Q: Here's another hint for beating inflation in addition to the ones you suggested. I shoot Eastman Kodak Type 5247 film. It's a quality 35-mm film used by the motion-picture industry and is re-spooled for still photography.
Its normal ASA rating is 100, but it can be pushed to ASA 200 or even ASA 400. When it's developed you get slides, negatives and a fresh roll of film for a very reasonable charge of $4.95. The initial roll is 60 percent below Kodak KR 135-36 list price. A: Indeed this is a good anti-inflation suggestion. Type 5247 has been out for some time and can be ordered through labs that specialize in this film. (An interesting aside is that whole concept of 35-mm grew out of the idea of using re-spooled movie film).
Best of all, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to give it a try -- you might like it.
One lab that advertises in Popular Photography and specialized in Type 5247 has three country-wide locations: MSI/Heritage Color Lab, P.O. Box 2736, Portland, Oregon, 97208; Msi/Heritage Color Lab, P.O. Box 31230, Jamaica, New York 11430; and Msi/Blow-Up Photo Lab., P.O. Box 2075, Woodland Hills, California 91364. These offer four rolls of 36-exposure 5247 for $6. Thanks. Q: I have a 35-mm camera that synchronizes for strobe-flash at 1/60th of a second. I like to take flash-sun synch pictures, but often outdoors the light is too strong and after I stop all the way down I have to speed up the shutter past 1/60th. This results in only part of the negative's being exposed.
Is there a neutral-density filter that cuts down the amount of light so I can shoot at the slower speed without having to change film? A: Yes, not only is there a neutral-density filter available, but a graded series of 10, from 0.10 density up to 1.00. The 0.10 reduces exposure by a third of a stop and the 1.00 by 3 1/2 stops. The neutral filter densities that are the most popular are the 0.30, which cuts down to a one-stop difference; the 0.60, which gives two stops less and the 0.90, which cuts down three stops.
There are other uses for neutral-density filters: You can use them to cut the light so the lens can be opened up for those glamor portrait shots in which the background is blurred.
Another technique you can try with the aid of nietral-density filters is shooting action pictures with a blurred background. This is done by panning (moving your camera with the motion of the subject as you shoot), and the advantage of a neutral-density filter is that you can use a slower shutter speed without changing to a slower film. So if you stop down to f/16 and there's still too much light to shoot at a slow shutter speed like 1/30th of a second because your meter says 1/25th, by simply puttin go on a 0.60 neutral-density filter you can shoot at 1/30th. Q: Recently you said that there's no way to get even exposure on an indepth flash picture. Shame on you for forgetting bounce flash! If you can keep the direct flash off the subject, you can get beautiful results with this technique. A: Right you are, but bounce flash is somewhat complicated. The flash has to be either equipped with a swivel head or there has to be some way to take it off the camera so it can be pointed up at the ceiling. But since most simple flash units are fixed, my suggestion for a fixed-flash shot of an in-depth flash picture, such as a group seated at a table, was to move to the side. This way relatively the same amount of light reaches all the faces, rather than burning up those in the foreground and leaving the background ones in the dark.
If you can take your flash off the camera so the light can be tilted up toward the ceiling, or if the flash unit has a swivel head so the light can be turned up you can use bounce flash to even out the light. What bounce flash does is spread out the light by reflectin off the ceiling to light both near and far subjects more evenly.
For a bounce-flash technique a white, or very light, ceiling is the best at normal room height (approximately eight feet) so there's not too much loss of light.
A word of caution: There will be some loss of light with bounce flash. To compensate, open up two full stops -- that is, if the direct-flash setting is f/5.6, then open up to f/2.8 for bounce. Q: I have two things in adbundance; a big boxful of mostly 116 film negatives and rolls of reversible 8-mm movie film.
On the film negatives dating back to 1924 I must have some pictures of my mother, but I don't want to print them all up to see. Is there any better way than holding them up to the light to see what's on the negative?
The movie film is another problem: I can't seem to locate a used 8-mm editor or rent one. I would like to examine all of this film to find out of my mother's picture is on some of it. Any suggestions? A: The best suggestion I have for the negatives is to project them through an enlarger or to use a magnifying glass and improvise a light table by using a piece of white plastic with a light bulb behind it; then you place the film on the plastic to examine it.
For the film editor, try photo-supply stores in your area. You don't have to visit all of them -- a phone call will do. Surely you'll be able to find a used 8-mm film editor at a reasonable price. Q: I have a zoom lens and would like to take some of those fancy shots with a sharp image in the center and blurry lines on the outside. What is the technique for this? A: First set your camera on a tripod and focus on the center of your scene with the zoom lens racked out to its longest focal length. Then stop down to the smallest f/ value -- f/16 or even f/22. Next adjust the shutter speed to the stopped-down aperture. This should give you 1/2 second to a full second on slow to average color film, of ASA 25 to ASA 64.
The final step is to release the shutter and at the same time move the lens to its shortest focal length. This will give you a sharp center with the long lens and a blur as you pull back to the wide angle.
This technique takes a bit of coordination; try a few dry runs before taking the action shot.