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23 March 2012

Getting 39 Pictures out of 1 Film with the Canon F-1N

A little economy never hurt

I've been loading 35 mm film (aka 135) for ages, but it wasn't until a short while ago, that I read somewhere a tip about how to do things differently. While I always had loaded my film from the left side of the camera, this guy (whose site I've unfortunately forgotten) claimed that it's better to load the film from the right side. Well, he's right. I've improved a bit on the system with the Canon F-1N and this is how I get 39 pictures from a normal "36 frames" 35mm film now....

Step 2: load the film from the take up spool on the right

Step 1: To prepare the empty camera, advance the film lever, fire the shutter.

Step 2 and the biggest part of the secret is to start putting in the film on the take up spool on the right. My F-1N's take up spool grabs the film tight, so I'm not afraid to "lose" the film on advancing further. I also take care to line up the sprocket holes on the little wheel sprockets right next to the take up spool.

Step 3: place the film canister in its place on the left

Step 3: only now do I put the film canister in its place on the left side of the camera, pulling out only as much film as absolutely necessary. If by chance too much came out, I'll tighten the spool using the film wind thing.

With the camera closed, I now advance the film, fire the shutter, advance the film a second time, fire the shutter, advance a third time... and the third picture is ready to be taken on unexposed film. I've measured and tested this with the F-1N and I'm trusting it now without hesitation.

You can get 40 pictures out of one film when you load the camera in a changing bag (or in a darkroom), but 39 is good enough for me. Probably some people even older than me knew this procedure all along, but nobody ever told me all these years!

close and advance the film

Posted by betabug at 20:54 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Re: Getting 39 Pictures out of 1 Film with the Canon F-1N

Interesting. 20 years ago I was doing the same thing as I was improvising on an old russian Zenit I had then. It was not motor-driven so it was able to yield almost 40 images!

Posted by: Panagiotis at March 24,2012 09:10
Re: Getting 39 Pictures out of 1 Film with the Canon F-1N

Hey Panagioti! Yes, I can imagine that for many people this is a story that was common in the past... and for even more people there is no relevance in these days right now. I found it interesting and useful for me anyway :-)

Posted by: betabug at March 31,2012 19:56
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