This image was shot on my Contax G1 with Fujifilm X-TRA 400 film. Though, this was my first time using the Contax TLA 200 Flash - so I did make some mistakes.

However most of the shots turned out accurately exposed and colors were really clear and balanced...except for a few shots (like the one below).

What could have caused this image to be muddy? Is it an element in the camera/film? Change in settings while using flash? Maybe a scanning error?

(click to expand image)

enter image description here

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    \$\begingroup\$ Can you describe what you mean by "muddy"? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 20:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ By muddy, do you mean parts that are blurry? Or perhaps the orangish color cast? Or something else? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 2:03

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't have used the term muddy.

What I think I'm seeing is several things, but I think it mostly relates to one key item.

There's no EXIF data, but it looks like you used a very large apeture maybe full open 2.8.

This in turn gave you a very shallow depth of field leading to much of the image being out of focus.

The wide aperature coupled with a low power flash results in a significant contribution of ambient light over a relatively slow shutter speed, partially negating the ability of an electronic high speed flash to freeze movement.

Lastly, a direct on-camera flash makes driver-license-pictures.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "There's no EXIF data" That made my day. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure why a simple statement of fact makes you so happy, but OK. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 11, 2019 at 3:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Very insightful, doubly so from a moderator. I'm clearly in the wrong place. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 11, 2019 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Hueco the FUJI GA645Zi prints "EXIF" data on the frame border. Analogue EXIF does exist ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Commented May 11, 2019 at 20:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @TimStack I’m known to put it on from time to time. Finally get to wear the bad dad jokes hat though so, been trying to get used to that one 😉 \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Commented May 11, 2019 at 22:58

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