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Extracting The Film Leader

By • Dec 19th, 2009 • Category: Others

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Quite often I’ve been asked how do we extract the film leader from the canister … in order for the roll to be reloaded into another camera for the 2nd exposure. To be honest … in the past … I used to get the guy at the lab to help me do so. I thought that was the only way to do it until I met a very helpful camera seller who demonstrated how it can be done with just a short strip of film and double-sided tapes.

I immediately went home and tried doing it myself and I was so happy to learn something new (at least to me). This way, I can go out shooting a roll and immediately extract the film leader and pop the same roll into the camera for some double exposure fun.

I’ve long wanted to share this method/trick with those who might be interested but I’ve always been too busy (and forgetful). Until tonight … I received a comment/reply in one of my blog entry, and that friend got stuck while trying to extract the film leader from his/her roll. I did try explaining how it can be done through few lines of text but I’m not sure if my lousy writing will be of any use. So despite the fact that it’s already way past midnight and I’m super sleepy … I took these few shots (pardon the lousy quality) and hope they can be of help.

* Ooops! The step 2 should read ‘Carefully insert one end …’ and not ‘Carefully insert on end’. My typing is pretty screwed when I’m sleepy.

34 Comments »

  1. OK, ndroo, we thought we were smart, so you did this and I did this:
    http://moleskine.vox.com/library/post/worlds-lightest-and-cheapest-35mm-film-retriever.html
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/moleskineart/sets/72157622220313513/

    Somebody told me an even simpler trick! Just lick a used film strip and insert and pull, that’s it. The water/saliva has enough tension between large surface or those two film strips to let you pull the film out from the canister, how simple! 🙂 Try it, it works.

  2. wow thank you so much @_______________@
    * is stunned u stayed up so late to do it*
    i din mean to sound so frantic.. i just happened to have other stuff going on thats freaking me out T____________T
    so sorry T____T

    anyway. i did kinda try that, but the film piece i had was too short so i used a piece of card, it kept meeting resistance when it went in. maybe its cuz i was using a card/plastic… im not sure. ah.. it will go in and carn move any more.

    im so sorry for troubling u 🙁 there really wasnt a need to do it up when ur sleepy! orz

    thank you so much though 🙁 though i think it still din get done even though i did that. i think i shall try finding actual film/thinner plastic. cuz the double sided tape seems to not stick :/ THANK YOU :))

  3. @yz : No worries. I’ve long wanted to do this and I thought why not do it immediately before I forget again. Why can’t you find more film strips? Go check out your developed film strips. Usually there are quite some length of ‘useless’ areas in the begining (and sometimes end) of those strips. Don’t try using card/plastic which are thicker because those might cause the ‘slot’ to open up too much and light might get in. 😀 Good luck and do let me know the progress.

  4. omg
    i din realise we could use developed film trips *retarded*
    anyway. i chopped it off and used it
    AND GUESS WHAT,
    it worked! took a few yanking to get it out
    BUT ITS OUT 😀
    i shall now name the extra piece of film my film yanker:D

    thank you soooooo much~
    i’d post a photo of a happy leader popping from a roll, but thats retarded. so yes 😀
    haha though i probably screwed the light leak part.. mm ok well 😀 im excited to try it out anyway!
    carn wait for double exposure fun 😀 hehe.
    haha your like my camera hero now XD

  5. thank you thank you thank you!

  6. nice tutorial! 😀
    i ussualy use the elastic ruler with double tape on it..:P

  7. @yz : Well it also went ‘wow!’ when I first learned about this. Haha. Glad you got your film leader back in action and congrats on your ‘newborn’ … Mr. Yanker. LOL. Oh btw … I ain’t no camera hero nor do I ever wanted to be any hero. Hahha. So glad for you. Cheers.

  8. @summerson : You are most welcome.

    @renaldy : Guess the elastic ruler method works well too. Right?

  9. LOL. mr yanker sounds real wrong for some reason :X haha
    lol nah 😀 ur super awesome for doin this lol. was tryign to find some visuals abt it, but cun even though i heard of the method b4. haha

    well 😀 u are my camera hero so LOL.. y not a hero :Dahha. u saves my film leader from the dark canister LOL. well. if i ever do meet any problems im sure to look for u now 😀 haha

  10. @yz : I do agree that Mr Yanker sounds pretty damn wrong. LOL! Okay … so now I am hero to a little roll of film. Where’s my cape? LOL

  11. HAHA. omg. we shld stop calling mr yanker. tats. real. omg. D:
    haha shucks. it also proves how warped our minds are =.=

    lol! mm. u can use a piece of unused film as a cape 😀 haha. it has special sproket designs! LOL.
    oh gawd =.=
    haha. omg congrats. ndroo the film canister hero LOL. “saves film leaders from the dark unknowns of the canister” LOL. wth XD

  12. @Patrick : Sorry your comment somehow ended up in the ‘spam’ folder. Blame WordPress, not me. Hahaha. Licking the film strips? Ermm … that’s cool but I’ve gotta give that a miss. Hahaha. I’m already putting tons of chemicals in my body with my unhealthy lifestyle and don’t wanna lick any other stuffs off the film strips. Have you tried it? Does it taste any good? LOL. 😀 Thanks for the info.

  13. @yz : You must be glad you didn’t use the licking method that Patrick mentioned in his comment. Else you might have to name your strip of film ‘Mr Licker’. Muwahaha!!!

  14. haha
    I SAW THAT METHOD BEFORE!
    LOL. i was like, wth NO WAY AM I TASTING FILM. though.. wad does it taste like? o.OO
    omg. mr licker =.= thats sooooo wrong D:
    purlease stop polluting innocent kids mind hehe 😀 ahha

  15. @yz : I’m innocent too :X

  16. OH REALLY. haha.
    im trying out double exposures, thanks to u and ur tutorial + Xmas series 😀
    hell. needa hold so still cuz shutter is soooo sloooowwwww
    my whole body is twitching from effort =…….=
    gosh >..>

  17. Does that work? I’m so going to try that!

  18. the extracting method? yea.
    surprisingly it makes a diff if u do EXACTLY as he says
    i.e cut off sproket
    use long length of film

    i did eveyrthign else
    like using a card and
    too short a strip of film
    haha do try out 😀

  19. @cyanwater : Hahaha. I swear I wasn’t drunk when I wrote these and took these photos. Believe me. Hahaha. Else you can try licking the film strip and let me know how it tastes like. If you are using exposed strips … maybe they’ll taste like Uncle Mike’s (the guy at the TripleD lab) sweat. 😛

  20. >ndroo lol. how would u know wad his sweat tastes like anyway~ haha
    maybe he develops photo with his sweat haha

  21. THANKS ndroo! I to need this sometimes!!!

  22. Thanks and its very neat! and that deemed my US$3 buy from Ebay (yet to reach) useless.. =)

  23. @lawry : U r most welcome.

    @hwh : Ooops! I’m sure you can put that purchase back for sale in the local photo forums. 😀

  24. WONDERFUL!!! my un-used film has been stuck in the canister for the longest time and i was too lazy to bring it to the LAB!!!

    JUST tried and it works!! =)

    Thanks!!

  25. @kmoekl : Great to hear that! Cool.

  26. hai ndroo. nice tips
    i will try it
    but i have a question, beside film,can i use old negative ?

  27. @ripsta : My pleasure. Yeah old negs will do too.

  28. yeah. thanks

  29. great tip! thanks! some how i was able to feel the tension when rewinding my other cams but with the FM i didnt even know until i had rewind all the way! Thank god for your tip!
    i was outside and i didnt have the dbl-sided tape though and had to make do with water!

  30. @A10101100 : Cool! Glad it was of help. Was it difficult to do with water instead of sticky tapes?

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  33. Thank you so much <33 i thought i would never be able to do this myself and tada~ i saved my film roll xD

  34. @ichigochan : No worries. Glad it can be of help. I used to run to the lab to get the uncle there to help me extract the film. Hahaha.

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