Here is a quick tip list
on letters for the HELP! desk:
A. My 11th edition of McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras, 2001-2002 shows your Six-20 Brownie E is a box camera made from 1946-1953. It is a metal camera that uses 620 film and has vertical stripes on the front by the lens and finder windows. It also should have flash contacts for plugging in an external flash. The value is $12-$20. The Bakelite-body Pony II was made from 1957-1962 and has an identical current value.
A. I just spoke with a person at Kyocera, the importer of Yashica/Contax products in the U.S.A. Although they do have some Samurai parts, they do not do repairs. But, they told me this firm does: Nippon Photo Clinic, 920 Broadway, Suite 703, New York, NY 10010; (212) 982-3177. You might want to contact them to determine if they can fix your members' half-frame cameras.
Tri-X Modern Developing
A. I sympathize with you but this just helps drive home the point that before you undertake first use of any new product, be extra careful to read the small print. And in this instance, even better, actually process a roll of non-critical film prior to processing something that's not replaceable. It does seem that Kodak is expecting quite a bit of experimentation on the user's part instead of providing a good benchmark processing time to try on the product instruction label. I suggest you give Kodak's information hotline, (800) 242-2424, a call and explain your problem to them. Hopefully, they can give you better, more accurate, time/temperature suggestions to use in the future with their new 400TX in HC-110 developer.
Depth Of Field Query
A. First, the depth of field will be considerably less if you switched to a 200mm medium telephoto prime lens (or a zoom lens including 200mm focal length), so I don't believe that would help at all. If you were taking your wildflower pictures at apertures of f/8 to f/22 you should have a good depth of field, especially at f/22. Were you shooting in aperture priority mode when you set the aperture yourself, then the camera selected the correct shutter speed? This would be preferable to using program automatic mode when a wider open aperture is often chosen. Try using aperture priority at f/16 or f/22, and also switch over to manual focus and manually set the focus for a plane about 1/3 back from the nearest and furthest points you want in sharp focus, to get the greatest depth. If the shutter speed the camera selects is not suitable for handheld exposures (typically 1/125 sec or faster), then use a tripod. You could also activate the depth of field preview on the camera to see an approximation of depth of field before you shoot. The obvious plane of sharp focus you obtained is typically a result of shooting with the lens about wide-open, probably f/3.5 or f/4 on your zoom lens. I'm puzzled that this happened at the small apertures you said you were using.
TLR Film Wind
A. Boy, that's a difficult TLR question to answer. I really don't have any idea how many turns it would take to advance the film the proper distance for the next exposure as I have never used this TLR and my Rolleicord IV has internal measuring of the film advance distance. Your older camera should allow you to advance the film with the camera back open. If so, you could load an expendable roll of film and then make a pencil mark on the paper backing at the bottom of the mask opening. Now wind the film forward until it just clears the top of the opening. Keep track of how many turns of the winding knob it takes to advance the film past the mask. Just to be safe, you might want to add a half turn extra. This might give you only 9 or 10 exposures per roll, instead of the normal 12 square exposures, but at least you should not have any overlapping. If any reader has a better technique or method of estimating the number of turns and lets us know, we will pass on the suggestion to you.