What is wrong with my Nikon F3 (or lens)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by @leksandra, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. @leksandra

    @leksandra Subscriber

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    It's a newbie question so many of you will laugh. I have to ask it anyway. :smile:

    I bought a Nikon F3HP body and eager to try it out I purchased a cheap Nikon series E 28mm F2.8 lens at Henry's for peanuts.
    I shot and developed only couple of rolls (and never touched it again) and almost all frames had marks on them. I didn't develop the film myself. So, my questions are:
    1) How do I determine what are the origin of these marks?
    2) Why do they seem to show on some frames and not on all?
    3) I know it's handheld, but is my manual focusing super lousy or what are the other reasons for poor sharpness?

    Sorry for the crappy shots but they're good examples of what I'm talking about.

    Thank you!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    If by marks you mean dust or scratches, then they appear arbitrarily on all film depending on handling.
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    If one has no idea at all where a mark could be originating from, one should use another camera sample, better a different model, best no camera at all in order to differenciate between processing and camera or exposure related causes.

    That white circle in the 2nd photo seems to be a waterstain to me.
     
  4. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    you mean the dust specks that look white on the print? I have that a lot. Can't find a place that develop my film without making it dirty.
     
  5. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The white specs are the concern? If these are contact prints, the dust could be in many places. If they are enlargements with a glassless carrier, the dust is on the negative. If you wiped them or dusted them off before enlarging them, then the dust may have been permanently imbedded in the emulsion during drying or processing.
     
  6. @leksandra

    @leksandra Subscriber

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    When one doesn't know what one doesn't know, it's hard to ask intelligent questions, I guess :pouty:
    Attached files are resized low quality scans that I received from the developing place and I don't even know where are the negatives now so I can't inspect them :sad: In any case, I'm attaching yet another file where you can see a white mark on woman's chin as well as a similar mark in man's hair and above his head, among others. Is that dust or possibly scratched negatives or...?
    Bear with me please, I know my questions are below basics but I'll get there...one day :D
     

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  7. @leksandra

    @leksandra Subscriber

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    desertratt, that totally makes sense. Really, basic troubleshooting: if marks are not consistent, you can exclude the camera and/or lenses. I don't know why I needed to air it out here in order to realize it...overall lack of photographic confidence, I guess. When I bought the lens, the store was relocating and they had these sitting around in plastic boxes, they were sold 'as is' so I always assumed that there will be something wrong with it and not knowing how to evaluate the lens myself, here I am...I know it's a low end lens anyway but I just find the results I got with it quite blah. Needless to say that my exposure skills largely contributed to it.
    thanks again!
     
  8. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Definitely further confirmation of dust and scratches.
     
  9. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    It is really hard to tell, my eyes are certainly not what they used to be, but that looks a lot like dust. If those are scans from a local lab then they are not very careful to keep the work area clean. If they always happen in the same location for each and every frame then they could be camera or lens related. If not, then I would suspect the processing end. Maybe shoot another roll of film and send to a different lab to see how their scans look. Also, keep your negatives and go buy a loupe, 8x or 10x. When you see the spot in the scan, use the loupe to check the negative to see if it is on the negative.

    As for image quality, contrast, etc., try shooting at different aperture and shutter settings. It likely is exposure related, but could also be developer related. If the lab's developer is becoming exhausted then your prints will reflect that by a washed out look to them.

    Lots of things to check, just a few suggestions you might try.
     
  10. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Lens faults generally won't cause sharply defined defects on the film. When the camera body causes problems it's most often long scratches from some sort of damage around the film gate or on the pressure plate. The other common problem area would be light leaks either because of deteriorated seals on the back, or faults with the shutter.
    The specs and spots on your shots are not typical for either camera body or lens problems. But as stated, they are usually indications of poor dust control during processing.
     
  11. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    Regarding poor sharpness, lots of factors come to play:
    1. Focal length
    2. Shutter speed
    3. Stability
    Rule of thumb is that shutter speed and focal length should be closely matched: 28mm shot at 1/30, 50mm shot at 1/60, 85 at 1/100, etc. Of course scene lighting, aperture and film ISO will all dictate these.
    Good technique and the use of tripods or image stabilized lenses (not available on the F3) can greatly contribute to sharper results particularly if the object of interest is static.
     
  12. @leksandra

    @leksandra Subscriber

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    Thank you everyone for your help. Much appreciated!
     
  13. Mick Fagan

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    Aleksandra, I have F3HP bodies and also have that same E series 28mm lens.

    It is a good lens, not brilliant, but good.

    With regard to checking out exposure and/or scratching, I myself always run a roll of slide film through a camera and lens combination.

    The actual slide is the actual film through your camera, so any results are not altered by any later process.

    I then use a light box and inspect the individual slides under a magnifying glass. Any defects caused by the camera, as in scratches, will show up straight away.

    Assuming you don't have a light box, simply tape your film to a window that is not in direct sunlight, then view them though a magnifying glass.

    Clean the glass first though, otherwise your film will end up full of dust :smile:

    Mick.
     
  14. Aristotle80

    Aristotle80 Member

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    Looks like the lab mishandled your film. Dust and water marks, not a camera problem. That's a good thing! I'd rather pick a different lab than buy another F3. Developing your own film is not as difficult as it might seem at first, and it yields big dividends in terms of cost effectiveness and quality. Nobody else will ever treat your negatives as well as you do, if you really care about keeping them pristine.
     
  15. jcc

    jcc Member

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    If these are scans from the lab, definitely go to a different lab. Those seem like dust during scan (dust in-camera would be black typically), or scratches. Either way, they indicate poor treatment, post-developing.
     
  16. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Looking at your photos quickly, I'll say they are dust marks too. Something I see and fix often when I hope scan.
     
  17. @leksandra

    @leksandra Subscriber

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    Thank you. I bought the camera from a very trusted source so I was more worried about the lens (or that I could've done something to the camera since it's been in my hands). I noticed that the focusing screen has some marks but I couldn't correlate them with the marks on the scans.
    Sadly, I don't remember where I developed these (because it was 1.5y ago and I also developed bunch of film I shot with Holga since, in couple of different labs).
    I would like to develop my own film (had done it in high school but that was some years ago) but I have a way to go before I embark on that adventure.

    You've all been very helpful and I am grateful for that.
     
  18. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Marks, dust, whatever, on the focus screen will not appear on the film.

    + as for dust, white spots (in a positive) are from dust that is introduced after exposure, generally either during processing or afterward.
    Black spots in a positive are caused by dust on the film during exposure, these sort of dust spots aren't common for 35mm.