Regarding poor sharpness, lots of factors come to play:
Originally Posted by @leksandra
- Focal length
- Shutter speed
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.
Thank you everyone for your help. Much appreciated!
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 :)
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.
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.
Looking at your photos quickly, I'll say they are dust marks too. Something I see and fix often when I hope scan.
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.
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.