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Showing posts from February, 2020

Minolta XD-11 GAS Attack.

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I had a bout of Gear Acquisition Syndrome, if you are a photographer or musician, or romantically involved with one, you understand exactly what I'm talking about. There is no cure, only temporary remission.

A fellow Toronto Film Shooter wanted to sell his chrome Minolta XD-11 body, it was working perfectly and it was bought by the last owner from Downtown Camera so a repair tech did CLA at some point. I'm a sucker for these cameras, in my opinion Minolta was on top of the heap in terms of technology and optics in the late 1970s. The XD-11 was the byproduct of a collaboration between Minolta and Leitz which also begat the Leica R4, R5, R6 and R7. What was best loved the camera felt right in your hand and the controls are intuitive, and that's an important feature for me.

The XD-11 was positioned as a top of the line camera body for advanced enthusiasts (by then Minolta had given up the pro market) had a seven year run before being phased out in favour of the X-700 and Min…

Gone Skiing Part Two

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Skiing is my winter escape, I've been skiing so long each winter I have to think for a minute how long I've been doing it. I love the smell of cold air,  burning firewood and frenchfry grease mixing together when skiing by either the Main or West Hill chalets, I didn't get that smell so much this winter as it hasn't really been all that cold. Well, what can you do?

I'm reloading my Rollei 35 with some Kodak Max 400 or Pro Image 100 and capture the back half of the season. Stay tuned.

The bottom photos of the Melville White Church is all that remains of the hamlet of Melville and is  one of those landmarks that remind you skiing, or hiking other times of the year is not far away.


Camera: Rollei 35, 40 f3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens
Film: Ilford Delta 100, HC110 B.













Gone Skiing Part One

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I'm a downhill skier. Been skiing for 44 years (had to think about that for a minute) over the past 15 or so years I would pack a camera system with me and take pictures around Caledon Ski Club. The big problem is my Lowe Pro sling bag would incure the wrath of a tiny minority of chair lift operators, so for a few years, I didn't take my gear with me on the slopes. Until this season, now being the proud owner of a pair of Rollei 35's (one with a Tessar lens, the other with a Sonnar design). I had a pocket camera that didn't need a big camera bag. Zone focusing is easy as I'm stopping down around F8 to F16 depending on the the light.

It took me a while to finish this roll because most of January was varying shades of grey every weekend. Exposure was figured out with either Sunny 16 or the Light Meter app on my iPhone. There will be more next blog post.

Camera: Rollei 35, 40 f3.5 Zeiss Tessar lens.
Film: Ilford Delta 100, HC110 B.













Belfountain, Down by the West Credit River

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Belfountain Conservation Area is better in the winter, if a tad slippery due to the freeze and thaw cycles we're getting.

Camera: Nikon FM, Nikkor Ai 50 f2 lens. Nikkor Ais 24 F2.8 lens.
Film: Rollei RPX 400, HC100 B.





















Abandoned Farms

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Two separate farms, both in Caledon, and both abandoned. The GTA Green Belt is protected green space that surrounds the Greater Toronto region much the chagrin of real estate developers who probably own both farms. I'm not saying where both locations are to protect them but they are easy enough to find. There are still a lot of working farms in the area but low density suburbia is not far away with the north end of Brampton butting up against the border with Caledon.

My Nikon FM and FM2n are my go to cameras when the weather gets less than wonderful in the winter, they work in pretty much any temperature and just don't quit.

Camera: Nikon FM, Nikkor Ai 50 f2 lens.
Film: Rollei RPX 400, HC110 B.
























Well Hi There Comrade, the Zorki 4 Rangefinder

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Long time ago I had a Kiev 3 rangefinder, my brother Alex was on former Soviet Union camera kick and since we're each other's enabler, I wound up with a Kiev kit. Shot with it for a while, and then traded whole thing off for a Nikkor 105 2.5 Ais telephoto lens. Decade rolls by and a friend had some surplus Soviet rangefinders, Zorkis, a 2S and a 4 he wanted to re-home. So I took them, a few more years roll by and I pop some Svema 100 I was gifted by Alex Luyckx to try it out.

Ok first off I'm not a fan of Ukranian polyester based film which feel tissue thin, in fact tissues have more backbone, and Rollei Retro and Japan Camera Hunter Street Pan 400 are thick in comparison. They are a royal pain to load onto Patterson reels and can wrinkle easily. Rant concluded.

The Zorki 4 had a long production run with roughly 1.7 million units made from 1956 to about 1973 by Krasnogorsky Mekhanichesky Zavod near Moscow. Over the course of its production run the Zorki 4 had many variations…