On my last three rolls of film I’ve had developed the pictures have been excessively grainy. This is apparent on looking, but once zoomed in (even a tiny bit) all definition/detail is lost and the picture is really grainy and undefined.

I was wondering if it was a result of under exposure. I’ve been using a yellow filter so wondered if that was the issue as I wasn’t compensating for it. Although because my camera uses TTL (Minolta x500) and my yellow Hoya K2 filter only has a a filter factor of 2 (1 stop) I thought the film latitude should be able to handle it.

Or perhaps it was the f stop I’d chosen, making it out of focus.

Just a bit confused really.

Previously (without yellow filter) I’ve used tri x 400 (2 rolls) and had no problems. I’ve also shot three rolls of Lomo 400 and never had an issue with blurry ness/grain/lack of definition when zooming into a pic.

With the yellow filter I’ve had a roll of Delta 400 and HP5 400 that definitely have this problem.

All film was shot at box speed, on the same camera and developed by the same lab.

I’ve attached an image below showing the problem I’m referring to. (Taken on Delta 400 with yellow filter)

I’ve also attached a picture taken in Brighton that doesn’t have this issue. (This was taken tri X 400 without yellow enter image description herefilter)

Apologies if a question like this has been asked and answered already. enter image description here

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unless you develop and scan your self, there is no way to know if the process is or is not consistent. The lab may be doing something different like using different staff. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 2, 2021 at 0:29
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The second image looks grainier to me than the first. Which is which in your description? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jun 2, 2021 at 4:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems like you've shot multiple rolls with and without filter since noticing the problem. Why not try adjusting exposures to compensate for the filter? \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder to what extent this has to do with how we perceive grain (rather than what the actual objective granularity of the negative is). To me, the people in the foreground in the second photo look to be considerably out of focus (on zooming), and my guess is that we tend to notice grain more easily in out-of-focus areas (since there's less acutance there connected to the subject matter itself). But this is just a guess. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kahovius
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Bob - This is very true, once I’ve got more of a handle on shooting etc I plan to try and dev my own. Michael - the second image is the one I’m talking about in terms of grain. Sorry it wasn’t very clear. The whole roll is pretty much like this. I don’t have a prob with grain, I like it. But the second photo doesn’t look ‘correct’. Figured something was wrong with exposure. \$\endgroup\$
    – Elly2323
    Jun 2, 2021 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


Kodak TriX is known for distinctive and traditional grain structure. Ilford Delta films are T grained. Lomography films are known for...well the fun is in the surprise.

Consistent results with film come from consistent film selection, metering, scene conditions, filter selection, developer, processing times, and scanning.

You have inconsistent results because there is no consistency except the choice of lab. And there are zero guarantees that the lab work is consistent. Many labs are not.

These are the joys of film.


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