Keep getting out of focus images

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by nguyen_anh_mai, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Hello all!
    I just got my hand on a Mamiya press 23 yesterday. The view finder is extremely blurry and I havent found a way to clean it thoroughly. Despite all that, i still shot a roll but the film came out all out of focus. The lens is 100 mm retractable 3.5. The bellow is broken so i did not extend it. Is it necessary to extend the bellow to shoot or not? or the out of focus is because of something else?
  2. I don't believe extending the bellows is needed for that lens. I hate to ask the obvious, but did you extend the lens to it's shooting position before making your images? If not, the optics would be in the wrong position to correctly focus.
    I you go to you can find and download the original manual for this system.
    Yas state that the viewfinder is blurry. Do you see the rangefinder overlays within the viewfinder, and if so are you able to watch them match up as you focus the lens? If you can see that, do the focus and match up the rangefinder images, then look at the focus scale on the lens to see if it gives the right distance in your preference of feet or meters. If not, your problem may be deep within the mechanical adjustment of the rangefinder itself, or it may be a problem with the lens connecting correctly with the rangefinder mechanism when it is mounted.
    You can verify focus at any time by mounting the camera on a tripod, making your focus through the viewfinder window and the verifying the sharpness on the ground glass attachment (assuming you have that) at the back of the camera. You have to open the shutter to do that, but it is a perfect way to check that all of the elements of proper focus are working.,
  3. Thank you for your answer Tim. I am very amateur to this stuff. When I shot with this camera, I scaled focus it because the viewfinder is useless. The silver on diagonal mirror came off long time ago so no split image. Do I have to extend or retract the lens to shoot? because the image is significantly out of focus not just a little out of focus.
  4. Unless you are using the bellows extended, it is my understanding that the lens has to be extended for the focus to be accurate. Using it for trying to focus via the scale while it is still retracted would make a huge difference in focus point relative to film plane.
    Go to the site I mentioned and download that manual. There is detailed info on how that lens is to be used and the reason for it to be able to retract.
    When I owned one of these, I did not have the lens that you own, so I don't remember the exact usage details, but I do remember that it is in the manual.
  5. The scale focus method is only approximate. You'll never get accurately focused images without an accurate rangefinder unless you're willing to use a ground glass on the back instead and focus from that. If you decide that you do like the camera then you might want to look for another body with a working rangefinder.
  6. Or, replace the rf mirror.
  7. With a 10 cm lens the camera should be focused on infinity (a distant image) when the film to lens distance is 10 cm. This might give you a rough check. Obviously, less bellows distance is required for closer subject focusing.
  8. Sorry, not enough coffee. "less" should resd "more".
  9. Do I have to extend or retract the lens to shoot? because the image is significantly out of focus not just a little out of focus.​
    Extend. Did you leave it retracted? That would definitely explain why you got out of focus images.
    You only retract the lens inwards, towards the body, if you are focusing by one of the ground-glass backs and wish to use the rear bellows for tilt-shift plane of focus control.

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