35mm Reusable Film Cameras 101
Written by A.J Taylor
Agfa, Ilford and a host of other brands have now provided film users the opportunity to shoot 35mm film without needing to own an old school camera. This means you can ditch the disposables and enjoy better picture quality!
*PICTURED HERE IS THE AGFA PHOTO REUSABLE, BUT ALL MAKES HAVE THE SAME CORE DESIGN
HOW TO USE
Remember: Film is light sensitive, so once you have successfully loaded your film – DO NOT open the back of the camera until the film has been rewound back into the canister.
Step 1. Place a AAA battery in the chamber at the bottom of the camera – this is what will power your flash.
Step 2. Open the side latch to open the back of the camera to reveal where you will be loading your film of choice.
Step 3. Your new roll of film will come with the tongue hanging out in order to be loaded. Place your film into the film chamber on the left side of the camera and ensure that it is locked in place (do so by pushing down the rewind lever knob).
Step 4. Now gently pull the film out of the canister, only enough to catch onto the take up spool (sprockets) on the right-hand side. Once you start to wind the film on, it should begin to move into the camera.
TIP: A good way to tell whether your film has been loaded correctly is to wind the first few shots through and as you do so, your rewind knob should move in the opposite direction. This indicates that the film is being pulled out of the canister and through the camera. Remember not to pull the film too far out of the canister when loading or else there will not be enough tension to allow you to see this.
Step 5. Once the film has been successfully loaded, close the back door completely.
Step 6. Advance and fire through the first few shots until your counter at the top of the camera reads 1. This is done to shoot through the film exposed during loading.
Step 7. Now you are free to shoot your roll! If you are taking photos indoors or in low light conditions, flash must be fired in order to capture enough light. To charge your flash, simply flick the switch on the front of the camera to charge and allow a few seconds until you see a red LED glowing on the top of the camera. This means that when you press your shutter down for the next photo, the flash will fire.
REMEMBER to switch the flash off when you are no longer using it. If left on you will drain your battery.
These cameras have a fixed aperture and shutter speed for general use + usually a focus free lens so all you have to do is point and shoot!
Step 8. When you reach the end of the roll, you will feel obvious tension preventing you from winding the film through any further. DO NOT force an extra shot. You risk tearing your film!
At this point, at the bottom of your camera is a tiny button called the clutch. This releases the sprockets which have been helping advance your film through the camera and will allow you to wind the film back.
TIP: We recommend holding this button in whilst rewinding
Now at the top of your camera on the left-hand side is your rewind knob. Unfold the lever across the centre but DO NOT pull the entire knob upwards.
Start to wind the film back in a clockwise direction. The back of the camera should still be shut during this process. You should hear or feel a slight ‘pop’ once the film has wound itself fully back into the canister. Now you can confidently open the back of the camera and remove your roll ready for developing!