5 Reasons Why Your Roll Turned Out Blank


Oftentimes, you may find yourself taking pictures that you’re sure are fab only to bounce to the photo lab and find that the roll is completely blank. Welcome to the world film aficionado This is a rite of passage and happens to the best of us! The world of film is delicate in nature and full of surprises. Here are a few reasons why your roll ended up being a goose egg.

Wrong ISO– This is more important than it seems. The settings of your camera must be lined up to the ISO speed of the film you have, as well as the settings you are dealing with outside the camera. For example, you have an SLR camera and a roll of Portra 400 film. Make sure that you set the camera ISO to 400 as well! This is easy to forget! But this is incredibly vital as this setting prevents your film from being over or underexposed.

Loading the Camera Incorrectly-This is so easy to mess up. Loading film probably the easiest thing to do, and yet the hardest thing to get perfect. If this is incorrect, it can ultimately offset all kinds of errors, and result in a blank roll.

Exposure Settings are Wrong– Sometimes your exposure settings don’t match. So remember in the previous example, that your camera ISO is 400 to match the Portra 400 film. But, if somehow you forgot to change your aperture or shutter speed, this can cause a host of problems. The aperture controls how much light comes into the lens, and the shutter speed controls how fast the light comes in. Adjust these settings based off of the subject you are shooting. If you’re shooting people or objects that are moving, the shutter speed should be set to a faster rate so that your camera can capture the speed at which the images are occurring. Also, be sure to adjust the aperture based on how much light if you are working with. Increase the apeture if you are in settings with lower light, decrease it when you have more light! Here’s a chart to understand this balance better.

Camera Malfunction-Sometimes it is just the camera itself. If you’ve gone through a few rolls of film and they are all blank, something may be wrong with your camera. There could be a number of reasons as to why this is happening. Even though we aren’t currently taking any repairs at Photodom, you are more than welcome to bring your camera to us, and we can take a look and see what the problem is!

Your Film is Expired– So, you got it all right. Your camera ISO is lined up with the ISO of the film, the exposure settings are perfect, and your camera works well. But your film is STILL blank? How Sway? Well…if that happens, it is probably your film at this point. Expired film is a gamble and it may not work well after the years have gone by.

I hope this helps! Remember, a blank roll is part of the learning process! Just keep practicing and you will get it for sure.

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