Q. Is there a device to make 3x5-inch reprints from 35mm slides at home?

A. Yes. It's called the Vivitar slide printer, and uses Polaroid film. It sells for about $100. I haven't used this device, but information about it came with a reasonable recommendation.

Personally, I like to take my slides to my camera store and, if they're shot on Kodak material, I have them sent to Kodak. They make an inter- negative and then prints. It takes a little longer, and it sometimes costs a bit more, but it's worth it to me.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

Q. I own a Nikon FG and a Minolta 135mm lens (from a camera I previously owned). I'd like to know if there is, in the market, any type of interface or converter that will allow me to fit my FG with the said Minolta lens.

Some stores I've been to claim that the converters don't exist, others merely say they don't stock them. Can you shed any light on this?

A. I spoke to a Minolta representative about this and he said that he was sorry, but the answer is no. You can't interconnect these two pieces of equipment. Having said that, however, I must quickly add that there are machinists and tool makers in this world who could, I think, make an adapter to fit anything to anything. But your best bet is to consider a new lens for your Nikon and not let yourself be talked into special equipment.

PHOTO CONTESTS

* The Thomas Jefferson Community Center of Arlington, with Penn Camera Exchange Inc., is sponsoring the Fifth Annual Northern Virginia Photography Show, which will be on display March 7 to 28.

All metro area residents may enter. Subject matter is open, except for nudes, which will not be accepted.

Cash awards of $200 will be presented to winners in each of the following categories: landscape, objects, people/portraits, animals and experimental.

The cost is $5 per entry, with a maximum of two entries. Entries must be submitted by February 28, at the community center, 3501 Second Street South, Arlington.

For more information, call the community center at 553-8618 or 553-8522.

* A photo contest to promote awareness and preservation of the Dora Kelly Nature Park in Alexandria is being sponsored by the Ramsay Nature Center, Mark Winkler Management Inc. and Skyline Color Labs.

The focus is on nature pictures. There are lots of prizes, including $100 in processing and services in the adult category, and a pair of Nikon binoculars in the youth category. The adult category is 15 years and over; the age range for youths is seven through 14.

The entry fee is $3 per photo, with a maximum or five entries. Registration is at the Ramsay Nature Center, 5700 Sanger Ave., Alexandria, and closes March 1. For more information, call 838-4829.

* Howard County Community College in Columbia will sponsor a photography contest the week of April 6-12 to celebrate National Library Week. The theme of the contest will be "A Community of Readers." It's open to amateur and professional photographers, with prizes awarded for both black-and-white and color.

The entry deadline is March 17. There is no fee to enter. An official entry form listing contest rules is available at the library's circulation desk, Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. 301/964-4921.