PHSC Fall Estate Auction

Estate Auction
December 2, 2018

Toronto. Our next auction will be held this coming December 2, 2018 (bookmark shows 2019, but that will be corrected). As it will be an estate auction, no lots will be accepted at the door this time (Sorry). Just click the bookmark at left to get details

We will have many high end items to auction including the sampling of Hasselblad, Nikon, Sinar, electronic flash guns, etc. shown below.  First click on the Sample lots image below, then click on the rare Hasselblad 500 C/M icon to see more. Click on any image to see an enlarged view and get the left/right arrows to see the other lots in an enlarged view.

Sample lots – click for more


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a new Canadian Photographic magazine

New Canadian Magazine

Toronto. Last Sunday, at PHSC’s Fall Fair, PHSC Membership Secretary, Wayne Gilbert was handing out a new free Canadian magazine issued by  Henry’s. The magazine was just the second issue, A letter size 52 page glossy, it promoted both Henry’s and the products it sells in it store chain.

Catering to modern day professionals and talented amateurs, most articles are a page or so in length, with lots of interesting and informative adverts. Lots of photos to attract the eye accustomed to screen time rather than text.

Like the heavier and more mature Photo News, this magazine appears to use advertising to cover costs and avoids direct technical comparison of competing products. I enjoyed this issue. If you missed getting a copy, drop into your local Henry’s or go online and have a look for yourself!

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The Daguerreian Annual 2000

Cover of Annual for year 2000

Toronto. At our Fall fair last Sunday, The Daguerreian Annual 2000 was offered free at our membership booth. Sadly, few took up the offer and missed out on a wonderful soft cover book of some 280 letter sized pages.

This particular issue, besides its gorgeous pictures, and numerous articles on photography’s early years, covered two future PHSC presidents. Dr Mike Robinson (2003-2005) both wrote and displayed many images in his possession at the time. Dr Robinson is one of a handful of practising Daguerreotype photographers today.

He spoke to us on November, 2014. His studio has been a fixture in the east end of Toronto for many years. Featured in his article on “The Making of Twenty Daguerreotypes” is another PHSC president and father of a current PHSC VP, the late Bill Kantymir.

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Staats exhibition extended to year end!

Photographer Harold Staats

Toronto. One of the people I spoke with at the fair on Sunday was Toronto photographer Harold Staats. He was delighted that his exhibition (rare silver gelatin prints of music’s best Rock Stars, caught by Harold at their many concerts) has been extended twice due to popular demand. The second extension runs past this Christmas to year end 2018!

Well worth the visit to Brigitta’s, 1899 Queen St East in the Beach (Toronto’s east end)!

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a c1890 Photosphere camera

c1890 Photosphere camera
at fall PHSC fair

Toronto. In 1871, Dr Richard Maddox in the UK announced the dry plate process which replaced wet-plate photography which for decades was a standard process replacing the Daguerreotype in popularity. Dry plate went on to be the under pinnings of film photography, lasting in one form or another until the digital era we use today.

For the first time in the short history of photography there was a sensitive media available that demanded a shutter to expose in daylight and exposure accuracy since processing and exposure could now be separated significantly by time. In the late 1800s a strange little camera was offered by the French company “Compagnie Française de Photographie” in Paris. Called the Photosphere, this metal camera had a hemispherical front to house the unusual hemispherical shutter. The odd looking camera survived for just over a decade.

A “Hercule” bicycle clamp was offered in 1900, just before it ceased manufacture. By the way, Our speaker this month is Lorne Shields,  an avid collector of old bicycles, their images, and bicycle ephemera. He is a well know bicycle historian.

In the decade plus that the Photosphere was made, it evolved from a small single glass plate model to  various larger sizes plus a stereo model,  and was offered as well with a 12 plate magazine back.

One early model was on display at the recent PHSC Fall Fair for close to two thousand dollars. An example also exists at International Museum of Photography at the GEH in Rochester. See details in the late Eaton S Lothrop‘s book “A Century of Cameras“. Eaton spoke to us in June 1999, three months before I began to photograph and post the presentations.  His topic: “My 37 Years of Collecting”.

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review of September talk on tintypes

Digital shot of a wet-plate photographer (Bob Lansdale captures likeness of Stephen Brule)

Toronto. Stephen Brule, a young Ryerson graduate practicing the ancient art of wet-plate photography, spoke to us in September. Stephen brought along a slide presentation plus his home made plate preparation and development desk, a massive studio style 4800 watt-second flash and a colourful sparkling backdrop.

Stephen divided his talk into three parts: the presentation proper; set-up and studio exposure of a subject; and preparation, exposure and development of a wet-plate tintype.

He was a bit uncertain and hesitant as he started his talk, but quickly warmed to the audience and blossomed into a truly professional speaker once he began his demonstration. His spoke of growing up in rural Ontario in the rich farmland of the Lake Erie – Niagara corner of our province. He spoke of his family’s old Kodak Six-16 camera and the dreamy views he saw when looking through its tiny view finder. Earlier days spent hiking the Niagara gorge area prompted his like of nature in his photography. Continue reading

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a fair day in the fall

A row of Agfa-Ansco box cameras shown by a collector from New York State

Toronto. Bob Lansdale and I scooted down 27 and along Evans to the Trident Hall. On this bright but chilly day, the parking lots and fair were packed by the time we arrived a bit after 10 in the morning.

Mark and Clint had arrived about 2 am to find the Labour-Ready folk  were non-shows one and all. Fortunately the Hall staff were there cleaning up after a late running event and helped Clint and Mark place the tables ready for our fall fair. The step ramps had disappeared since we last used them in the spring and the exhibitors had to go long ways around by the admissions doors or brave the short series of steps.

Mark said a number of exhibitors had signed up just the day before the show and he had to open the gymnasium as a result.

Lots of goodies were offered for sale and display. Bob Lansdale happily photographed some rare old items. Willy Nassau brought along his hand made samples of Talbot’s “mouse-traps” – hand size wooden cameras used around 1839 by Henry Fox Talbot in his positive/negative process which competed with the daguerreotype. Willy said his biggest challenge was the lens for each tiny camera, not the woodwork. The lens was made of one or more meniscus element.

We saw many familiar faces and enjoyed the chatter and ambiance. It was a great day and a wonderful venue for finding both usable items and additional collectibles. See you in the spring! Next up for us is the image show in late November and our estate auction in early December (the dates and places are listed in the right sidebar).

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John T Bock September 2018

John Bock at a PHSC fair

Toronto. I received a sad note today from Hans Bock to tell us his father had passed away last month. John first joined the PHSC in 1987 and has been a perennial table holder at our fairs. I will miss the brief chats we had about Zeiss, Exakta, and the other German cameras he enjoyed. John often had miniature CCD cameras as well from his business north-west of the city, a few of which ended up in my house.

His son Hans writes, “Hi Sonja [our Newsletter editor] and those at the PHSC,

“I just wanted to inform you of the passing of John Bock last month.  It was an unexpected death leaving both his wife, Ingrid, myself and the extended family.  We’ve been sorting out much since his passing and unfortunately not able to send this earlier.”

Hans continues, “It’s with sadness that we note the passing of John Bock this past September.  John was a long time PHSC member and avid collector of German cameras from Zeiss, Voightlander and others.

“Having been a press photographer in Germany during his twenties, John seeked out the adventures of immigrating to Canada and starting a new life.  Over the years John remained active in the photographic industry working for Eddie Blacks,  running his own camera repair shop in downtown Toronto and then working for Carl Zeiss Canada for over twenty years.

“In the mid-eighties, John stepped out into a different field of industrial video imaging when CCD sensors were just coming to market.  Even with this new venture, John never stopped collecting, trading and repairing classic cameras for others.  His knowledge and passion for photography and German cameras was clearly evident in his interactions with other collectors.”


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PHSC News for October 2018

.. the last camera …
a coffin size Canon mock-up

Toronto. Halloween will arrive this month and editor Sonja Pushchak offers up a traditional gory treat for all you photo enthusiasts to savour the day before our popular fall photographica-fair.

This edition (18-04) serves up numerous thought provoking ideas in its twelve tasty pages of ghostly delights.

A touch of Freud? Check!
More about Lorne Shields? Check!
The Unphotographable? Check!
Our fall fair announcement? Check!
Ektrachrome Reborn? Really?
Some November Image Show? Yep!
How about photographing the dead? Sure!

and many other treats as well …

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sayonara DSLR – II

the age of the mirrorless
comparing Nikon Z7 and D850

Toronto. Last month, I suggested the DSLR as a professional tool would disappear replaced by high end mirrorless cameras. And just recently, my opinion was strengthened by a review of two Nikon’s on Steve’s Digicams site.

The review, by Josh LeBlanc, on September 29th compares the new Nikon Z7 mirrorless with the work horse Nikon D850. LeBlanc does suggest that the mirrorless Canon designs have better ergonomics than either Nikon or Sony designs. And while all three have excellent build quality, the weatherproofing of the Nikon gets the nod.

Two big pluses in LeBlanc’s opinion of Nikon’s mirrorless design are its weight – 1/3 lighter; and flexibility – any Nikon full frame lenses work on the N7!

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