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The purpose of the HELP! column is to provide solutions to photographic problems, to find sources of supply and to identify cameras. HELP! is not a pricing or appraisal service, and cannot provide values for old equipment. There are several good guide books available from our advertisers which give prices. Thanks for your cooperation!

Several alert HELP! readers saw my November 1998 reply to reader Sydney Wolfe who was seeking a source for Liquid Light and sent detailed information about where they obtain this product. One reader, Daniel Zirinsky, even sent copies of instructions on using the product and the firm's current address which is: Rockland Colloid Corp., PO Box 376, Piermont, NY 10968; (914) 359-5559; web site at Mail order sources include: B&H Photo, 420 9th Ave., New York, NY 10001; (800) 947-9002 for orders only, who offer this product in their monthly ad. Light Impressions, 439 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY 14607; (716) 271-8960, where 8 oz. costs $22.75, or Porter's Camera Store, PO Box 628, Cedar Falls, IA 50613; (888) 767-8377, where a pint bottle lists for $33.95. We appreciate these readers bringing this oversight on what should have been obvious sources of this unique product to my attention. We will forward this information to reader Wolfe.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I need a copy of the instructions for a General Electric exposure meter type PR-1.
Mike Basham
Louisville, KY

A. My usual recommendation is to contact John Craig, PO Box 1637, Torrington, CT 06790; (860)496-9791. At a photo swap meet recently I learned of another firm that also specializes in old photo product instruction books. Finger Lakes Photo Books, PO Box 309, Aurora, NY 13026; (315) 364-9581. Hopefully one of these will be able to assist you. I sincerely doubt that GE would have instructions still available for a product that has been discontinued for about 20 years.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. Recently at a local garage sale I ran across a Nimslo 3D camera that was new in the box. I took it home, put it together, and ran a roll of film through it. When I sent it to a post office box in Atlanta, Georgia as directed, my film came back unprocessed and I was told the PO Box was closed. Now where can I send the film to be processed?
D. Allen Zander
Calumet City, IL

A. I have several firms listed in my files that still process and print color negatives exposed in various brands and models of three and four lens 3D cameras. One in NimsTec, 4850 River Green Pkwy., Duluth, GA 30096; (770) 497-0727. They can process and print negatives made by NimsTec, Nishika, or Nimslo cameras. In addition, they make color enlargements from 5x7 up to 27x36" for display. Another is Weber's 3D Photo of America, Inc., 246 Grand St., New York, NY 10002; (212) 431-5580. Finally there is 3D Image Technology, Inc., 5172-G Brook Hollow Pkwy., Norcross, GA 30071; (770) 416-8848. The last firm can process and print three-lens 3D lenticular images. But they do not do four lens negatives. I would contact each of these labs and find out what the processing and printing charges are before sending any film to them. I have not had any recent contact with any of them so am not positive they still are offering this service or what their charges are today. Be forewarned, in the past the price for processing and printing 3D pictures was considerably more than conventional 35mm film processing and printing and takes a week or longer.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I own several high quality point-and-shoot cameras. Leica CZX2, Rollei Prego 90, and Yashica T4. I like to shoot landscapes and/or scenics. My problem is I like to use a lot of black and white film but none of these cameras will take a filter (polarizer, yellow, orange, red, etc.). What do you suggest?
Paul G. Hoffman
Berkeley, CA

A. As you have discovered, most recent models of point-and-shoot cameras have no thread for attaching filters or anything else to the lens. I don't know of any method of attaching a filter to such cameras. Besides, even if you were able to attach a filter, since they do not have TTL exposure metering, there would be no method for adjusting the exposure to account for the filter factor. If any of your cameras has exposure compensation, you could approximate the increased exposure needed. Today all products, even the high quality models, seem to be targeted for the individual looking for a really simple, easy to use camera without all the extra attachment features we used to find commonplace. For instance, few new compact cameras have a cable release socket. I believe several years ago Lindahl introduced an acrylic filter holder that attached via the tripod socket to the base of a camera so you could use filters that require precise positioning (such as a polarizer, graduated density, etc.). This was intended for use with AF cameras having a rotating lens that would change the filter position when the focus was adjusted. I believe you might be able to use this with your compact camera. To check on this or obtain their catalog, contact: Lindahl Specialties, Inc., PO Box 1365, Elkhart, IN 46515; (219) 296-7823.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I seek the wisdom of the assembled experts here on the Internet. I'm a magazine editor for whom portrait photography is a secondary duty. (I take photos of the subjects of Q&A interviews.) My question is--if you were me and had to pack all your photo gear (Nikon 35mm system) into just one carryon sized hard case, what would you select to get the job done? Lighting is one obvious limitation, and lens variety is the other. Tripods and umbrellas seem to require more bulk than I can manage (given everything else one takes on business travel) so that's why I stick with one carryon case. Are there compact solutions (lighting expecially) I should look into? FWIW at the moment I use an N6006 with the 28-80 and 80-200 zooms (variable aperture, not the pro-grade fixed) and an 85 1.8, plus a Metz flash. Backup body is that cute little seldom-sung EM with an E series 50 1.8. If you had this crazy assignment--very limited cubic footage--how would you fill the case? I've been shooting with Nikons for 15 years but am still very much an amateur--not enough talent in this feeble brain to make a living with a camera. Words I can do wonders with. With film I get acceptable results but not remarkable ones. Improving steadily at 50 or so rolls per year--usually 10-15 percent of all shots are at least worth considering for use in the magazine. Yours in curiosity.
Jim M. Gifford
via Internet

A. You did not say whether your Metz flash for your Nikon SLR was a shoe mount unit or handle mount connected via a PC cord. If it is a shoe mount Metz, get a dedicated off-camera cord that allows you to hand hold the flash at arm's length above and to the left of the camera. Just getting the one main flash up and away from the lens a few feet helps single flash lighting immensely since the shadow now goes down below the person's head instead of directly behind it. For even better lighting, get a Lumiquest white diffuser (that folds flat when not in use) or one of the other similar brands of folding units that will attach to the flash head to soften the light output. With either of these modifications you still retain full dedication automatic operation with TTL metering for exposures. A third improvement would be to obtain a small slave flash, such as the Morris Mini or the many clones. It's about the size of a small tape measure and can be placed practically anywhere such as behind the subject to either light the background, or pointed toward their head to provide some side or back lighting which helps separate the head from the background. The light from the slave is weak and will not alter your primary light appreciably. These all are easy to come by, moderate priced items and not particularly bulky for carrying along. If your Metz flash is a handle mount with dedicated connecting cord, you can still get a Lumiquest that will fit it and the Morris slave. I hope this will assist you in your travels to obtain easier portraits to illustrate your articles.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I recently inherited an old Pentax camera and I'm trying to find some information about it. It is a Honeywell Pentax H3 No. 440XXX. The thing that I find unusual is that the body is brass not chrome or nickel-plated. I called Pentax in Colorado and all they could find was an H3V. I hope you can find some info on this camera.
James Dacyczyn
Leeds, ME

A. I checked with my contacts at Pentax and they told me the H3V model had a self-timer, otherwise they were the same. He further said that the camera was not manufactured as a brass model and thought possibly the finish had worn off. That's about all I can provide in additional information for you.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I was recently given the bad news that a roll of irreplaceable Ektachrome had been accidentally run through C-41 (color negative) processing instead of E-6 (color transparency processing). With all of the computer generated imaging options available today, is there not some way to scan the negatives, correct the color balance, and digitally reconstruct the image back as a transparency? If so, who might do this?
Paul Meschter
Collegeville, PA

A. I called Kodak's hotline (800 242-2424) to try to find a solution for your dilemma. They did not know of any digitizing process but suggested you might want to have most any lab try to print your negative (that does not have the usual orange color negative mask) sandwiched with a strip of clear color negative film to serve as the needed orange mask. This, with a bit of "tweaking" by the printer operator should produce an acceptable color print. If this can be done, a pro lab should be able to use the same method to produce a color transparency from the negative in the same manner as they produce transparencies from normal color negatives. It sounds like a feasible solution to me and should be worth trying.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. The photo I sent to you is of one of the hydrometers I have. The other one was made by Burke and James. It is definitely not an actinometer unless the photo of the actinometer I have seen is mislabeled. I have also seen a definition that states an actinometer is an exposure meter built like a pocket watch and is also called a tint meter. I am interested in what photo process was used for it. I have shown the photo to many collectors of photographic equipment and all they can tell me is that they are hydrometers or give me the definition of what an actinometer is. Thanks.
Richard R. Conway
Clearlake, CA

A. The photo provided (along with a ruler which provided scale) was of a 6.5 long, thin glass tube with two bulbs at one end. Inside the tube was this writing "Actinometer Temp. 60 degrees F. Eastman Kodak Co."
One old 1957 vintage photo dictionary of mine gave this definition. Actinometer: An early type of exposure meter which measured the strength of the incident light by the time taken to darken a piece of sensitive paper to a standard tint. But this sure does not describe what was in the photo. So, I called Kodak's hotline (800 242-2424) and they could not find anything mentioning actinometer in their computer database. They suggested you might be able to find out something more about the unit by calling George Eastman House at (716) 271-3361. Their hours are 10am-4:30pm Eastern time Tuesday through Saturday. Hopefully they might be able to assist in identifying your item, as I don't have any further suggestions to offer.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. Does anybody publish an illustrated used camera price guide that not only lists cameras, specifications, and all of their accessories but pictures of them as well? I know it is asking a lot, but I buy all of my equipment from the advertisers' sections of Shutterbug and need to see what I'm buying. I would be more than happy to pay for such a price guide. If any reader knows about such a thing, fax me at (509) 628-9548 or contact me at (509) 628-9818.
Jim Fairbank
111505 E. Fairbank PRSE
Kennewick, WA 99338

A. I have about a dozen reference books for older equipment I normally refer to when attempting to identify older equipment readers write about. Unfortunately, most only illustrate cameras (either with a photo or drawing on the older items), include a brief description of the camera, and give recent prices, usually in dollars. If accessories are mentioned, it is normally only in text with no illustration of the item. Of the books I have McBroom's Camera Bluebook probably comes the closest to what you seek. It lists the cameras by manufacturer, has photos of the cameras, and also lists many of the lenses, flash units, and other accessories giving pricing new and in several levels of used conditions. One book does have illustrations of nearly all of the products mentioned, Kennedy's International Camera Price Guide has one-quarter page photo and text on each item. Other books have fewer photos. McKeown's Price Guide to Cameras is one of the thicker books, but there are illustrations on only about one-fourth of the items; The Register of 35mm Single Lens Reflex Cameras by Rudolph Lea also does not have photos of all items but the text is more detailed; finally The Blue Book from Hove includes brief descriptions on many cameras and photos of some of them. I hope this brief list will assist you in locating a reference book to assist you in buying equipment. If any of our readers know of other helpful books, they can contact you directly at your phone/fax numbers, which you provided. Good luck in your quest.
Robert E. Mayer