I am a little embarrassed to ask this question. I have a fairly broad backgroun d in photography starting as a miltary photographer in 1968. I have been into bl ack and white 4x5 for about a year now and love it. I have read everything I can get my hands on and enthusiastically try new stuff. I have not really come acc ross any explaination of diffraction and flare that I understand enough to look for it on my negatives.

What do I look for on my negative to determine if I have stopped down too much ? Does everything begin to get fuzzy ? Perhaps I need to do another set tests fo r my lenses. I tend to shoot at f32 or 45, but am tempted occassionaly to shoot at f64 (Nikkor 90mm f8 and Fujinon 150 f5.6)

I can readily see flare in the form of strange images on my negatives when light starts bouncing around between the lens and filter. I also see the outlines of the shutter in a backlit shot, but how do I know if I am getting a more subtle general flare(not sure thats the right way to describe it). I had an experience shooting some 3200 film of my son playing hockey a couple of weeks ago. I was very carful to meter the rink and players and set the focus and exposure on my 3 5mm Pentax and 135mm lens. The lens is at least 35 years old with a blue tint t o it (has a lens hood). I assume its not multi coated. All of the photos, even the ones I thought would be overexposed were flat. The several I took elswhere with my 28mm multi coated lens (same roll of film) were great. Is that flatness caused by lens flare?

Any suggestions would be appreciated including reading sources.

Thank you in advance.