HELP How to Rewind Film Back into Canister

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ivo_ivo, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. I was shooting at the end of my roll, and since I often get more than 36 exposures I was not concerned when passed 36. However, when I tried to rewind the film it dawned on me that the film end is no longer attached to the canister and I can't rewind it; the canister simply spun freely and the film on the right didn't move.
    I am for the first time in this silly situation so I went for help to a commercial photo service where I develop, but there I was told they don't do that sort of service (to put the film back into the canister). Instead I had to buy a new canister which they assured me will stay light-tight.
    The question is, can I attach the film end and rewind the film into the new canister? Can I use any specialist light source during the procedure (colour negative) ?
    Any advice or tips will be much appreciated.
  2. SCL


    You have to use a light tight changing bag or go into a closet in a totally dark room. You merely tape the film end to the reel of the canister, insert the reel into the cannister and close/seal the canister; you can now rewind until all you have left is a short leader. This is the basis of home reloading, which many of us have been doing for decades. Just make sure that the felt seals the film passes thru don't have any dirt or grit embedded in them, or it will scratch the film.
  3. A changing bag indeed. If you use film regularly, it's the best investment after your camera. To make it really useful, get a large one for emergencies like you have now for loading tanks for home development. The larger the better. It can get quite clammy when loading several reels. And also get a small one for travel. When in Amsterdam some years ago, I stripped the perforations at the last frame putting me in much the same situation you are in. Went into a photography shop just before closing time and asked if they could help. Same answer as you got. But when asked if they had a changing bag someone lit up and brought it out of a shelf. None of them knew how to use it. 3 minutes later I had the film back in the cassette, all smiles. Now my smallest changing bag always comes travelling. It's a life saver.
  4. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    I used to load my own film and reloadable canisters were easy to open without damage. Anytime I would open a ready made canister to get the film out for developing, the can opener I used would bend the end disk. How did you guys open the canister without damaging it so it could be reclosed again?
  5. As the film is to be developed, why does it need to be put back in a cassette?
    James, those discs can be taken off with not too much damage to thumb-nails. If they do get bent, they can be straightened enough to do their job.
  6. I have done this once inside a down jacket, not by choice but because it was the only option available. Canister inside the
    jacket, hands through the sleeves and folding the other openings. Just by touch, opening the canister with my nails, re-
    attaching the film to the reel, rewindl and closing the thing. It worked but I'm not sure I could do it again :)
  7. 35mm film used to come in reloadable cassettes, but too often the ends would come off at the wrong time. So, for about 50 years now, the ends are permanently crimped on.
    Ones with reusable ends are available, presumably what the OP asked about.
    I have never known the end to come off on a commercially produced cassette, though. I have known stories about the Nikon F motor drive pulling them off, or even breaking the spool. For my hand wound ones, I do remember one that I didn't tape quite as well as I should have.
  8. Commercial canisters aren't meant to be re-closed, and haven't been for nearly 50 years. The end caps are crimped for security and are damaged when opened. I use a church key. The end caps for reusable canisters pop off by thumb pressure on the core while squeezing the slot slightly, or by striking the long end of the core on a table (which sends the end cap into regions unknown). All canisters used to operate in this way before many complaints of coming apart accidentally forced a change.
    In short, that's why the lab requires you to buy a new canister. If you buy a changing bag and do it yourself, have a few reusable canisters on hand, or load directly into a developing tank. You can also buy opaque black plastic bags for film (typically sheet film). Most labs never pop the cartridge at all. The end is hooked through the slot and pulled into the processing machine.
    The film is held to the core with a piece of 1/2" masking tape, looped completely around and taped to both sides of the film. Any tape will work, but there is/was special "blue" tape for that purpose with harder adhesive. If you load using bulk film, blue painter's tape would work, and is less gummy than the cheap stuff.
  9. SCL


    There's a trick I useed for years to remove and seat commercial film canister ends. It isn't perfect, but in a pinch it can save things for you. These days I use reloadable cartridges. Anyway, the trick when removing film is, you smartly strike the extruded end of the reel on a solid hard surface (in darkness) as opposed to prying one end open with a churchkey. In most cases the other end will pop off and can be reused (you reset it by hand pressure after reloading film onto the reel).
  10. You can just remove it from the camera in total darkness and seal it inside a film container. When you take it in for processing, be sure to attach a note saying that it's open film, and must be opened in complete darkness.
  11. Thanks for all replies.
    The film actually is not ready for development, that is why I need to put it back in a light-tight canister.
  12. All quality labs have on hand -- plastic easy to open - easy to close 35mm cassette that holds 36mm film. They must have these because they must test their process using test film. This is a daily procedure. If they do not have these, don't pass go and collect $200, just exit the lab and go to another and never return. The test is vital to the wellbeing so if they don't have the cassette, you don't want to trust them with your film. Look about for a lab that will help you they are the backbone of our industry.
  13. How does it happen that a roll of film is not ready to be developed "when passed 36", after which an attempt was made to rewind it into its cassette?
  14. Ivo Ivo, to summarise the above, an observation from an old-timer:
    From past experience Kodak cassettes were not reusable and required a tool such as a bottle opener to open. In contrast, Ilford cassettes could be opened by squeezing the cassette gently and popping off the end with your thumbnail. When used for re-loading film the same technique was used except the end was popped back on using your fingers. It was in place when you felt a "click".
  15. I agree with the other replies. Just save the film in light in light container and when ready just mark it as naked and remind the processor. Rewinding it serves no purpose.

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