Help!

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The purpose of the HELP! column is to provide solutions to photographic problems, to find sources of supply and to identify cameras. HELP! is not a pricing or appraisal service, and cannot provide values for old equipment. There are several good guide books available from our advertisers which give prices. Thanks for your cooperation!

Q. I am sorry to bother you with such a small problem but I am a professional photographer living in Hawaii and am trying to find a distributor of the Cromatek bellows and filter system. I have been all over the web and have had trouble finding anyone who carries this brand. I had a brochure on it before I moved here but it was lost in my move. Please help me! I and the owner of the photography business I work for are avid readers of Shutterbug. Thanks again for all of your help.
Bob Sullivan
via Internet

A. Glad to be of assistance for any avid reader and no problem is too small. After a bit of checking I found that Chromatek filters are now offered in the U.S.A. by Sailwind Photo Systems, Camera World, 1809 Com-monwealth Ave., Charlotte, NC 28299 where you can place orders at (800) 868-3686.


Q. Is it possible and how would you successfully use +1, +2, +3 close-up lenses on a 21/4 TLR camera? How would the specific distances of subject to camera be determined? Thank you.
Richard Mizdal
Westhampton Beach, NY

A. Actually it is rather easy to do, if you have the camera on a tripod and can move an elevator mechanism on the tripod a similar distance between the centers of the two lenses of the TLR. First, place the close-up lens on the viewing lens of the camera and focus sharply on the ground glass. Then transfer the close-up lens down to the taking lens, raise the elevator equivalent to the distance between the two lenses, then make your exposure. The taking lens is now in the same position as the viewing lens to eliminate parallax. This means you cannot use the camera handheld, and limits the subjects to inanimate objects, but it can be done. If you use more than one close-up lens at a time to obtain more magnifying power, be sure to place the strongest lens (that is the +3 or +2) on closest to the film, then the weaker lens toward the subject. There were some dual close-up lenses made for TLR cameras that had a prism in the top viewing lens, but I doubt if you could easily find this type of close-up lens set today. If you don't have threads on the viewing lens for easy attachment of the close-up lens in an adapter ring, you can simply hold it over the taking lens for focusing, then screw it into the taking lens. The focus might not be as critically sharp when the viewing close-up lens is held this way, but if you stop down the lens you should get adequate depth to compensate.


Q. I am looking for some sort of gadget that will allow me to mount a camera looking forward out of the front window of my car. If you know who might handle such a thing will you please let me know? I know they make them because I've seen them on police cars. I asked a cop once where he got his and he didn't know. Thanks.
James E. Gupton
Las Vegas, NV

A. In the current Porter's catalog ((888) 767-8377 or www.porters.com) I found two devices (one from Bogen, the other with no brand name) that clamp onto a partially rolled down car side window, but nothing for mounting a camera to shoot forward. I know at trade shows or someplace I have seen some suction cup units with a 1/4-20 thread that probably could be used with a small ball head and attached inside the windshield--but I cannot find any listing for a source now. Other firms you might want to contact are Adorama (www.adoramacamera.com) or Freestyle Sales (www.freestylesales
co.com). They both carry many small accessories. Finally, you might want to stop by a local police station and ask to see a copy of Law and Order or one of the other police oriented publications that might have an ad for this type of specialized clamp or mounting device. A decade ago when I wrote some photographic articles for Law and Order they used to carry ads on all types of products used in law enforcement, including photo equipment. Hopefully, one of these ideas might assist you in locating the device you seek.


Q. I own a portable pull-up front/rear projection screen made by Visual Products Division 3M, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55101. The rear projection screen has sweated and is sticky to the touch. I have written to the above address, but no reply. Can anything be done by washing the screen? Any suggestions? I have seen the same thing happen on some vinyl 35mm storage sleeves and threw them away. Thanks.
O. M. Canto
New Bedford, MA

A. I spoke with the customer service people at Da-Lite Screens, a firm that has made all types of projection screens for many decades. They indicated that denatured alcohol could be used to correct this condition on any of their vinyl rear projection screens. Of course, I don't know if this is the type of material your screen is made of, but you could try wiping on a corner of the material to see if this might remove the sticky deposit. Many of the photographic products of 3M were spun off into a firm called Imation a few years ago.

Q. I'm a sports photographer looking for a supplier of mattes, pennants, plaques, or other sports-related photo supplies. Could you please send me a list of them in the SASE? Thanks.
Henry Harker
Tyrone, PA

A. One firm that offers many small photo-related items including some sports related, is Neil Enterprises, Inc., 450 E Bunker Ct., Vernon Hills, IL 60061. Many labs do sports package printing with custom imprinting. Some of them are: Roberts Photo-The Lab Supreme (800) 999-2595; HS Photo (800) 500-9084; Pro Photo (800) 237-6429; United Promotions (800) 362-4441; and Sports Photo (800) 258-0685. I found many printing masks for calendars, Christmas cards, etc., listed in Porter's catalog, which you can obtain by calling (888) 767-8377.


Q. Can you help me? I am searching for a source where I can purchase 35mm color travel slides--domestic and foreign. Thank you.
George P. Wormeck
Philadelphia, PA

A. One place I know of offering such slides is Visual Horizons, 180 Metro Park, Rochester, NY 14623. This firm is a long-time supplier of a wide variety of visual presentation materials and equipment. They offer title slides of all sorts and can custom duplicate slides for you. In addition, they have an extensive slide library consisting over 150 subjects of many different locations which are sold in sets of places such as Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Israel, India, Italy, Japan, and Mexico. There are many different US cities, national parks, etc. Other subjects include: airplanes, farms, people, seasons, sunsets, weather, and zoos. The slides come in sets of 20 on one subject, which sells for $29.95. You can obtain a catalog by calling (800) 424-1011 or accessing their web site at: www.visualhorizons.com Years ago there were many 35mm scenic travel slides sold under the Pana-Vue name by View-Master, but upon calling the new owner of the slide viewer end of this business, Argraph Corporation, I found the slides are no longer sold.


Q. Could you suggest a source for pinhole cameras or kits? Thanks.
David Rifkind
Munds Park, AZ

A. Talk about timing. I just received a press release about a brand-new rollfilm pinhole camera kit available from Beseler. In the past the classic pinhole camera was made from an oatmeal container or shoebox which was designed to use 4x5 sheet film which often required home developing in a tray. Getting the "right" pinhole was also a problem because the pinhole had to be clean with no ragged edges and could not be too thick or the image quality would deteriorate. Beseler has introduced the millennium 6x9 pinhole camera kit (catalog No. 8700) with a MSRP of $29.95. It comes with everything needed except glue and clothespins to hold the parts together while drying and includes a roll of black and white film. It uses nothing but folded and glued cardboard but it isolates the frame to be exposed and even has the traditional peep-window for proper film advancing and spacing. The laser-made aperture is 0.3mm resulting in an f/stop of f/200. Typical daylight photos in bright sunlight require exposures of 2 sec using ISO 400 film. Dim light and interior images take much longer partially due to the phenomenon of "reciprocity failure" loss of film speed. They say that hour-long exposures inside are not unusual. So, if you want an easy to make and easy to use rollfilm pinhole camera, check into this one. More information is available at: www.beseler-photo.com


Q. I have been a subscriber to Shutterbug for over 20 years. I have asked a couple of questions of the HELP! department and have yet seen an answer in print or mail. I realize you probably get many questions per month but I have seen the same type of question answered three or four times. The question I have asked is this. Some 10 or 12 years ago I started collecting film company type 35mm cassettes. Mainly Kodak but also other brands like Agfa, Ansco, Fuji, Ilford, and various store brands. The question was, and is, is there anyone else who collects 35mm film cassettes of film makers? I would like to swap information and duplicate cassettes with other collectors. My collection has close to 1000 different cassettes. I have over 350 Kodak cassettes ranging from about 1935 to present day. Back in the early 1950s Kodak had a system or process called "Flexichrome." It was a process where one could take a black and white negative and using a special matrix film, make an enlargement. Then using special dyes turn it into a color print. If an error was made, one could change the color or return it to black and white and recolor it again. Are the matrix film, developer, and dyes still available from any source? I used to use it to rephotograph old family portraits from the early 1900s and make them into color prints. I think the dyes are still available but are the other materials?
John A. Beynon
1599 N Norma Sp55
Ridgecrest, CA 93555

A. First of all, I apologize if earlier questions were not answered. We do have a lot of questions on rather obscure photo subjects that we are still trying to answer properly. That's why some replies take a long time. But, I don't remember seeing either of your questions before. I have not heard of any other cassette collectors, but I'm sure there must be. Therefore we will print your full mailing address so readers can contact you directly if they have a collection and want to compare notes or swap cassettes. It sounds interesting and from the color prints you sent along with your letter, you sure have quite a diverse collection already. I vaguely remember a Flexichrome process from Kodak, but I thought it basically consisted of using dyes and brushing them onto black and white images similar to the way oil coloring was done to handcolor portrait prints for many years. Have you contacted Kodak's hotline to inquire about the availability of these supplies today? The number is (800) 242-2424. Again, if any readers know of this process, or where supplies can be obtained, hopefully they will contact you directly. Thanks for your patience.


Q. I am trying to locate the current address for a company called Boz Products that produces a camera bag size film exposure record booklet called fotofacts. It is the perfect size and format. I have lost the company address and can't find reference to it in any literature I have available. I need to reorder. Can you or your readers help me locate this product?
Connie J. Stone
PO Box 1032
Texarkana, TX 75504

A. Although I have seen several exposure logbooks in prior years, I cannot find any current source for fotofacts nor can I find an address for Boz Products. I happen to have several spares of a small exposure logbook that were given to me by friends at the former Kodalux processing labs at a trade show. I use several each year for keeping extensive notes on the various cameras, lenses, flash units, etc., that I test for the magazine. They are very helpful for this purpose. So I'm sending you two of them in hopes they will keep you going until you find an address for Boz, which hopefully a reader may have heard of and will provide an address for you, since we cannot trace them down. In trying to locate a new logbook source I found out that a weatherproof pocketable exposure logbook is under development at The Saunders Group under their Domke line of accessories. I just called them to verify this. So, if you cannot locate any other existing type of logbook, you might want to keep your eyes peeled for this new one from Domke later this year.

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