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"soft" focus issue on PLAUBEL MAKINA67
Old 09-01-2017   #1
matpar
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"soft" focus issue on PLAUBEL MAKINA67

Hi, I've finally ended up using (and maybe buying of course) a Makina67 during summer holidays.

I've shot some Portra 160 and Ektar 100, and I am moderately pleased with the results.

One concern is about the fact photo are really sharp when working on summer light (hence closed and fast), but things gets way softer when i.e. shooting indoor or dim light in general, at the point where I cannot tell if it's a focus problem or micro-movements due to slower times.

Problem is when shooting indoor, subject are normally around the minimum focus distance, while outdoor pics relate to more distant subject. This is why at this point I cannot really tell if:
1) it's just me "shacking" too much
2) it's a problem of focus at that distance /aperture
3) it's a normal behaviour of this lens in that context

What do you think about this matter?

I will upload some examples asap, so far I've just scanned the test prints, but they do not give too much justice I am afraid (and still some of the "doomed" images has to be loaded)..

EDIT: photo deleted and updated BELOW (wrong scanning!)

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Old 09-01-2017   #2
charjohncarter
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Old 09-02-2017   #3
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I would check the rangefinder, there a few ways to do this. One quick way is to open the back after mounting on a tripod. The place with scotch tape wax paper flat at the focus plane. Put the camera on 'B' and lock open, also maximum aperture. Focus with the RF on something at a know distance (5 or 10feet). The image on the wax paper should be in focus. Look at the distance scale it should be on the distance.
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Old 09-02-2017   #4
Dwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matpar View Post
...
Problem is when shooting indoor, subject are normally around the minimum focus distance, while outdoor pics relate to more distant subject. This is why at this point I cannot really tell if:
1) it's just me "shacking" too much
2) it's a problem of focus at that distance /aperture
3) it's a normal behaviour of this lens in that context
...
If #2 then something else in the pic will be in reasonably sharp focus. If everything is "soft" then the issue is either #1 or #3. #1 will often show a directional characteristic where edges of one orientation are more "blurred" than edges orientated 90 degrees. It's also quite possible that some combination of 2 or even all 3 factors is at play.
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Old 09-02-2017   #5
Huss
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Nothing is sharp in those pics. And with that lighting they should be pin sharp. If there was a focus issue, something in the image would be sharp.
I think this points to one of two things - either camera shake, or whoever printed/scanned the images did not have correct focus. That has happened to me once before, I got out of focus scans (just barely so but I know how they are meant to look).
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Old 09-02-2017   #6
matpar
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You all got a Point in there.

Thanks for the hints, and I do agree something went wrong in the test print they did.

I will scan negatives myself as soon as I upgrade my scanner

Btw the waxpaper test won't do any arm, I will give it a go.

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2017   #7
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If you have a DSLR and macro lens you can take a shot of them and check sharpness at a grain level. Then again if you have that, you might as well complete the scan w/ ur DSLR! There is a thread here on it...
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Old 09-14-2017   #8
matpar
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hi guys,

here some updates: basically as written by some of you already, it was mainly a scanning issue, and printing I'd say too.

I finally scanned the negatives through a V600, and apart from the calssical "bending" problem of negatives on the OEM support (I already ordered the upgrade from betterscanning, btw), I'd say the results are quite astounding, to my standard at least (and coming from the 35mm format).

Some photos now and comments:

SARD01_alghero parete fiorita

=> classical "bend" problem, focus should have been ok and the blurred bits are due to poor scanning, imho. Ektar 100

SARD02_lu fanali

=> example of low light picture: it is indeed "soft", but in an acceptable way now, I believe. Ektar 100 film.

SARD02_faro stintino

=> mixed light, image here is as sharp as I think it can get from actual workflow. Ektar 100

TOPA1_consolata3

=> B&W example, with planty of light: razor sharp imho! Ilford HP5

TOPA1_bicerin1

=> B&W indoor, again pretty sharp despite the mixed light. Ilford HP5

TOPA1_conte verde

=> Just an example of the enormous latitude the machine can get, I am astonished

all in all, I'd see no particular problem then, except:
1) scanning prints sucks
2) workflow is important of course, and hopefully I'll solve the film bending issue
3) printing manually is nice but imho the studio I use imho does'nt get it always right: I've seen a lot of prints with a degree of sharpness which is way below the one I obtained scanning negatives!
3b) printing also involves the idea of contrast/color correction etc => no real control on the workflow if like me someone uses an external studio

Case solved!?
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Old 09-14-2017   #9
matpar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I would check the rangefinder, there a few ways to do this. One quick way is to open the back after mounting on a tripod. The place with scotch tape wax paper flat at the focus plane. Put the camera on 'B' and lock open, also maximum aperture. Focus with the RF on something at a know distance (5 or 10feet). The image on the wax paper should be in focus. Look at the distance scale it should be on the distance.
P.s. tried also the waxpaper, just to be sure.



Very funny and interesting, thank you!
(it seems all ok from the lens point of view, btw)
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