Can 24 exp film be used in a 36 exp 35mm Camera?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by miameyer, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. I have always used 36exp in my Pentax K1000 because the indicator goes to 36, but discovered a family member's 24exp roll. Can it be used in my camera? If yes, will it automatically stop taking photos at 24 or will it try to go on to 36?
  2. Yes!
    The K1000 is manually wound. At the end of the roll of a film it would take an unusual amount of force to tear the film out of the cartridge and cock the camera again.
    IDK if you get really 36 or sometimes even 37 frames out of your 36 exposure rolls. When I bulk-loaded my film I did not care about cutting it (kind of...) precisely to 36 frames either.
    Whatever you get hold of; toss it into your camera, shoot till the roll is finished, rewind and enjoy the comfort of the frame counter setting itself automatically back to zero for the next roll. <- Even the K1000 has some luxury features!
  3. Thank you so much for the reply! So helpful!
  4. Some time ago, 35mm film was available in 12, 20, 24, and 36 exp. All work just fine in all 35mm cameras. Most camera film counters color code those exposures. What ever you do, when you get to the end of the roll, do not force the advance. Many a photographer thought he had a 36 exposure roll in his camera only to discover that it was a 20 exp instead. Lots of torn sprocket holes - lots of film ripped out of the cartridge. That's the main reason we kept a dark bag handy at the camera store.

    And no, the camera will not automatically stop at 24. There is a good chance you can get to 25, but don't count on it. Me? When I get close to the end, I pay more attention to the feel of the advance. If I can do 25, fine. If you force the advance enough to tear the film, it will keep going to 36 - and beyond.

    When you feel resistance above the normal, stop and rewind.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  5. It's even easier to pull it out of the cartridge when you wind your own cartridges because it's held in there only by a piece of cellophane tape (for me anyway). Of course electronic cameras tend to sense that for you and just wind it back once it detects tension.
  6. "Back in the day" where most professional SLRs had separate motor drives available, there was typically a separate counter on the drive that you would set to the number of frames in the film. This counter would generally count down, not up, and it would stop the drive when the counter reached zero. The drive manual cautioned that you could tear out the end of the roll if you didn't set it correctly.

    I have them on Nikon MDs(F), MD-2s(F2), MD-4s(F3) and Canon Motor Drive FNs(New F-1).

    Of course, cameras that read DX coding will often shut down the motor drive after the prescribed number of shots have been fired. I remember having to change a custom function on my F100 to allow it to go to the end of the roll(almost always 37 on 36, sometimes as many as 27 on 24) rather than stopping after 36 or whatever. The F4 and F5 keep going to the actual end.
    carbon_dragon likes this.
  7. I never had a camera that stop at a particular frame by reading the roll length. Can you give an example? Early camera like the F2 the motor drive depended on the counter to stop. Newer one depends on slipping the clutch to stop.
  8. As none of my cameras read the DX coding, I was not aware that it included a exposure notation and that some cameras used it to auto-stop.
  9. The Kodak Retina cameras required you to load the film and then set the exposure counter to the number of exposures plus 3 (I think). Then it counted down. When it got to 0 (or 1 I can't remember) the camera would no longer fire. It's important to know because it makes the Retina look broken since it won't fire the shutter when really the exposure counter is just set at "done."

    Also, I didn't know this before, but Wikipedia says that the DX coding DID indicate number of exposures as a code on the outside of the film cartridge as a set of bar codes. Pretty interesting stuff. Presumably you could print a bar code yourself if you had the right kind of printer and glue it on so that your camera always recognized say Tri-X 20 exposures or something.
    paul ron likes this.
  10. I just read (skimmed) the instructions for the Canon EOS 1N. In my quick read I saw that a non-DX cartridge would be read as 36 exp. I'm always amazed at how basic functions can become so complicated. Six different rewind modes!!!!
  11. I recall that my Canon T90 would rewind automatically at the designated number of exposures. The manual doesn't mention this specifically, but all the examples it shows show it rewinding at "20" or "36". In fact, it's one of the only things I disliked about the camera, since back in those days I shot a lot of 24 exposure rolls(I do 95% 36 exposures now) and was use to getting 26+ on my A-1 and F-1s.

    Funny enough, I never could get the "bonus" 37th frame on any Canon like I can get almost without fail on Nikons. In looking at the two, I SUSPECT it's because Nikons almost always put the shutter quite close to the spool, while centered a bit more at least in FD mount cameras-I know several times I was "close" on the F-1N and even an extra 1/4" of film would have allowed a 37th frame.

    Note that the film roll length is electrically encoded on the "second row" of contacts(not the ones that specify film speed). I of course could be wrong, but I don't know if there's any 35mm camera that reads the bar code-that's more used by processing equipment.
  12. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    Reminds me of many years ago, when I was in my local camera shop (anyone remember them ?). A Lady came in, with a length of film trailing from a cassette held in her hand. The manager looked at her, and asked how he could help.

    She said that this was her first roll of 35mm film, and she had read the manual most carefully. When she had shot the last exposure, she pressed the button at the base, ready to rewind the film. But, when she looked in the box the camera had been in, there was no re-winder. She therefore hoped that the manager could help her, if he had one in the shop that she could use.

    I was having difficulty not laughing, but slowly and patiently he explained that the film had to be rewound within the camera, before removing the cassette. She thanked him - then asked if the film was rewound now, could he process it for her. Again, he had to explain that the film was now ruined, and there would be no images upon it to be saved.

    Nevertheless, she wanted it processed, so he duly gave her a docket and sent it off. I moved very soon after, so never heard the outcome.
  13. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    Ive gotten so use to 120 10 frames with my RBs. if I did shoot a 35mm, Id have to let the film sit in the camera till I used it up.

    Roll your own short rolls? Bulk loaders are cheap n cassettes are reusable.
  14. People sometimes seem silly when really they just lack the knowledge about a particular thing. Something obvious to the initiated is not obvious to the beginner. When I was a UNIX administrator I once had a question about the mouse not working right (he was using it upside down so the directions were reversed). Best to be tolerant of other's lack of knowledge because we have our own educational gaps!
  15. I have never torn a commercial roll off the spool, and only once one that I spooled.
    (I am usually more careful to sense the extra tension on ones I spool.)

    There are stories of the Nikon F motor drive breaking the spool and dragging parts
    through the back of the camera. For that one, be sure to stop in time.

    I believe that there are some with auto-rewind that use the counter.
    Also, some will automatically shoot off two or three at the beginning of the roll.
  16. "I never had a camera that stop at a particular frame by reading the roll length. Can you give an example? "

    Although my earlier Canon EOS film cameras would always give me 25 frames on a nominal 24 frame roll, the EOS 3 (the last, and only one I still sometimes use) will rewind after it takes the 24th frame. It has to do with reading the second row of contacts on the film canister that specify roll length, All the others only read the first row that designated the ISO speed of the film.

    All of them would rewind after shooting 36 frames on a 36-frame roll. 20 years ago posters on would complain bitterly about that fact, convinced that Canon was robbing them of at least two frames on every roll!
  17. Back in my Canon using days, I never got the "bonus" 37th frame on any of my cameras. That was true on all the manual advance cameras I used-the FT, FTb, F-1n, New F-1, and A-1, as well as the T70 and T90. My standard procedure was to wind one frame with the back open, then advance two frames after closing the back. I can recall more than once feeling like I was one or two "clicks" short of being able to get it, but of course never forced things.

    Using the same loading procedure, I can get the 37th frame most of the time on manual advance Nikons(including the F2 and FM2, which I've used most) and always on auto advance cameras(I've used the F4, F5, and F100 the most). The only exception would be if I set the F5 or F100 to automatically stop at 36 frames, an available option.

    I sat down to look at it, and noticed something across the board when comparing cameras like the F2 to the F-1n, F3 to New F-1, and FM/FE/FM2/FE2/FA to the A-1. The Nikons invariable seem to have the shutter placed a tiny bit closer to cannister than on Canons. I took measurements at one time, but can't locate them at the moment.

    That small difference means that the Nikons I measured can shoot closer to the very end of the roll, and it explains the "almost there" feeling I had on the Canon cameras for the 37th frame that I can reliably find on Nikons.

    I'll also mention that 24 exposure rolls have always reliably been 26 or 27 for me. That was true back in my fledgling days of Photography when I was buying Superia 400, or even the Walmart/Polaroid co-branded color negative film(which I think may have been Agfa) at $8 for a 5 pack and shooting it in my A-1. I don't REGULARLY buy 24 exposure rolls anymore, but I picked up about 30 rolls of 2012 expiration Plus-X a while back that I've slowly been working through, and also accidentally bought some 24 exposure TMAX 400 not too long ago. I could get 27 about half the time in my Canons, while my Nikons seem to get 27 every time. I've yet to shoot a 24 exposure roll in an F4, but it makes a bit deal in the manual about using a "minimum length leader." I'd be curious how it handles things.
  18. I used to get 37 or 38 or more frames from a 36 on a Nikon F, in part because I started early. But the F3, which winds on a couple of shots before the automation kicks in, gets closer to a regular 36. I didn't usually wind on a frame with the back off but closed it and then pulled the rewind lever tight. If it turned, I'd take the shot, though it often resulted in a half frame. But the next one would be full.

    Back when I was bulk loading black and white, I used to like do do short rolls. My loader was marked conveniently for 12, and that was a nice size for a short session when I wanted to develop right away. I used masking tape looped around the spool and it never tore off in use.
  19. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I didn't like getting 37 exposures on a roll of film. My negative file holder held six rows of six frames or thirty six total. That extra frame was always a bother deciding which to throw away and would often leave me with two frames, three frames and one frame on a row.
  20. Yah, I hate that, too, but I always squeeze off an extra one anyway.

Share This Page