1) No, but... The spotmeter doesn't focus close. It will be influenced by the surroundings.Originally Posted by Bruce (Camclicker)
2) Seems a bit too bad to be mere processing?
3) That sounds about right to me.
4) Yes, but failing that would lead to underexposure.
I have tested the bokeh of an old (1934) Heliar 150mm by shooting the same scene at f:4.5, f:16, and f:45 adjusting the shutter time accordingly. The exposures were identical - incidentally proving that the shutter is still reasonably accurate.
Wrong exposure is the likely culprit - check your meter. And also have a look at how it behaves close up...