Soft & blurry corners on photos taken with Aires 35 IIIL
Several months ago I received my Aires 35 IIIL. This one used to belong to Marion Carpenter (see here). The camera arrived to me dead, it had a non-working shutter, kaput rangefinder & as I recall a dirty lens. So off it went to my local professional camera repairman. He had a tough time repairing it, taking more time than usual.
About a month or so afterwards, I received it back from him. I was happy with his work, the camera is now very clean and all functions work correctly as it should. I eagerly loaded a roll of Legacy Pro 400 (bulk loaded) into the Aires and proceeded to finish the roll quickly during a family picnic. After development, a quick look at the negatives told me that the pictures are basically alright (no light leaks, etc) but there was something 'wrong' with them. Hard to tell without scanning it. The next morning, I scanned the negatives and lo and behold...
All the photos seem to be alright in the center of the frame, but everywhere else (left, right, top & bottom edges & corners) it's all blurred out, almost like a swing/tilt movement in LF. See the attached photos.
Suffice to say I was disappointed. This particular Aires model supposedly has an excellent lens and I was looking forward to seeing them myself.
I've never encountered this before. What could be causing it? Is the lens to be blamed? Taking a look at the film pressure plate, I kinda suspect it's the culprit. Can film flatness issues cause this kind of photos?
When viewed from the top of the camera, the film pressure plate appears to be higher at one end compared to the other, i.e it's not straight. See photos below.
I'd appreciate any feedback or opinions. Thanks very much in advance!
The photo of the child was obviously shot with the aperture wide open. That’s why the extremely shallow depth of field. Probably the rest were too.
So long as the pressure plate spring is ok—it looks like it is—the plate should hold the film flat against the film rails.
I think that the problem is that the aperture is wide open. Possibly it’s stuck. It should be checked to verify that it stops down as it’s supposed to.
It's possible a lens element is not correctly seated. The film pressure plate looks OK so I'd check with your repair guy, he'd have had the lens apart to fix the shutter etc.
Thanks for your feedback Ian. A quick check reveals that the apertures blades aren't stuck and that they stop down correctly. It was a very sunny day when those photos were taken, so I doubt that they were taken wide open. Probably at f/5.6 or so. Even if those photos were taken wide open, it shouldn't result in such an extreme 'softness', should it? I've heard of lenses giving soft photos in the corners when wide open, but this is a bit much.
Originally Posted by Ian C
Anyway, thanks for your input!
You're probably right, but this is what I feared most. It's going to be my last resort. If all else fails and the consensus here is that it's the lens at fault, then I will certainly be sending it back to him. Thanks again Ian!
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
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I got the exact same sort of look with a Rolleiflex where the lens elements had separated. It's the first thing I thought of when I saw your pics. Good luck with the camera.
wow, just my kind of images !
good luck getting it fixed ...
The usual culprit is a lens element was put back in backwards.
Funny that people pay good money for Petzvals when the same effect can be had by taking a junker lens and reversing or removing an element.
Originally Posted by Nicholas Lindan
+1 for this. Got the same effect on a Yashica-Mat where the second element was put in backwards after a CLA.
And to think that I bought a Lensbaby Muse just fir that very purpose!
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