I have a Canon AE-1 Program. Recently, I just finished a 36-shot roll. It was done when it wouldn't advance past '36'. So I pushed the button at the bottom like you're supposed to, and I rewound it until there was no more tension and the film count said 'S'.

I opened the back of the camera and the film was still there, wrapped around the spool, as if it never rewound. But I felt the tension AND the release of the tension as the count slid into 'S'. Now that roll is ruined I'm guessing. I've made some peace with that, though it would be godsend if someone can tell me that there's still hope for the shots that are way on the first of the roll... (I've never actually had this happened before so I don't really know what's ruined).

Sprocket holes are fine. And I just finished another roll about 2 days prior to this incident and it rewound just fine.

So I guess my question is - 1) how do I rewind this now back into the canister, and 2) any chance of salvaging the first few shots?

Thanks for any advice.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Depending on how tight the film was wound and how much light you let leak into the camera, the first few frames might still contain a retrievable image. Chances are low, however. \$\endgroup\$
    – timvrhn
    Jul 24, 2019 at 4:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Check: is the film still attached to the can or can you freely remove it? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jul 24, 2019 at 9:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Film is still attached to the canister, if that's what you mean. To remove the film, I'd have to remove the canister from the camera and pull out the film from the spool. Does anyone know why this happened? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mags
    Jul 28, 2019 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


Sorry the film is now fogged to light, all your pictures are lost. Use this spoiled roll as a practice roll. Remove from camera and twisting the spool, you can rewind the film back into the canaster. Leave an inch or two protruding from the lip of the cassette. Use this roll and practice loading, shooting and rewinding.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ;( sad but thank you! I will try that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mags
    Jul 24, 2019 at 0:00

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