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Thread: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

  1. #1

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    Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    I'd like to thank everyone here for all of the help and support I've been receiving to my many questions! I've been switching to 4x5 on my own and also assisting a photographer working on a project using 8x10 and have been leaning heavily on everyone here for help! Thanks!

    A current issue that we're having with the 8x10 camera is that some of the negatives are coming back with the right side slightly softer than the left side. The lens being used I believe is a fuji 210mm, stopped down to F16. Movements were minimal but he did adjust the front some to tilt for Shceimflug. The images are landscapes of the beach and the ocean. The right side all the way to about 2/3 of the image is perfectly sharp but the left side just gets slightly softer. He plans to print super large so this is definitely an issue for him.

    Any thoughts on what could cause this?

  2. #2
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    Sounds like it isn't consistent, if it's "some" of the negs. I wonder if a neg holder was not inserted all the way in? That could cause partial out of focus on one side, as well as light leaks.
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  3. #3
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    What Randy said - the film might be loaded over the inner rail on one side. It's easy to do that.

  4. #4

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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    If he is just tilting the lens, or back and doing nothing else then first check to make sure that the standards are actually parallel to each other, other then the tilt.
    Then rotate the lens and see if the soft area changes after rotating the lens.
    Then make sure the film holders are properly inserted and the film is properly inserted in the holder.
    Then try another lens and see if the problem goes away.
    And make sure that the lensboard is absolutely flat.

  5. #5

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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    The gearing for focusing might have gone off track on one side so the front and back standards aren't parallel. Extend the lens out 1" and count the gear teeth on both sides.
    Last edited by John Kasaian; 24-Sep-2018 at 06:08.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  6. #6
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    Focused wide open, one should be able to see the focus problem on the GG if it is a camera/lens issue...except if the springs on the back of the camera don't always hold the GG tight against the back when focusing...happened to me, anyway (operator error).
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  7. #7

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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    Was the right side of the image at infinity while the left much closer? Other than the tilt movement, where in the FOV was the exact point of focus? A 210mm lens on 8x10 is fairly wide and it's easy to miss something close to the camera that will result in slight softness; especially since wide lens on LF are notoriously dim, generally.

  8. #8

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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexipike View Post
    A current issue that we're having with the 8x10 camera is that some of the negatives are coming back with the right side slightly softer than the left side. The lens being used I believe is a fuji 210mm, stopped down to F16. Movements were minimal but he did adjust the front some to tilt for Shceimflug.
    Odds are your friend also inadvertently introduced a little front swing when tilting the lens.

  9. #9

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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    Quote Originally Posted by Mexipike View Post
    A current issue that we're having with the 8x10 camera is that some of the negatives are coming back with the right side slightly softer than the left side.
    Just check the camera aligment in this way, quite straight:

    Use a floor with tiles, point the camera perpendicular to rows the of the tiles, point the camera down to focus the tiles that are some 4m far, place a mark in the row of tiles you are to focus at, take a shot wide open.

    If the focus field is parallel to the rows, seen in the ground glass, then your camera is aligned, if not correct the alignment until you see it in focus. If the camera is aligned but you see in the negative that the focus is not parallel to the rows of tiles then the problem is in the negative holder on in the film flatness.

    If you focused in the row that has the mark but in the negative that the plane of focus in not on the mark then the plane of film does not match the inner side of the ground glass, and that has to be corrected.

    For that test the floor and the camera has to be in perfect level, so you need a good level to check that ground has no inclination or that it has exactly the same lateral inclination than the camera.

    something ($25) like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Note:this test is for the swing alignment, not for the tilt.
    Last edited by Pere Casals; 24-Sep-2018 at 06:51.

  10. #10
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Having problems with 8x10 images that are softer on one side

    If your camera has rear swing, check that the swing on the back is zero every time you set-up the camera. I have found that taking the camera (a Toyo 810 MII in my case) in and out of the backpack has a tendency to introduce a slight swing on the back. Just last week I noticed a slight swing on the back when I removed the camera from the pack and set up for a shot.

    Thomas

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