Blurry film camera pictures

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rgnyc1992

rgnyc1992

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@wfooshee thanks for all the info and great picture of the lightning! It does look like the lab did a pretty bad job at scanning. Fortunately, there is another one close to me who does a pretty good job (but for 2x the price); Do you know any good negative scanner?

@jcdeboever thanks for the tip, I was also told not to use the Darkroom but it looks like my local shop did not really do a better job... I love the 2 pictures!! And yes they are very sharp indeed. But my problem was not so much about the sharpness but more the focus and I think I figured it: I mounted my 50mm AI manual lens on my Nikon D7100 and every single picture I took with it was out of focus (falling behind subject). This is probably why the couple pictures I shot from building and landscapes were in focus but not really sharp (which is 100% due to the low res scan) and my portrait were all out-of focus AND soft due to scan.
I think I may have to return the lens (bought used from eBay) and try to get a new one...
 

cgw

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A several things seem obvious. Testing another lab is the easiest. However, I’d also consider the following: faster film ISO 400-800; f2.8-4 as max apertures; shooting the FE in aperture priority and minding the shutter speeds it likes; using anything available for a camera support—a doorway, wall, counter top, furniture, anything more stationary than you. Simply putzing around without shooting film will give some idea of what’s possible. The FE is a gem. Still shoot a pair of them with 50/1.4 lens and couldn’t be happier. Experiment!
 
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rgnyc1992

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A several things seem obvious. Testing another lab is the easiest. However, I’d also consider the following: faster film ISO 400-800; f2.8-4 as max apertures; shooting the FE in aperture priority and minding the shutter speeds it likes; using anything available for a camera support—a doorway, wall, counter top, furniture, anything more stationary than you. Simply putzing around without shooting film will give some idea of what’s possible. The FE is a gem. Still shoot a pair of them with 50/1.4 lens and couldn’t be happier. Experiment!
I just bought a roll of 400 so I’m going to try that over the weekend and have it developed somewhere else. I am pretty sure most of my pictures were taken at 1/125 which should prevent shaking.
I’m going to experiment as you said but I’m afraid the lens is just not functioning properly (on my FE and D7100)
 

wfooshee

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On an FE, with the split-image rangefinder and micro-prism screen, I don't know how you could miss focus. I don't see how a lens could back-focus with that system. An AF lens back-focusing on an AF camera can be adjusted in the camera menus, but I don't see how a manual focus lens could "lie" to the micro-prisms and split-image in the viewscreen.

Focusing manually on the D7100 would be a chore at f:2, the viewfinder isn't sharp enough to focus accurately, and if using the left-center-right indications at the bottom, you have to make sure you're pointing the AF sensor at the right part of the image.
 

480sparky

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On an FE, with the split-image rangefinder and micro-prism screen, I don't know how you could miss focus. ........
Same way AF misses focus on modern DSLRs. Just because it's in perfect focus on the screen, doesn't guarantee perfect focus at the film plane. Cameras are man-made mechanisms, and there's an issue with a thing called 'tolerances'. The focus screen is designed to be the same distance from the lens as the film plane, but tolerances can screw that up. The screen is slightly higher or lower than 'perfect'. the film plane is slightly ahead or behind 'perfect'. The mirror itself may not be exactly where it's supposed to be. One of these alone can cause missed focus. Two or more can compound the problem.
 

cgw

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There's a slim chance the focus screen is misaligned. Also possible your 50/2 is the victim of inept/amateur repair that resulted in wonky focus. Nikon made piles of them. Should be able find one cheap. Funny but I find the electronic rangefinder on the D7200 to be bang on with manual Nikkors.
 
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rgnyc1992

rgnyc1992

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On an FE, with the split-image rangefinder and micro-prism screen, I don't know how you could miss focus. I don't see how a lens could back-focus with that system. An AF lens back-focusing on an AF camera can be adjusted in the camera menus, but I don't see how a manual focus lens could "lie" to the micro-prisms and split-image in the viewscreen.

Focusing manually on the D7100 would be a chore at f:2, the viewfinder isn't sharp enough to focus accurately, and if using the left-center-right indications at the bottom, you have to make sure you're pointing the AF sensor at the right part of the image.
Agreed, I really thought I nailed the focus on all my pictures, that’s why I was disappointed. I spent at least 15-20 sec on each of the pictures I posted above to turn the ring very slowly one way and back to make sure I had the best focus possible. And I’m usually pretty good with manual focus! The autofocus of one of my lens (18-55) broke a few years ago so I spent months doing manual focus on the small viewfinder of a Nikon D3000… It was a good learning experience but in the end I was able to get pretty decent pictures with this method. I really don’t see how I could miss focus with the huge viewfinder of the FE…
 

wfooshee

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Agreed, I really thought I nailed the focus on all my pictures, that’s why I was disappointed. I spent at least 15-20 sec on each of the pictures I posted above to turn the ring very slowly one way and back to make sure I had the best focus possible. And I’m usually pretty good with manual focus! The autofocus of one of my lens (18-55) broke a few years ago so I spent months doing manual focus on the small viewfinder of a Nikon D3000… It was a good learning experience but in the end I was able to get pretty decent pictures with this method. I really don’t see how I could miss focus with the huge viewfinder of the FE…
Well, as pointed out above, if the focus screen and the film plane aren't the exact same distance from the lens, then focus on the film won't match what you see in the viewfinder. That issue would show with every lens you mount on the camera, though, so I don't know if you've tried another lens, or even have one that would work on the FE.
 

JBPhotog

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Although a bit finicky you can check focus using the view camera method. The FE has a small spring loaded latch on the hinge side inside of the back. This permits you to take the back off the camera for easy access for the next step.

take a piece of frosted Mylar, a transparency sleeve with a frosted side works. Trim it to just fit over the film plane while resting on the film rails, a tiny bit of tape works. Make sure it lies flat.

A loupe is needed for the next step. Make sure your camera is on a tripod, focus using the viewfinder then switch the shutter to Bulb and when the shutter is open the image is projected on the frosted Mylar, check focus with your loupe.
 

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the last photo looks like the trees at least caught some wind at moment of shutter activation. Get similar blur even with digital if im shooting slower then say 1/250
 

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