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Film - Digital

Loading film into a 35mm single lens reflex camera?


One of the essential skills need when shooting your first roll of film is to be able to load the film in the camera correctly. It seems simple enough, but surprisingly so many people don't hook the leader of the film into the take up spool correctly and consequently end up believing they have shot a whole roll of film when the film was not being transported.

The take up spool of the camera has a series of slots where the end of the film is pressed down into.


Just in front of this is a sprocket drive wheel with a series of sprockets that mesh with the sprocket holes on the film guide the film through as it is and pulled through by the take up spool which is connected to the camera winder.

It is very important that the leader of the film is pushed down into this slot enough to be locked in, as if it slips out the film will not transport.
Just in front of each slot is a small tooth and it is important that this tooth meshes into one of the sprocket holes of the film. .
Once the leader of the film is in place wind the film on with the wind on leader of the camera.

Continue to wind the film on and release the shutter and then wind more film on until both sprocket holes are meshed in the sprocket drive. It is a good idea to wind enough film on to make sure there is a full over lap of the film in the take up spool.


By winding less film on and not obtaining this over lap, it is possible to load the film in a manner where the photographer can gain an extra exposure, but it more probable that the film can slip out and not transport through meaning the photographer looses the whole film.

Mouse over to view roll over image

So before the back of the camera is closed check the the film is secure, feeds through the sprocket and is wrapped into the take up spool correctly.

Mouse over to view roll over image


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