Here is a quick tip list on letters for the HELP! desk:
Please confine yourself to only one question per letter. Both postal letters and e-mails are fine, although we prefer
e-mail as the most efficient form of communication. Send your e-mail queries to firstname.lastname@example.org with Help in the subject header and your return e-mail address at the end of your message. Although we make every effort, we cannot promise to answer every HELP! letter.
When sending a response or suggestion that refers to a published letter please include the month and page of the original question.
All postal letters to HELP! must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope to be considered for reply. We will respond to e-mail queries with an e-mail.
Helpful Repair Tips
In the January 2005 issue, Dick Myers of Westminster, Maryland, inquired about repairs for Koni-Omega film backs, and you stated you had no listings for Koni-Omega repairs. You should check your own classifieds! Greg Weber of Fremont, Nebraska, repairs just about everything with a Konica label, including Koni-Omega (page 163 of January edition), and has been advertising in your magazine for about 15 years. Greg is terrific, and your Konica and Koni-Omega users can't go wrong seeking his assistance. He can be reached at (877) 721-3873 or at www.webercamera.com. Give him a look and check those classifieds!
I always check the Shutterbug Service Directory when a reader is attempting to have equipment repaired, but I did not see any ad for Weber Camera that you mention. I just looked through the last three 2004 issues of Shutterbug and still didn't find a Weber ad. I then checked page 163 of our January 2005 edition you cited, and found his ad in our classified listings--but under "35mm SLR Equipment for Sale." I had been looking under medium format. We do appreciate your writing to let us know of this source for Koni-Omega repairs. We will let Dick Myers know of them and will add them to our master list. We are always pleased to point out firms that our readers recommend.
Battery Help And Website Advice
I see that another reader asked about finding a battery for a Konica Auto S3 (January 2005 issue). Instead of trying to track down and paying a lot for the environmentally unfriendly mercury 675, I suggest using a widely available silver oxide SR44 (or equivalent). The voltage is slightly higher, so the ASA (ISO) might need to be adjusted 1/3 to 2/3 stop to compensate, assuming the camera's meter is accurately adjusted. Do not use any alkaline battery, which is often what's offered in camera stores. That camera (the Koni-Omega) has an excellent lens and wonderfully balanced fill flash capabilities. While I'm writing, I'd like to mention two Konica user groups on Yahoo! They are http://groups. yahoo. com/group/konicaslr/ (which I help moderate) and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Konicarangefinder/. There are many friendly Konica users on both of these groups who are happy to help with questions.
San Jose, CA
I'm sure there are many readers who will appreciate learning about these groups. As to your alternate battery suggestions, I personally get a bit concerned when there is a need to adjust the ASA film speed due to a different battery voltage, but I defer to your experience with this technique. We appreciate your input.
Minolta Talker Lens Cap
Q. I have an old Minolta Talker auto 35mm camera. It was given to me by my parents when I graduated college back in the 1980s. I have lost the lens cap and wonder if you have any idea where I might be able to find a replacement. Any suggestions?
A. The only picture I located of your 1984 vintage Minolta
AF-SV Talker compact camera was not very detailed. If the lens cap was built-in, I don't know where you can locate one. But, if it has filter threads at the front of the lens (as many compacts had in that era) you should be able to purchase a screw-in lens cap for it. Just measure the diameter of the threaded area, in millimeters, and ask for a lens cap of that diameter. Some of the many places where you can purchase lens accessories: The Camera People, PO Box 1069, Bayfield, CO 81122, (970)
884-6045, www.camerapeople.net; Porter's Camera Store, PO Box 628, Cedar Falls, IA 50613, (800) 553-2001, (319) 268-0104, www.porters.com; and Freestyle Photographic Supplies, 5124 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027, (800) 292-6137 (within North America), (323) 660-3460 (international), www.freestylephoto.biz.
Ye Olde Brick
Q. I still have the workhorse Argus C3 in great working order. Though I've owned and used Argus cameras for nearly 55 years, I obtained one recently that I'd never seen before. It has to be a very early one. Inside the film compartment is the No. 72178. The camera back is not hinged but snaps on. I was wondering just how old it is and how difficult it would be to get the shutter repaired (the only part that appears to not be functioning).
A. My reference book lists a number of different Argus models
that appear to have the snap-lock back you describe on your camera. The Argus
A (1936-41) has a bakelite body and a 50mm f/4.5 collapsible mount lens. The
earlier models had a steel back instead of the aluminum back found on later
models. Some of the earliest versions did not even have a tripod socket on the
bottom. The Argus AF looks similar but has a lens that focuses down to 15".
Later yet (1939-50), the Argus A2 and A2B added a narrow extinction meter on
the top, next to the viewfinder. Current prices range from $12-$40. The Argus
B of 1937 looked similar, but had a fast f/2.9 Argus Anastigmat lens.
I had examples of many of these cameras in the archives I maintained at Argus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, when I worked there in the late 1950s. At that time the venerable Argus C3, C-33, C-4, C-44, C-20, and Autronic C3 were all manufactured in the plant. Even the lenses were ground and assembled there, quite different from today when nearly every film camera (the few you can still find, that is) is manufactured overseas. As to repairing the shutter, I really don't know. You might want to check with some advertisers such as: Kelly Camera, 2711 S. Alma School Road #7, Mesa, AZ 85210, (480) 777-2266, www.kellycamera.com; or Ken Ruth, Photography On Bald Mountain, 113 Bald Mountain, Davenport, CA 95017, (831)
423-4465, e-mail: email@example.com. Hopefully one of them can get your old Argus functioning properly again.