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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!

Re: A question by Gary Hill about German lens makers in last month's issue, pg. 278. Most of these great old German lens makers have fallen victim to competition from the Far East and gone out of business. This was the fate of Heinz Kilfitt, Steinheil, and Schacht. Hugo Meyer was reorganized after German reunification (they were in the former East Germany) into Meyer Optik, but have dropped out of the camera lens business due to competition and now produce industrial optics.
Bob Shell

Re: De Vere distribution in the US. It has come to our attention that TruTrak Imaging Equipment recently moved. Contact them at PO Box 790, Hurlock, MD 21643; (410) 943-1100; fax: (410) 943-1200.
Bob Shell

Q. I have hit the proverbial stone wall and need your assistance. I am greatly interested in nighttime starlight photography. I wish to explore the use of fast ISO film speeds, ambient lighting without any manner of artificial lighting, coupled with minimal use of infrared film and that source of lighting. I am a serious amateur and full-time journalist/photojournalist student at Eastern Wash-
ington University. Living in Spokane with all resources available has led to no avail on this issue of nighttime "starlight" photography. I have been unsuccessful finding anybody within the Spokane area with any experience in night vision photography or the equipment necessary to facilitate film development and printing of the above. This encompasses black and white and color film. Any information, assistance, etc., on the topic would be of immense help.
Mark R. Borgman
Spokane, WA

A. Since this is far out of my expertise area, I asked a friend, Alan Mitterling for some tips, since he has an observatory and does this type of photography as a serious hobby. In a printout entitled "Tips for Better Astrophotos" I excerpted the following advice. Objects need to be as high up as possible to reduce atmospheric distortion. Photograph only on clear nights. Buy film that has been sensitized or find someone who can sensitize it for you since this will give you a 4 to 15 fold in long duration increase in film speed needed for long duration exposures. He uses Kodak T-Max pushed to ISO 1600 and Kodak Ektachrome 800-1600P pushed to 800 or 1600. Use as fast a lens as possible to reduce the necessity of guiding the telescope. For instance, an object that takes 5 minutes exposure with a f/2 lens will take 80 minutes with a f/8 lens with the same film speed. Keep a logbook of your various objects, equipment used, results, etc. For further guidance, Mitterling suggested the following web sites:

A book to research is Astro-photography for the Amateur by Michael A. Covington. There is a magazine titled Astronomy that would be good reference, also. The data was gleaned from dozens of pages of text Mitterling gave me. I realize it is rather sketchy, but there just is not enough room to include much more in a HELP! column response. We hope this will help you find some additional reference data to assist you.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I have several large prints that have been mounted in glass frames for the past few years. However, for some reason or the other, most of the prints have become fused in spots to the glass, and I can't seem to be able to separate them from the glass without the emulsion tearing in the process. I would greatly appreciate your checking to see if there is a solution available that would help me resolve my problem.
Art Grobes
Philadelphia, PA

A. I posed your question to two local framing shops but they did not have any definitive answer or suggestions. The consensus of opinion was to soak the glass with the stuck photo in cold water for an hour or so, then gently try to lift or peel it off. If you have some common photographic wetting agent (normally used to rinse film in after processing to assist in the removal of water without leaving spots) this would help soften the emulsion and make it more pliable. Of course you would then have to dry the photo afterward before remounting it. If the paper is of recent vintage it probably is an RC (Resin Coated) material which air dries without curling when hung from a clothes pin or something in a dust free area. You don't say if the photos are black and white or color or approximately how old they are which might have helped some in trying to diagnose your problem.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I would appreciate very much if you could help me with some information on the following camera, the Graflex - Graphic 35 with a Prontor-SVS f/2.8 50mm lens. What company made it? When? Where? The camera needs repairs. Is there anyplace we could send it or could we get parts for it or is it worth repairing?
Fred Tompkins
Washburn, ME

A. Graflex, Inc. of Rochester, New York, made the camera in 1955. They are probably best known for their broad line of large format press cameras and the R B Graflex 4x5 SLR with different models made from the turn of the century until the 1970s. They also offered a few models of 35mm rangefinders, 120 TLR cameras, and stereo cameras. Yours is one of several rather unusual 35mm cameras they made. One of my camera collector reference books lists your camera under the heading "Unusual, Impractical and Very Collectable." The reason they put it in this category is due to the unusual two finger, push-button, focusing system that requires placing a finger from each hand on each of two buttons that protruded from the front for a push-in focusing action. In addition, the shutter release is on the front right side of the body just below the focusing button where it can be tripped using the middle finger without moving the index finger from the focusing button. So it was fast operating. Although the camera was made in America, the lens and shutter were imported from Germany. Several of my books show it with an f/3.5 lens, not the f/2.8 you have. I seriously doubt if it would be worth repairing even if you could locate somebody with the needed parts. A later Graphic Jet model has similar focusing, a built-in meter, and was powered by a CO2 cartridge which would operate the camera for six to eight rolls of film. Although seldom found in an operative condition today, this model still commands a better price because it was more unique. Your camera is just an interesting model from a now defunct but well-known photographic firm.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I collect and use subminiatures and have some 16mm cameras that I particularly like to use. But I have lost my contacts to buy film and processing. Can you tell me who still sells film for Minolta 16mm, also who offers processing services?
Harold E. Groner
Sulphur Springs, TX

A. Since Minolta stopped handling 16mm film a few years ago, we have had a number of inquiries on the subject. A friend at Minolta recommended accessing this web site at: When I opened this site on the Internet I found they have a number of categories such as: The Newsstand; The Library; The Camera Shop (which includes a film counter listing where to buy 16mm film); and The Darkroom. If you cannot access the web yourself, check with your local library. They often have a few computers with Internet access available in hour-long blocks of time so you can access this site and gain firsthand information from people currently using this film format. Hope this assists both of you in your 16mm quest.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I have tried blue books and cannot find information on a camera. It is a 1950s style with name of Petina having a selenium meter and Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 lens. The camera seems operational, except for the meter. Any help will be appreciated.
Pete O. Keffe
308 McCone St.
Rockville, IN 47872

A. I searched through the alphabetical index of six of my better used camera guides and found no listing for the Petina brand anywhere. With the 50mm Carl Zeiss Tessar lens it must be a 35mm camera, and probably is German in origin, but that's about all I can guess. I know I have never heard of this product name myself. If any of our broad readership knows anything about this obscure brand name, I'm sure they will get in contact with you. For this purpose, we will publish your full mailing address so they can contact you directly. Sorry I could not be of more direct assistance.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I have a Miranda Cadius II incident light meter and a 21/4 TLR camera Super Richoflex. Both were bought many years ago. I'm searching for an instruction manual for both. They are in excellent condition. Here in my northern area of the province of Quebec, Canada, there is no real possibility to find out easily about old materials such as the ones I'm writing for. Thanks.
J. J. Ouellet
St. Felicine, Quebec

A. In this country, there are two primary sources for original and/or copies of old camera and related product instruction books. One is: John S. Craig, Box 1637, Torrington, CT 06790; (860) 496-9791. The other one is: Finger Lakes Photo Books, PO Box 1002, Elbridge, NY 13060; (315) 251-3661. This latter firm can be also accessed on the Internet at: www. Hopefully one or the other will have the instruction books you seek.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. Do you know of any sources for repair parts for Nikor paper trimmers? I need replacement cutting wheel assemblies. I'd really like to be able to buy another Nikor trimmer if I could find one.
Joe Finocchi
Worthington, OH

A. I don't know of any source for Nikor trimmer parts. Several firms do offer their versions of rotary trimmers and possibly some of the parts might be compatible with your Nikor model. The firms are: The Tiffen Co., 21 Jet View Dr., Rochester, NY 14624; (800) 394-3686, (716) 328-7800; fax: (716) 328-4186; and Doran Enterprises, 2779 S 34th St., Mil-
waukee, WI 53215; (414) 645-0109.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. I own an older Minolta SLR. I'm trying to locate a source for camera cases, as mine is worn out. Naturally, I contacted the manufacturer and they politely informed me that they are no longer available through them. They suggested that I try your magazine. I have accessed classified ads through your web site without any success. Do you have any suggestions? The model in question is the SR-T 201. Thanks for any help that you can offer.
D. Buono
via Internet

A. Very few SLRs come with flip-open eveready cases today so it is difficult to find one for current models let alone one for your Minolta SR-T 201 from the 1980s. So, I doubt if you will be able to find a hard leather case that will fit your SLR. It seems that most photographers now use gadget bags for carrying a camera plus a few other accessories. However, there are several firms that offer soft neoprene SLR camera cases that fit a multitude of different SLR camera bodies. This type of universal soft case covers just the camera with a normal or short zoom lens and offers protection when the camera is carried by the neckstrap. Two of the firms that offer these soft cases are Op/Tech USA (800) 251-7815 and Zing Designs (now available through The Tiffen Co. (800) 394-3686). I don't believe either of these firms will sell direct, but if you contact them, they should be able to give you the names of dealers in your area that stock their products.
Robert E. Mayer

Q. Can you recommend a low-contrast, daylight-balanced film suitable for copying slides? I will be copying a large number of slides using an old Honeywell Repronar. The Repronar utilizes a xenon flash and the only copy films I can find are tungsten-balanced. I'm not sure if the flash output is high enough for tungsten-to-daylight filtration. Thank you for your time.
Fred Schroeder
via Internet

A. Better (that is, large, stock house) dealers often stock Kodak Ektachrome slide duplicating film. It is normally offered in 100' bulk rolls for loading into cassettes yourself, but some dealers also carry the film in 36 exposure cassettes. There are two versions of this duplicating film, Type K (for Kodachrome slides) and Type E (for Ektachrome slides). Although this film is balanced for tungsten light sources it can be filtered over for use with daylight electronic flash lighting such as found in your Repronar. You then use the required gelatin 2B filter plus CC15M + CC55Y color correction filters. You will have to run exposure tests on a trial roll to determine the "ballpark" exposure to use, so purchase a few rolls. There is Fujichrome Duplicating film CDU, but I don't presently have sample rolls of it to refer to the data sheet. One or the other of these two brands of film should be just what you need. Be sure to order the filters along with the film, as they too are not readily available at local camera stores.
Robert E. Mayer