Thanks to all the quality answers I got here that helped me to buy a film camera. I got my first roll of film processed and printed.

The print results are not as pleasing as looking at the slides through a loupe (50mm lens). One example is here. It is underexposed and has a purple tint. This is not the only one, all photos have similar characteristic.

Details and settings:

  • Camera: Nikon F100
  • Film: Velvia 50
  • Metering: Matrix

I want to know the reason for underexposed and purple tinted photos. And what should I do to avoid this.

  • 4
    Are all the photos on this film of snow? If so, snow pics should generally be 'overexposed' by the cameras meter by 1 or 2 stops as the camera is trying to make the snow look mid-grey, not white
    – Dreamager
    Feb 11, 2012 at 11:19
  • 1
    The blue cast is also typical of snow.
    – mattdm
    Feb 11, 2012 at 12:35
  • @Dreamager is right, its the same issue you have on a non-film DSLR with snow.
    – rfusca
    Feb 11, 2012 at 14:21
  • And a lot of the "blue cast" in the snow is probably quite real. Light is blueish in wintertime in northern latitudes, you eyes just happen to be very good at auto-whitebalancing it out for you so you think it is white.
    – Staale S
    Feb 11, 2012 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


The purple cast is typically Velvia - learn to love it, embrace it and you'll get some stunning results. The underexposure is a compound of two things - firstly your camera is compensating and trying to make the snow appear as a mid-tone, and secondly Velvia is known for being a bit slow, many people rate it at ISO 40 or even ISO 32.

When shooting Velvia remember that you've only got 4 stops of latitude, in order to record this scene properly I'd meter the snow with a spot-meter, and then pull this up to the highlight by over-exposing that by 2 stops. You'll then get far more detail in the dark areas, and your snow will be sparkly white.

  • They don't call it DisneyChrome for nothing.
    – John Bode
    Mar 23, 2012 at 12:50

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