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Q. I read your article on the Phoenix LED ringlight (October 2006 issue) on your website. Two questions: How did you connect the LED ring to the Lumix FZ5; does this go on the camera directly or onto the bayonet-mounted extender? Is the same LED ring also mountable on Nikon lenses (the 28-55mm of the D40 kit)?
Andre L. Vanderhal, MD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
A. I took the easy method of using the Phoenix LED ringlight on my Panasonic Lumix FZ5 digital camera. Since there are no threads inside the lens when it's extended out for use, I simply held the ringlight at the front of the lens, making sure the lens protruded through the opening in the end of the ringlight and that it was parallel to the back of the camera, then made my exposures using the camera's internal metering in Automatic mode. I did this with the camera on a tripod to keep it immobile since I was using slower shutter speeds and available light exposures. I believe you can still purchase adapter rings that have three adjustable set screws that tighten down onto the lens barrel of any lens without threads. You would also need a step-up ring that's compatible with the thread on the LED ringlight. Some dealers you might want to check for this type of universal adapter ring are: Porter's Camera Store (PO Box 628, Cedar Falls, IA 50613; (800) 553-2001; www.porters.com); and Freestyle Photographic Supplies (5124 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90027; (800) 292-6137, (323) 660-3460; www.freestylecamera.com). While researching for adapters I found out about S.K. Grimes (Photographer's Machinist), 32 Mechanic Ave., Unit 222, Woonsocket, RI 02895; (401) 762-0857; www.skgrimes.com. They can custom produce various lens mount adapters. I don't have any Nikon lenses such as the 28-55mm you mentioned, but if this lens has a filter thread you should be able to purchase the proper adapter to use the ringlight with that lens.
Q. I've been looking for repair parts and/or locations for repairing the Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic. I ran across your site on the Pentax.com website. I need to have the light meter repaired. Would you help me or do I need to be a subscriber to your magazine? I'd appreciate any help you can give me.
A. My first suggestion for getting repairs on any brand of camera is to contact the manufacturer/importer. For your older Pentax this would be Pentax Imaging Company, 16163 West 45th Dr., Unit H, Golden, CO 80403; (800) 877-0155; www.pentaximaging.com. If they cannot assist you, you might want to try one of the advertisers in our Shutterbug Service Directory, which appears in each issue. You can purchase a copy of Shutterbug at most any newsstand. A couple of the firms that indicate they work on Pentax cameras are: Camera Repair Japan (3435 Breckinridge Blvd., #130, Duluth, GA 30096; (888) 226-6678; www.camerarepairjapan.com) or Photo Tech Repair Service, Inc. (110 East 13th St., New York, NY 10003; (212) 673-8400; www.phototech.com). We always suggest you contact the firm and explain your problem before actually shipping the camera or equipment to them. Ask for an estimate. It might be prohibitively expensive to repair older equipment since some parts are difficult to obtain. Good luck.