Q&A For Traditional Photography
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Q. I’ve just rekindled my love of photography and discovered that I have four Honeywell Strobonar 202 slave flash units that still work. Here’s my question: I need to get new lamps and flash tubes for one of them and cannot find a user’s manual. Any idea where I might be able to get one for free on the Internet?
Joe Van Mill
A. I know of several firms that specialize in instruction books and manuals for various types of photo equipment—but they all charge for copies. I don’t know of a place where you can just download them at no charge. You might wantto check their websites to determine whether they have manuals for your Honeywell Strobonar 202 slave flash units. The firms offering instruction books are: John S. Craig (www.craigcamera.com/ib_a.htm); Finger Lakes Photo Books (www.photobooksonline.com); and ManualsRus.com (www.manualsrus.com). I believe you will have more success by locating a flash repair facility in the Shutterbug Service Directory listing found in every issue of our magazine. Contact them with your problem and determine whether they can assist you. I have reviewed dozens of different electronic flash units and I honestly don’t remember ever seeing any instruction book that listed part numbers for replacement flash tubes. Since high voltage might be involved, this type of component replacement is best done by a repair facility knowledgeable in working on electronic flash units. One further caution, if you are planning to use these old Honeywell Strobonar 202 slave flash units with any of today’s digital cameras, they probably won’t work properly since slaves made for use with digital cameras must be adjusted to fire the slave when the secondary picture-taking flash fires and not fire prematurely when the autofocusing pre-flash goes off.
Q. I am looking for a set of VHS tapes that were produced by Kodak under the heading “Kodak Video Exchange.” This set was the instructions for taking better pictures. One example of a title in the set was “Photographing People.” I believe the series was created about 1985. Any help you can provide me in locating this set of videos would be greatly appreciated.
Daniel Mac Dougall
A. I called Kodak’s hotline (800-242-2424) and found Kodak no longer offers these educational programs. However, most—if not all—of the various titles Kodak used to provide on a loan basis for schools and camera clubs are now available on loan through the Photographic Society of America (PSA). On their website I found a number of different instructional programs on various aspects of photography. For instance, there are 21 titles in the video library; 18 instructional slide sets; plus some of the old Kodak programs you were looking for. KST-48 “Photographing People” is a Kodak slide/tape program that requires a carousel slide projector and tape player, but it is also offered on CD for viewing on a computer monitor or TV. They rent for $10 for a two-week period (slightly more for several titles sent in one shipment) and must be requested at least 60 days in advance. But, they are only available for rent to PSA members and PSA-affiliated camera clubs. To learn more about these offerings go to www.psa-photo.org. On the left-hand side list select Resources, and under that choose AV Programs. Then click on Kodak Slide/Tape Programs to find the various titles available. Ordering data is included at this site. I don’t believe this program was ever offered as a video, but the CD version today should provide the instruction you seek.
Q. I purchased a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100 (used) camera on eBay. My problem is, when I leave the battery in the camera for a week or more, the battery is dead and will not recharge. I have lost four or five batteries, and I do not use this camera anymore. The battery I am using is a BP-BG1, which I buy on eBay for about $25 (the same battery at Best Buy sells for $75). If the battery that I buy on eBay is not a Sony battery, could that be my problem?
A. Take a look at Jon Sienkiewicz’s article on rechargeable batteries in our April 2009 issue, where he discussed batteries sold on auction sites. It does sound strange that they lose their charge so quickly. It could also be that something internally remains on even when the camera is not in use, thereby draining the battery charge. I have rechargeable batteries in both Panasonic and Canon digital cameras that keep their charge for months. Have you tried contacting Sony about this problem? They might be able to assist you.