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Camera/Picture Collection
Q. My "hobby" is the collection of vintage cameras where there is an historic connection with a particular photographer and/or photograph of note; e.g., Ansel Adams and the Contax camera of the mid/late 1930s or Henri Cartier-Bresson's Leica used for the `33 "Behind the St. Lazare Station." The problem I have is trying to find out the particular model of Contax or Leica used so that I may acquire one. Any thoughts?
P. Bucy
Rancho Mirage, CA


A.
I honestly don't have any suggestions where you can obtain this data. If there is a biographical book about the photographer, and I know there are several on both Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson, it might give more details about exactly what model camera was used for a specific image. You might want to check your local library, or online using the photographers name to point you in the right direction. Do any readers have a clue on this one?

B&W On Color
Q. How do I print a black and white negative onto color paper? I'm sure you'll ask why I want to do this--my local camera store developed my black and white film recently and printed all the pictures onto 4x6 color paper. I liked the results. When I went into the darkroom I printed one of the better negatives onto Ilford black and white variable contrast paper (Multigrade IV) using a color diffuser enlarger with various filter grades (including no filter). I didn't like the results as much as with the color paper. I would prefer to print this myself on enlarged color paper instead of paying someone to do it, but I have no experience with color paper printing/development. Any suggestions/ pointers? Links to articles will help.
Susanne Lomatch
Boise, ID

A.
I sent your query to our darkroom expert, Darryl C. Nicholas, and here are some of his comments: "Kodak used to make a printing paper (I presume they still do) that was designed to be chemically processed in a standard RA-4 color chemical process (therefore it was technically a color paper), but it had some altered dye layers in it and was intended to produce a black and white image when printed with either a color negative or a black and white negative. Either way, the paper was designed to work best with a so-called standard color filter pack in the enlarger...the idea being that standard printers/enlargers everywhere could use it without having to make any major changes in the filtration settings that they would otherwise use when making a real color print. The exact filter setting was not critical...it could be varied quite a bit, and you'd still get a very nice black and white print.
"About the same time period, Kodak also dreamed up their chromogenic film...it was basically a color negative film with some altered dye layers so that when processed in a standard C-41 chemical process, it would produce a negative that sort of looked like a black and white negative. This film could be printed onto standard black and white paper or onto the special Kodak color paper that was designed to produce a black and white print from RA-4 chemistry. Again, no special color filter pack was needed."
Also, please check www.kodak.com or call their answer hotline at (800) 242-2424. There are a bunch of Kodak handbooks on all types of photographic subjects that are distributed by Tiffen. You can access their website at www.tiffen.com to learn more about these books.

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