Kosmo Mono 100 (you're welcome Mr. Dowling), ever have that one roll where nothing is going to plan and you still get decent results?  This particular roll of Kosmo Mono 100 was that roll of film. First off it didn't want to go on Patterson reel properly, got that fixed and into the tank it went. I developed and stopped but forgot to fix so when I pulled the film off the reel I was wondering why silver was still on the base, then I looked at the fix graduate with my inner voice saying fuck. I fixed the roll and re-rinsed the film and for some reason only putting hot water on.

Catching that and swearing some more, took the negative off the reel to dry, it looked ok, scanned the next day and here we go. Kosmo Mono 100 is a durable film that could survive a blonde moment. Not that I would recommend abusing Kosmo Mono 100 or any other emulsion for that matter. Some shots are a little grainier than usual for a 100 ISO film but nothing serious.



Asahi Pentax KM, SMC Pentax K lenses.
Film: Kosmo Mono 100, Rodinal 1+50.

Asahi Pentax KM

Northbound Train at the Rosedale Subway Station_

On Alymer Looking West Towards Belmont

Yonge Looking Towards Belmont_

Paris Grocery and Crosswalk

Cafe Seats in teh Shade

Waiting for the Light to Change Yonge and Crescent Road

Yonge St. Courtyard

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kosmo Mono 100 in the Summer Part Two and Some Thoughts on the Nikon FE2

My camera of choice on this photo walk was my Nikon FE2, a slightly lesser known camera only made from 1983 to 1987. Replacing the FE which was made from 1977 to 1983, the FE2 boasted faster shutter speeds to 1/4000 of a second, 1/250 flash sync speed and TTL off the film plane electronic flash automation and improved silicon photodiode light meter sensors.

Cosmetically the FE2 looked a lot like the FM2, it's mechanical stablemate but it was a far more sophisticated camera that was built like a truck and was marketed to the advanced amateur. While it sold well, it didn't sell as well as the much cheaper and honestly much more plastic fantastic Canon AE-1 Program, Canon A-1 and Minolta X700. By the late 1980s, autofocus entered the camera market and that became the must-have feature. 


Using the FE2 is a lot like using an FE or Nikkormat EL beautiful viewfinders with lots of information and match needle metering, unlike the F3HP pro body and the technologically advanced FA. The one big strike in my mind with the FE2 was the inability to check battery life compared to the FE. Also, everyone's favourite photography blowhard Ken Rockwell noted the FE2's battery lifespan is not as long as the FE. That aside, it is still an enjoyable camera to shoot with. Sadly my FE2 could use a CLA, the meter is overexposing by two stops for some reason. It joins the repair queue with two OM-1s. 



Camera: Nikon FE2, Nikkor lenses.

Film: Kosmo Mono 100, Rodinal 1+50.

Decorative Discs_

Inside the Former Don Jail_

Friday Morning on the DVP Northbound

Friday Morning on the DVP Southbound

Bayview Extenstion

The Walk up to Riverdale Farm

The Riverdale Farm Arch

Two Pathes to Choose From

The Riverdale Farm Fenceposts

Windmill in the Urban Farm

Monday, July 09, 2018

Review, Garry's Camera Repair

My new to me Minolta XD-11

Decent camera repair techs are hard to come by. We have a few in Southern Ontario but due to age, their numbers are dwindling. Now, I have a few cameras that need a specialist's knowledge, or a desire to work on. For example, a Minolta XE-7 I owned sat for ages because it needed a CLA and the film advance lever was sticking, no one in Southern Ontario wanted to touch the camera. In fact, one of my go-to techs (since passed) only half joking yelled, get that camera out of his shop. He also said that with Bronica gear too.

After some research on Facebook and Flickr Minolta Forums, I came across Garry's Camera in Buffalo Grove Illinois. With other brands, Garry has a bit of a hit or miss reputation, but with Minolta, especially Minolta that has electronic shutters and sophisticated onboard circuits, Garry does great work. While he has an online form to fill out it won't fill out a Canadian address, no biggie a Word or Google Document printed off capturing the information required. I described the problems in the letter popped it in the box along with the body.

My Chrome XD which needed an overhaul made it to Buffalo Grove IL in all four days. That also included a supposed slow down by US Customs inspecting all incoming packages coming in from Canada. Three days after arrival I got an invoice for $65 USD for all the overhaul and the XD returned back into my hands two weeks later (probably took three days to Canada Post Gateway in Mississauga, and it sat on a skid for a week and a half).

I have not shot with the recently overhauled Minolta XD yet but I found my XE-7 is flawless post-overhaul. Now, as alluded to earlier, Garry works on other brands other than Minolta, I can't speak to his competence in working on those cameras. If you have a Minolta from the mid-1970s to late 1980s and it has a circuit board, I can recommend him with confidence. The Black XD-11 above doesn't have any issues at the moment but I might send it down for a CLA to be on the safe side. 

Kosmo Mono 100 in the Summer Part One


We had a hot Canada Day weekend, on the friday, I met up with some friends from Toronto Photowalks and a did a bit of a wander through the east side of Riverdale Park, from the rooftop of Bridgepoint Health and the former Don Jail. One thing I should have packed as a polarizing filter to cut down some of the reflections with the protective glass in the rooftop garden.

I haven't shot with my FE2 in a while, sadly the meter is out by two stops and the camera could use a CLA at some point. Luckily I had a combination of exposure compensation and sunny 16 to the rescue. I think this will be the summer of the CLA (clean, lubricated and align), I have two Olympus OM-1's that need some love, I might have my black Minolta XD-11 done and now the FE2. One at a time.

Camera: Nikon FE2, Nikkor lenses,
Film: Kosmo Mono 100, Rodinal 1+50

Flatiron Behind the Tree

Skyline Riverdale Park 2 June 29

The Rooster in the Shade

Backside of the Former Don Jail

Water over Rectangles

Skyline from the Top of Bridgepoint

DVP Looking South of Top of Bridgepoint