An Interesting Issue After an Accident with a 35mm Camera...
A few months ago, I was out shooting with my trusty Minolta XG-M. It was a very windy day, and I was hurrying to set up for a shot. I left the tripod for a moment, and sure enough, a strong gust knocked my rig to the ground, denting the camera, and breaking the lens off the camera. Surprisingly, the camera worked, and the lens probably could be repaired.
This happened at frame 21, and so I contiued to shoot the rest of the roll (using diffrent lenses). I got back the prints yesterday, and all frames look normal, expect for four frames, 21-24. These four frames are indoor portraits of my daughter, and are very blurry. Immediately, I figured that the fall had some effect on the operation of the camera. Then I thought: why are frames 25-36 okay? At frame 25, I am outdoors, shooting an evening landscape. All seems fine. I shot the four portraits of my daughter at f/2 at 1/60th, with an MC 50/1.4 Rokkor. I often shoot in available light at 1/60th. Also, while I try to avoid f/1.4 and f/2 with my 50/1.4 lens (as I can sometimes detect some vignetting), I have other shots at f/2 with this same lens that look good--i.e. not at all blurry. Did I just mis-focus?--but for all four frames? If the camera were damaged, why were just four frames affected?
I welcome any comments or observations, as I cannot determine what has happened here.
Set up the camera on a tripod, shoot the lens wide open, clearly focused on something within the close focusing range of the camera, and that's identifiable and distinctive.
Then stop down one stop at a time until you reach the smallest aperture.
Repeat with a different lens.
You could also note exactly the focusing distance indicated on the lens, and compare it to what you get with a measuring tape (measure from the film plane to the point of focus you see in the viewfinder).
I can't tell you what's wrong, but you should try to repeat what you did to see if it will happen again. If there is something wrong with the camera, it's important to be able to tell exactly when it happens, so that the repairman stands a good chance at diagnosing and fixing the problem.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh
I thank you for the advice, Thomas. It is nice to see you reply.
It could be that something is making the positioning of the mirror erratic.
Does the XG-M permit you to change the focussing screen? It may have been dislodged by the fall.
“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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If the camera fell lens first then the flange might have bent and the flange distance become a bit smaller, which could mean a lot of problems at small focusing distances but still good/decent infinity. So, portraits could be bad but everything shot at longer distances could still be alright.
This happened to me one time (diffent camera though). I repostitioned the focusing screen by hand, but I think it's conceivable that the mirror slapping against a dislodged screen could smack it back into place.
Originally Posted by MattKing