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Thread: focusing

  1. #1

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    focusing

    I have tried with a focus finder but with spectacles I found it quite desperate. I couldnīt find the grain or to get a view of the photo to know where I am pointing at. Some areas in the photo (like eyes in a portrait in the negative) are sharp but some areas are out of focus due to short depth of field (the blurry background). Should I point at some lighter areas or the darker areas, at the moment I donīt see what I am focusing on...all blackness. Or a very bright light from the enlarger, not good for eyes to stare at it.

    Perhaps something is wrong with the mirror of the finder, or I donīt know how to use it correctly. I corrected the lens for my eyesight (a sharp line in the middle). Is there any other way? These finders are pretty expensive, 80 euros, donīt want to buy a new one just to check if this old one is good, or damaged. Magnifying glass costs 2 euros, does someone use that?

    I guess this is "The Question of the Month!" I have some other questions in store just in case this doesnīt win any prize.

  2. #2

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    You don't make it clear what you are trying to focus. Is it a manual focus camera, or a grain focusing magnifyer used in the dark room when using an enlarger.

    If it is the latter, most grain focussing devices can be adjusted for defective eyesight so that may cure the problem. If it is a manual focus camera screen you are looking at, it may be possible to buy a correction lens to bring the screen into sharp focus. Some cameras actually had a focus adjuster for sight defects built in.

    It may help if you give us a better idea of what you are using to make sure we are talking about the same thing.

  3. #3

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    As I understand, it is a grain focuser. When you just starting using a grain focuser, it is not that clear what to look for and where the grains are. It's getting better with experience. Don’t look for the image, you will not be seeing it. Concentrate just on the grains. Locate the grain focuser in the area of the image with maximum density, close the lens aperture a few stops, and try to look through the focuser on the separate grains. Move slightly the enlarger focusing mechanism, and you will see that the grains became more or less sharp in the focuser. And it is no difference how sharp the image by itself. The negative theoretically is the flat surface located parallel to the focusing board, that means that all grains are on the same distance to the focusing board, and all of them will be visible sharp when enlarger focused correctly even if the negative not sharp at all.

  4. #4
    AgX
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    When enlarging you could use a substitute-film for focusing. There had been substitutes offered with special graphics (fine lines etc.) been exposed on a strip of 35mm film. After framing and roughly focusing your negative, it is substituted by that special one. At least when working with a two-glasses film cassette in your enlarger and orientating film and substitute the same way, that approach should facilitate critical focusing with difficult negatives.

    Last year or so we had a lenghty discussion here about adjusting a grain-focuser.

  5. #5

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    Some grain focusers have to be focused. The one I have has an outlined rectangle and an adjustable eyepiece. I make sure that is sharp before using it (I believe you did that but check before each use). Have the focuser on a piece of the same weight paper you will be printing on in the easel. Unlike Rudolf, I focus wide open and then stop down assuming that if it is focused wide open it will be that much better stopped down but everyone has their own technique. I don't look through my reading glasses when using the grain focuser.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  6. #6

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    Yes, I focusing a wide open too. But for the first time user, if he don’t see the grains, to close the aperture a bit, can be helpful.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veke View Post
    I have tried with a focus finder but with spectacles I found it quite desperate. I couldnīt find the grain or to get a view of the photo to know where I am pointing at. Some areas in the photo (like eyes in a portrait in the negative) are sharp but some areas are out of focus due to short depth of field (the blurry background). Should I point at some lighter areas or the darker areas, at the moment I donīt see what I am focusing on...all blackness. Or a very bright light from the enlarger, not good for eyes to stare at it.

    Perhaps something is wrong with the mirror of the finder, or I donīt know how to use it correctly. I corrected the lens for my eyesight (a sharp line in the middle). Is there any other way? These finders are pretty expensive, 80 euros, donīt want to buy a new one just to check if this old one is good, or damaged. Magnifying glass costs 2 euros, does someone use that?

    I guess this is "The Question of the Month!" I have some other questions in store just in case this doesnīt win any prize.
    A "focus finder" is used to check the enlarger's focus, not how well focused the original negative is.

    There are essentially two types - a lower magnification type that shows more of the image area, and a higher magnification type that shows more of the grain (aka a "grain focuser").

    I use both types, because my lower magnification Bestwell Magna Sight is better in the corners and much easier to use when the enlarger head is quite high, well my grain focuser is more definitive near the centre.

    In either case, they work best when there are both dark and light areas in the field of view. The Magna Sight is easier to use when the area in view is also sharply delineated in the negative.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Try using it without spectacles.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  9. #9
    Hatchetman's Avatar
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    Try moving your eye way back from the lens and move it forward until the grain comes into focus (hopefully). you don't stick your eye right up to the grain focuser.

  10. #10

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    thanks!
    Yes, I explained poorly but the issue is focusing the negative on the paper when enlarging. And the "focus finder" comes from this ad. Not my advertisement but this is the device I tried to use. Now it is 105 euros. I just donīt use it properly, the correct way. I will keep on trying. There has been a previous topic but under grain focusing not focus finding. I will put now the ad and the previous topic as links.
    http://www.telefoto.fi/tuote/579/412...rkennin-ptp644
    and the topic here earlier,
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum43/5...n-focuser.html

    back to the drawing-board...

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