Accidentally exposed film... Is it ruined?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by josh_sandler|1, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. The other night I was shooting at my schools talent show. I forgot
    that my camera's auto rewind was off and accidentally opened my
    camera. I was wondering if only thae last few pictures that were
    directly exposed are ruined or is the whole roll, will the pictures be
    ok except for maybe some spots, etc.? The camera was a Nikon N80. The
    film was Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 iso. The room was dark except for
    the stage lights and the camera was only open for 2-3 seconds before I
    closed it.
  2. Light travels at something like 186,000 miles per second, so 2-3 seconds is a VERY long time. And the room wasn't dark enough not to hurt film if you could see anything at all, literally anything. But as a practical matter, the pictures from the beginning of the roll may have been protected by the layers of film wrapped around them on the takeup spool. Definitely get it processed. You've lost some pictures but not necessarily everything.
  3. Most of the shots will still be there but you're going to lose 6-8 totally and there will be streaking on maybe 1/3 of them.
  4. At this time I am glad I shot in High school with a Praktika and a Pentax that were totatly manual. Though I did lose a whole roll of film 1 time because a shutter locked up on the Pentax. I then from that point on took 2 cameras to every event I was tasked to shoot and used both because "Stuff Will Happen."
  5. Well, it happened to me couple times with a slide film. You will lose 4, maximum 5 last frames.
  6. This would happen to me at spot news events where things are happening quickly,you think you rewound the film, but did not.I have never had more than a few frames ruined,even in bright sunlight.
  7. I guess film is more opaque than you would imagine, so what is already wound on a spool won't get ruined as fast as you think. I accidentally popped the back open in full sunlight, lost some frames, but had some frames on the roll that were damaged and some that weren't damaged at all. Good luck. That's the kind of mistake you only make once. :)
  8. I did this once outdoors on a bright sunny day. I lost maybe 5-6 frames, including the ones with streaks. The felt on the canister keeps almost all the light out, so you'll only lose what was outside the canister and maybe the first one to three that were in the canister.
  9. I once opened the back of a camera having thought I had rewound the film the whole way - well I hadn't. I slammed the back shut immediately but still lost about 6 frames - and they were the most important frames on the roll.
  10. If you look the last folder of my portfolio, you will see pictures that survived to the same thing. I opened the back when the counter was on 18, so I tought all the previous pictures would be lost, but in the end only 5 or 6 were ruined.
  11. I own a camera that won't do this! The Minolta 5.
    I've accidentally opened the back only twice in my life, one time
    losing some important shots. Predictions above seem accurate.
  12. I agree with previous posters. Undeveloped film is almost opaque, and you probably just lost the last frames and maybe one winding on the take-up spool. I had similar mishaps and most of the roll was still usable.
  13. Sorry, Josh, about the few lost frames, murphys law says they were the most valuable to you..... I know the feeling.
    My first 35mm camera was a Kodak Signet 35 and the back was easy to release via a catch on the side. There wasn't a regular hinge and so the entire back would fall off after accidently bumping it. I remember holding the camera frantically and tightly againt my coat as I decended an escalator and hoping to not loose any more than a few precious photos.... until I went back up on another escalator and retriving my camera back. Yeah right.... nothing on that roll turned out. But I agree the subdued light will help your situation. After that I used to put masking tape over the latch so it wouln't happen accidently again.

    I haven't had an N80 in my hand but had heard that one can rely on the auto rewind to rewind every roll for you, but when it doesn't, perhaps when the custom setting mode #1 is set, and you don't notice that it didn't rewind. You assume it did and open the back.. !!!!! Is this what happened to you?

    Each of my children, when they were young, ruined a roll of film by opening the back of my camera.

    I have mostly Minolta cameras, but one thing I really like in the Canon Rebel series is the idea of winding the roll out when film is loaded and as the photos are taken the film is wound back into the canister and safe from a premature back opening.
  14. Bill - you mean a Minolta Dimage 5? Don't think you can't lose photos with a digital system. If the humidity is low and your wearing the "right" material, a stitic discharge to the CF card after removing it might make your photos unrecoverable.
  15. The thing about light is, yes, it travels really fast, but it can only go in straight lines. It cannot go round corners, or under stuff... (unless your camera was next to an incredibly strong magnetic field, like the sun. If you were, that tan wont last long before all your skin falls off!) so any film on the spool will be fine. Get it developed and see what you get. True, you can't go and re-shoot, but at least you might have salvaged something of the night.
  16. Terence - I think you will find that the Dynax 5 has a film chamber lock facility.

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