How to rewind and unload film from a 35mm manual SLR camera

By bluejayway

You've just finished a perfect shoot and now you're ready to rewind the roll and store it away for developing. Follow these steps to insure a safe film unloading:

Things You'll Need

  • Your 35mm SLR camera with finished roll inside
  • Small container to hold film canister

Step 1

Begin by making sure that your lens cap is on.

Step 2

Next, double check that you have finished your roll of film. If the film advance lever will not wind or only winds half way, then have reached the end of the roll.

Step 3

Locate the film release button on your camera and push it in. This button is commonly located on the bottom left of your SLR camera.

Step 4

Having depressed the release button, now find your film rewind knob on the top left of your camera.

Step 5

Now begin winding the rewind knob clockwise for several seconds until you feel the film completely draw up into the canister. You can usually tell this by the amount of resistance you feel while turning the rewinding knob. When you feel a slight click and significantly less or no resistance when turning the knob, then it is completely rewound. Be careful not to pull up on the rewind knob before or during the rewinding process, this will expose the roll and make it unusable.

Step 6

Once you are sure the roll is completely rewound pull up on the rewind knob to open the back of the camera and access your film canister.

Step 7

Remove the rewound canister and place it into a small light-tight container, preferably the plastic tube that it originally came in.

Step 8

Now you're ready to develop your finished roll of film.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to check with your camera's user manual for exact locations of knobs and switches.
  • Always be careful to not accidentally open the camera before or during the rewinding process, this will expose and ruin your roll.