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  1. #1
    @leksandra's Avatar
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    What is wrong with my Nikon F3 (or lens)

    It's a newbie question so many of you will laugh. I have to ask it anyway.

    I bought a Nikon F3HP body and eager to try it out I purchased a cheap Nikon series E 28mm F2.8 lens at Henry's for peanuts.
    I shot and developed only couple of rolls (and never touched it again) and almost all frames had marks on them. I didn't develop the film myself. So, my questions are:
    1) How do I determine what are the origin of these marks?
    2) Why do they seem to show on some frames and not on all?
    3) I know it's handheld, but is my manual focusing super lousy or what are the other reasons for poor sharpness?

    Sorry for the crappy shots but they're good examples of what I'm talking about.

    Thank you!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img051s.jpg   img079s.jpg   img099s.jpg  

  2. #2

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    If by marks you mean dust or scratches, then they appear arbitrarily on all film depending on handling.

  3. #3
    AgX
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    If one has no idea at all where a mark could be originating from, one should use another camera sample, better a different model, best no camera at all in order to differenciate between processing and camera or exposure related causes.

    That white circle in the 2nd photo seems to be a waterstain to me.

  4. #4

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    you mean the dust specks that look white on the print? I have that a lot. Can't find a place that develop my film without making it dirty.

  5. #5
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    The white specs are the concern? If these are contact prints, the dust could be in many places. If they are enlargements with a glassless carrier, the dust is on the negative. If you wiped them or dusted them off before enlarging them, then the dust may have been permanently imbedded in the emulsion during drying or processing.

  6. #6
    @leksandra's Avatar
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    When one doesn't know what one doesn't know, it's hard to ask intelligent questions, I guess
    Attached files are resized low quality scans that I received from the developing place and I don't even know where are the negatives now so I can't inspect them In any case, I'm attaching yet another file where you can see a white mark on woman's chin as well as a similar mark in man's hair and above his head, among others. Is that dust or possibly scratched negatives or...?
    Bear with me please, I know my questions are below basics but I'll get there...one day
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img083s.jpg  

  7. #7
    @leksandra's Avatar
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    desertratt, that totally makes sense. Really, basic troubleshooting: if marks are not consistent, you can exclude the camera and/or lenses. I don't know why I needed to air it out here in order to realize it...overall lack of photographic confidence, I guess. When I bought the lens, the store was relocating and they had these sitting around in plastic boxes, they were sold 'as is' so I always assumed that there will be something wrong with it and not knowing how to evaluate the lens myself, here I am...I know it's a low end lens anyway but I just find the results I got with it quite blah. Needless to say that my exposure skills largely contributed to it.
    thanks again!

  8. #8

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    Definitely further confirmation of dust and scratches.

  9. #9
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    It is really hard to tell, my eyes are certainly not what they used to be, but that looks a lot like dust. If those are scans from a local lab then they are not very careful to keep the work area clean. If they always happen in the same location for each and every frame then they could be camera or lens related. If not, then I would suspect the processing end. Maybe shoot another roll of film and send to a different lab to see how their scans look. Also, keep your negatives and go buy a loupe, 8x or 10x. When you see the spot in the scan, use the loupe to check the negative to see if it is on the negative.

    As for image quality, contrast, etc., try shooting at different aperture and shutter settings. It likely is exposure related, but could also be developer related. If the lab's developer is becoming exhausted then your prints will reflect that by a washed out look to them.

    Lots of things to check, just a few suggestions you might try.

  10. #10

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    Lens faults generally won't cause sharply defined defects on the film. When the camera body causes problems it's most often long scratches from some sort of damage around the film gate or on the pressure plate. The other common problem area would be light leaks either because of deteriorated seals on the back, or faults with the shutter.
    The specs and spots on your shots are not typical for either camera body or lens problems. But as stated, they are usually indications of poor dust control during processing.

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