I've taken below photo with my Nishika n8000 using the cloudy/poor light mode (I believe it then picks an aperture of f/8). I used Kodak Ultramax 400 and a flash for a majority of the shots which were taken indoors in low light situations. The roll of Ultramax 400 was newly purchased from B and H so I don't think its expired.

I got my film developed by thedarkroom and recently got the scans this morning. All of the shots came back very blue and washed out.

Earlier I used Kodak Gold 200 with this camera. Although most of those shots came back underexposed due to me not using a flash, none of them had this blue issue that I am seeing now.

Is this user error, equipment error, or error on thedarkroom's part in developing?

FIlm scan turned out very blue and washed out

  • \$\begingroup\$ Cloudy poor light mode? I do not know what that is but presumably it was not cloudy indoors, Plus you were using a flash and if it was programed/set properly then there would not be poor light, why did you choose that “mode” ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 2, 2020 at 7:09

2 Answers 2


Film simply doesn't perform well "indoors in low light situations". Light levels are measured as an Exposure Value (EV). Home interiors with average light measure about EV 5. With ISO 400 film, EV 5 scenes would require an exposure of about 0.5 seconds at f/8. Was the camera exposing for so long? I doubt it. Even with flash, you may not necessarily get a significant increase in lighting. On-camera flash, especially on a cheap old camera, is not going to be very powerful.

Have a read of Fred Parker's Ultimate Exposure Computer.

Ultimately, don't have unrealistic expectations. Film doesn't perform well in low light. Head outdoors during the day to enjoy your film camera.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You might wish to qualify that "ordinary" film of ISO 400 or slower doesn't perform well in a simple(ish) consumer camera in low light. And the built-in flashes on those cameras work fine within their limits -- usually 1.5-3 meters with the recommended film speed. They're actually more powerful than a lot of modern digital built-in flashes, because film can't just "turn up the ISO". \$\endgroup\$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jul 2, 2020 at 11:20

What you are seeing is called "Reciprocity Failure" of color negative film from under-exposure.

Color film works by having multiple layers of chemicals (emulsion) that are sensitive to different colors (light wavelengths). When there is very little light to collect, you see color shifts because some emulsions are more sensitive to light than others, and because light falls on the different layers in a less uniform way.

You could go with a more sensitive film but it'll start getting very grainy. You can also fix this by getting more light into the camera and onto the film -- higher powered flash.


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