3

I have a Nikon FM2 with film inside. However the I cannot cock the advance lever.

It stucks at frame 28. Is it the problem on camera, or how I load the film in the beginning or problem with the film roll itself?

What's the best way to deal with it?

  • If it turns out that you did, in fact, get 4 bonus frames...what film was that again? I'm a cheap bastard and need to know ;-). – Hueco Jul 17 at 14:27
  • @Hueco TriX400/24 – neversaint Jul 27 at 2:31
7

What you need to do first of all is wind the film out of the camera the normal way.

Then one of two things will be true:

  • when you look at the film can it will be a 24-exposure roll and there is in fact no problem;
  • you load another roll, it jams again and you now know there's some problem with the camera which you need to get someone to look at.
  • I thought of a 24 exposure roll as well. The 'bonus frames' would add a couple of shots beyond 24,,, – BobT Jul 15 at 20:41
  • @BobT: exactly: depending on the make I get between 37 and 39 exposures from 36-exposure rolls (Foma are particularly generous). – tfb Jul 16 at 9:32
5

In general, should you ever incur a problem with your camera, the first priority is to save the shots. Always carry a change bag with you! First, attempt to rewind the film normally. If this, too, is stuck...then you'll need to crack the back and pull the film (carefully) by hand (this is where the change bag comes in).

Once you get the film rewound back into the can, develop it as usual.

Now that you've saved your images, you can inspect the film for clues:

  • If you have a long leading strip of burned frames (black, overexposed frames), then you simply used up too much film in getting the wind started. If this is the case, practice getting the wind going using less film, as you're just sacrificing frames here.

  • If you have a strip of unexposed frames at the other end, then yes, your camera did, in fact, jam up.

If the camera did jam up, look at the edges of the film for damage. If the film jumped the sprocket, attempting to wind it will damage the edges of the film. This is usually incurred at the beginning, not 28 frames in...but still something to look for.

If the film looks good, then the next thing to look at is the camera. If there is a problem with the advance mechanism, it'll likely be jammed even after removing the film. This will take a repair1.

And if, for some reason, things work normally on the next roll...simply chalk it up to a fluke and keep shooting. Should another jam occur, you may need to get the camera checked out1.


1: My local repair shop (Oregon, USA), charges about $200 - $300 for shutter speed setting and CLA. This is a large chunk of the FM2's value and may not be considered "worth it" by some. The FM2 is a workhorse of a camera, and in my opinion, perfectly worthy of repair. After a repair and CLA, it'll likely be good to go for another few decades!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.