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

Battery Query
Q. I have several cameras and other photographic items that require the use of 1.35v button batteries like the PX13. Would you be able to guide me to where I could buy these or a proper replacement?
Jeff Flannery
via Internet

A. You might want to check into the CRIS adapters for your older cameras that use hard-to-find 1.35v button batteries. According to these folks they are indeed adapters and they do not produce voltage. The adapters (MR-9) use micro circuitry to lower the voltage of a 386-size 1.55v battery to 1.35v. The circuit only operates while a load is being applied--this keeps the battery from draining when not in use. The adapter is a one-time purchase and it is recommended the inserted .battery be changed yearly. The adapters normally stocked can be seen at this link: Or you can purchase this size battery from Scherer Supplies, Box 250, Ewing, VA 24248; (276) 733-2615; fax: (276) 733-2073. They are zinc-air batteries with no mercury or cadmium. The MX625 replaces PX625 and PX13; MX675 replaces PX675.

ROM Described
Q. Recent Leica SLR lenses are ROM type. These lenses have additional electronic contacts. Can you tell me what the letters ROM stand for? I understand some German, if that is the language involved. The ROM lenses started before I considered replacing my Canon A-1, so I missed reading about them in Shutterbug.
Ben Bodewitz
via Internet

A. I called my technical contact at Leica to get an accurate answer for you. ROM stands for "Read Only Memory" just as it does for computer applications. While ROM lenses will work with any R-series Leica (R3 to R9) their electrical contacts only transmit information between the lens and camera on the newer Leica R8 and R9 cameras. They are mainly helpful when using flash with these newer cameras as they let the flash electrically communicate with the lens so it will know the lens focal length and can adjust the flash coverage to match. You can obtain information about Leica products by calling them toll free at (800) 222-0118 and speaking with the technical representative.

Polaroid Back Instructions?
Q. I purchased an NPC Polaroid Back for the Bronica SQ-A but apparently I loaded the back wrong and so ruined an entire pack of film. NPC does not actually have a set of instructions available. The operation seemed simple. Do you have instructions available?
via Internet

A. Have you tried contacting Polaroid for suggestions on the proper insertion and use of their various types and sizes of pack films? They tend to work closely with NPC and should be able to assist you in the proper loading of your Polaroid pack film back. You can contact Polaroid at or access their technical assistance people at (800) 343-5000. You did not mention which size Polaroid pack film you use, so I cannot accurately answer myself. I assume you inserted the new film pack (with the black light-tight paper covering the sensitive film/paper inside) with the paper facing the back of the NPC back instead of toward the front.

Maxxum Lens Options
Q. Could you please tell me what lens would be compatible with a Minolta Maxxum 7000 camera? I can't afford the one that is made by Minolta. I thought there might be one by another manufacturer that is more affordable. Thanks.
Beth H.
via Internet

A. Any brand of lens having a Minolta AF bayonet mount would be compatible with your older Minolta Maxxum 7000 AF SLR. Some of the independent brands of lenses you might want to consider are Cambron, Phoenix, Promaster, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina, Quantaray, and Vivitar. Just be sure the lens has a Minolta AF mount, not a mount intended for another major brand of SLR camera. To get an idea of what's currently available, and the MSRP prices, get a copy of our 2004 Shutterbug's Photography Buyer's Guide which should be available at better newsstands and camera stores this fall.

Kowa Lens Query
Q. Years ago, I bought a lens at a yard sale not knowing exactly what it was at that time. The label on the lens reads, "Kowa Prominar Anamorphic 16-D 39032." The front and rear lens seem to be bent on a single axis, rather than being concave or convex. There are only marks for distance, but there are no f/stops or shutter settings. When I look through the rear lens the scene is squeezed together horizontally, and as the lens is rotated the scene then becomes stretched horizontally. What kind of camera used this lens, and can it be used today? Does it have any kind of collector's value? Thank you for your HELP! department, it is one of the first things I look at when a new issue arrives.
Joe Heilman
Parksville, NY

A. I believe the Kowa anamorphic lens you purchased was intended for use with a 16mm movie camera (from the 16-D in the nomenclature) to compress the horizontal image recorded onto the film. But to get the intended widescreen effect when viewing (projecting) the film, you also needed a similar lens on the projector to uncompress the image and thus fill the wider than normal projection screen. This permitted conventional movie cameras to be used to record "Cinerama-type" widescreen images without needing a special movie camera lens. These were add-on lenses that simply screwed into the conventional taking lens to convert them. This was similar to the screw-in wide angle and telephoto adapter lenses that used to be offered for 35mm cameras that did not take interchangeable lenses. I'm sure your lens could be used today, but I believe you would need another lens for the projector to achieve the desired final widescreen effect. As to today's value, I have no idea, as I could not find any reference to it. If any readers have a more accurate description of your lens, we will pass their comments on to you. We appreciate your favorable comments about the department. We do our best to provide accurate information about any conventional (non-digital) photographic questions.

Battery Compatibility
Q. I have a Sekonic Super Microlite meter that used to take the old mercury batteries, specifically Mallory RM640R or Eveready E640. I've not had any luck with the various websites trying to find a replacement for these old mercury batteries. Do you know if there are any?
Angie McGarey
via Internet

A. I checked several different replacement battery sources and came up with nothing until calling Cell Energy, Inc. at (800) 321-0714. They said they have a Duracell alkaline replacement for your mercury 640 battery available. You can also contact them via their website at: I hope you get your old meter operational again.

Built-In Projector Screen?
Q. I am looking for the projector--Telex Caramate or Kodak Ektagraphic--that has a (9x9") viewing screen on it. Can you help?
via Internet

A. I have not heard of this type of daylight slide viewer for many years. When I worked for GAF Corporation (Ansco) well over 30 years ago we sold a device called Mirascreen by Sawyers, a box-shaped device that you placed in front of any slide projector and it showed the slide image on a screen about 9x9 which was viewable in normal room light. But I have not heard of Sawyers products for about 20 years since Hanimex bought the projector line. Have you tried contacting Kodak at their information hotline, (800) 242-2424, or Telex Communications, 12000 Portland Ave. S., Burnsville, MN 55337; (952) 884-4051; A firm I have in my old files that repaired AV equipment was Ritz Audio Visual Associates, Inc., 6620 Virginia Manor Rd., Beltsville, MD 20705; (800) 543-0582; They might know where such projectors are available today. If any readers are more knowledgeable about old AV equipment please contact us and we will pass the information on to you.

Gossen Repairs
Q. Can you direct me to someone who can repair an older Gossen light meter (Luna Pro)? Local photo dealers cannot supply any information on meter repairs--only cameras.
Verl G. Shannon
Jasper, IN

A. Have you contacted the current U.S.A. distributor of Gossen meters, Bogen Imaging Inc., 565 E. Crescent Ave., Ramsey, NJ 07446; (201) 818-9500; Possibly they can direct you to a repair facility if they cannot do this themselves. Or you might want to contact one of these firms I have listed for repairing older meters: Quality Light Metric, 7060 Hollywood Blvd., Suite #415, Hollywood, CA 90028, (323) 467-2265; or Exposure Meter Service, 124 Briar Hills Circle, Springfield, NJ 07081, (201) 376-2781.

Bessamatic Viewfinder Repair
Q. I purchased a Voigtländer Bessamatic SLR about 40 years ago in Germany. Recently I foolishly left my camera bag in my car on a hot summer day and damaged the viewfinder. Since I have a considerable investment in lenses and accessories, I need to 1) get the viewfinder repaired or 2) get a replacement Voigtländer SLR or 3) find another camera which will accept the bayonet-mount lenses. Because the old German company has gone out of business, I am at a loss as to where I can turn.
Ward W. Danekas
Franklin Grove, IL

A. I recently found out that Stephen Gandy is the exclusive U.S.A. importer of Voigtländer products. I believe he can also direct you to repair facilities. You can contact him on the web at: When I checked his site, I did not see any mailing address or telephone number for him, but there were a number of new and used products listed that might fit your requirements. I hope this helps you get your accessories into gainful use again.

Owners Manual Search
Q. I have enjoyed each issue of Shutterbug and always look forward to the next issue. I have a question about where to obtain an Owners Manual for a used light meter I recently purchased. The reference librarians at our local library were not able to find out where to obtain an Owners Manual and I do not have Internet access. It is a Knight light meter by Allied Radio, model number KG-275A. The meter appears to be both an incident-light meter and reflected-light meter, having a white plastic slide with half-bubble on top. Do you have any suggestions where I can obtain an Owners Manual for this light meter?
Dick Thomson
Bend, OR

A. There are a couple of places I refer most readers to for old photo manuals. But, I don't know if they carry instructions for brands of products that are not typical, such as your Allied Radio meter. I have included the website addresses, too, as you might be able to access them from a computer in your library, as I did a few years ago when my computer was out at the shop being repaired. Try: John S. Craig, PO Box 1637, Torrington, CT 06790, (860) 496-9791,; or Finger Lakes Photo Books, PO Box 1002, Elbridge, NY 13060, (315) 491-1188, There is another website for camera manuals: We are pleased to hear you like the contents of our publication.