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Thread: Focusing a TLR

  1. #11
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible View Post
    It is not "film bulge" -- not a Rolleiflex issue.
    Zeiss and Rollei do not agree with your statement.

    Zeiss can also trace causes for lack of sharpness in customer's photos. This is particularly interesting since more than 99% of all customer complaints about lacking sharpness in their photos can be attributed to misalignments of critical components in camera, viewfinder, or magazine, focus errors, camera shake and vibrations, film curvature, and other reasons.

    So far, Zeiss has found that film curvature can have a major influence as a source of unsharpness. This has also been known by Zeiss' camera making partners Alpa, Hasselblad, Kyocera (Contax) and Rollei.
    Zeiss "Camera Lens News #10"

  2. #12
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolleijoe View Post
    Tripods are insane with a simple TLR.
    Then call me crazy! I love using my Rolleiflex T with the ball head on my wooden tripod. Just a tool, man. Mileage may vary. =)

  3. #13
    dpurdy's Avatar
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    TRIPOD don't leave home without it. With my Rolleiflex I like to use slow film and stop down.

    Dennis
    I have looked at film going through my Rollei with the back open and I think the only time you will see film bulge is if it sat n the camera a long time and picked up a curl memory on the next frame. But I doubt it even then.

  4. #14
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Zeiss and Rollei do not agree with your statement.
    Franke & Heidecke made a lot of Rolleiflex
    models with Zeiss lenses. If you look at
    the film path of a Rolleiflex TLR (as opposed
    to, say, a Rolleiflex SL35), you will quickly
    realize that film bulge isn't going to happen
    in the TLR models.

    On tripods: I find that the form factor of
    a Rolleiflex TLR makes them well-suited to
    shooting handheld even at shutter speeds of
    one second. That said, it is also true that,
    even for a Rolleiflex, a camera off a tripod
    is a camera in motion.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Collier View Post
    .
    I just had my 3.T serviced (Krimar), and one of the things he did was calibrate the focusing. Is it possible that the focusing lens could be in focus, and the taking lens out of focus to that extent? I'm not concerned that the distance scale is accurate, just agreement between the lenses. I have never had this problem, although I don't normally focus this close.
    .
    So is this possible? One lens in focus and the other out of focus??
    Ta Andy

  6. #16

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    Yes it is possable for the viewing lens not to agree with the taking lens and that is exactly what the reapirmen is suposed to adjust. If it was serviced and it was adjusted, the reapimen focused the viewing lens to agree with the ttaker for infinity on his collimeter.

    In general for any TLR, or for most any camera... you put a GG on the film plane. On a tripod, focus the film plane to a target at a measured distance, like a well lit news paper if you don't have a collimeter. Check the focusing scale to see the distance agrees with your measured distance... if not see if it focuses at infinity properly. If not the taking lens need to be adjusted to infinty first n check the distance again.

    Carefully focus it using a loupe for the sharpest image. Now look at the view screen with the loupe n see if it agrees with the taker.

    If not... you either focus the screen if it has a height adjustment, or you adjsut the viewing lens to agree.


    Film bulge can be a problem in any camera if there isn't enough tension on the film when winding or the preasue plate is not tight. Are your exposed rolls loose?

    Now if the service was just done, and all the tests say it is in focus.... maybe it is focused properly n you just need a diopter instead, your eyes may be a problem? Do you wear reading glasses?



    .
    Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.

  7. #17
    36cm2's Avatar
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    Another vote for the Rolleiflex on a tripod. It's even sexier with legs.

    Ken Ruth, of Bald Mountain photo, once told me that in even the most precisely machined rollfilm cameras he's serviced (i.e. Leicas) film bulge is an issue. He's watched the bulge "pop" on hundreds of cameras serviced and recommends that, if you want to minimize the effect, allow no more than 60 seconds from the time you advance the film to the time you expose it. In his observation it takes that little time for a bulge to regularly occur.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  8. #18
    Rolleiflexible's Avatar
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    I'm sorry. If the camera is consistently out of
    focus, I will bet my apartment that it is not film
    bulge. I have shot, literally, over 10,000 rolls
    through an assortment of Rolleiflexes, including
    two Tele Rolleiflexes, of people close-up, and
    nearly all at wide apertures, and it is the rare
    roll that is not perfectly focused on the irises of
    my subjects' eyes -- and that is so whether the
    eyes are in the center of the frame or at the very
    edge. If the film did not lie precisely on the film
    plane, I would not be able reliably, consistently,
    to shoot focused work with a Tele Rolleiflex,
    with its 135mm lens, at f/4, 18 inches from my
    subjects -- yet I have shot like this hundreds of
    times, and each time the shots come out focused
    as I expect them to.

    I respect Ken Ruth, but his remarks, in my experience,
    do not apply to Rolleiflex TLRs. There is no way George's
    problem arises from film bulging in the film plane.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Booper101altadj.jpg   Brooke209adj.jpg   Constanza208adj.jpg   Gina101adj.jpg   Gina201adj.jpg  

    Last edited by Rolleiflexible; 03-30-2010 at 11:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #19
    JPD
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    I agree with Rolleiflexible. I've never had a problem with film bulging in any of the maybe thirty Rollei TLRs I have owned and used. If there is a bulge in the film, it must be tiny.

    However, it can be an issue one must account for in some cameras. Folders, for example, where the film travels in a straight path. Using a ground glass in the films position is then often not enough when adjusting the infinity focus. When I adjusted the focus on my 6x9 Zeiss Ercona II (with front element focusing), I first used a GG at the back, and then took a test roll and turned the front element in 1mm steps between each shot. The best focus was ca 5mm away from the mark I had made (where the focus looked perfect on the perfectly flat GG in the film gate). The procedure cost me a film roll and a couple of hours, but it was worth it. I found the coated Tessar on the Ercona to be VERY sharp and contrasty.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 36cm2 View Post
    Ken Ruth, of Bald Mountain photo, once told me that in even the most precisely machined rollfilm cameras he's serviced (i.e. Leicas) film bulge is an issue. He's watched the bulge "pop" on hundreds of cameras serviced and recommends that, if you want to minimize the effect, allow no more than 60 seconds from the time you advance the film to the time you expose it. In his observation it takes that little time for a bulge to regularly occur.
    Bulges don't pop.
    It's not the time between advancing and exposing, as much as between exposing and advancing.

    The bulge (according to Zeiss) is a bend in the film that was left to sit bent for too long.
    Film will flex, they say, so if you pull film over a roller or through another bend, it will very soon flatten again. No worries.

    But not, they say, when it has been sitting around that roller or in that bend for a while. Then, they say, it will develop a memory, and not go flat again quick enough.
    So the curve created when it was sitting around a roller before entering the film gate will become a bulge that will be transported into the film gate, lifting the film out of the film plane when it is going to be exposed.
    Unless, they say, you don't allow it enough time to develop that persistent bulge.

    Rather puzzling, since (as we all know) film has been wrapped around a plastic spool for ages already when we finally put it in our cameras. So that persistent bend/curl should be a problem even when we do not allow it to sit around other, new bends for a longer or (as per Zeiss' recommendations) shorter while.

    But to put Zeiss' publication in perspective: it concluded that bulge is a problem.
    But less so when you use 220 film.
    Even less so when you use a vacuum back.

    Was it pure coincidence that vacuum backs only work with 220 film, and that Zeiss' Contax brand was promoting their brand spanking new vacuum back?
    I think not.
    The message of Zeiss' publication was that we should spend money buying a Zeiss/Contax camera, and all those beautiful Zeiss lenses that you need with one of those.

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