Whether you believe it or not, film cameras are still relevant in the professional photography industry and are considered to be the best cameras in the field. Due to the chemical processing that takes place to develop images from the film, the results are beautifully unique and classically appealing. They create a visual warmth and depth that digital cameras cannot match.
If you can get your hands on an old film camera, you must give it a shot. Although it will take a bit of getting used to before you start capturing amazing imagery, it is wise to become familiar with a film camera’s features.
The first step, of course, is learning how to load film into a camera, so we are going to break down the five basic steps of loading 35-millimeter film.
- Open up the back of the camera. The functionality for accessing the film chamber varies depending on the model. On some cameras, you can lift the film rewind button, triggering the back cover to pop open. Other cameras require you to slide the open switch in the direction indicated by an arrow while holding the locking button down, triggering the back cover to release.
- Insert your 35mm film roll into the film chamber. It is critical to ensure that the film settles into place. The cylindrical film spool must click right into its home before the next step.
- Gently pull the end of the film strip that is peeking out from the spool until it reaches the spindle on the other side of the film chamber. Insert that film end into the spool until the spool takes it up.
- Advance the film forward. In some cameras, you will use the lever to feed in a bit more of the film, while in other cameras you will use your fingers to pull the film leader out of the canister ever so slightly until the film aligns with a brightly colored mark.
- Close the back of the camera once you have confirmed that the film is aligned and secure. You will hear the camera’s back cover click shut. You can then forward to your first frame of film by advancing the motor. You are ready to take a picture!
Once you’re familiarized with this process you’ll be one step closer to creating your very own short film!
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