Nikon FM2 Mistake

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by RattyMouse, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    I made a boneheaded mistake yesterday and opened up my FM2 thinking that there was no film in there. Turns out there was a roll of 36 exposures, all finished, waiting to be rewound.

    How many exposures did I ruin? Will any survive this mistake?

    Dang......:sick:
     
  2. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Sometimes my students pop open the back with film in them, and I tell them to immediately close it, some frames survive on the roll, not many usually tough. Develop it and hopefully you save a handful of images, its always worth it to try.
     
  3. dotyj

    dotyj Member

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    I've saved a few frames by quickly closing the camera and processing anyway.

    Not many though.
     
  4. dorff

    dorff Member

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    Your film is toast, unfortunately. Do as the others say and develop it, hope for the best and expect the worst.

    On the manual bodies, it is possible to feel on the rewind lever whether there is a film in the camera. It will turn very freely if the camera is empty, and will feel stiffer even if you are just taking up the slack in the cassette, and will stop when all slack is taken up. You will also hear the film creaking while you do this, if there is any in the camera. I always do this before opening up a manual body. If I am unsure, I open in the dark or in a changing bag. I am so paranoid about this that I specifically wind back until all the slack is taken up inside the spool. Then, when I wind on the film, I can see the rewind lever turning with the spool as it moves inside. That is 100% positive indication that film is loaded.

    This is learning from others' mistakes, as well as my own. I had a friend with me while we were photographing wildlife, and had an incredible scene. My camera had film loaded. He thought his had. I have on other occasions either shot an entire roll of virtual film, or opened up a camera with film inside. However, it's a long time since I last did anything like that.

    Good luck though.
     
  5. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    If you closed the back quickly, and the film was tightly wound, you may have spoiled fewer than you expect (in my experience :sad: ).
    Some films are relatively opaque, and the outer layers may have protected the rest of the film. Don't throw the film out, try processing it.
     
  6. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    what railwayman said -- I've done that and only lost two or three frames -- the old 35mm movie cameras used reels of film that were just metal reels with flanges on the side -- I remember seeing a guy load one at a news event and asking him if that didn't spoil the film and he said no, the film is light tight, the first couple layers would be fogged but that's it.

    rewind, process, be surprised.
     
  7. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Member

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    Add my voice to those of railwayman3 and summicron1. My experience too is that you may be very pleasantly surprised.
     
  8. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    That's my hope as the film was very tightly wound. I did close it fast, but not as fast as the speed of light! It went to the lab today so I'll know in a few day show it goes and will report back.

    A shame, my first roll of color film with my "new" FM2.
     
  9. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    You can do this trick to know if you have film loaded: I put the end box flap on the back of my cameras. If there isn't a film, I remove it.
    We all have done that before. I remember when my father allowed me to use his Petri FT 30 years ago and I did just that to check if there was a film in there. Guess what: there was a new film already in there!
    And congratulations on your "new" FM2! I bought a "user" FM last week. Very nice cameras. Unfortunately, mine needs a CLA as the shutter is tapering at the 2 highest speeds.
     
  10. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    Easiest solution is to get a back from an FM3a. Has the little window on it that allows you to view whatever's inside the camera. Keep the regular back, just in case you find some old stock of infrared film.

    -J
     
  11. GarageBoy

    GarageBoy Member

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    Look at the film counter, give the rewind crank a few turns, see if the advance will wind
    Windows are nice, but not necessary
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Been thar. Done dat!

    Rewind the film and get it developed. You will probably only lose a few photographs.

    Welcome to the club. If you really want to have screw ups, try large format photography.
     
  13. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    OK, here's the results. 10 shots ruined out of 36. Not too bad I guess. Lesson learned!!!
     
  14. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    That's good...

    -J
     
  15. dorff

    dorff Member

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    That's par for the course, no doubt. I am glad for your sake, and the info is useful too.

    One of the things you have to watch out for with the manual bodies is that the film leader actually catches. If it doesn't, it will advance the film counter without advancing the film. That is one more reason to wind up the slack on the spool and check that the lever turns when you advance the film. This happened once or twice with me and caused me to lose good opportunities.

    I couldn't imagine a much better travel camera than an FM2 with a few small primes. The FM2n I have cost me $15, missing a battery holder. I grafted one from a smashed up F3, and now have a fully functional camera for next to nothing. The guy who sold it to me got it with a lens, and he is shooting D only. So when he bought a lens from me and I asked what else he had, he showed me the lenses and also the FM2n as if he had no idea what it was. When I asked whether he'd sell it, he said just give me $15. I didn't complain :wink:. Still looking for that FM3A bargain, though.
     
  16. AgX

    AgX Member

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    That's why there are cameras that wind the exposed film into a covered chamber, or wind the film at the start completely onto an open spool and wind exposed film back into the cassette.


    Strange enough there seems to be no design with a secured back door lock that only opens when there is no uncoverd film in the film chamber. (This needed to include an overide in case of malfunction).
     
  17. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Well, it's only a problem if you want it to be.
    When you load the film, take up the slack with the rewind knob/crank. The rewind will then turn as you advance the film, giving a positive indication that a) there is film in the thing, and b) it is advancing properly. Before opening the back, try the rewind to be certain that the film has either been rewound into the cassete, or is not present. Simple. Too difficult to do this? Get a digicam.:wink:
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You will probably not make that mistake again. Other mistakes? Probably.