Vancouver Camera Swap Meet April 2nd, 2017

Toronto. Tonchi Martinic of the Vancouver Society sent me a note announcing the Vancouver Camera Swap Meet this coming April 2nd, 2017.

This is the show Siggi ran for many years before passing it on to Tonchi. If you can’t make it to Montreal, then by all means join the folks in Vancouver and enjoy the great spring weather (hard to believe with all the snow there just now, but by April the sun will be shining and balmy weather will have set in). Click here or on the icon for details.

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Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone

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Edgerton’s High Speed Photography

Harold Edgerton at MIT – Strobe of a girl skipping

Toronto. George Dunbar sent me this fascinating link to a short video on the TIME MAGAZINE website showing Edgerton’s high speed photography experiments using custom made strobes. Wait for the video – it starts after a short ad.

Dr Edgerton set up various arrangements to record everyday things in a way we do not see them. His high speed electronic flash (strobe) allows recording of incidents a fraction of a second long. For example he recorded fifty images of a tennis swing on a single print using a large plate film camera and a custom made strobe. He created a high speed movie camera capable of taking 6,000 frames a second to record some of his experiments.

The stills and movies record everyday activities in a fresh new light – now over a half century old (dating back to c1930 at MIT)! Dr Edgerton insisted he was an engineer, not an artist but today, his high speed photography prints sit in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), a respected New York Museum. Look at this thought provoking video capturing the great man and his images in action.

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Montreal Spring Camera Show April 2 2017

Montreal Camera Show April 2nd 2017

Toronto. My Friend Sol Hadef sent me a note the other day. His spring camera show in Montreal will be held once again at the Holiday Inn in the West Island (Pointe-Claire), on April 2nd. Write Sol to reserve a table!

Take a trip to Montreal and enjoy the weather and fine food in this part of La Belle Province – and be sure to drop By Sol’s show to pick up some new items for your collection.

You can even find things to use in the popular niche photography area of film photography.

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A Mystery Tower 35mm Camera

Stan’s Mystery 35mm Sears Tower camera

Toronto. Years  ago it was common practice to rebrand products from national factories for sale in large chain stores. Sears was no exception. Its line of cameras were branded “Tower” but actually made by mainstream companies in Europe and Japan with slight modifications to the originator’s other models.

It was common practice as well to use leaf shutters and a removable front element to adjust a better quality camera’s focal length. Steinheil, now long disappeared, made excellent quality photographic lenses last century.

The body, lens and shutter choice suggests this particular camera was a product of Germany’s famous Braun factory.  Confirmation and more historical details are most welcome – drop me a line.

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PHSC News 16-9

Bolex H16 camera famous as a high end consumer movie camera.

Toronto. The latest issue of PHSC News, issue 16-9 has been distributed. With this issue, we shift the editorial duties from David Bridge to Sonja Pushchak. Sonja was instrumental in redesigning the newsletter to modernize the approach of PHSC.

A big tip of the hat to David for his successes in editing the newsletter and seeing it was released on time. David was the spark to moving the distribution list from a private system to MailChimp with its wealth of statistics. David remains the Assistant Editor, testing cameras, writing a column on cameras, and distributing the newsletter.

You can click here or on the Bolex icon to see this edition. The lead story has a Valentine’s theme; our February speaker is introduced; and film revival is discussed along with the first of a series of articles on trying traditional film photography. We wrap up this issue with the popular Ask Vicky column, coming events, and classified.

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With Film, you can feel the photography…

New film for old 35mm cameras

Toronto. George Dunbar mentioned this wonderful link to CBC news the other day. Journalist and native of PEI, Sara Fraser of CBC wrote this article about a little camera store on Queen Street in Charlottetown.

The store, P.E.I. Photo Lab, has operated for over 3 decades. With film photography experiencing a small renaissance, it’s happy to be part of the excitement. The operators will develop and print film both new and old, keeping the customer cost down by processing below their cost. Students from nearby Holland College make frequent visits to the store.

Photographer Alhan Ashnaei purchased the store in 2012. In addition to selling photographic goods and services (film and digital), he and his brother display many old cameras including a view camera once used by his grandfather in Iran. The family moved to Kuwait and founded a successful photographic studio there before deciding to emigrate to Canada.

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Review of Shanebrook’s epic “Making KODAK Film”, 2nd Edition

Making KODAK Film 2nd Edition by Robert Shanebrook

Toronto. Newsletter impresario David Bridge shows his other talents in this erudite and thoughtful review of Shanebrook’s massive 2nd edition of his Making KODAK Film book. Well worth the price of $100 USD, the book provides technical details showing just how important Kodak was to the photographic world in its pursuit of perfection in photographic films and papers. You can order the book (recently reduced after a lower than expected production cost) by visiting Robert Shanebrook’s website here.

I took the liberty of including a pdf version of the review here. The review is included as a SUPPLEMENTAL EXTRA with the latest edition of Photographic Canadiana, 42-4.

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A Little Paint, A Little Pencil

Lizzie and Art Mosher in the late 1930s

Toronto. Professionals liked the larger negatives and glass plates last century before the onslaught of the minicam. The plates and cut films could be easily retouched by a skilled practitioner.  Contrast could be varied or features emphasized by careful use of pencil lead and an x-acto knife. The lead could emphasize detail or lighten highlights while the x-acto knife could carefully scrape away layers of emulsion to deepen the shadows.

Colour was a fading proposition in the mid last century. More  permanent black and white prints could be coloured with inks applied to the surface. Special dyes were sold that covered a wide gamut of colours. I remember a studio in Midland, Ontario that offered large hand coloured prints based on a monochrome portrait taken by them. They emphasized the durability and permanency of this rather expensive approach.

My grandparents had a black and white portrait taken outdoors in the mid to late 1930s at their home in Long Branch. When their daughter married my father and moved north of the city, my dad had the print coloured. Continue reading

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A Wide View Vista

An air nozzle used to operate a spinner on the Goerz Hypergon lens of 1900.

Toronto. The earliest camera lens designers were more concerned with plate coverage than aperture. Often a lens was described in terms of coverage –  half plate, full plate, etc.

Numerous strategies were used to allow a greater coverage – mechanical devices like the little air fan Goerz used in its Hypergon lens to lower the light from the central rays, a special filter to reduce the light from the central rays like Zeiss used for its 1970s 15mm Hologon lens – or simply reduced apertures like the Leitz Hector 28mm f/6.3 and many other lenses used.

The Hypergon used its spinner for about 5/6 of the exposure to hold back light from the central rays. The last 1/6 of exposure, the little fan was flipped back and the central rays allowed to exposed the plate too. Continue reading

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