|All pictures on roll come back blank.
- Film did not wind through camera.
- Lens cap was left on.
- Shutter is not opening.
- Problems at the processor.
- Make sure film is loaded properly. On manual advance
cameras, you should see the rewind wheel turn as you advance film.
- Not likely with an SLR!
- With no film in the camera, set the shutter speed to a slow value
- like 1 second. Open the back, aim the camera towards a light and
press the shutter while looking at the shutter. You should see
it spring open. If it does not, replace the batteries.
If this doesn't solve the problem, have the camera serviced.
- If the problem isn't in your camera, the processor should at least
refund the cost of the processing, replace the roll of film, and
develop it for free.
|All pictures too light or dark.
- Exposure compensation was left on.
- Film speed incorrectly set.
- Film is not rated properly.
- Shutter or diaphragm not working properly.
- Check the exposure compensation
to be sure it is set
properly. Be in the habit of checking it continually.
- If setting the film speed is done manually on your camera, be sure
to do it right. Many cameras have a small window which enables
you to see the film speed on the side of the canister actually
loaded; be sure to check this against the film speed set.
Cameras which set the film speed automatically should allow you to
verify that the computer is setting the right film speed. If
the automatic film speed setting is wrong, you will have to disable
it or override it.
- Some films just don't seem to expose properly at the
"official" ISO speed. Books and computer fora abound
with professionals' personal opinions as to the "true"
speeds of various films. Either switch film, set the film
speed manually to compensate, or use exposure compensation.
- Have the camera checked out. If this isn't practical to do
immediately, either manually adjust the film speed setting to
compensate, or dial in the appropriate exposure compensation.
|Pictures aren't sharp.
- Focus wasn't right.
- Insufficient depth of field.
- Subject was moving.
- Camera was moving
- Lens is dirty.
- Condensation on film or lens.
- Lens isn't sharp.
- Focus more critically on important parts of the image.
Before you take the picture, be sure that critical areas of the
image are sharp. Use autofocus. Have your eyes checked.
- Use a smaller aperture (larger numeric f-stop).
- To freeze moving subjects, use a faster shutter speed and/or flash.
- To reduce camera
Clean the lens,
following these instructions.
Never load cold film into a camera under humid conditions. Never
take a camera from a cold environment into a humid one.
If all of the above fails, perhaps your lens is out of alignment
or just plain no good. If you suspect the former, have your
lens inspected and aligned.
|Learn to hold the camera properly.|
|Use a shutter speed which matches the focal length of the lens
(1/400 sec for 400mm, 1/50 second for 50 mm, etc).|
|Control your breathing. Press the shutter button
|Use a tripod or brace the camera on a solid surface.|
|Picture looks OK, but no detail in whites.
- Now you are getting into the fine points of exposure. If the
feathers of a bird, for instance, lack details in the white areas,
then you are just slightly overexposing, maybe 1/3 of a stop or
so. Reduce the
exposure slightly, perhaps by using exposure
compensation, or shifting the area metered more towards the
white on the bird. This is also where exposure bracketing
|Picture looks OK, but no detail in shadows.
- The inverse of the above, with a reciprocal solution: overexpose
slightly. Note that for some scenes, it may be impossible
for the film to record the entire scene perfectly. This
is the case when there are extremes of light and dark in the same
scene. If this is the case, you must make a decision as to
where you will lose detail; in the shadows or in the highlights, and
that depends on the scene in question, the main subject, and your
|Pictures taken inside have a yellowish tinge.
Scenes lit by incandescent lights.
|Incandescent bulbs give off a yellowish light, to compensate:
- Use flash.
- Use tungsten film (but only when pictures are taken under
- Use a filter.
|Pictures taken inside have a greenish tinge.
Scenes lit by florescent lights.
|Florescent lights give off more greens and blues than sunlight.
- Use flash.
- Use a special filter.
|Some pictures on the roll are completely blank and the ones next to
them are partly blank.
- Opening the back of the camera.
- Light leaks in camera.
- Keep the camera back closed! When loading film, advance a frame or
two after you have closed the camera back before taking critical
- Have camera checked for light leaks.
|Scenes taken in dim light are off-color.
||At long exposure times, many films will shift colors in a phenomenon
known as reciprocity failure.
- Open the aperture and reduce the shutter speed.
- Use a different film.
- Use flash or other artificial
|All pictures on roll were off-color.
- Dated film.
- Film exposed to heat or cold.
- Dated film can be a good buy if this doesn't happen to you.
- Store film
under proper conditions.
|Scratches on negatives or slides.
- Dirt on film.
- Dirt in camera.
- Dirt in storage area.
- Dirt in processing machine.
- Carry film in canisters at all times. Wipe off leader of
film with clean fingers before loading camera. Wipe off
opening of film can before returning exposed film to a canister.
- Clean inside of camera.
sure slides and negatives are stored in a safe, clean environment.
You might want to have a roll processed elsewhere to see if that
solves the problem. If it does, and you are sure the problem is not
of your making, talk to your regular processor.
|Check camera every time it is open.|
|Pay particular attention to anyplace the film touches.|
|Don't open the camera back in a dusty environment.|