Is this what they mean by contrasty lens?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Akki14, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I'm kinda puzzled over my colour pictures from my little Finetta88(c.1950) camera. It's not a high class camera or anything but the colour pictures seem to always come out really weird looking. I guess contrasty is the best description? I'd blame the lab but I send them colour films from my other cameras including my Nikon FG which has decent lenses (50mm, or the macro lens I'm borrowing from my dad which is a vivitar series 1 thingy) and those pictures look "normal" to me (and I do trust the lab pretty much). It's just these photos from this camera and I know because it has a silly 180deg wind-on so the negatives always have wonky spacing.

    I *think* the lens on the camera is single coated, possibly 3 elements, if that matters.
     

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  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's broken. You don't want it anymore. Send it to me.
     
  3. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Heather,

    Please DO NOT listen to JB. He's always the first one to spot a situation where a single-coated lens can easily be optically-corrected with a light coating of Utah rattlesnake oil! :surprised::D
     
  4. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Heather,

    It's just that great old glass. Try some Pan in it.
     
  5. Joe Brugger

    Joe Brugger Member

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    I used to get real saturated color out of the 50/3.5 Cintar on the Argus C3. Also single-coated. Maybe it was the cheap drugstore film I was getting -- mostly relabeled Agfa color neg they give for free with every developed roll.
     
  6. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    Other than the obvious, which is that the lens is really nice, I can think of two other possibilities:

    1. The output is actually lower contrast and so the lab goes a little bit nuts with their corrections (assuming you're looking at prints rather than just the negatives you've scanned yourself - most drugstore type labs scan and print digitally and use contrast and colour adjustments before outputting to the printer).

    2. There's some chromatic aberration (splitting of coloured light due to the different refraction of different wavelengths, similar to a prism) which leads to edge effects, which I guess could perhaps be similar to "sharpening" algorithms in photoshop (or the unsharp masking darkroom analogues). I almost see a hint of it in your images though I'm not positive.
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd lean toward #2, The images look very similar to the stuff that comes out of my Exakta with its old CZ Jenna, and I am the one who prints those. It is such a cool look.
     
  8. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Fascinating stuff ... are there any lenses made with this in mind as a feature ?
     
  9. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    See, I would have thought people had figured out chromatic aberration by 1950 since slide films had been around for a while then (just looking at wikipedia dates anyway).
    I checked the negs and it's kodak 160NC film so I blame the oversaturated colours on the lab, especially as I've just scanned the neg and it looks a little more "normal" in colours and possibly a bit less contrasty (but that could be the automagic settings on my scanner too?)

    I do run B&W through the camera a lot, it's just a very "odd" look to the colour photos. Unless I saw the wonky spacing on the negs, I'd not recognise the B&W ones as being from a different camera. If you look in my gallery, my little series on the Cider Museum was shot on the finetta88 as are the first two B&W ('Colin & Wendy' and 'Derek & Milly') pictures at the moment. It's sort of become my version of a "little" rangefinder with no rangefinder (it's a guess-the-distance and hope the aperture is small enough sort of range-focusing thing). Though it is a heavy brick of metal and I have to carry around my handheld lightmeter for it so not really the most ideal thing for snapshots but the best thing I have around at the moment.
     

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  10. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Assuming we are looking at scans of prints (?), I'd go with the explanation of excess electronically-induced contrast at the printing stage. I know nothing about this camera but a quick view of
    http://licm.org.uk/livingImage/Finetta-88.html
    seems to indicate a single-coated triplet lens from which you would expect medium contrast by today's standards, with good central sharpness at full aperture and edge sharpness improving from poor to OK as you stop down from full aperture to 5.6 or 8. I would not expect to see any significant chromatic aberration.

    When this camera was new, the vast majority of (amateur) photographers shot b+w, if they shot color at all it would have been Kodachrome, or other slide films to a limited extent. The results with Kodachrome (which offered high contrast and saturation) would probably have been more than acceptable, assuming the photographer was willing to work with a film speed of ASA [ISO] 10. Very few people shot print film in the 50s, it was relatively very expensive. Cameras like the Finetta owe their existence to the ferocious level of import duty payable on foreign cameras in the UK until the late 50s. thus creating a market for cheap affordable models.
     
  11. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, are you shooting out-of-date film? I ask because in the second shot the fence has, at least on my monitor, a magenta cast. Could be due to your lab or your scanner, though.
     
  12. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    It doesn't have a magenta cast on my monitor or print - part of the fence is not very weathered so it looks a bit more colourful on the lefthand side than the right (right hand side gets more sunlight). I think it might be the oversaturated print scan that is making it look that way as the negative scan I did doesn't have that effect to it.
    I'm actually pretty confident that that's in-date film since it's the kodak 160NC stuff which I only remember buying an actual pack from calumet once.
     
  13. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Man, I must poor detail discerning ability because I don't think there's a big problem with these pictures.
     
  14. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Comparing the print scan and the neg scan just now, I think you should have a serious word with your printer.

    The print scan shows massive "black bleed", as you get when printing a negative through a diffusing filter. Diffusion during exposure makes light areas "bleed" into darker areas; during printing it does the opposite. This can be done intentionally when the effect is wanted, but is more often a result of really grubby optics.

    For examples of intentional use see Mapplethorpe's portraits.
     
  15. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Or it's just crap digi frontier minilabs. It's not a pro-printing service. I've seen it on digiprints before (very badly done wedding photos from someone else's digicam)... I think they just whack up the contrast/saturation or something. Maybe I should look for another lab but this is the best one I've found as far as price and service and they don't destroy my negs :sad:
     
  16. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    for labs, that's recommendation enough in my book!
     
  17. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I think it's likely the minilab didn't know (or wasn't set up for) the 160NC, and so it's contrast/colour settings were set for something else for printing (incidentally, they look pretty good to me as well).

    A lot of 1-hour places aren't set up for and/or don't see much "pro" film, so they don't know the print settings specific to those films.

    Last year I brought in a roll of 400VC to a local Costco (I was in a hurry, it wasn't terribly important), and got back neutral/muted colour (which actually worked OK in the end, but it wasn't what I originally had in mind).

    I've got a couple of single-coated lenses, like the one on my Argus C3, and I'd say sometimes prints look a little "different" than more modern multi-coated lenses, but in my case that's partially because I'm trying to use Sunny 16 much of the time, so my exposures might be somewhat off.
     
  18. Samuel Hotton

    Samuel Hotton Member

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    Heather, I've seen this contrasty look from my Minox 35ML with the Color-Minotar 35mm f2.8 Lens. I've also seen this look with the 55mm f2.8 Industar 61 L/Z lens. My Argus Matchmatic C-3 is very contrasty as well. They seem to give this effect with either 100 200 or 400 ISO print films. Almost too contrasty in some situations. All are brilliant to use on overcast days, wonderful saturation.
    All the best,
    Sam