View Full Version : Fuzzy Pictures-Help
Just got the first "test" roll of film back from my new/used Yashica GSN, and they are all fuzzy. When shooting, I had noticed the rangefinder is slightly off, meaning even when properly focused the two imagines are not exactly superimposed. I had assumed that was just a minor alignment problem, but now I suspect it is the cause or symptom of the focusing problem. Can anyone say for sure, or suggest a fix? Should I just return it to the seller and look for a better copy? Thanks.
Before you start changing rangefinder settings, check to make sure that you have a reasonabley fast shutter speed. If your shutter is moving slowly, you will get blurring. If you are using wide latitude color negative film, you may not notice over-exposure resulting from the slow shutter speed.
I suggest first shooting some farly slow film with the camera on a tripod in daylight and additional photos using an electronic flash in very dim light. Use a tape measure and the lens distance and compare it to the rangefinder settings.
If you can rule out camera motion as the source of your blurriness, then look at lens-body alignment and rangefinder calibration. The screwdriver should not be the first tool that you use to check out a camera.
Another test is to look at the shutter blades for oil on them.
Also you can set your lens scale at 5ft or so, open the back,
put the camera on B, use scotch opaque tape to cover the
area where the film goes,set it on a tripod pointed at a well
lit target a measured 5ft away and see if the lens is in focus.
If it is then the rangefinder is out of sync with the lens.
Then you can adjust the rangefinder..
Thanks for the responses and ideas. I checked the shutter blades for oil and didn't see any, then did a check of varying shutter speeds and that seemed normal. To be honest, a few of the shots came out reasonably sharp, but the indoor shots were fuzzy, and not just on the ones with a predictably slow shutter speed. I'll keep investigating. Thanks again.
It would make sense that your outdoor daylight shots would be reasonably sharp - if your rangefinder were out of alignment, you're still using a small aperture (large aperture number, like f11, f16, etc) and you're taking photos of things that are farther away - depth-of-field takes care of focusing errors because everything from say 20 feet to infinity is 'in focus' or close enough. This would tend to cover any focusing errors.
Indoors, it is a different story - you use slower shutter speeds, larger apertures (smaller numbers, like f1.4, f1.7, f2.8, etc). Close distances shorten DOF effects, and open apertures even more so. When you're shooting a 45 or 50mm lens wide open at a subject only a few feet away, there is very little margin for error. So, your rangefinder could be off just a tiny bit - and that would still end up giving you fuzzy images. The question here - is ANYTHING in focus in a photo where you are seeing this fuzziness? Sometimes it helps if you can look critically at things in front of or behind your subject in your photo. For example, I took a photo of my wife, she came out all fuzzy. But she was standing in the kitchen at the time, and the dishes behind her were in focus, even though I had intended to have HER be in focus. So that was a definite focusing / rangefinder error. Either I didn't focus well enough, or the rangefinder mechanism was out of whack.
With the GSN, though, there is one other thing to consider. The Electro rangefinders set their own shutter speed. Indoors without flash, you're going to have slower shutter speeds set for you. The fuzziness you see could be blur caused by camera motion or shake - shutter speed too slow to handhold, in other words. The way to test that would be to take a photo or two using a tripod (or an improvised tripod) and make sure the camera DOES NOT MOVE when you snap the photo. Most people cannot hand-hold a camera at less than 1/30 - or 1/15 of a second without blur or shake. Some can get down to 1/8 (I can since I gave up smoking, but it aint easy and I cant ALWAYS do it), but most can't.
Last possibility - is this fuzziness you're seeing, or is it blur? If the shutter is 'dragging' at slow speeds, you could be getting motion blur instead of fuzziness caused by the camera not being in focus. Try listening well to the shutter when it fires indoors without a flash. Get used to hearing it shap open and closed. Look down the lens barrel and watch it open and close (without film, of course). if it closes slowly instead of with a 'snap' then there's your problem.
Hope this helps,
Thanks to Bill and the others for your comments. The shutter snaps, no lag, and there are things in focus even on some of the wide open indoor shots--not not necessarily what I was aiming for. This seems to confirm that it's a combination of camera shake at slow speeds and maybe a slightly misaligned rangefinder. I need to do another round of careful test shots to see about rangefinder misalignment, and I'll include some tripod shots. Thanks for the helpful guidance.
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