I spent a parallel career in I.T. and one of the skills you must learn to be successful in that line of work is how to question your own assumptions.
I was on contract to a major corporation, and I was their lead engineer for an content management software package. The company used it for their internal portal. One day the entire thing collapsed under the weight of its own use; dead, flat on the ground, and I had to get it back up again.
Granted, the company had not made some very necessary upgrades along the way, and that caused the majority of the problems – those we could fix. How to manage your I.T. when you are a multi-billion dollar company is the subject of many a book. However there were also some internal problems with the software itself which the vendor refused to accept at first.
To make a very long, tedious story short, it took me 4 months to figure out all the problems and get them fixed. I would be presented with evidence. I would see something. I would go down the rabbit hole. It would dead end. I would have to change my assumptions. I would have to check my ideas about what I thought was true and argue against myself. I sought advice, but if the buck stops with you whose advice do you take. GOD is an object-oriented Programmer – the essence of truth is binary.
If you don’t challenge your own ideas then you’re pretty much a fool and your career ends.
Well, I am at a dead end.
Last episode of “Oooh! I Saw a Ghost”, I compared my two D3400’s. I shot jpegs. Lo and behold… Nothing. No ghosts! Nice, clean, sharp.
Then I thought, “Well it must be the RAW image processing of the D3400 that is causing the problem. So I tested again today. Here is the image exported from the RAW file. Same D3400. Same 60mm Micro Nikkor. Same exposure settings. Same cropping. No other editing except to convert the image to monochrome to minimize color issues that might contribute to the “ghost”.
Below is the original “scan” of the 35mm negative. Again, everything is the same, except the image above came directly from the camera as a digital positive RAW file, while the one below is a copy of the 35mm negative, also a RAW file. Remember that the ghosting went away when I switched from the D3400 to the D7500 copying (“scanning”) the same negative on the same copy stand, cameras both mounted the same, using a remote switch, etc. The ghosting was repeatable.
It bugs me to no end to have a technical problem that I cannot figure out. That made me good at what I did in I.T. However, when you’re dealing with problems like this one, and you reach a place where you have a workable solution, then the best course of action is just to let it go. Don’t spend more precious time on it. If the issue returns, I’ll attack it again.
If you have an idea about what may have caused the problem, drop me a line.
In the mean time, I will chalk it up to a “DEU Error”; that is, Defective End User, meaning me. I must have done something to cause it. I’ll just enjoy photographing with the excellent Nikon D3400 and D7500.