Me or the Camera?

I have my film back from my trial run of the Zeiss Netter 515 and the results are not great.

To begin with, Film Dev tell me my film arrived loose again so there are light leaks. I am confused by this as I put the tape on straight after I finish the roll and put it straight into an envelope.

I am not sure what I am doing wrong with 120 recently that means the film is arriving at the developer loose?

I only got 4 shots which was disappointing.

Only this one was sort of in focus:

Minsmere Sluice, Fomapan 400

This isn’t a fantastic shot but you get the idea of what I was trying to shoot. Aside from the light leaks the photo does not appear to be very sharp.

This photo is even worse:

Minsmere Wood, Fomapan 400

This and the other half-decent photo is not in focus.

I am finding it hard to work out whether my zone focusing is wrong of whether the Zeiss is actually not working properly and the lens or the bellows are not functioning correctly.

I guess it’s probably me as it’s the first time I used this camera but I want to be sure (and I don’t want to waste any more money on developing so few photographs).

Any 120 photographers out there got any idea or suggestions?

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Written by Keith

I am from the UK and live in the East of England. I have a keen interest in history, art, social media, marketing, photography (in all forms), and men! I am a keen runner and an alumnus of the British Academy of Photography. I've been lucky enough to have several photographs published in various publications and exhibitions around the world. I work in the City of London, love to travel, and I am always learning new things. Support my work by buying me a coffee https://www.buymeacoffee.com/continuousfocus

6 comments

  1. My thoughts – and I’m not an expert – would be that, (assuming the optics are clear, that the bellows fully extend when the camera is opened so that the lens is correctly positioned, and you’re setting the correct focus distance), the lens itself is possibly not aligned – it could be that someone has taken the camera apart at some point and not put the lens back at it’s correct rotation. That would mean that, for instance, if you were setting focus at 10 feet, the lens might be actually focussed closer of farther away.

    The rangefinder was not correctly set when I got my Zeiss and most of the photos from the first roll were soft as a result. After fixing the issue it produces tack-sharp photos.

    1. Ok thanks. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try adjusting the lens.

      I did try different focal distances and the last two shots which I didn’t get, were set to infinity.

      I’ll think I’ll try a roll at infinity and see if that yields any results.

      Thanks for the advice.

      1. That sounds like a good plan. I’d maybe use a tripod (or stand it on a steady surface) and use a cable release. That way you’ll rule out any camera shake. Then use a small aperture, say f/11 or f/16.

        You can also test closer focussing in your home or garden by using a tape measure to accurately gauge the distance to the subject and then setting the camera focus scale to match.

        Good luck!

      2. I took the Zeiss out today and took some shots on the ground at infinity and a couple in the garden with a tape measure. The weather was sunny so it was bright enough…. I’ll send the film off and sew how.it did this time. #fingerscrossed

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