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Rollei focusing tips
Old 07-10-2018   #1
karateisland
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Rollei focusing tips

I just got back a bunch of scans from my rollei (5 rolls' worth) and I think I might have a slight problem with my focusing technique.

Most shots on every roll were in reasonably good focus, but not perfect focus. A small handful were in perfect focus. However, every single shot on a roll that I took with my Rolleinar was in perfect focus.

Generally, I would focus with the loupe, and then lower the camera to take a shot. With the Rolleinar, I kept the camera at chest height after focusing. I had no idea that lowering the camera could fudge the focus that much at wider apertures, but I assume that's what happened.

Am I right in my reading of the situation? And, if I am, what aperture offers enough depth of field at closer distances that it's safe to lower the camera? F11?
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Old 07-10-2018   #2
Dan Daniel
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Without knowing the distances you were working at and the apertures, it's hard to say for certain if reframing and changing camera position is enough to explain your focus problems. But yes, a 75mm or 80mm lens has relatively shallow depth of field, especiallly if you are used to 35mm. And the repositioning of the camera after focus can certainly lead to a change in focus point.


I've been specifically advised to not use a split image focus screen on a Rollei if I am going to work at portrait distance for just this reason- the movement of reframing after putting the center circle on the desired focus spot will often throw things out of focus.
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Old 07-10-2018   #3
karateisland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
Without knowing the distances you were working at and the apertures, it's hard to say for certain if reframing and changing camera position is enough to explain your focus problems. But yes, a 75mm or 80mm lens has relatively shallow depth of field, especiallly if you are used to 35mm. And the repositioning of the camera after focus can certainly lead to a change in focus point.


I've been specifically advised to not use a split image focus screen on a Rollei if I am going to work at portrait distance for just this reason- the movement of reframing after putting the center circle on the desired focus spot will often throw things out of focus.
Most of the shots were in the 5-7 foot range, and I didn't take notes on the apertures, but I tend to live in the neighborhood of F8-16 when possible.

Either way, it seems that the answer is yes--it pays to be avoid reframing when shooting at closer ranges and any aperture above, say, F16, or F11 if I'm feeling daring.
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Old 07-10-2018   #4
Dan Daniel
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If you are new to a TLR, accept that it is a very different way of holding and framing and shooting. I find, for example, that I am very prone to lean back and forth, side to side, to fine tune framing. With an eye level viewfinder, the camera follows right along and I see focus issues easily. But with a TLR it's easy to do a little sway without realizing it. I tend to put my eye up to the loupe for both focusing and final framing/shooting.



Practice. Find a good practice target. I have a line of electric meters on a nearby building that is my standard test target. I stand at 30-45 degree angle, remember/note my focus point, and watch what happens both in the filed and in the final images as I hold/reframe different ways.
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Old 07-10-2018   #5
css9450
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One of my new favorite films is Rollei RPX 25, but wow does it require some careful work in my Rolleiflex 2.8...
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Old 07-10-2018   #6
karateisland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
If you are new to a TLR, accept that it is a very different way of holding and framing and shooting. I find, for example, that I am very prone to lean back and forth, side to side, to fine tune framing. With an eye level viewfinder, the camera follows right along and I see focus issues easily. But with a TLR it's easy to do a little sway without realizing it. I tend to put my eye up to the loupe for both focusing and final framing/shooting.
Good advice. It seems that I may need more discipline in my focusing1
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Old 07-10-2018   #7
f16sunshine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
I tend to put my eye up to the loupe for both focusing and final framing/shooting.
This is it for close range.
When I kept my eye on the focus point when plunging the shutter button, focus was were it was intended to be even with more open apertures.
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