Help! Page 2
Q. There are videos and DVDs out on every subject. Do you know of a video/DVD about setting up and starting a darkroom?
A. The only video I know of that includes something about darkroom layout is titled "The Darkroom" and is one of 15 VHS videos on various aspects of photography offered by www.media-west.com. You can write them for a brochure at Media West Home Video, PO Box 2849,Gearhart, OR 97138; (800) 888-8273 (US only), (503) 717-1125. The videos sell for $29.95 plus S&H but your local library might have some of these instructional videos on their shelves for loan. I have not heard of any DVDs on the subject.
3D Slide Viewer
Q. At our wedding 48 years ago we had the traditional wedding pictures taken together with 35mm 3D slides. These slides were set in a plastic mount titled Plastaslide and measured 4x11/2". The same image appears on both sides of the Plastaslide. Our problem is that we no longer have the viewer. Is there anything you can do to help us locate a viewer for these slides?
Long Island, NY
A. I have two two-lens stereo cameras from the 1950s that I used to take color slides, which were mounted into dual cardboard mounts for use in a viewer or projected. I never heard of the brand of plastic mount you have, but there were many different mounts offered years ago. Here are a couple of places you might check to determine whether they offer the viewer you seek: Stereo World (a bimonthly publication), www.stereoview.org/ stereoworld.html; and National Stereoscopic Association, PO Box 86708, Portland, OR 97286; www.stereoview.org. I know it is difficult to locate labs to process and mount 3D slides today, but I assume there should be some viewers available somewhere as there still are a dedicated group of individuals working in this interesting old format. If you cannot find a viewer and have some images you want to print, a local professional lab should be able to make a reversal print of one of the two stereo pair images on one slide.
A Note To The Lab
Q. I sometimes use either a Tiffen sepia fog or Cokin sepia filter. They each have a very different effect, the Cokin being much darker. The problem is that I don't live anywhere near a pro lab, or a good minilab, so I have to use the send off (overnight) service at Wal-Mart, which actually does a good job most of the time. But when I use sepia filters sometimes they do the prints right and sometimes they don't. So I had to start putting in a note which tells them what a sepia filter is and does, but I was told that the note confuses them because they don't color correct during printing because the printing machines don't automatically correct so they have to do it manually. Can you please tell me how to explain to them (in a way that will not confuse them) how to process color print film exposed through a sepia filter without taking out or color correcting the sepia effect?
A. Basically I believe you are using your sepia filters properly and exposing properly and the fault is primarily with the lab. Most printing machines do automatically color correct for vastly different overall color balance, such as you would obtain when using a sepia filter. My suggestion would be to use the special instructions panel usually located on the front of the processing envelope and put in bold print: "DO NOT COLOR CORRECT." Merely placing a note inside the envelope might not be seen by the lab personnel, but writing on the outside in the special instructions panel should be noticed. Finally, if you ever are not happy with the prints from any roll of film, take the prints back to the store and ask for reprints. Most reputable stores will do this, especially if you explain that you are trying to achieve a special effect and they have defeated the purpose of using the sepia or some other filter.
Copies Of Subminiature Negatives
Q. I have negatives taken on a Minolta 16 pocket camera (taken about 1972). I would very much like to make copies of these negatives. Could you please find the contact information for a photo business that can help me? I live in the New York City metropolitan area in case there is a lab in that vicinity.
A. It is becoming increasingly difficult to locate places to have printing or other lab work done on 16mm (subminiature) films. Try checking www.subclub.org. If any readers have used any labs around the U.S.A. that still do 16mm format work, we sure would like to get their name and address, as we get frequent inquiries on this subject.
B&W On Color
Q. I've been a long-time subscriber to this wonderful magazine and now I need your help. I'm looking for a black and white lab that will print black and white negatives on color paper. One lab I had worked with was Pacific Imaging Center. They used to make prints with different shades of blue, green, red, etc.; a color variation "palette" to choose from one of my negatives to determine my favorite tone and density. I recently tried to contact them, but to no avail. Could you help me to contact them or find anyone with similar services?
Silvio J. Mayorga
Daly City, CA
A. I had not heard of the lab you once used and really don't know of any lab specializing in the type of tinted or toned black and white prints you seek. I looked through the current issue of Who's Who in Photo Imaging Management which lists all member organizations and labs, but did not find any Pacific Imaging Center listed. Have you tried contacting any of the labs that advertise in our monthly "Photo Lab Showcase"? I found several in the current (February 2005) issue that indicate they specialize in black and white and digital printing, which leads me to believe they might be able to provide the type of tinted prints you seek. They are: Horizons West Imaging, 35400 Road P.3, Mancos, CO 81328, (970) 882-4008, www.HWI.com; Full Spectrum, PO Box 82, Decorah, IA 52101, (563) 379-1515, www.fsprolab.com; and The Darkroom, 9227 Reseda Blvd., Northridge, CA 91324, (800) 442-3873, www.darkroomlab.com. Hopefully one or more of them can provide the type of specialized tint printing of black and white negatives you seek. We are always pleased to hear from long-time subscribers and to attempt to help solve their photographic problems.