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10-01-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
Aegon's Avatar

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Backwound Film

I have two film cameras. The first spools exposed film clockwise, the second anti-clockwise. After shooting half the roll in the first camera I rewound the film up to the leader, removed it from the first camera, put it in the second camera, and then advanced the film to avoid double exposure.

So the film has been wound in both directions.

I didn't think this would be a problem. I figured the leader might get a little wonky, but no big deal.

But the person who developed the film gave me a lecture on "backwinding" film. She said it would destroy my film and cause creases and rips.

I've scanned my photos and found neither creases, rips, or destruction. In fact, the photos looked as good as ever.

Am I really getting myself into trouble doing this?

By the way, the person who lectured me is a real sour-puss. I really dislike dealing with her. But if she is right about backwinding then I'll listen to her and stop doing it.

10-01-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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There are some bodies that actually run 135 upside down anyway. The left had advance Exakta bodies come to mind. The biggest issue I see is that the film is being manipulated twice which increases the chance for something to go wrong but is probably small. The second thing is that the 2 center frames may over lap. The last thing is it may provide some minor problems with their automated printing system. However, if I were doing something like this, it would probably be develop only and I'd be doing the scanning anyway.
10-01-2010, 09:32 AM   #3
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Backwinding film is when you get to the end of the roll and then turn the rewind crank backwards to pull the film back into the magazine.
And yes, it will do some pretty good damage to the film.

What you are doing is not a problem. I suspect from your description that the lab person you talked to though that you were rewinding backwards.
Or, she could just be an idiot.
10-01-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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Original Poster
Thanks for the feedback.

Blue: I'm scanning myself, so they don't have to print, so all's well. Double manipulation is something I thought of, but I think film can usually handle two spoolings without a problem.

Wheatfield: I think you are probably right. She probably thought I was doing something else.

Either way, I won't be doing it often.

10-01-2010, 09:14 PM   #5
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Come to think of it, the last exposure appears to have been intentionally cut short, which might be because she thought I had back rolled the film.
I don't think it is possible for my camera to only partially expose the last bit of film such as this (N80 = F80 abroad).

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10-02-2010, 07:28 AM   #6
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I quite often get half a frame at the end of a roll like this, for example with Kodachrome and various manual cameras. It is normally frame 37 which I usually reshoot on frame 1 of the next roll so it isn't a problem.

10-02-2010, 08:53 AM   #7
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Tell me they didn't put the twin check on the back..

They wrecked you last shot, but since you are past 36a, there isn't much you can say about it.
Normally, the film is loaded tongue first into the processor because that is where the light fogging is.
If they are doing continuous rolls, where one film is spliced to the next, then this would be normal, but I don't think anyone has the volume to bother with that sort of production any longer.
10-02-2010, 02:05 PM   #8
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Original Poster
She put the twin check on the back.

I think she loaded from the wrong side because the film leader was probably munched more than usual from loading both ways. But also, I think she did it to teach me a lesson. I'm sure there was ample un-munched leader to load it from the correct side.

I really dislike this person.

*edit* lol, who knew that "munch" was a taken word?

10-03-2010, 10:29 AM   #9
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This is a perfectly acceptable method of salvaging film - if you want to save exposures. The only downside I can think of might be a small increased risk of introducing scratches (tram lines when processed) when the film is pulled back into the cassette (the light-proof selvet is designed to pass the film in one direction only).

I guess 'she' got a little paranoid about having to cope with a possible kinked/buckled roll but any competent operator should be able to handle this.

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