Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NEW IN RENTALS! Canon 11-24mm f4L

NEW! The lens of many a landscape, architecture, real estate, astrophotography or interior photographer's dream has finally arrived! Yes, the new Canon 11-24mm f4L has made its debut in Beau Photo's Rental Department! Incredibly sharp at all focal lengths, and very well corrected, this hefty beast is sure to find its way into many photographer's bags! $45/day or weekend.

Canon 5DmkIII + Canon 11-24mm f4L @ 11mm - 1/4 sec, f16, 100 ISO

Canon 5DmkIII + Canon 11-24mm f4L @ 11mm - 1/30 sec, f4, 800 ISO

Canon 5DmkIII + Canon 11-24mm f4L @ 12mm - 1/60 sec, f5.6, 100 ISO

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Red Light in a Dark Room - Part 17

This week's wonderfully informative blog post is brought to you by John C. Hollemans. He has also sent in lots of great photos of the creation of this lovely home darkroom. Thanks so much for your thoughtful answers, John!

What is your darkroom? A room, closet or bathroom? Please tell us a bit about it.

The current darkroom built in 2013 is a former “walk-in closet” that was used as a darkroom by the previous owner of our house. It measures 84” x 62” with a 96” high ceiling. It is quite small compared with other darkrooms I have built (5 in total). The photos and layout drawing show what it looks like. Since I am right handed, my workflow is from left to right. The benches are arranged so that I work in a “clockwise” direction starting at the enlarger station. The top surfaces of the benches are quite high, and are 4” below my elbow to be comfortable while standing. I never built a long sink to place development trays in. I use “rolled ends” or fresh newspapers on the bench top instead. The trays sit on this paper and protect the varnished surface from minor spills. Large spills are best avoided and when they do happen must be cleaned up immediately.

What's your process? Tell us a bit about your developing routine, especially if it's tricky.

Since I use black and white materials only at this time, there are two development processes; one for film and one for paper. For film developing I use the Paterson system tanks and reels. The reels accommodate 135 and 120 films very easily. When you use a camera that “counter winds” the film on the pickup spool (many cameras do this to counteract the film curl) it is often necessary to heat the reel with a hair dryer to make sure that it is absolutely dry. A 36 exposure "counter wound” roll will frequently not go all the way into the reel if it is not perfectly dry. The Paterson tanks are very good since they fill quickly and empty quickly. After a film is washed I immerse it clean water with a bit of Photoflo 200, then remove it from the reel and hang it in a tall home made dust free film dryer cabinet. It is best to never touch the film with your fingers or a squeegee. For paper developing I use trays for sizes up to 11” x 14”. They barely fit on the “wet” bench. For 16” x 20” prints I use a drum on an electric drum roller. Washing of large prints is also done in a drum.

What is your go to film developer?

In the past I experimented heavily with various films and developers, and concluded that a one-shot developer was best for me. I use the old Agfa Rodinal developer which is now available again as Blazinal, made in the Toronto area. You can buy it from Beau Photo. I tend to use dilutions of 1:25 or 1:50. As a backup developer I also use a high acutance developer formulated by Willie Beutler. You need to compound this from basic ingredients. It is a one-shot developer as well.

What is your all time favourite film/film developer combo?

I get fine results from Ilford FP4+ (135 type) and Rodinal. Kodak T-Max 100 and Rodinal are also a very good combination. I have recently tested Fuji Neopan Acros 100 (135 type) with Rodinal and like the results.

What result/look does this give?

The Fuji Neopan Acros 100 has a superb tonal scale in both shadow and highlight areas. It has very fine grain. A 16” x 20” enlargement made from an Acros 100 negative is just as “grainless" as one made from an old Agfa 50 ISO film negative.

What is your all time favourite paper/paper developer combo?
I began making prints when I was 16 years old when growing up in The Netherlands. You could only buy graded papers by Agfa and GAF. I preferred Agfa Brovira and made my own developer and fixer from chemicals purchased at a local drugstore. Today I mostly use Ilford’s RC Multigrade IV paper with the modern contrast filters for the enlarger. There are literally dozens of paper developers. The late Ansel Adams preferred Agfa/GAF 130 developer <>.

I never tried this developer since it contains glycin, an expensive chemical. My standard paper developer is Kodak Dektol or D72 and I have used it for a very long time. It provides a fine neutral black on both fibre and RC based papers. Keeping properties are very good. You can buy this developer in Kodak packages if still available, or you can use an Ilford equivalent. If that fails you can always compound your own from scratch.

Have you tried any or are you into any alternative processes, such as cyanotype?

I have not tried cyanotype process since it requires a large format camera. However, I have made many prints in sepia using a two bath toning process. Years ago I developed my own colour negative and slide films using the C41 and E6 processes. I even made black and white slides from Kodak Panatomic X film with a reversal process. In addition I created small and large colour prints using the EP2 process. Colour film development and printing is normally done at a temperature of 38ºC or 100ºF. So, a thermostatically controlled water bath is needed to maintain processing solutions and development tanks and drums at the correct temperature. This equipment complicates processing of colour materials, while printing on paper requires colour balancing with a colour analyser. You need a fairly large darkroom to accommodate this type of equipment. That is why I now stick to simple black and white techniques.

What is the best processing tip you can give?

There are many tips I could give. The most important tip is that the carrying out of all darkroom processes must be totally consistent and repeatable. In a darkroom we are dealing with processes that require precise dilution of chemicals, exact timing and handling of solutions at specified temperatures. To make sure that you can duplicate a given result in the future you must write down excellent notes while developing film and making prints. You need to make sure that your notes make sense to you years from now. If you experiment, your notes will allow you to analyze the results, and converge faster on the image quality you want. I began writing a logbook in 1974.

What are some general comments?

Instead of a handwritten logbook another possibility is to record your work in a suitable computer database. I have negatives and slides going back over 40 years. Slides are kept in marked plastic boxes and sleeves. Black and white plus colour negatives are stored in good quality #10 envelopes. Each envelope shows date, film type, development, location, subjects and any other useful information. I am still entering the information on the envelopes into a database. You could use an MS Excel sheet, or better still a proper database provided by an office suite such as "zero cost" LibreOffice or OpenOffice. The same idea applies to prints you made and possibly sold to customers. There are some good computer based tools available for professional photographers.

See below for some great photos of the creation of John's darkroom!


Used Desisti Fresnel Spot for Speedotron

Used Desisti Fresnel spot for Speedotron. 4800 W/S  Max. Comes with Head extension cable and pigtail adapter to work with  both Black and Brown lines from Speedotron.  Very good condition.
Tag #2094                                                                                          $1200.00 SOLD

Monday, March 23, 2015

Used Hasselblad H 1.7X Tele Converter

Used Hasselblad H 1.7X tele converter. Very good condition.
Tag #2109                                                           $1085.00 SOLD

Used Hasselblad H 13mm and H 26mm Extension Tubes

Used Hasselblad H 13mm extension tube. Very good condition.
Tag #2110                                                                  $235.00 SOLD

Used Hasselblad H 26mm extension tube. Very good condition.
Tag #2111                                                                  $240.00 SOLD

Friday, March 20, 2015

My first Impossible Project

This week Pauline was at Beau Photo and had the chance to job shadow various staff she wrote a great blog post for us too! See her blog post below. Thanks, Pauline!
Thanks to the work experience program offered at my school, Crofton House, I had the chance to work at Beau Photo Supplies and use a Polaroid camera. I took instant photos for Beau Photo's Project Impossible contest, which anyone can enter and showcase their photos at Science World. Submissions will be taken until Monday, March 30th. Not only can you showcase your images in the exhibition, there are also many prizes to be won! You can visit or for more details.

Having been exposed to only digital cameras before, taking pictures with the Polaroid camera was a new experience for me. It was hard to get used to it at first, but after taking several shots of the scenery I immediately fell in love with the instant Polaroid camera. The Polaroid camera produces beautiful images on the film and holding them in my hand made me appreciate the beauty of the pictures more than I would for digital pictures. The photos end up with a kind of dreamy or surreal look. Even if the camera might be hard to use and the film might be expensive, the end results of the photos are worth it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Used Mamiya Rz67 120 Film Back

Used Mamiya Rz67 120 film back. Very good condition.
Tag #2138                                                         $75.00

Used Mamiya 65mm f/4 Camera Lens

Used Mamiya 65mm f/4 lens. Very good condition.Tag #2137                                                $325.00  

Used Heed Lens Bellows

Used Heed lens bellows. 77mm adapter. Very good condition.
Tag #2143, #2144                                                       $40.00

Used Mamiya 100-200mm f/5.2 Camera Lens

Used Mamiya 100-200mm f/5.2 Lens. Comes with front with and back cap and lens support bracket. Very good condition.
Tag #2136                                                                                               $199.00

Used Mamiya RZ Pro II

 Used  Mamiya RZ 67 Pro II  with  front body cap and 120 film back.   Very good condition
Tag # 2134                                                                            SOLD                       $400.00

Monday, March 16, 2015

Red Light in a Dark Room - Part 16

This week we are excited to bring you a new installment from our series all about Stephen's darkroom and soon to be darkroom. Sounds like a very unique set up! We'd love to see photos once the new kitchen darkroom is going! Thanks a lot, Stephen.

What is your darkroom? A room, closet or bathroom? Please tell us a bit about it.

My darkroom consists of two moving blankets on either side of my windowless bathroom door, for the time being. I have recently purchased some blackout fabric. The panels are going to be sewn together to create walls and are then going to be attached, floor to ceiling, with 2” Velcro around my kitchen. It will have everything I need in there. Ventilation (oven fan), Wet side (sink) and Dry side (counter space). Now I just have to figure out where I am going to do my cooking. Yes I live alone.

What's your process? Tell us a bit about your developing routine, especially if it's tricky.

My process is very standard. I use Paterson tanks and reels in 35 and 120 formats. I always pre-soak the film for 1 minute or so in 20.5-21C water then add my 20C developer. I agitate by inversion continuously for the first minute then 1 inversion every 30 seconds thereafter. My stop bath is also at 20C, continuous agitation for 1 minute and the fix is somewhere close to 20C, continuous agitation for the first minute and 1 inversion every 30 seconds thereafter again. The film is rinsed thoroughly in water. I then let it sit in a water bath for 10 minutes and repeat this step 3 times for a total of 30 minutes. I am trying to reduce the amount of water I use. Then hang to dry in my bathroom that I had a shower in to get any dust down.

I also stand develop film and love the results with this process. I will let it sit for 60, 90, 120 minutes, just for fun. I have even put borax in my developer at times and I am going to try using salt water with my developer as well just to see what happens.

I will cross process anything by stand developing.

What is your go to developer?

My go to developer is Blazinal. Love this stuff. I just purchased some Xtol and mixed that up the other day.

I will shoot a roll of 35mm film of 24 or 36 exposures, go in my darkroom and cut the film in half, put each half on a separate spool and process in different developers.

What is your all-time favorite Film/Film developer combo?

I haven’t figured that out yet.

I jump around with so many different combinations. I use Blazinal and Xtol, which I mentioned, as my developers and I shoot Ilford Pan F, HP5+ and Delta 100. In Kodak stock I use Tri X 400.

What result/look does this give?

So far the look that I am achieving with all these different combinations is just what I have been hoping for, Black, White and a bunch of different tones of grey.

I need to focus on one developer and one film for a while to find what really speaks to me. I am going to work with Blazinal, HP5+ and see what happens.

Have you tried any or are you into any alternative processes, such as cyanotype?

I have played around with the gum dichromate process and produced one piece from that. When the time comes I will do more of it but for now I am consumed with the B&W process.

What is the best processing tip you can give?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Film is cheap and even mistakes are to be learned from. Experimentation keeps things from getting stale.

Don’t drink anything when you are in the darkroom!!!

Below is a sample of the Gum print Stephen tried out.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Red Light in a Dark Room - Part 15

For this week's Red Light in a Dark Room we are very happy to learn more about Russel and Wendy's wonderful home darkroom.

Wendy and Russel Kwan are fine art photographers, exclusively producing their limited-edition work as toned fiber-based silver-gelatin prints in their studio and darkroom. Their work has been exhibited in Canada and the US in commercial and academic museums and galleries. Their next scheduled solo show, "Space + Time" will be at Visual Space Gallery in Vancouver, 21 Aug to 5 Sep 2015. They are the black-and-white darkroom instructors in Continuing Studies at Langara College (next course "Basic Darkroom PHTG 1003" starts Tue 5 May 2015), and independently operate their Photography MicroSchool (these courses have nothing to do with darkrooms!) in Vancouver (next courses start in May 2015).

What is your darkroom? A room, closet or bathroom? Please tell us a bit about it.

We have a darkroom tour page on our website: .

Our darkroom is a purpose-built 9x13 foot room with a custom stainless-steel sink running the length of one side, and cabinets / enlarger workstation on the other. It is built for efficiency, so we can make mistakes really fast.

What's your process? Tell us a bit about your developing routine, especially if it's tricky.

We use a variety of processes, including some secret home-brew chemistries - but the basic stuff is what many people use: Paterson tanks and reels and a traditional print tray-line. We do have a film processor for straight photography - it's a Photo-Therm SSK-8, and it's a trouper.

What is your go to developer?

Russ uses a variety of home-brews, none of which are published, as well as Kodak HC-110. HC-110 works much better when it's been aged a lot. So does Blazinal. Wendy uses Ilford Perceptol.

What is your all time favorite Film/Film developer combo?

Russ uses HP5 & HC-110, and Rollei IR & HC-110 a lot. Wendy uses Delta 400 & Perceptol, and Ilford SFx & Perceptol. It probably should be noted that we don't use any film or chemistry (other than fixer) according to the manufacturer's instructions.

What result/look does this give?

It's a total light-path thing. Everything matters, from lens to camera to film-format & film to development regime to enlarger type to enlarger lens to print paper to print processing to toning. Neither of us has a single "look" - rather, we invent new looks for every body of work. There's no way to assess a look online - to see it, you'll need to see the finished prints.

Have you tried any or are you into any alternative processes, such as cyanotype?

We've tried lots of things, including gum, lith and cyanotype - but silver remains the most flexible and malleable medium for both of us. Home-brew chemistry can totally transform silver, allowing the medium to do completely new things.

What is the best processing tip you can give?

Keep ridiculously complete and detailed notes. Be consistent with everything. Change only one thing at a time. Make copious mistakes and keep close track of the cool ones. Bravely and ceaselessly experiment.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Clearance Balcar Light Kit

Balcar Concept 3 Battery 2-Head light Kit: Great deal on this Balcar unit. Floor model light demo use only.  Fantastic for location shoots. 4800 w/s (Three 1600 w/s heads) with variable flash duration. Regular $4299.00 Clearance price, Way below cost $ 2899.00 New Lower  price $2000.00

Clearance: Norman12/12 Kit

Norman P12/12 Kit : New floor model.  1200 w/s, Symmetrical and asymmetrical light distribution. Power trim up to a 3-stop range, Built in photo eye (switchable), visible and audible ready indicators (switchable) , fan cooled, fast recycling 1/5th to 2 seconds. Dual voltage. Compact 7"x7"x8" and weights only 12 lbs., 1 year warranty. Comes with 1-LH2400 head .

Regular price $2799.95  Clearance $1200.00  SOLD

Red Light in a Dark Room - Part 14

Thanks a lot to Nigel for his great darkroom info this week! It's interesting to learn about some different alternative processes as well.
What is your darkroom? A room, closet or bathroom? Please tell us a bit about it.

I'm fortunate to have light-proof, interior bathrooms in the places I've lived - which makes handling film, controlling dust and keeping a steady temperature a lot simpler. With 4x5 film I'm really careful about dust, a bit OCD with vacuuming the bathroom ceiling to floor, the film holders, the camera and so on.
I've drifted away from silver-gelatin printmaking over the years but after seeing Lee Freidlander's wonderful show at Presentation House, I'm seriously thinking about squeezing a 4x5 enlarger into that bathroom.

What is your process? Tell us a bit about your developing routine, especially if it's tricky.

There's nothing very special about my developing routine. Good control over the processing time/temperature is the most important thing. Lately I've been using a cool little iPhone custom timer app from Kodak Film which beeps on cue and has a safelight display. To control temperature, I start with the room - I aim to keep temp in the bathroom at 20C, and stand my processing drum, chemicals and large bucket of water in the room overnight, so everything is at 20C. I use that water to make up the develop/fix solutions, also for a rinse to halt the development. Sometimes in colder weather I'll use an aquarium heater to maintain the water temperature. I use a Jobo drum for 4x5 processing - nothing fancy, fill with a funnel and roll it gently back and forth on a towel on the floor. I also have a couple of reel/drum tanks for roll film. For washing, I use a Polaroid P/N film bucket, originally intended to hold and clear Polaroid Type 55 negs in the field. But it also works great to wash reels and sheet film. After washing under the tap (also around 20C but not so critical) for an hour or so, I dip the film in Photoflo solution and clip on a line rigged in the shower to dry overnight.

What is your go to developer?

Early on I tried Rodinal at 1+25 and I've stuck with that. I've also used Xtol for roll film, and have dabbled with PMK (pyrogallol metol staining developer) under full hazmat protocols :-)

What is your all time favorite Film/Film developer combo?

HP5+ and Rodinal.  

What result/look does this give?

HP5+/Rodinal gives me a solid 4x5 neg with good density and tonal separation in the mid and light grays. The light and shadows here on the west coast are fairly blue - especially strongly lit seascapes/mountainscapes - so I generally use a 2-stop yellow-orange lens filter to improve sky definition and shadow contrast. With HP5+ I end up with a handy working speed of 100 after the filter factor; with Rodinal the whole analog image chain just seems to fall into place.

Have you tried any alternative processes, such as cyanotype?

I've experimented with PMK processing and the ziatype (platinum/palladium) printing process to make 4X5 contact prints. It's a neat but finicky process that relies on a slightly damp paper emulsion. It's quite a bit of work to get the paper and coating routine dialed in. I also ended up building a UV light hood to guarantee a source of "sunshine". But the prints turn out to be wonderful, gloriously tactile objects.

I’m very attached to polaroid processes and have had some nice results using the Impossible SX70 film. I sincerely hope the New55 project eventually comes to fruition - I have about a box and a half of old and now rather dodgy Type 55 left - it's a bit of a personal ritual for me to expose a few sheets every year just for the experience.

What is the best processing tip you can give?

Be methodical and keep notes. Get a good thermometer! Have fun and don’t process any critical images until you’re well dialed in.
Here area  few examples of Nigel's work.
For more, check out his website:
HP5 in Rodinal

HP5 in PMK

HP5 in PMK/Ziatype Print