Unloading unfinished MF film.

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by jim_gardner|4, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. I went out today with a new (to me) Bronica SQAi and exposed 11 frames. When it came to remove the film I could obviously have just exposed the last frame and wound the advance crank, but for some reason I thought it would be possible to wind the smaller crank on the film back to wind the film onto the take up spool. I seem to think this is possible on Hasselblad's but don't really want to waste a film to try it.
    Do any Bronica or Hasselblad users know if it is possible to wind remaining film off, or do we have to operate the shutter 6 times if we want to remove a half used roll of film? I tried with film back both on and off the body.
  2. Is it really that much of a hardship to snap blank frames? Maybe just shoot something random, you might end up with something you like.
  3. You are right that it is possible with Hasselblad magazines. The magazine's crank allows to wind the film all the way through. It only blocks and needs the camera to unblock it when the film counter reaches 1. After that it is free to wind the film as far as you like.
    jim_gardner|4 likes this.
  4. Sorry, I never handled no Bronica. - I'd either snap blanks or hit the changing bag with that magazine scissors and besides my tank a somewhat suitable container for the remaining "sheet" of film to be not wasted.

    I guess you can test a lot of winding characteristics / mechanisms by reusing just the backing paper of a film you processed?
  5. Possibly it time to get another back and return to the original when there's something more photo worthy with
    the unfinished film :) . Peter
    Gary Naka and jim_gardner|4 like this.
  6. No hardship, I just wondered if it was possible with the Bronica. Your right though, that last frame may be the best one.
  7. Isn't this why interchangeable film magazines were invented?

    Talk about making an issue where there is none!
  8. Interchangeable backs were not made to make unloading unfinished film easier, no.
  9. JE/\SSSSSSUS Just fire off the last frame
  10. It's not an issue, just a question.
  11. Dustin McAmera

    Dustin McAmera Yorkshire, mostly on film.

    Several of my folding cameras (old - 1930s) can use film or plates. One of them has a rewind knob; you can disengage the film advance and put the roll film back on the supply spool if you want to use plates for a while.
    jim_gardner|4 likes this.
  12. As mentioned, it wasn't a problem, I was curious if Bronica have the same facility Hasselblad do. If I was JE/\SSSSSSUS it probably wouldn't have even been a question.
    peter_fowler likes this.
  13. The raison d'être for interchangeable backs is the ability to change film mid-roll. There is no good way to rewind film onto a feed spool even in a darkroom, and no way at all to rewind the film in the camera. Buy another back or two, and save yourself a lot of grief.
  14. "When it came to remove the film I could obviously have just exposed the last frame and wound the advance crank, but for some reason I thought it would be possible to [...]"

    Who turned that into a "buy another back" thing? How would that answer the question whether you could wind on the unexposed part of a film using the crank on a magazine?
    jim_gardner|4 likes this.
  15. You are supposed to save it until you find a use for it, which you could do with another back.

    Many of us don't like to waste film, and would save it.

    Otherwise, find something to shoot, even though it isn't so interesting.

    For negative film, when you pay by the print. In that case, you would want
    to do it with the lens cap on.

    For 35mm cameras, you would normally just rewind early.
    I suspect that some autowind 35mm cameras automatically rewind
    at the end of the roll, with no manual activation.
  16. Are you supposed to save it? I don't think so. If you take photos of a subject, are you then supposed to wait to see and use those until you have found occassion to expose whatever is left on the roll of film?

    Yes, some people do. Some people had the memories of two Christmasses and a summer holiday on one roll of film. But i really do not think you are supposed to.

    Anyway, the OP's question was how to wind the film on. And 'switch to another magazine' is definitely not the answer to that question.
  17. Yes try not to get two Christmases on one roll. My first year of college, I had one 36 exposure roll of Ektachrome for the whole year.
    (Well, partly that is because I was busy enough with class work, and not so much time for photography.)
    But later years I was much faster at using it.

    The multiple backs are nice if you need different films before finishing one roll.

    Otherwise, there is the challenge of finding places to use film, and timing things right to finish the roll at the right time.
  18. You could argue, though, that often having to find things to take pictures of that you wouldn't have taken anyway, just to fill a roll, is more of a burden than knowing that you wasted a frame or two.
  19. Just about a year ago (just before Covid restrictions) I was out with an FE2 and a roll of film.

    On shot 36, the shutter locked up, so I decided to rewind. A little later, I decided that the battery
    probably was just dead. (It seems that the battery test is that the camera works or not.)

    So, yes, it was only one or two frames. We were away on a short vacation, so there could
    have been more things to shoot, but I didn't feel so bad. (Actually, the whole reason for bringing
    that camera was to finish the roll.)

    Otherwise, sometimes I go around the neighborhood, or a nearby (small) nature area, to take
    pictures that I wouldn't have taken anyway.
  20. Last month after some snow, I had a Certo Dolly with 127 film. (Does that count as MF?)

    Snow is pretty unusual in Seattle, so it seemed like a good chance to get some pictures,
    even though I was using up the whole (8exp) roll. And even if you are just trying to find
    things to finish the roll, sometimes they are surprising:


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