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Performing a Camera Test


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#1 Jimmy Ren

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 06:05 PM

Hi. I recently purchased an Eclair ACL2 and an Ang lens off of eBay and I was wondering what's the best way to test a camera and lense. Is there a standard, comprehensive test that I should perform that would check for most major issues (focus, registration, viewfinder alignment, etc)? Or should I just start shooting random things in as many different settings as possible? Thanks.
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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 06:09 PM

Here's something I whipped up in Illustrator, but there are probably official ones out there for purchase.

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  • Focus_Test_1.jpg

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#3 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 09:42 PM

Is there a standard, comprehensive test that I should perform that would check for most major issues (focus, registration, viewfinder alignment, etc)? Or should I just start shooting random things in as many different settings as possible? Thanks.


You can make up tests for each issue you wnat to check, The Clasic test for steadyness and registration to to use a chart like the one that has been posted, shoot a short shot - 10-15 feet, rewind the film in the dark and shoot again, with the camera moved an inch down and an inch to the side. (with the camera clamped, carfully focued and absoutly looking stright at the chart. Whne projected the image should not have any movemnet between the two images. You can actually project your test negative for this sort of test. as well as looking under the microsocope.

Focus is checked with a chart like the USAF 1951 resoultion chart. try both foucsung by eye, and by careful measurement and checking the markings - slate both tests, and look at the negative under the microscope. center and edge.

Some short sceens in you backyard to see if it starts and stops Ok. (No unexpected flashes) Some shots of a distant tv tower to check infinity focus. Leave it out in the sunshine to see if it leaks light.

I am sure others have their favorites ..
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#4 Thanasis Diamantopoulos

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 03:34 PM

Hi except of the lense test you must test the door and the magazin for film scratchind the batteries and cameras motor if running properly you must shoot at least 60 sec of film .
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#5 Hans Engstrom

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 01:42 PM

I like to perform the steadyness and registration test shooting a checked paper centering where the lines cross, rewind move the camera centering a blank spot. You should underexpose by one stop when doing this test.
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#6 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 01:50 PM

Good point about the underexposing by one stop, something that sometimes folks overlook.

I do two separate tests. For the registration test I shoot a very fine grid pattern with a center cross hair, and I lay one exposure right on top of the other exposure. That way I can inspect each frame with a high powered magnifier and spot any variation in the fine grid pattern and any drift at all.

Then I do a separate focus test, using a calibrated 8mm lens set wide open (giving me the shallowest depth of focus possible for 16mm cameras) and use a standard focus chart that is wide enough to cover the whole frame. I then inspect each frame with the same high powered magnifier to look for edge to edge sharpness.

-Tim
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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 01:57 PM

Then I do a separate focus test, using a calibrated 8mm lens set wide open (giving me the shallowest depth of focus possible for 16mm cameras) and use a standard focus chart that is wide enough to cover the whole frame. I then inspect each frame with the same high powered magnifier to look for edge to edge sharpness.
-Tim

What power magnifier do you use?
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#8 Tim Carroll

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:29 PM

What power magnifier do you use?


I use this:
15x Loupe

or if I really need magnification I use this:
22x Loupe

With a light board.

-Tim
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#9 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:32 PM

Hi. I recently purchased an Eclair ACL2 and an Ang lens off of eBay and I was wondering what's the best way to test a camera and lense. Is there a standard, comprehensive test that I should perform that would check for most major issues (focus, registration, viewfinder alignment, etc)? Or should I just start shooting random things in as many different settings as possible? Thanks.


A test should never be random! You should also shoot remarks as well, as papers tend to get lost or notes get mixed up etc. After the registration test i shoot a board on which i wrote the camera's serial number, the date and the name of the project. For lens checks you should put the serial number of the lens, the stop it is set to as well as the focus distance on the test chart. When i check a zoom lens i set up the camera so the middle cross of the ground glass lines up with the middle cross of the test chart (if it has one...). I start with the longest focal lens and while the camera is running zoom completely out and back in.
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#10 Hans Engstrom

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 02:42 PM

Good point about the underexposing by one stop, something that sometimes folks overlook.

I do two separate tests. For the registration test I shoot a very fine grid pattern with a center cross hair, and I lay one exposure right on top of the other exposure. That way I can inspect each frame with a high powered magnifier and spot any variation in the fine grid pattern and any drift at all.

-Tim


Thanks Tim I meant to write grid, not checked.
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#11 Jimmy Ren

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 10:54 AM

Hi, while testing my camera. I noticed that my ACL2 has a light meter inside the viewfinder. It seems to work similar to my Nikon SLR in-camera light meter. I was wondering how you could specify what type of ASA (50, 250, 500) film you're using for the ACL2 light meter. There doesn't seem to be any mechanism though (like there is on a SLR). Does it work the same way or am I off base here? Thanks.
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