With this particular roll I was able to keep shooting past 36 shots which makes me think something was wrong, and when I tried to roll the film back into the canister as normal I didn’t feel any tension, nor did the counter roll back.

However, I went into a dark room, opened the back and all of the film is in the canister as if it did roll back normally so I’m at a bit of a loss…


2 Answers 2


Quite probably the film was never loaded properly to begin with. You thought you were advancing the film, but really the film was going nowhere. That's why you were able to shoot beyond the "end" of the roll, and felt no tension during rewind.

The only way to know for sure is to have the film developed, but I strongly suspect that you basically have an unexposed roll of film in your camera. That's going to be disappointing to hear, but basically none of your photos have been recorded.

When advancing the film after each shot, do check that the rewind knob also rotates on each crank of the winding lever. That confirms that the film is loaded and advancing properly.

I just did a video search and came across this comprehensive one:
'Loading Film into a Canon AE 1' by FilmKip


Try doing a "clip test", which is where they cut off the beginning of the roll (maybe equivalent to like the first 2-3 shots? It depends on the lab/employee), develop it, and you get a piece of developed film back. If there's nothing on the film, you can reload it and use it again. If there's something on the film, you can go ahead and get the whole roll developed after that.

When I first started shooting analogue, I would wind the camera upon loading the film at least once or twice, with the back open, just to be extra sure it was catching. After a while, you get a feeling for the amount of tension you should have when you wind it. Wasting a shot is better than shooting a whole roll of images that you can't get back. :)


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