Help! Page 2

Camera Shake
Q. I have a Canon EOS 20D camera, a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens, and a 580EX flash. I am having problems with blurred pictures when taking pictures at football games at night and at volleyball and basketball games inside a dark gym. Can you tell me what settings I need to use, with or without my flash?
via Internet

A.
You have a faster maximum aperture (f/2.8) than most tele-zoom lenses have, so this should permit you to use relatively fast action-stopping shutter speeds. Blurred pictures with any tele-zoom lens can be caused by one of two things. Either the shutter speed is too slow, which will not stop action, or accidental camera movement. The rule of thumb for using any telephoto lens is to use a shutter speed equivalent to the longest lens focal length. Thus, with your 70-200mm zoom you should use at least 1/250 sec at any focal length not just when at the 200mm focal length. This is assuming that you are also holding the camera extra steady so it does not move during the actual exposure. You might want to try using a support of some kind, either a tripod or monopod, to help steady the camera/lens combination. I believe the fast tele-zoom lens you have is both bulky and heavy and possibly is too heavy to properly use handheld. If you are also using flash, the duration of the flash is typically action stopping (often about 1/1000 sec) so it should stop action even if used with a slow shutter speed of 1/250 or 1/125 sec. Since you are already using a more powerful shoe-mount flash, this should extend the maximum flash range for sports photography. You might also want to adjust the ISO speed of your digital camera to a faster ISO, which will permit you to use a faster shutter speed. You are attempting to stop action under the most difficult lighting conditions so it will be a challenge to obtain sharply detailed pictures under nighttime lighting.

Close-Up Filters
Q. I recently purchased a lens that accepts 62mm filters. I have a set of 72mm close-up filters that have served me well over the years. By using a 62-72mm step-up ring, do you know if I would encounter any problems with my images?
Jim Yoghourtjian
Racine, WI


A.
Since you will be using a larger 72mm close-up lens with a step-up ring mounted on a smaller 62mm diameter lens you should not have any problems. The slight increase in distance from the filter to the front of the lens should not cause any problems. I assume you are using this lens on an SLR so you will be manually focusing each time. Conversely, if you were planning to use a step-down ring with a filter smaller in diameter than your camera lens, especially when used on an ultra-wide angle lens of 28mm or shorter focal length, then you might have vignetting (darkening of the corners of the image).

FS-1 Flash
Q. I have a very old Konica FS-1 auto-advance camera that has been a true workhorse. When I bought the camera, it came with an auto flash unit, which was damaged beyond repair and thrown away. After finding your site, I became aware that I might find a new/used replacement but do not know the model/type of that original unit. I found several options on your used equipment list but don't know which one will work on my FS-1. If you can provide me with the appropriate model/type, I can then make a proper selection. Can you help?
Jim Bigger

A.
I looked up your 1978 vintage Konica FS-1 SLR camera in one of my reference books. It appears to have a hot shoe on the top of the body. Thus, any standard, current hot shoe flash unit should be adaptable to your SLR. I'm not sure what auto flash came with your camera but I doubt seriously that it had TTL flash dedication, the fully automatic operation cameras in the past 15-20 years have had. But, you can get a current hot shoe flash with a built-in sensor, which will give you a certain degree of automatic operation. With this type of sensor flash you simply set the ISO film speed guide on the side of the flash to match the film in your camera. The same guide will show either a color code or letter for different subject distances. Choose the distance most of your pictures will be made at. Beside that will be the f/stop that you must set on your camera lens. After making these settings, the flash sensor will tell the flash to cut off the flash intensity when enough light is produced to properly expose the subject at any distance from about 3 ft to the maximum distance you chose on the flash guide. This gives you flash automation after you make the preliminary adjustments. There are many moderately priced brands of sensor flash units you can choose from today. Some you might want to consider are from Achiever, Metz, Phoenix, Promaster, Sunpak, and Vivitar. You can get even less expensive manual hot shoe flash units, but then you will have to change the lens opening whenever the subject distance changes.

Starblitz Settings
Q. I have just purchased a Starblitz 3300 DTS and I need some help with the settings. The first button has a white, green, and red setting. Then another switch has O, N, M, c/p, and S. If anyone can help me with these settings it would be great.
Alan Harbour

A.
I cannot find any information about the Starblitz brand of flash units. I do remember this name, but have not seen any of their products for years. If readers can help it would be appreciated. There are several sources for instructions for old cameras that might also have flash instructions. Try John S. Craig, PO Box 1637, Torrington, CT 06790; (860) 496-9791; www.craigcamera.com/ib_a.htm. Another site for camera manuals is Finger Lakes Photo Books, PO Box 1002, Elbridge, NY 13060; (315) 491-1188; www.photobooksonline.com. Sorry I could not be of more immediate assistance.

Stock Slides For Home Use
Q. Several decades ago there were businesses that sold individual and series slides (autos, travel, railroads, etc.) to people who wished to augment their collections. One, I believe, was named Wolf's or Wolfe's that advertised in most photo magazines. Do you know of any such suppliers in business today?
Robert C. Steensma
Salt Lake City, UT


A.
I could not locate the firm called Wolf's or Wolfe's you mentioned, nor do I remember them. Years ago Visual Horizons (a firm that sells slide storage pages and albums, transparent pages and pockets of all types for photo and media storage among other things) used to offer a large collection of photographs around the U.S.A., but they discontinued this service some 10 years ago. Dozens of years ago Sawyer's (the firm that also sold 3D View-Master viewers and slide reels) also sold packets of five 2x2 color slides--I still have hundreds of them stored somewhere--but I could not locate this firm today. You could check out gift shops in popular tourist sites around the world, where sheets of slides are often sold as souvenirs, and perhaps locate the manufacturer that way.

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