Need advice on Hasselblad 500C Focus issue.

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Fournier, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    I just got a 500C with a 80MM and split focussing screen. Went out and shot some PlusX today and tanked two rolls tonight. And every dang one of them is out of focus. I shot with the lens stopped down to about f8 (brackets) and even those were off focus. Focus on 90% of the shots was at infinity (landscapes) but still out of focus on paper. Checked my enlarger lens and condenser and did a shot from my Mamyia 645 and it was razor sharp. So not the enlarger. What gives? Could it be the A12 back pressure plate? I have another back but it has a roll of Portra in it so can't test until tomorrow. I bought the unit from a local guy not Ebay and the camera and lens look perfect. Am I missing something?
     
  2. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    I went back over my shot log and most exposures were at 1/125 sec but I was handheld. Anybody think that could have been it? I'm going to try a roll of Ilford tomorrow on a pod with a cable release and see what that does.
     
  3. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Was the screen the standard screen? I ask because the 500C does not have a user swapable screen like the later CM's did. The 500C's need to have them fitted and focus has to be calibrated by a technician with the right tools to make sure the screen represents what the lens sees. It could be that someone has had one installed and it's not been done right.
     
  4. heespharm

    heespharm Member

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    If it's a late model 500c then they were to have user swappable focus screens (I know this because I own one).... Is ur focus screen backwards??? Is the frosted side up or down... Should be down...

    Thanks though you just made me go and check my focus. (which can be done with the old a12 back that has a view though the back to check frame number and a piece of ground glass)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2011
  5. mesh

    mesh Subscriber

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    Andrew's explanation was what I was thinking too, but it doesn't explain the infinity shots (assuming the lens was actually set exactly to infinity). I hate to say it, but it sounds to me like the body is warped and needs some professional TLC. That would be my guess anyway. 125th handheld has always worked for me using an 80. The reality is, a good CLA will put your mind at ease and guarantee a 100% solid camera for 10 years at least... worth the money I think.
     
  6. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Is there a plane of sharp focus somewhere in your scene, or is everything blurred?
     
  7. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Nothing in the plane is sharp. I did have one shot I tested with my flash but didn't develop and under a loupe if seems to have better sharpness. The screen is installed correctly. The fellow that owned the camera before me used it professionally and is the original owner. There are no drop marks on the body. Maybe it was me doing something dumb. But at infinity? Strange.
     
  8. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    I just had a thought. See what you guys think. I was shooting yesterday in 15 degree temps. Is it possible that going from inside my warm car to outside (it was probably 10 minutes before I started shooting) that the film itself had condensation? The lens did not as the image on the focus screen was sharp. Am going to try a roll today and test for focus , but it will be tonight before I can develop it.
     
  9. cowanw

    cowanw Member

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    Shoot a picture of a ruler long ways and focus at 6 inches on the ruler.
    And see
     
  10. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    I don't think film can get condensation going from warm to cold, only cold to warm? (which is why you want the temps to equalize on film you keep in the frig/freezer before loading in your camera). Hmmmm... I'm thinking it may be your film back.
     
  11. JDP

    JDP Member

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    Hi,
    This may be a film loading issue. Is it your first hasselblad? If I recall correctly, when loading film into the A12, there is a tab on one side in front of the pressure plate that you must pass the film leader underneath (against the plate), otherwise when you fit the back the film will not be guaranteed flat against the pressure plate. Could this be it?
     
  12. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    I'm leaning towards the back too but can't see anything overtly wrong. Got to thinking too that my D-76 might have gone over but I just mixed this batch about 18 days ago. But it was 75 degrees before I cut it . Maybe too close to the heating vent? I checked the camera again thoroughly under a magnifier lamp and the lens is clear and bright and everything "looks" fine with the body. Kind of a mystery at this point. But I am thinking I will get the camera serviced anyway , as suggested above.
     
  13. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Yes it is my first one to own, but not to use. I thought of the loading too but I made very sure it was loaded under the tab.
     
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  15. darkprints

    darkprints Member

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    Check whether the foam under the mirror has deteriorated. The foam keeps the mirror in the proper plane. Shake the body, and if the mirror rattles, the foam is gone.
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Focus to infinity through the finder. When you have that set, put a piece of ground glass at the film plane. They should agree.
    If your 500c is the older one you can adjust the focusing screen with the four screws holding it in place. GG 1st, FS 2nd.
     
  17. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    I think I found the problem. I shot 3 rolls all different film and speeds. The first two were outside and all shots are soft except one. The second roll was shot indoors and every shot is sharp. The only difference in setup was ambient temperature. The shots outside were made in cold (26 degrees F) . Shots inside were 71 degrees. I think my shutter is dragging when the camera is cold. The one shot outside that was in focus was the first shot I made after leaving the house (camera still warm) and I used Sunny 16. The other shots were metered at between 125th and 60th. But if the shutter was dragging in combination with hand-held? It has to be related to cold temps because the indoor shots are fine.
     
  18. heespharm

    heespharm Member

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    CLA the lens see if that fixes it or try/borrow another lens
     
  19. mickster

    mickster Member

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    If its a sticking shutter then you're looking at camera shake rather than OOF. Its usually pretty easy to tell the difference: shake will give multiple images or 'trails' in one or more directions whereas OOF details will simply look evenly soft.
    A sticking shutter will also mean your negs are overexposed - are they?
     
  20. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Overexposed? yes in almost every case the density sucks. I just dry fired the camera 10 ten times at each shutter and just finished a test roll both indoors and out (not so cold today. temp is 52). Am getting ready to tank the roll and see what I got.
     
  21. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Yes agree on the CLA. I am going to the gent's home tomorrow(previous owner) and we are going to try a couple of his lenses but I feel now it is my lens lube has hardened up. I agree on camera shake but it isn't so bad that I have trails. Just enough to be soft. Will tank this roll I just shot now and check density and focus.
     
  22. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Oh and on the roll I shot last night indoors - The density is good and sharp image.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The Hasselblad trained, certified ... repairman that I use in Los Angeles has jigs and equipment to check and verify the alignment of Hasselblad bodies. Sometimes the bodies get out of alignment or out of shape and the equipment is used to get the body back into the factory specifications. Once the body is assured to be in alignment, then things like the proper location of the ground glass is checked and adjusted. Once this is all done, which can take only a few minutes for the checking and verification, he has standard backs and lenses to check the body for focus.

    If the body checks out, the lens can be check with one of his standard bodies and then back to the customer's camera body ...

    If you send your equipment to Hasselblad in New Jersey, with shipping, estimates, ..., a lot of time is taken. Therefore if you can find a local Hasselblad repairman who will take a few minutes to look at your camera, you could be on your way out the door in short order. Of course it a lot of work has to be done, you will have to leave your camera.

    When I bought my Hasselblads [503 CX and 903], the store sent me upstairs to him to check out the cameras, lenses and backs. The store did not think that sale was complete until their Hasselblad repairman had checked out the equipment.

    So for a little time and some money, you could be over your problems and enjoying the camera.

    Steve
     
  24. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Steve:

    Send me a PM with your guy's contact info.

    Or post it if no problem.

    Thanks

    Steve
     
  25. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    PM sent with this information:

    Ask for Mike in Repairs on the third floor.

    Samy's Camera
    431 S. Fairfax Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90036
    Tel: 323-938-2420
    Fax: 323-937-2919
    E-Mail: lacamera@samys.com
    Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:30a-6:30p; Sat: 10:00a-6:00p; Sun:11:00a-5:00p

    http://www.samys.com

    Steve
     
  26. Steve Fournier

    Steve Fournier Member

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    Well folks. I just finished running some prints and the camera is solid. Every shot I took today in and out are all good and crisp and clean. I can find no other explanation than the lens itself.

    Thank you you ALL for the comments. I really appreciate yall helping me through this. All the comments were valuable.

    Thanks again,

    Steve