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03-13-2017, 08:48 AM   #1
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Can I advance film backwards by accident?

Greetings, Fellow Pentax Users!

I got myself a Pentax MX recently in mint condition (apparently). I haven't finished the first roll of film yet (Kodak Gold 200), but I've been constantly worried about one thing:
Before/after taking a shot, can I advance forward or backwards the film by moving the rewind knob by accident? I know that if I gently move the knob in the arrow's direction, it stops after a while and I never forced it. However should I turn it the opposite direction of arrow, would it advance backwards? (without pulling up the knob)
I've been worried if I would ruin my previous shots by accidentally rolling it back and not noticing it. So I've always been putting a very minimal pressure on it if it hasn't been used for a while.

Sorry, if my question seems very stupid for veterans, but this is my very first film camera, I'm coming from digital.

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03-13-2017, 08:58 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Based on my experience with a ME Super & a MV you should be OK as long as you haven't pressed in the (very small) release button on the base of the camera.



Edit for early incomplete submission.

Last edited by Robin CB; 03-13-2017 at 09:13 AM. Reason: Edit for early incomplete submission
03-13-2017, 09:05 AM - 2 Likes   #3
Ole
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All you do by cranking backwards is to take up some og the slack of the film inside the canister. The part of the film behind the shutter doesn't move.

As Robin CB said, you can't move the film backwards unless you press the release button in the bottom of the camera.
03-13-2017, 09:16 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
All you do by cranking backwards is to take up some og the slack of the film inside the canister. The part of the film behind the shutter doesn't move.

As Robin CB said, you can't move the film backwards unless you press the release button in the bottom of the camera.
Thank you, both. I'm relieved!

03-13-2017, 09:18 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The rewind knob will always be loose because the film inside the cartridge tends to align itself to the wall, while the spool is in the center, like a spiral spring.
If you turn the knob in the rewind direction, you'll pick up the slack and align the film around the spool, if you let go, it will return to the former position.
Don't try this though, because rewinding the film like that might cause scratches, because of friction between the windings.
If you continue to rewind forcibly after picking up the slack, then you'll eventually damage the perforation of the film, ripping it backwards, because the film transportation roller is locked (pressing the rewind button will uncouple it, that's what you do to rewind).

TLDR: it's normal that the knob is loose, just ignore it and don't play around with it unnecessarily ;-)
03-13-2017, 09:53 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sys3175 Quote
If you turn the knob in the rewind direction, you'll pick up the slack and align the film around the spool, if you let go, it will return to the former position.
Not on my sp. I always tighten the film to the spool before I start winding on the leader, as a visual check that film transport is actually happening.

Accidentally touching the rewind knob isn't going to rewind anything. If you open the rewind crank and apply considerable force, you can break the film, and/or damage the mechanism. So don't do that.
03-13-2017, 12:07 PM   #7
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Thank you both! It's reassuring to know such information.
03-13-2017, 12:12 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by gtxSeries Quote
I know that if I gently move the knob in the arrow's direction, it stops after a while and I never forced it.
That is actually a good thing to get into the habit of doing. All you're doing is taking up the slack inside the film canister. Don't force it...just wind it until you feel resistance. If you do this right after loading a new roll of film, then your rewind knob will turn every time you use your film advance lever and that will let you know if your film is advancing or not. You're new to film, but I guarantee you almost everyone who has ever shot film has had a roll that failed to load properly. Eventually, you get to frame number 38...39...40...and you wonder what's wrong before eventually figuring out that the film never advanced.

03-13-2017, 01:36 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Taking up slack is a good way to see that your film is actual being taken up as the rewind knob turns as you advance. The frame counter advances regardless if film is being advanced or not. (some of my older cameras, the frame count won't advance unless film is actually pulling the gear along. Sort of like in the argus C3 where the advance won't stop unless film is rotating the sprockets to a locking position which has to be manually released to move to the next frame )

---------- Post added 03-13-2017 at 04:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote

... Eventually, you get to frame number 38...39...40...and you wonder what's wrong before eventually figuring out that the film never advanced.
;p had that happen once in a universal Mercury II, got past frame 65 (half frame, so 65 shots off a roll of 36) and was like wait a minute, I go to rewind and it's an extremely short rewind thinking maybe I snapped the end of the canister. Got into a dark box turns out the film never took up.
03-13-2017, 02:33 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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To add confusion to the situation another reason to lightly tighten the rewind knob so that when you advanced you could see the knob turn when advancing the film and everything was working as it should is multiple exposures.
My favorite back before the turn of the Century was the 3 finger multiple.
Turn &Snug the rewind knob and hold it with one finger - Press the release button with your thumb and crank the advance with your other finger and VOILA! the film has not moved and you are ready to double expose the same section of film. You could repeat as many times as you remembered space on the section of film. Today's K3 you could put up to 2000 exposures which would look kind of Busy. Hope I added to confusion.
03-13-2017, 05:19 PM   #11
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Then it might be a good habit, from time to time perhaps, to tighten it. Btw, the knob turns, so I loaded it properly.
03-13-2017, 11:29 PM   #12
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Bend over backwards and shoot with the camera upside down
03-14-2017, 04:39 PM   #13
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While not part of the OP's question I always load my film the same way with the same engagement of the leader into the spool. Then if I have to back wind the film I can do so mid roll and reload it with minimal risk of double exposure on the first frame used when I reload it

I also use the taking up the slack method' so I can deliberately press the rewind release and then advance the frame advance lever to do double exposures
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