View Full Version : Strange Looking Pictures Made With Nikon 300M Lens

Brian Ellis
26-May-2002, 22:19
I've experienced the strangest problem with photographs made on a recent photogr aphy trip with my Nikon 300M lens that I've ever seen. I used the lens for abou t five photographs. A friend of mine borrowed it from time to time during the tr ip and made about the same number of photographs. All of the photographs that we both made with this lens (using two different cameras, my Technika V, his Maste r Technika)look very strange. It's difficult to describe and unfortunately I don 't have a web site where I can post an example but typically there is a small sh arp area somewhere in the picture, then everything is so blurry in front and beh ind of that small sharp area that you can't tell what the picture is supposed to be of. Also, there are "ghost" images in the pictures. For example, in one ther e is a small island in the center of the photograph that is in focus, then there is what looks like a larger version of the island, completely black and very bl urred, towards the foreground. It looks like a big black blob and you couldn't t ell what it is except that it is the same shape as the island. I've used this le ns before and haven't had this problem. If anyone would like to see exactly what I'm talking about, let me know and I'll send it as an attachment to an e mail m essage. I'm at a complete loss as to what the problem could be. Since two differ ent photographers experienced the same problem using this lens on two different cameras, it seems almost certain that the problme lies with the lens. I've looke d at it and it looks normal to me. If anyone has any ideas, I'd like to hear the m. Thanks.

Robert Ruderman
26-May-2002, 22:32
Brian -

What do you see on the ground glass when you focus using the lens? Is everything in focus (from corner to corner)? I have no idea as to what the issue might be, but it seems that you should be having a WYSIWYG experience even with a suspect lens.

26-May-2002, 23:12
Howdy B! Just a wild guess, but maybe the shutter is the fly in the ointment here...

What about giving Steve Grimes a call or shipping the lens to him for evaluation???????

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Stewart Ethier
27-May-2002, 00:24
I had a focussing problem with a 300mm lens with symptoms similar to yours until I realized I had forgotten to remove the anti-rotation screw on the lens, preventing it from resting flat against the lensboard. But this wouldn't explain the ghost images ...

Paul Schilliger
27-May-2002, 06:44
Verrry bizzarre! Is there a loose element inside when you shake it?

Steve Grimes.
27-May-2002, 07:19
Possible: 1. Loose (adrift) or missing glass element. 2. Shutter blades not closing all the way. 3. Lens elements not screwed all the way to the shoulder of the shutter due to wrong mounting on lensboard or wrong deco ring on the front of the shutter. 4. Uncovered screw-hole in the lensboard, such as where the Linhof remote cable release connector mounts. 5. Accidental mismatch of front and back elements. Be sure both elements are for the same lens.

If you figure out what's causing it, there are lots of photographers trying to have that result of sharp at the center and blurry elsewhere.

Doug Paramore
27-May-2002, 09:53
Brian: I would look for a hole in the lensboard or lens mount that might be causing a pinhole image. That is assuming that the lens elements are still mounted solidly and in the proper alignment. Also, the shutter might not be closing completly, which can cause a pinhole image to form.


Brian Ellis
27-May-2002, 10:42
Thanks to all who responded. Steve and Doug got it. There originally was a cable release gadget on the Linhof lens board. That gadget fell off a while back. I didn't pay any particular attention at the time since I didn't use the gadget. However, I now see that when it fell off it left a tiny hole in the lens board and that undoubtedly was the cause of the problem. Hopefully I can cover the hole with something and salvange this ridiculously expensive lens board. Thanks again.

Paul Schilliger
27-May-2002, 14:03
Oh! I thought you had an accidental transmutation capable of rivalling the new C ooke Portrait at much lower cost! ;-)

27-May-2002, 18:37
Howdy B, In my old college days, we used to cover the holes in the walls at the dorm with peanutbutter...

Bob Finley
27-May-2002, 20:21
Brian - I have the same ridiculously expensive lensboard with same hole and it is covered with very cheap electrical tape. Tacky but effective. Some year I WILL fix it right.