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 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.
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.

Lens Adapters
I read a question from one of your readers in the December 2009 issue of Shutterbug regarding using a T-mount lens on D-SLR bodies. I wasn’t able to get an exposure reading with my Nikon D70 with a T-mount, but I purchased a Nikon lens to Pentax K body mount adapter and, attaching my Nikkor lenses to my Pentax K100D, all worked well with stopped down metering. I plan to purchase the new Pentax K-x that has Live View and mount it with the same adapter to my Nikon bellows. I enjoy these cross lens/body swaps and I’m looking forward to your article on the compatibility of older lenses with new D-SLR bodies.
Ed Paschalidis
via e-mail

I’m pleased to learn that you are having success crossing one make of lens with another brand of D-SLR body. I’m sure other readers will be interested in hearing of your efforts so they can try something similar themselves. (Editor’s Note: See the March 2010 issue of Shutterbug for Robert Mayer’s article on the compatibility of older lenses with new D-SLR bodies.)

Vu-Lyte IV ID
In an answer to a recent HELP! question (January 2010 issue) you seemed puzzled identifying the Vu-Lyte IV (#12406). It was one of a series of opaque projectors manufactured by Charles Beseler of East Orange, New Jersey. They were the same manufacturer that made the Beseler enlargers. The AV division manufactured lantern slide and opaque projectors. Glad to help with any questions in the future. I was an AV/Camera retailer for 50 years (just retired).
Ron LoPinto
Bronxville, NY

Thanks for reminding me about Vu-Lyte IV opaque projectors. I’ll keep your name on file for when AV questions come in.

Tech Pan Offer
In your February 2010 HELP! column (page 168), Khalid Ikram asks about processing two rolls of Kodak Technical Pan film. I am an amateur who is fond of 35mm Technical Pan, but, alas, my film ran out before my developer did. I still have three packets of Technidol LC developer (powder) that I would be glad to give to him (or would be willing to develop the film for him at no charge if he can’t do it himself or find someone who can) if he is willing to pay the shipping costs.
Bob Grant
Salt Lake City, UT

We appreciate your generous offer and will forward your e-mail to Mr. Ikram so he can contact you. (Note: We did hear from Mr. Ikram after he got a number of e-mail offers and learned that he did get the film processed successfully.)

Film To Digital Lens Swap
Q. Do the Nikkor 35-105mm and 60mm lenses that I used for my N90 film SLR work on the Nikon D90 body?
Eva Chu
via e-mail

A. You can check the website listed below to determine the compatibility of various models of older Nikkor lenses on new Nikon D-SLR bodies. In general, it says that the Nikkor AF lenses use a mechanical coupling between the lens and camera to focus, so these lenses can be used on any Nikon D-SLR body having a focus motor. I believe your Nikon D90 is one of the compatible bodies. For more detailed information, check the following website:

Portrait Focal Length
Q. I have heard for years that a good portrait lens is in the 100-105mm range. Now I have a Canon camera with a 1.6x crop factor. Do I still use a 100mm range lens, or do I use a 65mm lens, which is about 100mm after the crop factor? Also, I assume that the 100mm for a portrait lens instead of more “normal” 55mm is so some small amount of “telephoto compression” does nice things with the face. Is that the reason, or is there something else to it, like working distance?
via e-mail

A. There are several reasons a slightly longer focal-length lens (100-105mm for 35mm and slightly less for your 1.6x factor digital camera) is suggested for portraiture. First of all, you can compose a larger head-and-shoulders or head-only image without having to be overly close to your subject. Second, with a slightly longer focal length there will be a bit less depth of field, so with critical focusing on the person’s eyes, most of the potentially bothersome background and anything in front of the subject will be less sharp. This helps concentrate attention on the subject’s face. To further accentuate the effect, use the camera on aperture-priority with the lens nearly wide-open, which further restricts depth of field.