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  1. #1

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    Yet another scratches on the lens thread

    Hey everyone,

    I recently bought a 3.5E Planar on eBay. It was CLA'd by Harry Fleenor a month before I got it (It came with the original receipt). Everything seems to be in great working order, except that there are some light scratches on the taking lens, which the seller conveniently forgot to mention.

    I put a test roll through and here are some shots from it.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/818161/test1.jpg
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/818161/test2.jpg
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/818161/test3.jpg

    I got the roll of Tri-X processed and scanned at a nice lab in San Francisco.

    I've heard that light scratches shouldn't affect picture quality but that they can lower contrast. Looking at these shots, it seems that they lack some "punch." So I have a few questions:

    - Could this lack of punch be attributed to the scratches?
    - Or is it the exposure? Developing? Scanning?
    - If my camera does have lower contrast, can I bump it up in post? I mean I know it would be ideal that the lens would be contrasty, but if not, is it fixable later? With my naive mind, it would seem that you can always add contrast, but can't remove it as easily.

    These images just seem so...gray.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Except for the third one where there is some flare (you didn't use a lens hood, did you?) I see nothing to complain about. Try a lens hood, a tripod, and FP-4... you may be happier with the results.

  3. #3

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    I can never understand this: if you shoot film you must at least develop it yourself. Sending it out just isn't viable.
    And you never know what you'll get back.

    If i was developing for others, as a business, you bet I'd be reusing developers and fixer, stretching them all the way. That's how it goes.

    Also, in the same vein, i will not judge a lens' performance from a bad low rez image. It just can't be.
    But if I was you, i'd co tact the seller and ask for a partial or total refund.

  4. #4
    Richard Sintchak (rich815)'s Avatar
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    Your exposure and development technique and process can affect "punch" and contrast more than some light scratches on the lens. I have about 7 Rolleiflexes, most with pristine lenses. My favorite one is a 2.8E Planar I bought in a small shop down an alley in Beijing. The taking lens lacks most if any coating and has light scratches. Yes it has a bit more moderate contrast but it's signature and character is the best of all my Rollei's in my opinion.

    I'm local to you (assuming you're in the Bay Area?) if you want to get me your next roll or two I'll develop (likely in D-76 or HC-110) and scan them with my Nikon 9000 and of course give you back the negs and the scan files. Might be fun.
    -----------------------

    "Well, my photos are actually much better than they look..."

    Richard S.
    Albany, CA (San Francisco bay area)

    My Flickr River of photographs
    http://flickriver.com/photos/rich815...r-interesting/

    My Photography Website
    http://www.lightshadowandtone.com

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the responses!

    Just for completeness sake, here's an image of the lens I just took:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/818161/test4.jpg

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    Except for the third one where there is some flare (you didn't use a lens hood, did you?) I see nothing to complain about. Try a lens hood, a tripod, and FP-4... you may be happier with the results.
    Brian,

    I didn't use a lens hood on any of these. However, I did just get a lens hood so I'll be using it form here on out. I'll definitely try the FP-4 as well. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    They look like nicely toned, normal shots with plenty of contrast. Are you looking for soot and chalk?

    Get a hood, try slower film if you want more contrast natively, or just bump it up in post. As you say, it's easier to add contrast than take it away once it's in the negative or scanned.

    That lens looks fine, it likely is not reducing contrast very much if at all.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by NB23 View Post
    I can never understand this: if you shoot film you must at least develop it yourself. Sending it out just isn't viable.
    And you never know what you'll get back.

    If i was developing for others, as a business, you bet I'd be reusing developers and fixer, stretching them all the way. That's how it goes.

    Also, in the same vein, i will not judge a lens' performance from a bad low rez image. It just can't be.
    But if I was you, i'd co tact the seller and ask for a partial or total refund.
    Thanks! I haven't developed it myself because I'm one of those newbies that started on digital and am now finding the joy of medium format film. I was planning on taking a class to learn how to develop it myself, but I now think it would be fun to teach myself. I found a guide on Ilford's website that I'll be using to develop some test rolls. Thanks for the comments!

  9. #9

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    The condition of the lens is not unusual for a used Rollei of that age. Mine is about the same and I have never experienced a concern that it has affected the image quality. I, personally, wouldn't be concerned (or complaining, either)... even if I were in your shoes as the buyer/new owner.

    Enjoy that camera... it will be a good photographic tool with which to work.
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 04-18-2014 at 10:42 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typo fixed

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Sintchak (rich815) View Post
    Your exposure and development technique and process can affect "punch" and contrast more than some light scratches on the lens. I have about 7 Rolleiflexes, most with pristine lenses. My favorite one is a 2.8E Planar I bought in a small shop down an alley in Beijing. The taking lens lacks most if any coating and has light scratches. Yes it has a bit more moderate contrast but it's signature and character is the best of all my Rollei's in my opinion.

    I'm local to you (assuming you're in the Bay Area?) if you want to get me your next roll or two I'll develop (likely in D-76 or HC-110) and scan them with my Nikon 9000 and of course give you back the negs and the scan files. Might be fun.
    Richard,

    Wow, thank you for the offer. I'll definitely take you up on that. I'll send a PM.

    Btw, this image of yours is amazing:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rich8155/1369675200/

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