The Online Darkroom Store

Sunday, January 25

Leica Filters Brochure 1960

I thought I'd already posted all of the brochures in my wee Leica literature collection but it seems not. Whilst looking for something in the darkroom the other day, I came across this filter brochure and one for the Leica CL.

Wednesday, January 21

For the love of cars

If you're a regular reader you might have picked up on my long-term interest in cars. Not the modern, shiny ones but rather those with a past. I'm actively trying to find an old Saab 900 (the original model now known as the Classic) or an earlier 96 (the first car I bought) in a bid to recapture my lost youth.

It's come to nought so far. I've looked at four or five 900s and all have been, well, rust buckets or a close approximation thereof. I let a 96 slip through my hands (I've written about my unsuccessful car-finding efforts here. If you know of anyone with a 900 or 96 available for sale in the UK then please get in touch) and I'm not likely to see another one any time soon without being prepared to travel a few hundreds miles and spend around £5000 which, quite frankly, I don't have.

Monday, January 19

"Film never died", says the Financial Times

Here's a heartening wee video with a most agreeable message. It's on Youtube where it's had just over 5200 views - not really too many in the grand scheme of these things but it's early days.

Bizarrely, although it's attracted 49 "likes", two people have also seen fit to give it the thumbs down. How mean can you get? Either there are one or two very insecure digital snappers out there who feel threatened by film or the "dislikes" were left by film critics who didn't think much of the production values, plot or characterisation.

Friday, January 16

Banish sweaty hands from your film loading

Apologies for my extended holiday which went on a little longer than I'd planned. I thought a week or a fortnight at most would be enough to recharge by blogging batteries but that's not the way it turned out. I just needed a little more time away from blogging and photography.

However, in the words of an iron-pumping, cigar-chomping, alleged Nazi sympathiser and former governor of California, for good or ill, "I'm back" - and it feels good! I'll be posting three times a week on average as before, banging the gong as ever for everything to do with film photography and the darkroom.

Thursday, January 1

Leica M5 Brochure

Having said earlier this month that my Leica of choice, were I splashing out on one, would be the M4, it's much more likely that the camera I'd actually buy, given that money is a very big object, would be the slightly cheaper M5.

Tuesday, December 23

Merry Christmas!

I'm going to take a wee break from blogging over Christmas and the New Year so this would be a good time to thank all my readers for their support this year and wish you all the best over the festive season and a prosperous 2015.

I'd also like to thank those who've contributed posts to the blog - Omar, David M. and Phil Rogers in particular - whose often timely efforts have taken some of the strain off of what is otherwise a one-man band. Omar's post of more than two years ago, A Coffee House in Cunda, remains the second most popular post of almost 400 published since then.

The Online Darkroom is continuing to grow and is now getting between 40,000 and 50,000 hits a month which translates into a 30% increase over the year. It would be nice to see if I could push on in 2015 but it's not going to be easy as I'm already active on the usual social media sites and it's difficult to see where I can go from here.

I think the only way of expanding would be if everyone told their mates about the site and encouraged them to become regular visitors but I know many of you have already done that. Of course, it could be that film is now such a niche interest that there isn't much room left for growth. Or maybe I should bite the bullet and get a Leica outfit so that perhaps the most loyal of all marque enthusiasts would have a reason to stop by?

So, once again, sincere thanks to everyone and have a great time over the next couple of weeks.

Monday, December 22


Whatever imagination I have, I find it all but impossible to apply it to the art of coming up with titles for photographs. Most of the time, my titles are purely descriptive, such as "stairs" or "trees", which help me identify files sitting on my computer desktop. When I do put a bit more thought into it, the end result is usually something too obscure or arty-farty.

Thursday, December 18

Ripped Off?

Naughty Adox. Naughty, naughty Adox. For the first time ever for me, a 35mm film wound fully out of the cassette and onto the take-up spool ruining everything on it. How many potential masterpieces were on that roll? Well, there couldn't have been more than 36 or 37 so that's something I suppose.

The film was my last roll of CHS 100 II, a really fine film and one of my favourites. It had been in the OM2 for a month or so and I thought it was about time I finished it. This was one of those films where you can't remember at all what might be on it - just as well, as it turned out.

Tuesday, December 16

An old-fashioned look - but how?

The vintage look, which I've written about before here, can be quite elusive. Sometimes even the classic lenses with a traditional film, a yellow filter and appropriate processing still deliver an image that looks distinctly modern.

Then you get a shot like this taken with TMax 400 and a 35mm f2 AF-D lens on the Nikon F100 - all "modern" equipment/materials - and end up with something that I think has the olde world air about it. Strange.

Thursday, December 11

Leica System Brochure 1953 - Printable

I might just be suffering from old-fartism but don't you think the design of this 1953 brochure is much more interesting than the 1960s and 1970s literature? This is probably my favourite brochure of my wee collection. I also prefer the look and feel of the screw mount Leicas featured here to the later Ms although they're nowhere as nice - or maybe "convenient" is the right word - to use.