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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.
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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.
Many Repairs Needed
Q. Can you give me the repair department addresses of Kodak, Olympus, and Vivitar? Thanks.
A. Here are the main corporate addresses of the three firms you wanted. However, they may actually do repairs at a different address than the ones listed below. I suggest you write or call each of them to describe the product you have and what needs to be done to repair it before actually sending any product to any of these firms. Keep in mind, if what you own is a very old product from any of these firms they may no longer have the parts needed to put your product back into operating condition. The addresses: Eastman Kodak Company, 343 State St., Rochester, NY 14650, (800) 242-2424, www.kodak.com; Olympus America Inc., Two Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747, (631) 844-5000, www.olympusamerica.com; and Vivitar USA, 520 Graves Ave., Oxnard, CA 93030, (805) 988-0463, www.vivitar.com. You can also visit their websites and contact them in that fashion.
Vucanite A Leica?
Q. Thanks so much for your HELP! department. I am looking for a vulcanite type of covering for my Leica I (c). The importer has none. Do you have any listings?
El Cerrito, CA
A. I assume you are looking for the cover material for your Leica camera body. I don't have any suggestions for sources myself, but I believe you can obtain some information from this group: Leica Historical Society of America, PO Box 7607, Louisville, KY 40257, (502) 895-7272. Membership and repair information is available on the www.lhsa.org website. We are happy to know you like the information we impart in this photo help and advice department.
Q. Can you please help me match a lens with a camera? Here is the lens information: Osawa MC 1:4.5 80-200mm 52 SERIAL #2818373. I thought it fit my Nikon, but it does not.
A. I remember the Osawa brand name from the late 1960s when I worked for the GAF Corporation. I believe their interchangeable lenses were offered in mounts for several then current camera systems. I assume your lens has a bayonet mount since you thought it would fit your Nikon camera body. At that time I believe the bayonet-mount cameras were primarily Canon, Exakta, Minolta, and Nikon. Without actually seeing the lens and mount, it's practically impossible to guess which mount it has and which camera it might fit. If any readers knowing of these lenses write us with more information, we will forward it to Mr. Vance.
The Reel Deal
Q. About 25 years ago I bought a box of developing equipment and in that box was a plastic 35mm developing strip that you just wind your film around, not the usual hard plastic reel that is sold everywhere. Have you ever heard of this and, if so, where could I find more?
A. I believe you are referring to a long clear plastic strip having a wavy, wobbling edge that would touch the perforations on each side of 35mm film and leave the image area untouched so the chemicals could freely reach the film to process the image. If so, I have used them and they are indeed quite easy to load and use under pitch-black darkroom film processing conditions. I have not seen them advertised for years and did not find anything similar when I checked my Porter's Camera Store (www.porters.com) and Freestyle Photographic Supplies (www.freestylephoto.biz) catalogs. These two firms tend to offer the more obscure photographic items available today. If any readers know of a source for this type of processing apron, contact us, we will let S.E. know.
Tech Pan 220?
Q. Do you know where one can purchase Technical Pan film in 220 size? I can get 120 size, but want to use 220 in my A24 magazine for my Hasselblad 503CW. Rather than buy the A12 magazine, could I run the 120 size in the A24 back? Perhaps using the film crank, instead of the CW winder, one could stop at frame number 11 or 12 without doing any damage to the back or the camera (heaven forbid that). If this would not work, could I "respool" the 120 film onto a 220 empty spool and run that? If I could buy the 220 film, my problem would be solved. I am sure that Hasselblad would tell me "just buy the A12 magazine!" As a long-time user of 35mm Technical Pan film, I could just stay at that level, however I would like to use my Hasselblad for some extra large work projects.
R. Wayne Atchison, Ph.D
A. I just called Kodak's hotline (800-242-2424) and they told me that Technical Pan film is not offered in 220 format. In addition, the 120 Technical Pan film is being discontinued late in 2004 and the 35mm format in 2005. As to using 120 Technical Pan film in a 220 back I seriously doubt that this can be done. Although 120 and 220 film spools are identical they are able to get twice as much film on the same size (diameter) spool in 220 by eliminating the light-tight black paper backing that runs the entire length of a roll of 120 film. It just has black paper leader on the front and a similar trailer at the end directly attached to the longer strip of film to protect the film from light while loading and unloading from the magazine or camera. The slight extra thickness of 120 film with paper backing on the entire length might cause a problem with the magazine and cause it to bind or jam. Unless you have a method of gluing the light-tight paper backing to each end of a roll of 120 film (in darkroom conditions, of course) I doubt if you could substitute 120 for 220 in your A24 magazine. Since Technical Pan in 120 format is due to be discontinued soon, even purchasing the Hasselblad A12 film magazine probably would not be practical. Of course, you could purchase a few 20-roll bricks of 120 Technical Pan film, freeze it to keep it inert and keep using it for a decade or so if you really like that film so much. Sorry I cannot provide a more positive solution to your problem.
Q. I'm a US soldier currently deployed in Iraq. I have a Maxxum 5 (35mm) camera out here, but I can't seem to keep it clean because of the sand and dust. I have all my equipment in Zip Loc bags and inside a camera bag. Sand still gets in. It's so bad that there's sand or dust in my viewfinder. I can still take good pictures but I need to know a better way of keeping it clean. Also, do you know a camera cleaning shop in Hawaii (Honolulu)?
Spc. Jimenez Juan F
A. Keeping your Maxxum SLR inside a Zip Loc plastic bag, then in a closed camera case is about all you can do to protect the camera from blowing sand and dust. Have you tried using a small dusting air brush to clean the viewfinder and lens? You can purchase a blower brush, which is a squeeze bulb that blows a gust of air when compressed to blow away dust. Most also have a soft brush to assist in cleaning any remaining dust away. Porter's Camera Store (www.porters.com) lists one for $7.75 plus S&H. Most photo stores will carry similar devices. You can also obtain stronger squeeze ball blowers without the brush. I would imagine either of these devices would be gentler on your camera than trying to remove dust with either lens tissue or tissue and a liquid lens cleaner. You can also purchase cans of compressed air for cleaning equipment but the air often comes out very cold and might cause problems in the desert heat. Sorry, I don't know of any camera shops in Hawaii nor could I find any listed in our monthly Service Directory. Perhaps a reader or shop will contact us with that information.
Bellows Kit Manual
Q. I need a manual for a Minolta bellows kit for a manual focus camera. I was directed to you by Minolta.
A. My reference files show three sources today for instructions for older photo equipment. One or more of them might have the manual for your Minolta bellows for sale. Contact: John S. Craig, PO Box 1637, Torrington, CT 06790, (860) 496-9791, www.craigcamera.com/ib_a.htm; and Finger Lakes Photo Books, PO Box 1002, Elbridge, NY 13060, (315) 491-1188, www.photobooksonline.com. Finally, an online site is www.manualsrus.com.