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  1. #1
    Akki14's Avatar
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    Is this what they mean by contrasty lens?

    I'm kinda puzzled over my colour pictures from my little Finetta88(c.1950) camera. It's not a high class camera or anything but the colour pictures seem to always come out really weird looking. I guess contrasty is the best description? I'd blame the lab but I send them colour films from my other cameras including my Nikon FG which has decent lenses (50mm, or the macro lens I'm borrowing from my dad which is a vivitar series 1 thingy) and those pictures look "normal" to me (and I do trust the lab pretty much). It's just these photos from this camera and I know because it has a silly 180deg wind-on so the negatives always have wonky spacing.

    I *think* the lens on the camera is single coated, possibly 3 elements, if that matters.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails shinyballs-sm.jpg   finettahadleygraveapug.jpg  
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  2. #2
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    It's broken. You don't want it anymore. Send it to me.

  3. #3
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akki14 View Post
    I'm kinda puzzled over my colour pictures from my little Finetta88(c.1950) camera. It's not a high class camera or anything but the colour pictures seem to always come out really weird looking. I guess contrasty is the best description? I'd blame the lab but I send them colour films from my other cameras including my Nikon FG which has decent lenses (50mm, or the macro lens I'm borrowing from my dad which is a vivitar series 1 thingy) and those pictures look "normal" to me (and I do trust the lab pretty much). It's just these photos from this camera and I know because it has a silly 180deg wind-on so the negatives always have wonky spacing.

    I *think* the lens on the camera is single coated, possibly 3 elements, if that matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBrunner View Post
    It's broken. You don't want it anymore. Send it to me.
    Heather,

    Please DO NOT listen to JB. He's always the first one to spot a situation where a single-coated lens can easily be optically-corrected with a light coating of Utah rattlesnake oil! :o

  4. #4
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Heather,

    It's just that great old glass. Try some Pan in it.

  5. #5

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    I used to get real saturated color out of the 50/3.5 Cintar on the Argus C3. Also single-coated. Maybe it was the cheap drugstore film I was getting -- mostly relabeled Agfa color neg they give for free with every developed roll.

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    Other than the obvious, which is that the lens is really nice, I can think of two other possibilities:

    1. The output is actually lower contrast and so the lab goes a little bit nuts with their corrections (assuming you're looking at prints rather than just the negatives you've scanned yourself - most drugstore type labs scan and print digitally and use contrast and colour adjustments before outputting to the printer).

    2. There's some chromatic aberration (splitting of coloured light due to the different refraction of different wavelengths, similar to a prism) which leads to edge effects, which I guess could perhaps be similar to "sharpening" algorithms in photoshop (or the unsharp masking darkroom analogues). I almost see a hint of it in your images though I'm not positive.
    The universe is a haunted house. -Coil
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  7. #7
    JBrunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    Other than the obvious, which is that the lens is really nice, I can think of two other possibilities:

    1. The output is actually lower contrast and so the lab goes a little bit nuts with their corrections (assuming you're looking at prints rather than just the negatives you've scanned yourself - most drugstore type labs scan and print digitally and use contrast and colour adjustments before outputting to the printer).

    2. There's some chromatic aberration (splitting of coloured light due to the different refraction of different wavelengths, similar to a prism) which leads to edge effects, which I guess could perhaps be similar to "sharpening" algorithms in photoshop (or the unsharp masking darkroom analogues). I almost see a hint of it in your images though I'm not positive.
    I'd lean toward #2, The images look very similar to the stuff that comes out of my Exakta with its old CZ Jenna, and I am the one who prints those. It is such a cool look.

  8. #8
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walter23 View Post
    2. There's some chromatic aberration (splitting of coloured light due to the different refraction of different wavelengths, similar to a prism) which leads to edge effects, which I guess could perhaps be similar to "sharpening" algorithms in photoshop (or the unsharp masking darkroom analogues). I almost see a hint of it in your images though I'm not positive.
    Fascinating stuff ... are there any lenses made with this in mind as a feature ?
    Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...

  9. #9
    Akki14's Avatar
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    See, I would have thought people had figured out chromatic aberration by 1950 since slide films had been around for a while then (just looking at wikipedia dates anyway).
    I checked the negs and it's kodak 160NC film so I blame the oversaturated colours on the lab, especially as I've just scanned the neg and it looks a little more "normal" in colours and possibly a bit less contrasty (but that could be the automagic settings on my scanner too?)

    I do run B&W through the camera a lot, it's just a very "odd" look to the colour photos. Unless I saw the wonky spacing on the negs, I'd not recognise the B&W ones as being from a different camera. If you look in my gallery, my little series on the Cider Museum was shot on the finetta88 as are the first two B&W ('Colin & Wendy' and 'Derek & Milly') pictures at the moment. It's sort of become my version of a "little" rangefinder with no rangefinder (it's a guess-the-distance and hope the aperture is small enough sort of range-focusing thing). Though it is a heavy brick of metal and I have to carry around my handheld lightmeter for it so not really the most ideal thing for snapshots but the best thing I have around at the moment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails finettanegscan.jpg  
    ~Heather
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    http://www.stargazy.org/

  10. #10
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Assuming we are looking at scans of prints (?), I'd go with the explanation of excess electronically-induced contrast at the printing stage. I know nothing about this camera but a quick view of
    http://licm.org.uk/livingImage/Finetta-88.html
    seems to indicate a single-coated triplet lens from which you would expect medium contrast by today's standards, with good central sharpness at full aperture and edge sharpness improving from poor to OK as you stop down from full aperture to 5.6 or 8. I would not expect to see any significant chromatic aberration.

    When this camera was new, the vast majority of (amateur) photographers shot b+w, if they shot color at all it would have been Kodachrome, or other slide films to a limited extent. The results with Kodachrome (which offered high contrast and saturation) would probably have been more than acceptable, assuming the photographer was willing to work with a film speed of ASA [ISO] 10. Very few people shot print film in the 50s, it was relatively very expensive. Cameras like the Finetta owe their existence to the ferocious level of import duty payable on foreign cameras in the UK until the late 50s. thus creating a market for cheap affordable models.

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