C330 focus problem...
After years of enjoying my C220, I decided to add a C330 and bought a used one from KEH. Lately, I've had disastrous results with negatives so out of focus that they almost qualify as high order fine art gallery bait! But, I can not figure out what is going on. On a typical roll, several negs may be sharp, but the rest will not be. I use a tripod, focus carefully, and stop down to at least f22. I think I turn the dial to the correct setting for each lens I use, and the problem seems to be independent of my lens choice, as it occurs with any of them (55, 80, 135). Any ideas about what the problem might be?
So the the problem started recently? If you haven't messed with the GG and lost shims, I would imagine the problem might be somewhere in the film plane. Are the negs evenly out of focus, or irregularly out of focus? Any problem with the film winding mech? Has it been dropped, tweaked or twisted?
I had the exact same problem with my C330.... take the viewfinder completely off the camera. Look underneath the viewfinder between the glass and the metal part, there is supposed to be a gasket (like light seal) that goes between the glass and the metal part. if the gasket is deteriorated and the glass is right up against the metal it may be causing a focusing problem. it makes the glass too far away from the mirror. if you look at the screws there is a little shoulder/shelf on them that shows how thick the gasket is supposed to be... the glass should be tight up against the screw. Clean the old gasket material out and put a new gasket on.
I had the same problem and fixed mine this way. if yours is the same problem.
Last edited by VaryaV; 10-12-2011 at 12:39 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Sourdough, salami and blue cheese... and 2 dogs drooling with such sad, sad eyes. ... they're working me... they know I'll cave!
Is the mirror damaged or loose?
Originally Posted by jovo
Is there a problem (some obstruction) with how the lenses are mounted to the camera?
Are the out of focus negatives in focus at the wrong distance/on the wrong plane or are they blurred throughout?
As mentioned above, the focussing screen shims can deteriorate.
“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
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Yup sounds like the focusing screen is out of focus with the film plane. Check the screen if it upside down?
If not you'll have to adjust the screen's focus to cooincide with the film plane.
Anyone can make a Digital print, but only a photographer can make a photograph.
If I am right, some shots are ok, others are not? Even at F22 with the extra DOF, I doubt that the shims would make too much difference. On my 330F there are screws (3 of them) under the finder that can be adjusted. However, they should be adjusted using something closer to f2.8 - 3.5 than f22. The screws adjust the height of the ground glass from the mirror. I have never messed with mine, but I suppose you could. Changing the dial from one lens to another does nothing other than change the focus scale.
I think I would start to look for something else first. Look at the film pressure plate. Under the plate are two flat springs that old it against the film. The plate is held on by two screws recessed into the plate. Make sure that the plate is not stuck, and that it freely moves when you press in. Your problem may be film buckling due to lack of pressure. Also look for a loose mirror, or shims missing in the finder allowing the ground glass to bounce around.
If all seems well, I guess you could mount a ground glass in the back against the film rails, focus on an object until that image is clear, than adjust the screws under the finder until the viewfinder also seems in focus. You could also screw up the adjustment really bad too. Just a bit of warning.
Last edited by Too old to care; 10-12-2011 at 01:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Made an addition
Start with the basics. Are you using a waist-level finder? If so, is the flip-up magnifier coming up level? Can you focus your eye on the edge of the fine focus spot on the ground glass? If some frames are good, and the others are not, I suggest starting with the most variable element - the human. You can always remove the finder and use a loupe directly on the screen. Run your test wide open.
Only once you are certain the screen is being brought to focus should you think about the mechanics. If you change lenses, are they seating correctly. Has the camera been dropped and the lens board out of true?
I feel, therefore I photograph.
Thank you all for your suggestions thus far...a lot of things to try. I think Varya's suggestion is the one I'll try first. Since I have owned the camera it hasn't been dropped or banged around, nor are the lenses ill seated. I wasn't aware of there being shims, but there does seem to be some looseness to the viewfinder with neither the flip up magnifier, or the prism (which is what I use) attached to the camera. The fact that a few negatives are fine out of the 12 suggests to me that something that's loose occasionally falls correctly into place, but then falls out of place a moment later when the camera is moved.
I have hired a shaman to recite some incantations and cast some spells on the thing. We'll see if that helps too!
In addition to the shaman, I’ve heard that it also helps to sacrifice a d-camera on a barbecue grill at the rising of the full moon.