PORTRAIT AWARD CALL

THE fourth year of the John Kobal Portrait Award, with a prize fund of £5,000, is sponsored by The Times Magazine, Finnemore and Field group, and the John Kobal Foundation. The winners and best entries will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, RPS, and other venues. The closing date is June 7th 1996 and entry forms can be obtained from the John Kobal Foundation, PO Box 3838, London NW1 3JF, England.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 383 2979, fax 0171 383 0044. E-mail address if available - .


BOOKS SOUGHT

TEN thousand pound prizes and runners-up awards of £1,000 each are on offer in the 1996 Kraszna-Kraus Book Awards for the best books on photography, in any language, in two categorie – Art Culture & History, and Craft Technology & Applications. Books published between June 1994 and May 1996 are eligible. For entry forms write to 122 Fawnbrake Avenue, London SE24 0BZ, England. The entry deadline in July 1st 1996.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 738 6701, fax . E-mail address if available - .


SFX FILM

ILFORD’s prototype near infra-red black and white film, which was tested last year in Photon, is now available commercially as SFX 200, named for the ‘special effects’ it can create with red filters. It can be loaded in norml daylight and needs no special processing – push developing to EI 800 is claimed, and its red sensitivity extends to 740nm.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 636 7890, fax . E-mail address if available - .


LEICA SHARE?

LEICA Camera Group is to be floated on the stock market by Leica, which will retain a minority shareholding, as will the group’s management team. The 5DM common bearer shares are to be quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and Union Bank of Switzerland and Westdeutsche Landesbanke will jointly lead the launch.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel +49 6442 208 404, fax . E-mail address if available - .


TAMRON QUALITY

TAMRON has achieved international quality recognition to ISO-9002 certification for its Hirosaki plant in northern Japan, which manufactures lenses for 35mm cameras, CCTV cameras, video camcorders and also makes other lines including the Fotovix. Tamron is the first such independent lens maker to achieve this standard.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01923 212214, fax . E-mail address if available - .


PHOTO COVER

INSURANCE record photography make sure your valuables are catalogued visually and can reduce premiums or help recover stolen items. Now Firstcall Photographic has a home contents inventory album, which you complete by photographing rooms and valuables and filling in lists. The system is undergoing trials with two insurance companies.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01823 413007, fax . E-mail address if available - .


CANON’S SHOT

A SHOT over the bows of competitors from Canon, the Ixus Advanced Photo System SLR will take existing EF lenses and is designed, like Canon’s miniaturised APS compact Ixus, with a metallic body. An Ixus of similar design but with a fixed 22.5 to 90mm 4x zoom lens is to be released at the same time. The SLR model will have mid-roll change.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0181 773 3437, fax . E-mail address if available - .


METZ POWER

EXTERNAL high capacity rechargeable battery packs have been launched by Metz to go with Mecablitz flashguns. Similar in function to Quantum or System batteries, the powerpacks give high flash capacity, short recycling, and a visual capacity display. The P40 plugs directly into the battery chamber of the 40 MZ-1, 32 Z-1, 32 Z-2 or 32 MZ-3 and extends battery life by three times compared to nicads. It recharges in 90 minutes and can take a cable for umbilical use in low temperatures. The P50 is a belt battery which reduces recycling times through microprocessor control; it fits the 45 CL1, 3 and 4 and the 50 MZ-5.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0181 903 3435, fax . E-mail address if available - .


HOME GROWN

A BOOK on the history of British cameras, which took ten years of research by Photographic Collectors Club members Norman Channing and Mike Dunn, is now available from Classic Collection Photo Books for £29.95. It lists 1,400 models in 160 pages, with 136 illustrations, in hardback form measuring 197 x 210mm.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 831 6000, fax . E-mail address if available - .


MINI UW STROBE

A COMPACT underwater electronic flash compatible with Nikon, Nikonos and Sea & Sea marine cameras, the YS-20SS has a GN of 14 and is designed for slave use in close-up, macro, and multi head photography. It costs £179 including VAT.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01803 663012, fax . E-mail address if available - .


SIGMA 28-105 OFFER

THE SIGMA ultra com pact 28-105mm ń4-5.6 UC lens, voted European Lens of the Year 94-95, is currently reduced in price by £50 in Sigma, Canon, Minolta, Nikon and Pentax Z AF mounts, plus a guaranteed additional £25 trade-in allowance for any AF midrange zoom.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0181 953 1688, fax . E-mail address if available - .


CANON CENTRE

A PROFESSIONAL EOS centre devoted just to the Canon SLR range has opened in Leeds Photovisual’s Brunswick Centre, London, branch. This follows the success of Leeds’s Mamiya Professional Centre which opened at the same branch late in 1995. The store promises to have the widest possible range of EOS system items in stock, including digital cameras, a 600mm lens, eyepiece correction lenses and more. Fast repairs and service, hire, promotional events and a newsletter are all planned.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0121 554 5500, fax . E-mail address if available - .


HUNTING A BAG?

SCORPIO camera holdalls, launched for the spring season by Guardforce (UK) Ltd as part of their Vanguard range, come in Hunting Green with tan trim. The exterior is 600 denier polyester, the interior 150 denier ‘silken’ lining, and the padded dividers are removable.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01844 213667, fax . E-mail address if available - .


BID FOR SUCCESS

A NEW concept in selling used cameras, The Camera Auction Company Ltd, has been launched by professional photographer Nick MacRae with its base in the heart of London’s traditional ‘photo district’, Kingsway in Holborn. Nick claims that there is a boom in modern classic camers from the 70s and that his monthly auctions of 400 or more lots will realise the best returns for photographers. Reserve prices can be set and a catalogue will be published and sent to buyers. The first auction is scheduled for a weekend date some time in May.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 831 8494, fax . E-mail address if available - .


NIKON LIT

A NEW telephone hotline for brochures has been set up by Nikon (UK) Limited, manned seven days a week with an automated facility after 9pm. Callers can give their own address to receive free literature – the call costs nothing – and can also be given, by the system, the addresses of up to three Nikon dealers near their home base. There is also a line for Ireland.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0800 230 220, Ireland 1 800 409 282, fax . E-mail address if available - .


HANCOCKS SOLD

THE lightbox manufacturing business – including digital flicker-free Softlights – of Hancocks Limited has been acquired by the Paterson Photax Group Limited. Manufacturing and worldwide distribution has moved to the group’s Tipton, West Midlands, factory where Courtenay lighting and Benbo tripods are made. Paterson see their sales activity extending into the graphic arts field as a result of the acquisition.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0121 522 2120, fax . E-mail address if available - .


TWO DECADES

SLIDEPACKS, makers of PVC and archival polypropylene slide filing sheets, celebrate 20 years of business this year. Recent innovations include security wallets which can be sealed, and are printed with a grid to prevent unauthorised use of library slides. The company also makes custom binders, folders and presentation packs printed with customer logos. Their catalogue includes light boxes, neg bags, magnifiers, mounts and many other associated products.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0181 954 7048, fax . E-mail address if available - .


FLIGHTY CASE

A SUPER compact alternative case to hold two standard Elinchrom flash heads has been introduced by The Flash Centre. The new British-made case still has room for two GP reflectors, two honeycombs, colour gels, leads and a Prolinca PFM flashmeter – which, along with a stand bag containing two stands, two brollies and a 60cm softbox, is what you get with two EL500 heads for £1,032 + VAT. The gasket-rimmed, foam-lined case measures just 47 x 18 x 35cm and can be stowed under most airline seats.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 837 61163, fax . E-mail address if available - .


IMATRONIC UPDATE

THE ENTIRE Imatronic range of audio-visual slide dissolve system hs been updated to comply with the latest standards in Europe and to be compatible with new technical developments. The SX Manual is entirely redesigned in a smaller casing; the SX200 and 200E, ideal for transproofing and lectures, can now be set to run automatically for window displays. The SXTwin is entirely redesigned, as is the SX2000 which now has an RS-232 interface for Ektapro projectors, and an optional Computer Pac upgrade for PC programming. The UX system includes three Arion-based Kodak PDC compatible models. There is a new Denon three-track tape deck, and a new SX Showmaker Professional using the new deck.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01245 225348, fax . E-mail address if available - .


TIGHTER FIT

AN ADAPTOR to use DHA Lighting’s precision etched metal gobos – projectable, heatproof stencils which fits into optical projection flash spotlights – now converts larger stage spotlights and fresnel studio lights to accept the smaller M nd B sized gobos. Because the pattern only occupies the very centre of the lens field with these larger spotlights, DHA say that the result can be very much sharper – as long as you have the space to get the projection distance right.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 771 2900, fax . E-mail address if available - .


LOW-COST COTTON

HAND produced fabric backgrounds using a new production technique, Colortone drops from Colorama are painted on cotton polyester, and are less stiff than traditional canvas or cloth designs. They can be draped, or used traditionally flat. The range includes six multi-coloured fabrics in two sizes.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0121 783 9931, fax . E-mail address if available - .


MOUNTED BLADS

HASSELBLADS perfect for living on a studio stand are the subject of a promotional offer until July 31st in the UK. The first offer aimed at studio users is a 201F complete with 80mm Planar and A12 back for £3,995 + VAT, saving £440, with a free £998 PME 51 metering prism thrown in. Anyone wanting a 201F body alone for £2,654 list price gets a PM 90 prism free. The £1,995 553ELX body attracts a Polaroid 100 back, Quantum Radio Slave 4i and motor drive cable worth £660 together. These offers can be combined with Hasselblad’s 9-month zero percent credit deal.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0181 903 3435, fax . E-mail address if available - .


SOCK IT TO THEM!

SOFT Stocking filters – stretched nylones embedded in optical resin – have been introduced by Cromatek filters in both black and white flavours. A white version of the Soft Net filter, already popular with portrait photographers in black, has been launched along with a Fine Net which gives stronger softening.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01530 813381, fax . E-mail address if available - .


PLAY MISTY

A NEW smaller, high-output haze generator to create smoke and mist effects in the photo studio has been introduced by M & M Lighting. The Mr Mister can use both water-based fluids and traditional stage oil, and can be supplied with or without an air compressor to project the mist.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0171 284 2504, fax . E-mail address if available - .


APS CONVERTS

DARKROOM accessories to allow minilabs and studios to tackle the new Advanced Photo System cassettes are already available from D & F Equipment Limited. A whole range of small gizmos includes mini ‘dark box’ units to open the jaws of the cassette and safely extrude film for processing, a driver tool for winding and rewinding the film, a detacher, a trailer re-shaper, leader re-shaper and finally a means to re-attach processed film into the cassette. D & F has moved rapidly to use other new technology, too – apart from a surprising and stunningly well-printed catalogue of specialist supplies, they have Compuserve e-mail (100632.2320) and their own Web page (http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/DandF).

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01264 3353434, fax . E-mail address if available - 100632.2320@compuserve.com.


ANTI-STATIC

TETENAL’s Mirasol wetting agent claims to have advanced anti-static properties – and in addition to helping cut drying marks and preventing scratching when loading filing sheets, it includes a bactericidal agent which can reduce future risk of damage by moulds or bacteria. It is diluted 1:400 for tanks and dishes, or 1:1000 for use in machines, and costs £265 for 250ml or £4.10 per litre.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0116 263 0306, fax . E-mail address if available - .


BOXED FRAMES

FRAMES from mounting and laminating specialists Seal-It are, from now on, all to be supplied in boxes. Sizes between 8 x 10 inches and 24 x 30 will be shipped in oyster faced rigid corrugated card. A full range of mounting and framing accessories is available.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 0161 248 8600, fax . E-mail address if available - .


ON TRIAL

TRYING OUT a Meteor Seigen Metoform 2040 benchtop processor – an offer from George Elliott plc – will enable you to process paper up to 60cm wide and view RA4 colour prints in just over four four minutes or black and whites in 80 seconds. If you decide to buy the system, you get either £500-worth of free paper and chemicals, or a Tempatrol water heating unit.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01892 724600, fax . E-mail address if available - .


ZAP DUST!

AN ‘AIR GUN’ blowing a stream of air ionised to 40% higher levels than previous dust zappers for labs and darkrooms has been launched by Meech Static Eliminators Ltd. The gun requires a compressed air line and 13 amp plug, and is claimed to be suitable for cleaning camera components, light tables and surfaces as well as carriers and film. It is screened to meet RFI and EMC standards and can be used near electronically controlled equipment without risk.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01993 706700, fax . E-mail address if available - .


INSTANT SPOTTING

BRUSH-TIPPED pens with their own spotting dye reservoir and precisely sized heads form the basis of a new retouching and print spotting concept being promoted by Firstcall Photographic. The SpotPen kit can be supplied in ten greyscale strengths all with a tip equivalent to a 000 sable brush and options for both standard and warmtone black and white, or in three sets of ten colours for colour print work. The dyes used are pH 6.5 photo retouching dye with high lightfastness, and dry at a rate which allows mistakes to be wiped off. Any one of the five set options costs £29.99 including VAT.

For further information, contact (UK telephone number - replace first zero with international dialout plus 44 code for UK): tel 01823 413007, fax . E-mail address if available - .