I am new to 35mm film photography and I am trying to pin point where I am going wrong in either my photo taking process or development process.

These photos were taken on a Cannon AF35M II, with Fuji Color, Fuji Film 100.

They were self-developed using the Cinestill C-41 Liquid Kit. I then scanned them in using a Plutek 8200i Scanner. I've used professional development services in the past with this camera and film and the digital scans are always really clear.

However, now that I have developed it myself the photos are came out dark, grainy, noisy, and with little to no detail.

What can be the reason for this? Is it a light leak? Did I under develop? Did I over develop? Am I missing a step somewhere?

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  • 1
    Hi and welcome to Photo.SE! Good question and thanks for including sample pictures. To be sure everyone understands your question, and for findability, could you perhaps mention in a few words what aspects of the photos are different than you expected? Mar 27, 2022 at 20:22
  • I thought that they would come out clear. They instead came out dark, grainy, noisy, and with little to no detail. Mar 29, 2022 at 2:41
  • Could you please add a photo of the developed negative film? The scanner might have tried to compensate a problem created earlier in the process. Mar 29, 2022 at 13:11

3 Answers 3


That's a look I associate with underexposed negatives, when the scanning software has attempted to compensate. If you manually lower the brightness at the scanning stage, you can generally get rid of the "noise" by allowing dark areas to approach full black.

If that produces images that are too dark, there may be a metering problem or simple user optimism causing you to underexpose by more than one stop. Most color negative films are more or less fine at one stop underexposed, but quality starts to drop off sharply beyond that.


[This was going to be a comment.]

The second photo of what looks to be a sports facility is almost certainly underexposed.

The Dutch angle suggests hand-held, the sky suggests twilight, and the lack of gross motion blur suggest a shutter speed unlikely to properly expose ISO 100 film with the vast majority of lenses.


There are a few variables to check to find the cause, since at this stage the problem:

  1. could be the development process
  2. could be the scanning process

Having a look at the negatives can put you in the right direction! Are those ones clear? If they are ok, look at the scanning and possibly scanning settings. Good luck!

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