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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 and your return e-mail address at the end of your message. Although we make every effort, we cannot promise to answer every HELP! letter.
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Film Format Offerings
In the July 2007 issue Inez Buck inquired about film for her old camera. Freestyle Photographic Supplies now offers film in the 31/4x41/4, 6.5x9, and 9x12 sizes and is also offering Ortho film in 35mm loads as well as 4x5 and 8x10 sizes. Now to my query. I'm hunting for a source of replacement bellows for older and/or current large format view cameras.
Sam Holmes
via Internet

Thanks for letting us know that Freestyle Photographic Supplies has some of the older small sizes of cut film available today and also offers Ortho (colorblind) film in several formats. I'm sure many readers will be pleased to know this and we will pass this information on to Inez Buck. Freestyle is usually a good source for many unusual photographic items. As to your query, try contacting Turner Bellows, Inc. (526 Child St., Rochester, NY 14606; (585) 235-4456, ask for Joe Merry at extension 202; A firm that often has large format accessories is Midwest Photo Exchange (3313 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43202; (614) 261-1264; If they don't offer the bellows you seek, they might be able to suggest a firm that can provide them for you.

Polarizer Plus
Re: the question concerning "polarizing filter use" in the October 2007 issue. There is a common, incorrect assumption about polarizers in that a polarizer will not affect the reflections from a metallic object. This is wrong; if the metallic object, such as a vehicle, is painted, its surface is no longer metallic, and reflections can be greatly reduced or eliminated. Photographing automobiles and trucks while using a polarizer greatly improves the appearance of the vehicle by showing the true color of the vehicle, as does shooting buildings that have painted metal roofs.
Gerald Lamparter
Philadelphia, PA

Thanks for offering your personal experience with using a polarizing filter to minimize reflections on painted metal objects such as automobiles. I don't believe I have ever tired this, but I have used polarizers extensively for landscape and fall foliage views early in the day and late in the afternoon with outstanding results.

Sensor/Lens Mismatch
In your October 2007 issue, John Reali asked about polarizing filter use. He indicated that he has a new Canon EOS 5D and a 17-50mm lens. This has to be a Tamron lens, which although it will mount to the EOS 5D is designed for APS-C sensor cameras. Nobody caught that mismatch, or at least put any caution in the answer. Anything starting at 16, 17, or 18 is for a "cropped" camera and he can expect vignetting. The EOS 5D has a "full-frame" sensor (same size as 35mm film) and needs the full image circle produced by lenses designed for that format. EOS 20D, 30D, 40D, and Digital Rebels have smaller sensors (APS-C film size) and can get by with smaller image circles. All Sigma "DC" lenses and Tamron Di-II lenses as well as the EOS EF-S lenses produce such smaller image circles, or at least are not guaranteed against vignetting on a larger sensor or film. (And EF-S lenses can crash the mirror on a full-frame body because of a physical interference at the rear.) Now to the scary part: whoever sold Mr. Reali the second item did him a disservice. If he said "give me a standard zoom lens for my Canon D-SLR," it was incumbent upon the salesman to know this difference and ask which model. Or, if he had the Tamron 17-50mm first (perhaps from a "small format" D-SLR and he was upgrading the body), then the salesman should have warned him against the piecemeal approach, instead offering a full-package upgrade of body and lens together. The Tamron 17-50mm is reputed to be an excellent lens, but only for cropped sensors!
Mike Jankowski
via Internet

Thanks for your input on the incompatibility of some brands of Canon AF mount lenses on different models of Canon digital cameras having different sensor sizes.

Battery Placement
Q. I have a Quantaray Power Pro Flash Handle QPH-5000. I remember reading that you are not supposed to keep the batteries in the handle for all operations. Is that correct?
Dayton Balliet
via Internet

The Quantaray brand of flash accessories are sold exclusively through Ritz Camera stores. I called Ritz and found out that you should use batteries either in the flash handle or in the flash unit you use it with--but never have batteries in both units at the same time. If you have any further questions about your flash handle, you can call Ritz at (301) 419-0000.