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I recently bought a second hand Nikon Lite Touch zoom 70W camera and just got back my first roll of film (shot on Fujicolour c200) and all of my photos came back super washed out like this…

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Is this likely to be an issue with the camera or just the film? I haven’t had time to pick up the photos or negatives yet, so these are just the scans I was sent. I don’t know much about film cameras, I’ve had a few point and shoot cameras in the past and I just wanted something easy to use to capture memories!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Was the weather very warm and humid where you were shooting? Had the camera just been taken outside from a cooler, drier air-conditioned space (like a house or a car)? It looks almost like your lens was slightly coated with condensed moisture. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 7, 2022 at 2:39

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It's hard to know exactly what's going on here, but I can mention a few pointers at least.

Ensure your lens is clean and free of oil/grease that naturally transfers from skin to the lens if you touch it. Personally I find that lens cleaning cloths don't work very well – they just smear the grease around. The best way to clean a lens in my experience is with a LensPen – one with a smaller "nib" might be more appropriate for this camera.

The grain looks normal to me for 35mm photography.

Ensure you are holding the camera as steady as possible when shooting. I believe the camera focuses on whatever is inside a small autofocus frame in the centre of the viewfinder – so if you want to focus on something that isn't centred in your picture, you have to use the "focus and recompose" method, i.e. half-press the shutter button to focus, then recompose your shot before fulling pressing the shutter button.

The main thing though is that it looks like you were shooting very bright scenes or very contrasty scenes. Scenes with lots of sand/snow have always been a challenge for (older) camera meters, and similarly, film can struggle when there are both very dark and very bright areas in the same scene. As a kind of experiment, I'd suggest trying another few photos on an overcast but bright day, where the lighting is more uniform. Go somewhere colourful – like a local botanic garden – and just see what results you can get in conditions like that. (Beware though that it shouldn't be too dark – your camera's lens does need a fair amount of light to work best.)

Lastly, it's always worth ensuring you are using a very good lab – they'll take more care over scanning at least. Check for recommendations online. For most people that probably means mailing your film off rather than using somewhere local.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There's a nice review of this camera on Casual Photophile showing sample photos in both black & white and colour. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Nov 6, 2022 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your advice! I’ll give all of those things a try and see how I get on. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2022 at 21:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ In my experience, lens pens are good for about 2-3 cleanings before they start smearing any grease they've picked up onto the next lens. If one uses a clean lens cloth and appropriate lens cleaning fluid (a few drops applied to the cloth, never directly to the lens), then dries with a dry section of the clean lens cloth, results will be near pristine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 7, 2022 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2-3 cleanings only? That's unusual. LensPen quotes about 500 cleanings. Do ensure you are "recharging" the tip, as shown in this video. I've found LensPens to be excellent. No going back for me. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Nov 7, 2022 at 19:43
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Until you see the film there is no way to tell that the scanner is not the problem. But most likely the problem is the camera because it is old and was not built to last this long.

And based on the vignette in the picture of pizza eating, probably wasn’t all that well built to begin with.

Finally getting good pictures from even high quality scans of color film is an art. So you usually get what pay for in the best case and free scans are tend to be better than nothing but that’s about it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the info! Will look for a good lab and see if the next lot are any better. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 6, 2022 at 21:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MollyNicholas While good labs can and will scan negatives with attention to detail, they usually charge enough to make money from it. It can quickly make economic sense to purchase a scanner and scan yourself because the costs adds up. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2022 at 4:33

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