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Q. I want to buy some reversing rings for my lenses. I have a Nikon D70. Nikon says it only authorizes the BR-2A at 52mm for its cameras. However, many lenses have different size filters. I have 55mm, 58mm, and 67mm threads on my lenses. How can I use a 52mm lens with a 67mm filter size? I am trying to get a step-down from the 55mm to the 52mm, but is it possible with the 58mm and 67mm? Isn't there another kind of ring that you can put in between that doesn't give so much height?
A. The BR-2A 52mm reversing ring has a 52mm thread that fits onto a lens and has a Nikon compatible bayonet mount on the other end to attach to a Nikon camera body. This type of ring is normally used for extreme close-up, macro photography. For larger diameter filters with a smaller diameter lens or vice versa you should be able to use any brand of step-up or step-down adapter ring. The 52mm, 58mm, 67mm, etc. threads for every lens are the same. You can use step-up rings, which will permit you to use a larger filter on a smaller thread size lens. That is, a 58mm or even larger 67mm filter on a 52mm lens. When you might encounter problems is in trying to use a smaller filter (say a 52mm) on a larger diameter lens, like a 58mm, with a step-down ring. You might have vignetting (darkening of the corners of the image) as the smaller filter will block out some of the light coming through the lens. The thickness of the ring should not be any problem with normal or telephoto lenses, but might cause vignetting if used with a wide angle lens, such as a 24mm or 28mm. For lens adapters try the following websites: www.camerapeople.net, www.porters.com, and www.freestylephoto.biz. I'm sure there are many other firms in the U.S.A. that offer the adapters you seek.
Q. I have been trying for sometime now to find out where I can get prints made of my Minolta 16mm negatives. The camera used to take the photos (around 1975) was a Minolta 16QT.
A. You can find labs still working with these small negatives on the Internet at www.subclub.org. Once you get to the website go to The Darkroom heading, then click on sponsors and you will find a list of ads from firms specializing in printing subminiature films. One or more of them should be able to print your films. Since we have no personal experience dealing with any of these firms, we suggest you first contact them to check on the costs and get their current mailing address prior to sending your old films to them.
Q. We have three old cameras and were wondering where we could obtain information on their value. Here are the cameras: 1) Jiffy Kodak, Twindar lens. Made in 1934 in Rochester, New York. With a bellows. 2) Vest Pocket Kodak Model B. No year given. With a bellows. 3) Ansco Clipper; #616 PD-16. Made on September 15, '49 in Binghamton, New York. Front of camera pulls out like a lens. All these cameras are in excellent shape. Thank you for any information you may have or any contacts you may have to share.
A. My primary reference book for pricing, McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras 2001-2002 indicates the following on your cameras: The Jiffy Kodak Six-16, made from 1922-'37, has an art deco enameled front with parallel stripes running the long dimension of the front. It takes 616 roll film and produces a negative measuring 2.5x4.25". The Jiffy Kodak Six-20 looks very similar and was produced the same years but it takes 620 roll film and makes 2.25x3.25" pictures. The value on both ranges from $12-$20 today. A later Series II version of each camera has an imitation leather front instead of the art deco enameled front. They were made from '37-'42, a bit later than your camera, but have a similar price. The slightly older Vest Pocket Kodak Model B, a folding rollfilm camera, was made from '25-'34 and is worth $40-$60 today. The '38 Ansco Clipper PD-16 with a metal body and extendable rectangular front section is worth $1-$10 today. Early models had a folding viewfinder but later models had an optical viewfinder. They were interesting cameras of their era, but they just don't have much value today.
Enlarger Lamp Replacement
Q. I recently created a darkroom in my basement. Everything has been going great, I have been using an enlarger that is probably more than 15 years old. Today I went down to do some enlarging and the light on my enlarger would not turn on. I was hoping that since it is an old enlarger, the bulb just burnt out, and I hoped that it would be easy to replace. I tried several different outlets, but nothing was available. I was wondering how it might be fixed.
A. I have several firms listed in my reference files that specialize in replacement bulbs and lamps for a variety of photographic products. Hopefully, one of them will have the one you seek. Your enlarger bulb should have a three-letter alphabetic code number on the glass envelope or base that you can use to obtain the correct size and wattage replacement. Have this information ready when you contact these firms. Try: Bulb Direct, Inc. (1 Fishers Rd., Pittsford, NY 14534; (800) 772-5267, (585) 385-3540; www.bulbdirect.com) or Bulbman ((800) 648-1163; www.bulbman.com), a firm that boasts having some 8000 replacement lamps. If this does not work, you might want to contact the firm that made your enlarger to ask where bulbs are available today. If you don't have contact data for them, go to the Shutterbug website (www.shutterbug.com) where hundreds of firms and their contact information is listed.
Enlarger Lens Query
Q. I have recently been looking (in the UK) for a wide angle enlarging lens to cover 35mm negatives (I have restricted height in my darkroom). I had no success in any of the usual UK sources, but then discovered a Beseler 38mm f/4.5 on eBay in the US, with just 2 minutes to go. It was not expensive, so I took a chance and bought it, but I have since been unable to discover anything at all about the lens. I did a quick search and discovered that the Beseler HD lenses were made by Rodenstock, but when my lens arrived, it said, "Lens Made in Japan." I also found a post that said their budget lenses were branded Beslar. Could you please tell me just what I have bought, and what I can expect from it? I work in mono only, and the Beseler part number is #8638.
A. I have both Beseler HD 50mm (labeled "Made in Germany") and Rodenstock Rodagon 105mm enlarging lenses. I believe the Beseler HD lenses were made by Rodenstock since they have identical preset aperture rings and operating controls. For further information on the subject I contacted our darkroom expert Darryl C. Nicholas. His reply was: "Yes, Beslar is the Beseler `budget' line... I had always thought that Rodenstock made them... but maybe they are made by someone else... I really doubt if it matters much... all lenses today are made by computer... and are much better in quality than they were a few years ago." I agree with Nicholas, I don't believe you can go wrong with most any recent enlarging or camera lens today, as they all are far superior to those made just a decade or so ago. I hope your shorter focal length lens performs well for you. Getting a wider angle lens was a good choice for making larger prints in a darkroom with limited height or a short enlarging column.