Film Not Rewinding - It's Actually Breaking

Discussion in 'Black and White' started by michelle_mckernan, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. I am brand new to film photography in that this is my first experience using a completely manual camera. The only camera I had prior was an old Vivitar 35mm point and shoot. Anyway, I bought a used Fujica manual camera for a B/W Photography class. The film loads fine (at least it appears to since I feel tension when advancing and can see the wheel turn on top of the camera). The problem arises when I attempt to rewind a roll (this has happened a couple of times). I press the film release, go to rewind in the direction of the little arrow and I feel a lot of tension and then SNAP, the film breaks. I'm hoping to salvage my latest roll (at least the majority) because I opened the back a crack, saw that it was broken and shut the back. The film is not expired either.
    Does anyone have any advice or ideas as to why my film won't rewind?
  2. Try keeping the film released pressed in while you rewind. It may not be staying engaged.
  3. Many cameras require you to hold in the rewind release the whole time you are rewinding. Just pushing it in once is not enough.
    If you feel the tension, then STOP - if you have to force it, it is most likely that you are doing something wrong or that something has gone wrong.
  4. JDMvW... slightly off topic, but can you say what cameras require holding in the rewind button? I know of none... but all that means is I don't seem to know as much as I thought.
  5. I will try holding the button in the next time I shoot some pics and see if that helps. Thanks for the advice everyone.
  6. In my experience, it isn't that cameras require holding the button in the whole time you rewind. On some of them the button won't stay in if you didn't completely cock the shutter the last time you advanced the film, i.e if you ran into the end of the roll before you could swing the advance lever all the way around. The button is linked to the toothed roller in the film path, and as soon as it starts to turn backward from the rewinding film the button pops out. You can test this by winding the film back a little way, enough so that you can finish the film advance stroke, and then see if it pops out again when you start rewinding again.
  7. You know what, that is exactly what happened in each case.. I took the last picture, pulled the advance lever and it did not advance fully..
    So it must be that I needed to rewind a bit, finish the advance and then rewind again... Thanks for your help - I feel rather foolish for not seeing that it didn't stay in.. I am definitely a newbie!
  8. If you need to recover film in a case like that, you can buy a good light tight changing bag and put the camera in it. You can put your hands in the sleeve and open the camera in the dark and remove the film. You can either tape the ends together and wind it all into the developing reel or if it is color and you want someone else to develop it, you can probably tape it and wind it into the original metal shell or use a reusable one and bring the old metal shell with you to the processor to show them what you have.
    Or just use a really dark room and cover up any light leaks under doors or windows. Operating in the dark is difficult though if you have no practice. If you have a throwaway roll of film you can practice with that first. Tell a film processor if you taped it though. They may have some other instructions. These days you'd probably end up sending it to someone by mail and if that is true, check with them first how they want you to do it.
    If you're developing yourself, just wind it onto the reel (or 2 reels) and develop it. If you opened the back you might lose some frames and the break was near the end of the roll you might as well throw away the small piece rather than taping it.
    Good luck
  9. I am planning on opening the camera in the darkroom at school. The break happened at the end of the roll so I am not worried about
    taping the end - the last couple of shots weren't particularly heartbreaking for me to lose anyway.. It's the first 30 or so that would crush

    I definitely need the practice in working in pitch black conditions. In class we did some practice winding, but not the whole process of
    opening the canister, winding and loading into the developer.

    I thought if anything, this saves me the step of opening the canister! Ha ha.
  10. JDMvW... slightly off topic, but can you say what cameras require holding in the rewind button? I know of none... but all that means is I don't seem to know as much as I thought.​
    I don't know which one(s) JDM was referring to, but I do know that the cameras I got from my Dad, an old Agfa Silette, and Minolta SR-T 101 (but I'm admittedly not certain on that one) require the rewind button to be held whilst rewinding (and the Agfa is a knob, not a lever/handle!). The later Minoltas I had (XG-M, X-570) the rewind latched with a single press of the button, but if you wound the film forward again, it would unlatch.
  11. JDMvW... slightly off topic, but can you say what cameras require holding in the rewind button? I know of none... but all that means is I don't seem to know as much as I thought.​
    My Contaflex requires that you hold the button down too. It also lacks a cranked handle, having just a knob for rewinding.
  12. Oh man, that just happened to me not three days ago. My photography friend and I shot my first few rolls of B&W film. The entire roll of film ended up ripping out of the cassette and I was just heart broken. I cried for ten minutes.

    Like you I had tried to advance the film beyond what there was room for and I just could not rewind. Since I was using this camera and hadn't actually bought it yet I felt it was better to just expose it and remove it from the camera. I should've just waited for my changing bag in the mail but I panicked.

    Although from what I've heard there are some film bases that will break the camera rather than rip apart.

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