I am shooting film with a Nikon SLR.

I have shot thousands of rolls of film before with other cameras. I made sure (twice) the film was actually advancing.

I checked the mirror mechanism and film advance spool and shutter. All are working fine. Firing. My light meter seems to be accurate and working and my chemicals are good. I used them the same day with other film.

My film is clear! only a few tiny light streaks are visible on the film. I have never seen this before.

Can anyone help?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you post a shot of the negatives? Can you go into detail on your processing (what developer do you use, what's your process, is cross contamination or out of order chemicals even remotely possible)? Have you shot any film after this roll to success? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Mar 9, 2020 at 18:58
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "I have shot thousands of rolls of film before with other cameras" Does that imply that this is the first roll shot with this camera ? How did you check that the shutter is opening and closing ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Mar 9, 2020 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you check the aperture mechanism? - I had the same symptoms on an old Minolta - the mechanism that ensured the aperture closed the desired amount when the shutter released had failed.... or maybe I was getting over exposure, I can't remember. I believe it was an electromagnet that failed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Mar 10, 2020 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


Are the frame numbers visible? If they are, processing chemicals and times are fine, but the film was not exposed. If the frame numbers are not visible, whether or not the film was exposed, the processing is at fault - exhausted chemicals or maybe incorrect sequence.


Assuming this was B&W or color negative film, the most likely cause of completely clear film (no edge markings, no exposed leader for 35 mm) is mixing up the graduates and pouring the fixer before the developer.

It's an easy mistake to make, even (especially) after processing hundreds or thousands of tanks previously. All it takes is an interruption or distraction while measuring out your chemistry.

Assuming you didn't run silver-image B&W film through C-41 or E-6 chemistry (which will bleach away the entire image without leaving behind a dye image as it would with the correct film), do the following:

First, discard all the chemicals from any bottles you used for this roll, because of the likelihood you poured fixer back in the developer bottle and developer into the fixer (if you one-shot your developer, you can keep the stock solution or concentrate, at least through the next test). Second, put a cut film leader into freshly mixed developer in the light, to be sure it turns black within no longer than your normal development time for that film. Third, run a fresh test roll (not images you'll care about, just correctly exposed and focused junk images) with freshly mixed chemistry.

This series of steps should restore your confidence in your chemistry and process.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.