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

Check The Ads
Please reference the October 2003 issue of Shutterbug on page 214; Mr. Charles D. Russell's comment about his Sunpak Auto 544 thyristor flash and his need to purchase an extension cord. If Mr. Russell is looking for a "detachable jack extended PC coiled cord" 2 ft long, Cat. No. 651-781; or a longer 5 ft long, Cat. No. 651-782; or the 10 foot extension cord for using the flash away from the Sunpak Professional Power Battery Pack, Cat. No. 651-754, then I'm sure Adorama can supply it all. I own the exact flash unit. I have purchased all my optional material listed in the Sunpak Owners Manual from Adorama, at discounted prices. Everything I needed was in stock. They run an advertisement on the page following your column in Shutterbug. The August ads included a list of several 544 items. Their telephone number is (800) 223-2500.
Gerry Robin
via Internet

Thanks for taking the time to send us the lead as to where you have been able to purchase accessories to use with your Sunpak 544 flash unit. We are always pleased to hear from readers who are pleased with any of our advertisers. We will forward your suggestions to Mr. Russell.

TLR Film Wind
Q. I have a technical question I want to ask. I have a vintage
Ciro-flex with my TLR. The old-style film for this camera isn't made anymore. My question is, with modern film how many turns of the film advance knob is required to advance the film for the next exposure?
Arthur De Cesare
via Internet

A. Boy, that's a difficult TLR question to answer. I really don't have any idea how many turns it would take to advance the film the proper distance for the next exposure as I have never used this TLR and my Rolleicord IV has internal measuring of the film advance distance. Your older camera should allow you to advance the film with the camera back open. If so, you could load an expendable roll of film and then make a pencil mark on the paper backing at the bottom of the mask opening. Now wind the film forward until it just clears the top of the opening. Keep track of how many turns of the winding knob it takes to advance the film past the mask. Just to be safe, you might want to add a half turn extra. This might give you only 9 or 10 exposures per roll, instead of the normal 12 square exposures, but at least you should not have any overlapping. If any reader has a better technique or method of estimating the number of turns and lets us know, we will pass on the suggestion to you.

Whence Minox?
Q. I've been using Minox cameras for over 35 years. For the last few months no one answers the phone when I call the number in Elmont, New York. Is the company still in business? Did they move?
Howard J. Gordon
Reno, NV

A. My files show the following address for Minox Processing Laboratories: 250 Meacham Ave., Elmont, NY 11003; (516) 437-5750; fax: (516) 775-8924; And yes, the company is still in business. In fact, when I visited their website in mid-February, they were advertising "Winter Specials 2004." However, it's nice having options so you might also want to contact another subminiature processing facility, which is: MicroTec Industries, PO Box 9424, San Diego, CA 92169; (619) 278-8626. You can also obtain general information about subminiature items by going to this website which lists places offering 16mm processing, film slitters, instruction books, and camera sales.

Grain Query
Q. I have sent you two pictures. One is very grainy, the other is acceptable. They were taken a few seconds apart under the same lighting conditions--fluorescent. Most of the pictures came out grainy. They were shot with a Canon EOS 3 and a Canon 75-300mm IS lens with a FL-Day filter using Kodak Max 800 film. I do not remember the exposure data. Can you tell me why most have more grain than the rest? Thanks for your help.
David Thurbon
Topeka, KS

A. Looking at the two machine prints with a loupe I really could not see much difference in the grain myself. You obviously had the
75-300mm tele-zoom lens extended to a longer focal length since the depth of field in the existing light group subject is very shallow. The grain is understandably more pronounced in the out of focus portions of the subject--possibly that is what you are noticing. Larger grain is normal with any of the faster ISO films such as the 800-speed film you were using. The flesh tones on the subjects are not the typical greenish hue normally produced when using daylight-balanced film under fluorescent lighting, but the FL-D filter you used helped correct that situation. I honestly don't believe you can expect to find much less grain on any brand of extra fast film.

Tripod Sought
Q. In 1985 I purchased, by special order through Stewart's Photo in Anchorage, Alaska, a Welt/Safe-Lock "flip-lock" tripod, model PT-3. Now I would like to buy a replacement for this tripod. Unfortunately, none of the many camera retailers I have asked in my new home of Seattle, Washington, is familiar with Welt/Safe-Lock nor are they interested in attempting to special order this tripod. The company was located in Hialeah, Florida. I'm hoping you can tell me if this company still exists or the PT-3 tripods are still available, and if so, where I might order one.
Dean Webb
Seattle, WA

A. I remember the Welt/Safe-Lock brand of tripods and have used them myself. The firm was purchased several decades ago and tripods were still manufactured for a while by Da-Lite Screen Company Inc. in Warsaw, Indiana. When I called them recently, I found that while they do have some parts still available, the tripods have been discontinued. I guess you will have to shop your area dealers to find a similar currently available tripod. There are many dozens of brands and models available for you to choose from--but not this particular brand or model.

Polaroid Prices
Q. I'm writing to get a copy of a publication or someone who can tell me what my old Polaroid camera is worth. It was bought in 1961 and it still works. I've taken good care of it. It's in the original carrying case with a shoulder strap. It was a holiday present from my husband.
Betty Poole
Salem, MO

A. Sorry, but without providing the exact name or model number, or even mentioning the specific type of instant film it takes, it would be impossible to determine the value today of your Polaroid camera. This firm, and most other photo firms, produced many hundreds of different products through the decades. Even the year does not help much, because the camera may have been produced a few years before it was purchased in 1961. We ask that all such inquiries be as detailed and specific about the product as possible so we have something specific to research in our various camera reference books. Most Polaroid cameras from that era, just like 8mm and other sizes of amateur movie cameras of that time, have minimum value today since they were produced in large quantities and are not particularly rare now.

Mamiya 6 For Sale
Q. I have an old Mamiya 6 folding camera (circa 1960s?) that I am interested in selling. Can you help me with links to a buyer?
Paul Harris
via Internet

A. There were at least 13 different models of Mamiya 6 cameras produced from 1940 until 1958 according to one reference book. Without knowing exactly which model you own, it is difficult to determine the value of your horizontal, folding-bed 6x6cm camera. Most models described in my McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras 2001-2002 show a current price between $100 and $180. But, as to providing you with a link to a possible buyer of your camera, the best I can suggest is to run an ad in our Medium Format For Sale classified section. Be sure to more fully specify the exact model you own when seeking a buyer.

Have The Item, Now What?
Q. I recently obtained an Astron X-35 (Model 3300) slide/plate projector. However, I don't know anything about it. Is there anywhere I can find out about it? It seems to be in almost perfect working order, but looks quite old. Many thanks.
Sean Morris

A. Sorry, but the dozen or so reference books I have just don't list many slide projectors. Besides, this is a brand I'm not familiar with, probably one made in Europe where use of transparency film for slides is still much more common than it is in the US these days. I really don't have any suggestions where you might try to find information on this product. If one of our alert readers happens to know of this brand, and the age of your Astron X-35 projector, we will forward the information to you.

Manual Plus Bulb
Q. I am a US soldier stationed in Germany. I am looking for an old manual camera to practice long-time exposures with. I want manual everything. What models that I could find in German stores might be good? I am looking for one that is $100-$150. You can buy a brand-new manual camera for $180 on the Internet but I am hoping to spend half that.
Stanley Maynard
via Internet

A. The problem with suggesting specific cameras is sometimes the model name is different outside the U.S.A. If the camera brand is the same it may have a different model name in Germany or elsewhere. You don't say whether you want an SLR camera that takes interchangeable lenses, or just a fixed lens camera. There are literally hundreds of cameras that fit your needs, but I'll confine my suggestions to a few I have personal experience with.
Older models of compact (non-interchangeable lens cameras) probably will not have a zoom lens, but will have a 40-50mm lens. Look for one with "B" bulb capability for your long-time exposure subjects. This means the shutter will stay open as long as you press the shutter release, or better yet, hold down a flexible cable release, which will minimize any camera movement. One really nice compact that was introduced about 30 years ago was the Canon QL-17. I have one and it's still a capable camera. It has a 40mm f/1.7 lens. The similar QL-28 model has a slightly slower f/2.8 lens.
If you want an SLR that accepts interchangeable lenses, then one that takes the old 42mm screw-in lenses should be readily available. The various old models of Asahi Pentax or one of the East German Praktica cameras that take screw-in lenses should do. Later Pentax K1000 cameras take a bayonet mount lens. Other SLRs you might look for are the Canon TLB, AE-1, or F1. The Minolta SR-7 or XD-7 also should do well. Most any of these older model cameras should be available for well under $100 US over there. Hope this gives you an idea of what to look for in the German camera stores.
The stores I have seen when attending photokina in Cologne tended to be well stocked with older cameras as well as newer, more expensive, models. Compact cameras of recent vintage all tend to have fully automatic exposure and zoom lenses, so might not be suitable for the long-time exposure photography you want to try.

Flash And Super Graphic
Q. If I use a Stroboflash head, with pigtail, on my Graflite battery case, could I use the button on the case to trip the shutter on my Super Graphic for off-camera flash? I understand that I need a Y Cord to do this, which I have. I saw a Stroboflash head at a swap meet a few years ago, but didn't need it then. If I can do this, then I'll advertise in Shutterbug for a strobe head. Please advise.
Bob Tonn
St. Louis, MO

A. As you have discovered, syncing an old Super Graphic for use with flash is tedious. These cameras were made from 1958-1973 when electronic flash was still relatively new and flash bulbs were still the main source of synchronized artificial lighting. First, check the shutter on your camera lens. Does it have an M-X sync switch? If so, it can be adapted for use with either flash bulbs (M) or electronic flash (X).
Next, does the shutter have a single PC flash contact, or a two-prong contact? If you have a newer Graphic lensboard it will have an internal contact mechanism with two flat contact points at the top edge of the lensboard that make contact with two spring tabs at the top of the camera body (visible with the lensboard removed). With this type of internal contact, you will need a special flash cord that plugs into the three sockets on the lower right side of the camera body (just below the bottom flash bracket on the right side). If I remember correctly, this cord has a standard two-prong household electrical contact at the other end, which plugged into a Heiland or Graflex flash gun.
Where you can locate this specialized sync cord today, I don't know. I got one with my Super Graphic over 20 years ago, but have no idea where it is today. If your camera's shutter has external PC sync flash contacts, you can simply plug your electronic flash into the PC contact, and trip the shutter to fire the flash. Since this is a blade shutter, you can sync at any shutter speed. You would trip the shutter by either touching the button on the shutter, or by placing a cable release into the shutter. There is an internal electric shutter release (once again, that works only if you have the lensboard with internal contacts) that fires the shutter when the red button on the upper left of the body (just above the hand strap) is pressed in. But, to use this internal shutter release you have to install two batteries in the compartment at the top right side of the camera back. The rectangular battery looks like today's 9v battery with two terminals on one end, but is different. It's an M-215 (or equivalent) 22.5v battery with a contact on each end. You might be able to order one through RadioShack as they often can get older, hard-to-find batteries today. Hope this helps you get your venerable Super Graphic operational with any flash.

Digital And Film Through Security?
Q. Is it safe for my digital camera and additional SmartCards to go through the x-ray machines at the airport? I will also have my SLR and 35mm film. Any advice you have will be appreciated.
Angela Lowery
via Internet

A. It is my understanding that neither digital cameras nor digital memory cards used for capturing images are affected by airport security machines. But, films can be adversely affected. Films faster than ISO 400 are particularly vulnerable and repeatedly passing them through security (as might happen when you change planes several times) can be accumulative and build up fogging on any speed film. I always place my extra film in a see-through, zip-open type food storage bag so I can pull them all out of my gadget bag in one group and then request a hand check of the film. They might want to open one or more of the film boxes, but I have never been refused when asking for hand checking of film outside the security machines.

Film Loading Problem
Q. I loaded a 35mm film, but it went in at an angle. I tried to ease it out, but some of the film unwound (about 5-6 pictures worth). I rewound it straight away, but I was in a light room. Will the whole 36 exposures be damaged, even if only a little bit of the film came out? Any help would be appreciated!
via Internet

A. No, the film that remained inside the film cassette should not have been adversely affected by the light and you should be able to use the remainder of the 36-exposure roll safely. Just reload the film normally and be sure to advance the film to frame 8 or 10 to wind a bit past the leader end that got fogged when you had to open the camera back in a lighted room. I'm assuming your camera has conventional winding that pulls the film from the cassette and has to be rewound back into the cassette after exposing the last picture. If you have one of the cameras that uses film pre-wind (that is, the film is advanced to the end of the roll before taking the first picture, and is safely back inside the cassette immediately after exposing the last picture) there might be more harmful fogging of the unexposed film on the take-up spool when the back was accidentally opened. But, if only a short bit of film leader was visible when you had to open the back, then the rest of the roll of film should be OK to use.

8mm Value?
Q. I am writing to you because I have an old 8mm camera from 1964. I would like to know if you know what its value is today. I have sent you a few pictures of it, including a picture of the label that has the date on it. Hope to hear from you soon! Thank you.
Jose Oliveras
Pentvelas, Puerto Rico

A. Your DeJur Citation 8mm spool camera with an interchangeable single lens mount, was actually introduced in 1950. My 11th Edition of McKeown's Price Guide to Antique & Classic Cameras, 2001-2002 shows a price of $20-$30 for your camera. Mass produced 8mm cameras just are not particularly collectable today, thus the relatively low pricing.

Projector Bulbs
Q. Someone I know is looking for DFR bulbs for an old EK Cavalcade projector. I'm sure he doesn't want to update/transfer his lectures because he has many, many of them already installed in the clips and trays and the equipment is now like an old shoe! I was able to supply him with a large number of trays and clips, but he says the bulbs (and of course, the projector) are most difficult to find.
First, I want to ask if I remembered correctly a Shutterbug advertiser who sold old (unused, of course!) bulbs? Does anyone know of a "new" replacement bulb for the DFR? I did look in a "bulb" catalog, but my first real query is to Shutterbug.
Jean M. Grant
Oriental Institute Museum
University of Chicago

A. I found the DFR bulb listed in my Photo and AV Lamp catalog from Bulbman. Your friend can contact Bulbman at (800) 648-1163 to order this replacement bulb for his old Kodak Cavalcade slide projector. They have six stores, mostly west of the Mississippi, but the toll-free 800 number is the easiest way to order any of their replacement lamps and bulbs. In addition to the AV bulbs, they also list many flash tubes, video lights, and photofloods. An AV lamp cross-reference lists the product name and the bulb needed for that unit. I don't know if this was the advertiser you had seen, but it's a prime source for replacement lamps for older products today.
(Editor's Note: As we went to press we were notified that Kodak will no longer be producing slide projectors, and that their servicing of present projectors will be available through 2011.)

mazjeck's picture

It is my understanding that neither digital cameras nor digital memory cards used for capturing images are affected by airport security machines. But, films can be adversely affected. Films faster than ISO 400 are particularly vulnerable and repeatedly passing them through security (as might happen when you change planes several times) can be accumulative and build up fogging on any speed Agen Texas dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | Master Agen Judi Bola Online Terbaik dan Terpercaya di Indonesia | BOLAWIN88.COM BANDAR TARUHAN AGEN JUDI BOLA CASINO DOMINO BOLA TANGKAS DAN TOGEL ONLINE TERPERCAYA INDONESIA | Agen Texas Pokr dan Domino Online Indonesia Terpercaya | Agen Judi Bola Online, Agen Judi Casino Online Indonesia Terpercaya AGEN BOLA SBOBET IBCBET CASINO 338A TANGKAS TOGEL ONLINE INDONESIA TERPERCAYA | Agen Ibcbet | SBOBET | Agen Bola dan Taruhan Bola | Agen Bola | Taruhan Bola | Judi Bola Terpercaya | situs judi online terbaik terpercaya dan juga jangan lupa membaca ulasan lainnya