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 email@example.com 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.
Re: June Agur's inquiry about Ilfochome/Cibachrome papers in the May 2008 issue. I just received the Spring edition catalog from Freestyle Photographic and noted on page 34 that these papers are available on special order. Phone (800) 292-6137 or visit www.freestylephoto.biz.
St. Louis, MO
Referring to the May 2008 issue, a reader asked about Ilfochrome paper.
I use and obtain Ilfochrome Classic CPS.1K from my dealer in Memphis who orders
it through Ilford's distributor Wynit (800-469-9648). Ilford (888-453-6731)
can tell you what dealers can order.
Jerome Siegel, M.D.
Our thanks to these two readers who provided different sources for hard-to-find Ilfochrome direct positive color printing papers. Thanks for writing.
Olympus E-510 And Microscope
Q. I have an Olympus E-510 and a Southern Precision Stereo Microscope, Model 1883. Is there any way I can connect them together for digital image capturing?
A. I have never attempted to attach any camera to my old Olympus
microscope, but my research paid off in dozens of firms that offer products
for this purpose. I looked at the websites for several, which I will mention,
but there are many more out there for you to choose from. Edmund Optics has
been in business for many years offering moderately-priced optical items. You
can contact them at www.edmundoptics.com or (800) 363-1992. Two others are Zarf
Enterprises (www.zarfenterprises.com, (509) 326-1683) and GreatScopes, Inc.
(www.greatscopes.com, (877) 454-6364). I believe if you contact any of these
firms you should be able to adapt your Olympus digital camera to your microscope.
NiCd Installation For F1
Q. I have a NiCd pack FN that powers an AE motor drive FN for use in my Canon F1. I am looking for someone to install new cells in this battery pack so it will hold a charge. I've heard from others that this is an easy do-it-yourself project, but I'm looking for someone more skilled and experienced than I am to do it. I've checked with several camera repair services around the US to no avail.
Robert W. Bowman, Jr.
New London, CT
A. Without knowing the specific model number of the high-power NiCd battery pack your Canon F1 AE motor drive uses, it was not possible to obtain much information for you. One firm (Cell Energy) said your old NiCd battery might have to be upgraded to a newer Ni-MH model. Another firm (Batteries Plus) said there is a 90 percent chance they could rebuild your old NiCd battery so it would be suitable to use. They can also do the installation. Here is the contact data on these two firms plus a couple of others that should be able to assist you: Batteries Plus (925 Walnut Ridge Dr., Hartland, WI 53029; (800) 677-8278; www.batteriesplus.com); Cell Energy, Inc. (3190-B Orange Grove Ave., North Highlands, CA 95660; (800) 321-0714; www.batteries4everything.com); Battery Specialties (3530 Cadillac Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92626; (800) 854-5759 (US), (800) 352-3706 (in CA), (714) 755-0888; www.batteryspecialties.com); Battery Wholesale (1515 W. Alexis Rd., Toledo, OH 43612; (419) 478-5704; http://batterywholesaleonline.com); and Batteries.com (111 Congressional Blvd., Ste. 350, Carmel, IN 46032; (888) 288-6500; www.batteries.com). I believe one or more of these firms can get your motor drive operational.
Q. I am setting up my own darkroom and have everything I need except for a silver recovery unit, which would be used for low-volume personal work. In college we had a unit through RIT but now that I'm out on my own I'm not sure where to find an affordable, easy-to-use unit. Unfortunately, my area does not really have a place I could take it to either. If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.
A. I located some websites that should be able to assist you
in finding out how to utilize silver recovery in your new,
low-quantity wet processing darkroom. One I found is Rotex (7), a division of CPAC, at (866) 827-9729. This firm has recovery devices geared for smaller labs. You might want to do a Google search for "wet photo processing + silver recovery" as I did. In addition to other firms offering this type of service are references for environmental safety guides that you can use to determine the types and scale of different wet chemistry installations that should be using silver recovery.
Longer Zoom For Pentax 645?
Q. I have a Pentax 645N medium format camera which I bought before I realized the longest telephoto zoom lens made for this camera is only up to 300mm. I have been able to find a 400mm telephoto zoom lens for a Pentax 645 but have been unable to locate anyone who can tell me if this lens will fit on the 645N. I wrote to Pentax but received no response. Can you help me?
A. I just spoke with one of the technical experts at Pentax and obtained some information that should assist you in locating a long 400mm telephoto lens for your Pentax 645N medium format SLR. The early Pentax 645 cameras were manual focus and accepted 645 A-series lenses. When they introduced the 645N, and later the 645N2, these were the first medium format cameras to have autofocusing. The earlier Pentax 645 A-series lenses did offer a 300mm f/4 and 600mm f/5.6. In the newer 645 AF lenses, they offered a 400mm f/5.6. You should be able to use an earlier A series of 645-mount lens on your 645N body, but you will have to focus manually. I'm surprised you did not get any response when you wrote Pentax. If you have further questions, you can contact Pentax in Golden, Colorado, at (800) 877-0155 and ask for their technical specialist on film cameras.
Q. I was cleaning out my Dad's house and one of the items he left to me was an 8mm German camera. The case is in perfect shape and says Zeiss Ikon and under that it says in larger letters "Movikon 8." The case is velveteen inside and outside is hard leather. Recently I had it verbally appraised and the appraiser indicated that the camera was worth "$200, but could fetch more with the right collector." I don't know where to begin to try and find an interested buyer other than eBay and I didn't want to have to go that route. Do you have any suggestions?
A. Check out www.camerapedia.org where you'll also find a Zeiss Historical Society link. Evidentially there were two versions of this movie camera. The first, introduced in 1933, had a more "normal" movie camera shape (rectangular boxy design with the narrow side having the lens pointing toward the subject). It has a folding wind lever on the right side and a Sonnar 10mm f/2 lens. A later version in '56 was held similar to most 35mm cameras since the larger flat side had the lens that was pointed toward the subject. This model has a winding key on the front near the 10mm f/1.9 Zeiss Movitar lens. This model has a complicated film-threading path as the film has to be twisted before entering the film gate platform. It was available in crinkled gray or brown finish. I found this later version offered at www.KEH.com for $69. The only other prices I found were in English pounds. Most movie cameras today only command about $10, so even $69 is considerably more than other movie cameras bring.