Film Swap: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Over the past weekend, a few of us finally held our first film-swap and lived to talk about it. We’ve been trying to get together for a couple months but, as I’m sure you’re aware, sometimes life gets in the way.
Stefan lives out at the Air Base just outside of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. We traveled to Moose Jaw for our little bartering session and he greeted us with a table full of his film and fresh coffee.
We spent a bit of time clamouring over the bizarre and obscure gems we’ve collected and traded film under the agreement that we wouldn’t trade any of our *last rolls*. Stefan takes a different approach to his website and furnishes it, characterized by film stock. There are some he has yet to add to the growing list of film stocks, so he didn’t want to trade those away without first having examples for his great collection of emulsions and images (and brilliant youtube videos).
Jamie was lucky enough to nab Stefan’s second-last roll of JCH Street Pan but otherwise, I’m happy with my haul. To be honest, I was just content meeting up and talking shop with a couple devoted film fanatics but I managed to score a few films I have never shot before: Sunny 16, Fomapan 100, Fuji Reala, Fuji Color 100, and a roll of ADOX Color Implosion for m’lady.
Not only did we crush over the wonderful spread of film strewn across the table, it was also a great opportunity to see the amazing collection of cameras Stefan’s been acquiring over the years: Hasselblad lenses, backs and body, a brag-worthy Nikon collection, 4x5 and 8x10 and some fantastic German specimens of the vintage variety.
It wasn’t long before we packed up the film and decided on our tools of choice for an afternoon of shooting. Luckily, Stefan’s a fine chap and let me take his Nikon FM3A and Nikkor 50/1.2 for a spin and Jamie the Mamiya C330. What good is a film swap if you can’t go and shoot any of it with a new camera? Stefan decided on the Pentax 67 with the lovely 105mm and we were out the door to go see what Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan had to offer.
We found a few locations to shoot in the small prairie town and decided to start with a series of old bridges. I had an itch to do more large-format portraits with the Intrepid 4x5 Field Camera, so that is where I started off. I’ve been getting more practice with the LF so it didn’t take too long to get the portraits I wanted before switching back to the FM3A and a roll of Lomo 800. Later on, I switched to Delta 100.
We finished up on the bridges and area before heading down to Main Street.
Main Street in Moose Jaw is what makes it such a special town, for me. Everything seems to move a bit slower and it’s just a peaceful place to walk around and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having.
I was enjoying getting familiar with Stefan’s highly-prized Nikon combo. Once I got used to the metering system and the film advance lever-lock, it felt very natural to shoot with. The viewfinder was a dream to look through, the shutter made a satisfying sound and the film transport was smooth and pleasing to the thumb. I wish I had more than an afternoon to experiment with it but, during our short time together, it made me reconsider what I expect from a 35mm SLR.
After finishing our rolls under the 4th Avenue Bridge, we retired at a local food joint for poutine and tacos. I hope that becomes the tradition or maybe I should stop writing posts before lunchtime.
Either way, it was a great way to wrap up a fun day of film, cameras and shared passion for photography.