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.
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Protecting The Front Element
Q. While working in a brush and wooded area doing bird photography, I soon discovered how hard it is to protect the front glass on a long lens. What are the best ways of protecting those lenses, especially the front glass? What about UV filters? Or does anyone make a clear glass filter mount for use as a lens protector?
R. Bennett
via e-mail

A. Either a UV or Skylight 1A filter will protect the front surface optics of any lens. For years seasoned and experienced photographers have kept one of these neutral filters on the front of each lens that might be subjected to harmful weather or other types of adverse conditions, such as dust or sand. They should offer the protection you seek while shooting nature images in the brush and woods. Simply look for either a UV or Skylight filter (there is little difference between them and no filter factor to alter your exposure) in the proper size to fit your lens thread. Firms that offer this protective type of filter include: B+W, Heliopan, Hoya, Sunpak, and Tiffen. Some camera brands also offer filters. While looking through some websites I noticed that there is a Nikon NC (Neutral Clear) protection filter. If your local dealer does not stock this filter you can purchase it online at one of the major firms that advertise in Shutterbug.

Kodak Tourist Camera
Q. I have a Kodak Tourist folding camera from the 1950s in very clean condition that functions well. It has shutter speeds up to 1⁄200 sec, and it also has synchronizers for clear and wired flash bulbs. It has a non-hot shoe and a 105mm f/4.5 Kodak Anaston lens. It uses 620 film. What is this camera worth? Are color and/or black-and-white film available for it? If so, where can the film be developed and printed?
Emanuel J. Rubin, MD
via e-mail

A. Your Kodak Tourist folding camera was offered from 1948-’51. The best version of this camera, with a Synchro-Rapid 800 shutter, has a current price of $55-$85; the more basic model you have now sells for $15-$30. Yes, you can still obtain 620 film. Check with B&H in New York City (800-947-9960; and Central Camera Company in Chicago (800-421-1899; and other large mail-order firms as I’m sure a few others carry it also. One of the labs that can still process and print most types of 620 is Dwayne’s Photo (800-522-3940; Another firm is Specialty Color Services in Santa Barbara (800-207-7927; You might want to look over the firms that advertise in our monthly Photo Lab Showcase section of each issue for other labs that can accept your 620 film for processing and printing. By the way, if the camera has not been used for many years you might want to limber up the shutter by cocking and firing it several dozen times at most of the higher shutter speeds prior to loading film into it for your first trial shoot. When blade shutters have not been used for years they tend to become sluggish and slow. This will help get the shutter functioning at hopefully the proper shutter speed once again.

Polaroid 600 Film
Q. Where can I find Polaroid film to fit my Polaroid One 600 camera? Another question concerns the new forthcoming Polaroid GL30 camera shown in the April issue of Popular Mechanics. When will it hit the market?
Joseph E. Schietecatte
Fremont, MI

A. I can help you with locating film to feed your Polaroid 600 camera if you will settle for black-and-white prints.
That seems to be the only film available today for this popular series of instant cameras. A pack of PX 600 Silver Shade eight-exposure instant film is available for $23.50 at This film is not made by Polaroid, as they no longer offer any instant film in this size, but it’s said to be suitable for use in traditional Polaroid 600 cameras and produces monochrome instant prints. In addition, it’s usable in the even older Polaroid SX-70 series of SLR cameras, but requires use of a Neutral Density (ND) filter for proper exposure. As to the Polaroid GL30 12-megapixel digital camera, I scoured the Internet and found it is intended for use with the Polaroid GL10 Instant Printer, which uses a thermal ink technology called Zink.
I called Polaroid information at (877) 456-6055 and found this new camera product still has not been released and there is no pricing at this time. You might want to call them yourself in the late summer or fall when more information and pricing should be available.