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Beginner Questions
by Chuck McKern

With over 12 years of retail and professional experience Chuck thought he'd heard it all - until he took this job.

Send us your questions for either the Beginner or Advanced columns by clicking HERE.  Please include as much detail about the technique, camera, lens, or film as you can so Chuck can answer your questions.

Hello, just curious if maybe you might know of any photography schools in Florida?

Frank Pappagallo

The only art/photography school I know of in Florida is Ringling School of Art and Design at in Sarasota. 

You should also try major universities. Most offer very good photography programs. Also try community colleges in your area. Some have programs that rival what you'll find at large universities. 

If you don't find a good program in your area, check out New York Institute of Photography. They have a correspondence photography program. You can visit them at

If any readers are familiar with Florida schools drop me a line and I'll pass them on to Frank.

I have booked marked your page and will use it often. I have a meter from Adorama in New York. It is a Tundra model # EF-1 made in Japan. I want to give it to a friend but I need the manual for it. Can you help me????

Thank you for your time,
Henry B Carhuff

The best place to start looking for owners manuals is to contact the manufacturer first. 

If the equipment is old, and the manufacturer no longer carries the manuals, the best person to contact would be John Craig. He specializes in getting copies of manuals and documentation for older equipment. You can reach him through his web site

If he doesn't have it listed on his site, email him. He may be able to help you locate it.

Do you know anyone who will develop an old roll of Kodachrome film? I have an old roll that I would like to get developed and I can't find anyone who will do it for me.


One of the best places to get those older and more obscure processes done is from a company called Rocky Mountain Film Lab. You can reach them at: 

Rocky Mountain Film Lab
560 Geneva Street
Aurora, CO 

Their phone number is (303)364-6444 or visit their web site at

I would suggest either calling them or emailing them with the details of your roll before sending it to them.

I own two "obsolete" Asahi Pentax single lens reflex 35mm cameras that are 20 and 30 years old. I have recently been trying to find a repair facility that can repair the internal light meters. Pentax says they no longer even service the old Spotmatic or MX models that I own. Where can I get such old cameras fixed?

Jim Stevens

A lot of repair facilities won't touch a camera that they can no longer get factory parts for. There are a few companies that have gone to the expense to add machine shops to their facilities which would allow them to modify parts to fit older models.

One repair facility that I know of that has a machine shop and caters to photographers around the world is Tempe Camera Repair in Tempe Arizona. You can check them out at Email or call them with what you have before sending it to them. If they can't help you out, I am sure they could refer you to a place that will still service those old models.

How to get the best picture with 400 and 800 speed? The camera is a Minolta STsi Maxum with an AF28-80 zoom. Shooting under fluorescent lighting.

Thank you in advance for your help,

Shooting with 400 or 800 speed film is very similar to shooting with any other speed film. For shooting under florescent lights, I would recommend using Fuji Superia X-tra. It is available in both 400 and 800 speed. This film offers a fine grain and also has a fourth color layer added to the normal three. This fourth layer helps produce accurate color under artificial lighting.

If you are using a flash attachment go for the 400; and the 800 if you are using the built in flash (or if you need a greater distance than 400 would allow for your attachment). If you are using flash, avoid shooting directly into highly reflective surfaces (such as windows, mirrors, etc). This would cause blown out highlights called hot spots that take away from a photograph. Also, try to avoid any objects that are close to the camera if you are trying to shoot something in the distance. The flash will hit the close subject and blow it out, again taking away from the distant subject.

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