Here is a quick tip list on letters for the HELP! desk:
Please confine yourself to only one question per letter. Both postal letters and e-mails are fine, although we prefer e-mail as the most efficient form of communication. Send your e-mail queries to with Help in the subject header. Although we make every effort, we cannot promise to answer every HELP! letter.
When sending a response or suggestion that refers to a published letter please include the month and page of the original question.
All postal letters to HELP! must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope to be considered for reply. We will respond to e-mail queries with an e-mail.
George Schaub

Negative Carrier Maker Responses
I've been using Carlwen Industries' (not Carleven) negative carriers for years--they are outstanding. Have been trying to get in touch with them myself but no one answers the phone.
Leon Callaway
San Pedro, CA

We have not heard directly from Carleven Industries since printing a question about them this spring, nor do we have a current address for them. I called information central at Photo Marketing Association, the group that most photo dealers, finishers, and manufacturers belong to, but they do not have a current address for them either. But several readers e-mailed suggestions for Mr. Wood, who initially posed the question about Carleven. Since you also are a fan of this type of product, we are printing some of their ideas for you and other readers doing custom darkroom work. We hope some of these ideas will be helpful.

I am writing in response to the HELP! question from Jerry Wood in Annapolis, Maryland. I have no information regarding Carleven Industries, however I may be able to help. I own a machine shop in Massachusetts and am a hobbyist photographer. If Mr. Wood has one of the carriers that he had made by Carleven, I should be able to duplicate them for him. Here is my contact information: Jamlab Enterprises, (978) 725-5531, fax: (707) 929-1638, e-mail:
John Sullivan

In reference to the May 2003 HELP! question on page 198, Jerry Wood is asking about custom negative carriers and I can help him. Please ask him to contact me via e-mail at: Thanks.
Marlene Darrell

On page 198 of the May 2003 issue, reader Jerry Wood asked if anyone knew where to go to have custom negative carriers made. Any good sheet metal or machine shop should be able to do the job for him, though the work will not be cheap. Assuming that he is looking for an odd film size, it may be possible to have an existing carrier modified for a different format (cutting a 6x6 carrier to fit 6x12 for example). At the very least, giving the shop an existing carrier to match for size and shape will make their job easier. If the new carrier is only to be used occasionally, it may be possible to make one out of four-ply matte board. I have done this in the past to make a 6x4.5 carrier for my Omega B66 enlarger, and it worked fine.
Phil Williams
Montreal, Quebec

Maxxum Battery Answer
Great magazine! Richard Kuzia had a question in the July 2003 issue that I may be able to help with. His question was regarding the internal battery of the Minolta Maxxum 7000 AF, which is different than the AAA batteries in the grip that power the camera for most functions. The internal battery in the Minolta Maxxum 7000 AF is provided for memory back-up if the AAA batteries run out of juice. This internal battery lies beneath the silver plate under the AAA battery pack. First remove the AAA battery case from the camera, and then unscrew the six screws that hold the plate to the camera and you will have access to the internal battery. Battery type is CR 2016 and is widely available. Also, as a Minolta user I have concern with this camera system as of late. As a fan of digital shooting my concern lies with the availability, or lack thereof, of a Minolta D-SLR. I have many Maxxum lenses and quite an investment in Minolta gear over the past 17 years and I do not look forward to changing camera systems, but if Minolta decides not to move into the D-SLR arena (fairly soon) my hand may be forced. Have you heard any news as to Minolta's direction? Thanks in advance for your help.
Brett Wilson
Quincy, MA

We appreciate your sending instructions on servicing the battery in a Maxxum 7000 AF SLR. I have used this camera, but never did more than put in new batteries when I tested it years ago. We will forward this to reader Kuzia. Sorry, but I don't know what Minolta's plans are about digital SLR cameras.

Pentax Repair Shops In NYC
Q. I have several older SLRs. One is a nice Pentax Spotmatic II. Its on-board light meter no longer functions. Pentax told me about your magazine and said you would have info on repair shops in New York City (Manhattan). Does anyone at your end know of a good place to take my camera to here in the City? Any help with this would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Joan Gramatte
via Internet

A. I found several New York City area repair facilities listed in our Service Directory who indicate that they work on Pentax products. For example, Photo Tech Repair Service, Inc., 110 East 13th St., New York, NY 10003; (212) 673-8400; Another is just west of Manhattan in New Jersey: Roman Camera Repair, 1021 Paterson Plank Rd., North Bergen, NJ 07047; (201) 866-4673;
e-mail: We hope this helps you get your older cameras and Pentax meter operational again.

Sunrise, Sunset...
Q. Recently I started to photograph sunsets and sunrises using 100 and 200 speed film and long exposures (2-15 seconds sometimes 30 seconds) with the aperture at f/22-32 to try and keep the foreground in focus. Usually I have the photos converted to CD. It seems the longer the exposure, the lower the light and the more the color saturation, the more the photo appears excessively grainy. Can you offer any suggestions on how to correct this problem? Does converting the photos to CD have anything to do with it? I shoot the photos with a Canon Elan 7 and a 75-210mm or 28-105mm zoom on a tripod.
Andy Ciucio
via Internet

A. You should be getting quite decent fine grain if the films you use are ISO 100 and 200. How are you determining the exposure? The camera's internal metering might be confused by the unusual sunset/sunrise lighting and thus is not setting the proper exposure. I assume you are using a really sturdy tripod so even a slight bit of camera movement is not being confused with larger grain. You did not indicate whether you were using color negative film or transparency film. If you are using color negative, and the exposures are not producing good printable quality negatives, the grain might be accentuated when printed, or transferred to CD format.

Ricohmatic Resuscitation
Q. I own a Ricohmatic 225 21/4x21/4 reflex that I have had for many years. I would like to start taking pictures with this camera again. However, years ago a friend of mine played around with the light meter to try and recalibrate it. It is a complete mess. Is there someone or some company who can work on this camera and bring it back to its original working order? Everything else works on the camera and it is in very good condition. Thanks for your help.
Frank Grieco
via Internet

A. Your 1959-62 vintage Ricohmatic TLR built-in meter may not be worth repairing. Since the camera seems to operate OK (except for the meter) why not just purchase a small handheld light meter to carry along for determining exposure? I have seen several advertised for around $50-$60 and I doubt that you could have the camera meter repaired for less than that. I really don't know of a firm that could fix the camera meter.

Bronica Cable Release
Q. I have a Bronica SQ-A. A few years ago, I saw an accessory that was a timer/cable release. I am now trying to find this item. Could you please help? I tried finding the Porter catalog, but have been unsuccessful. Thank you.
Bruce Cudmore
via Internet

A. I found a release that might work for you on page 34 of the winter edition of Porter's catalog. It's called the "Universal Self Timer" and is a short screw-in device that goes into a standard tapered cable release socket, which I assume you have on your Bronica SQ-A camera. You simply wind a lever, which then moves in an arc to show the timer is functioning. You can select a 9-16 second delay. The price shown is $34.95. You might want to check their website at or contact them by phone at (800) 553-2001 to place an order. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they also offer a rubberized strap that fits over the shutter release button of cameras without a cable release socket so you can use a release with them. I never knew such an item existed.

Royal Gold Replacement
Q. Is there someone I can contact to determine if there is a film out there equivalent to Kodak's Royal Gold 100? I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you.
Martin Pothier
via Internet

A. There have been so many variations of the 35mm format Kodak Gold color negative films in recent years that I have lost track. I just came across an early 1992 press release from Kodak announcing the then-new Kodak Gold Plus 100 and they also had Super and Ultra versions. Of course today most all you see are the Kodak Max films. Your best bet to track down what's the current equivalent of Royal Gold 100 would be to call the Kodak information hotline toll free at (800) 242-2424. They have the database needed to answer your question accurately.

Digital Polarizer
Q. I have a Canon S40 digital camera, and would like to use a polarizing filter with it. None of the big dealers (e.g., B&H) list such an item. Can you help me find one?
M. Phillips
Fort Lee, NJ

A. Does your Canon S40 digital camera have filter threads around the lens? If so, and if you know the proper adapter ring thread size, you could get a ring from The Camera People, PO Box 1069, Bayfield, CO 81122; (970) 884-6045; They also carry many different filters. Cokin just introduced an adapter that attaches via the tripod socket so you can use their square filters with compact film and digital cameras without any lens filter threads. But, if your camera does not have TTL metering, or manual exposure override, you probably will get underexposed images due to the 1-2 stop filter factor needed when using a polarizing filter. One of these suggestions might permit you to use a polarizing filter on your digital camera.

Rolleiflex Filters Decode Needed
Q. I have a Rolleiflex TLR and was recently able to purchase two sets of filters for it from a local photo show. The first set of three is bluish in cast and has ratings B2, B5, and B11. The second set is amber cast and has ratings of R2, R5, and R11. I am unable to find any literature to explain the ratings. Could you please let me know what the present-day equivalents are and what these filters are used for? Your response would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your kind help.
Ismat Asha
St. Lazare, Quebec

A. I have not been able to locate any data about these decades old filters in my reference material and neither could the people at Rollei U.S.A., the current importers, or Marflex who repair old Rollei cameras. Since the filters are bluish and amber in hue, I would imagine they might be light balancing filters that were used to adapt daylight color transparency film to tungsten lights (bluish) and for using tungsten-balanced color film with daylight or electronic flash (amber). If this is the case, the darkest amber filter is probably equivalent to today's Wratten 85B, and the other lighter amber filters are 85C and 81EF. The darkest blue is probably an 80A and the others 80B and 80C. Sorry I could not be more definitive. If any readers can provide the correct equivalent or use for these filters, we will send the data to you.

Minolta Repair Required
Q. I need a manual and list of repair facilities for a Minolta SRT MCII inherited from my father. Can you help me?
Charles Gosnell
via Internet

A. There are several good sources for instruction books for older cameras. Try one of these: John S. Craig, Box 1637, Torrington, CT 06790, (860) 496-9791,; Finger Lakes Photo Books, PO Box 1002, Elbridge, NY 13060, (315) 491-1188,; or for camera manuals check As for repair facilities, just look at a recent issue of Shutterbug under the Shutterbug Service Directory heading to locate firms that specialize in working on Minolta products. Hope you get your SRT operating. It's a nice SLR.

Honeywell Strobe Specs
Q. I need values of the capacitor (dead) to replace it in a Honeywell No. 180 high-performance power pack, or parts list. None are shown on part.
James Huris
Darien, IL

A. Heiland/Honeywell electronic flash units have not been around for many years. My files show several firms that work on older models of electronic flash units and power packs; possibly one or more of them can provide the information you seek. Please be aware that some of these listings are years old and the telephone area codes may have changed: Robal Company, Inc., 1545 No. Wilcox Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028, (213) 466-8662; Larry Light, 737 Steward Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038, (213) 469-0972; TW Technical, 514-2 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15202, (412) 766-1669; House of Batteries, 776 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, (714) 642-8222; Amglo Kemlite Laboratories, Inc., 215 Gateway Rd, Bensenville, IL 60106; Glastronic Sales Co., PO Box 391, North Lima, OH 44452.