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I was recently looking for another 35mm camera and, browsing the web one lunchtime, I came across some reviews of the Minolta Maxxum 7000. A while later I found one at a local camera fair with the classic 50mm f1.7 lens. The vendor assured me that it was in working condition and although I had no batteries to test it with, I bought it. Once I’d cleaned out the battery compartment it seemed to work fine so last week I took it out with a roll of Ilford XP2 in it.

XP2, as I’m sure you don’t really need telling, is a black and white film designed to be processed as C41. Which is fine if you don’t develop at home, but I do and I’d read that XP2 can easily be stand-developed in Rodinal with minimal grain if shot at EI 200. SO my objective was to put a roll through at 200, develop at home (I haven’t tried colour yet, so this was going to be pure b&w development) and see what emerged.

I work in Toronto so I decided to take the Minolta with me to work and instead of just riding the subway from the main rail station I walked a couple of subway stops taking some pictures of the early morning commuters. I finished the roll the next day during a rainy lunchtime. The camera behaved itself perfectly, all the electronics worked fine and there was no hint that anything had malfunctioned through age or misuse. The ergonomics of the camera are pretty good, mode changes are easy and focusing is quick.

I developed the film in Blazinal, which is the tradename in Canada for Rodinal. Stand developed, at 1:100 for one hour and then scanned the results on a Epson V550.

Toronto
CN Tower – lunchtime in the rain

Toronto
Diners

Toronto
Commuters

Toronto
At the bank

Toronto
Reflected buildings

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So now that the rugby league season in Toronto has been brought to a successful conclusion, I’m left with the question as to what I should be looking to photograph over the winter. The Toronto Wolfpack won’t be back in town until at least early May which leaves a bit of a void in the plans of this newly-minted international sports photographer!

Here in Canada the thoughts of the athletic now turn to our two national games, hockey (ice variety) and lacrosse. The latter is our official national game, but the former is the one that every child is brought up to play. My plan is to get to the open pre-season sessions of our Toronto Rock NLL team and see how different it will be shooting inside an arena as opposed to a sunlit, outdoor field. White balance will be completely different as will the overall lighting conditions, but a custom WB should resolve the first of those, while I know that the D610 can produce fine, noise-free pictures at ISO ratings at least up to 1600 if not 3200.

And then there’s my film photography. During the summer I had a trip to B&H in New York and picked up a stack of film, which is now sitting happily in my film freezer in the basement.

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I also have plenty of film that I picked up over the last 18 months. All my film goes directly into the freezer so there’s no concern over expiry dates.

Winter should produce some ideal conditions to try out the new Film Ferrania P30 as well as some of the other colour films I have. I recently shot a roll of Lomography 400 which turned out beautifully, so I hope to get some more of that one done.

New York & Pennsylvania
The Zippo Museum, Bradford, PA. Lomography 400, Nikon F90x

We’re hearing that Ektachrome will be back in early 2018, so that’s something to look forward to. Fall also looks to be the ideal time to shoot 120 Ektar, which delivered some excellent, richly coloured, results the last time I shot it.

Barn, Ontario
Barn, Ontario, Kodak Ektar 100, Rolleicord Vb

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