Well, I Was Wrong. And It Cost Me Money.
I was using a well-known name of SLR camera with well-known film. And a simple set of lenses - f:1.8, f:2.8, f:4. My slides were taken out in the open air and at medium f stops and about 1/250 of a second. And they were sharp and well-coloured.
As photography enthusiasts go, I went, and like many others was not satisfied with success. I lusted after the LX version of the camera and when I got it decided that the 55mm f:1.8 lens was not going to be as good as the 50mm f:1.2. So I traded it in and got a couple of boxes of colour negative film, and went out to take pictures in the twilight.
Not surprisingly, when I got back the results there was more grain in the image, the focus was not as sharp, and the postcard prints had none of the sparkle of the transparencies. I just knew it was the fault of the camera and the mens and sold it all off in a snit to buy the next hare-brained idea - a medium format press camera.
Older readers will detect where I went wrong - f:1.2 is not as sharp as f:8. Low light levels and shadows mean muddy shadows. Negative film has more grain than transparency film. Minilab prints can sometimes be minimal quality. But I convinced myself it was the fault of the camera.
Now I work in the trade and have taken more photos and looked at them. I realise my mistake. I spent out big and spent out wrong because I did not talk to someone in...the photo trade.