Darn I just typed in a long response and managed to lose it when I tried to include a quote.
The prints are dry now and I compared them carefully. The 1st one was out of focus. The second one looks good. When my eye was close to the eyepiece it made it harder to see when the focus locked in. When my eyes were further away, it was easier to see clearly that the focus was just right. I can't focus well on things closer than about 6", and that might be all this is.
I got my current glasses about 3 years ago and will be going in for another checkup in the fall. My eyes are worse than they were 3 years ago, by about the same amount as they changed the prior 3 years. Before that I had the same prescription since high school. The ophthalmologist said it was normal and that it would continue. I'm 52 now and he said it often starts in the 40's.
I'm using an old beseler 23c and the focus is a bit tricky with 135 and the 50mm lens.. you have to go a hair past the focus and then "nudge" it just right into focus. It's easier with 120 and the 105mm lens. It's not perfectly aligned but it's pretty close. I worked on it a few months ago. Most of my prints are fine. My magnasight doesn't have a needle... it's nice and bright and I like it but obviously I need to be careful how I use it!
That's interesting! I'm not a sharpness fanatic. I've got a couple prints from negatives that were not perfectly sharp ( not out of focus, but shutter speed a touch low for handheld ) and the softness does not detract from the picture... ( clouds and water and a sort of misty evening feel... ) Those made me think about what sharpness and softness in a photograph mean.
Originally Posted by markbarendt
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the help and advice. I'm glad I found APUG!