I am pretty new to film photography and dont have much experience shooting film. I wanted to create light leaks on some of my frames but I dont know what the pre-wind system will do if I close the back.

Will it do nothing? or will it rewind all the film back into the canister. If it doesnt rewind then how many frames will have the light leak, will the rest of the unexposed film also be ruined or only a few frames ?

I do know that my camera works opposite to a lot of film cameras, in which the takeup spool is loaded automatically whenever a new roll is loaded and with each subsequent photograph taken, the camera rewinds the frame safely into the canister, so I know that atleast the photos taken before will be safe from my little experiment.


2 Answers 2


To answer the actual question, I checked your camera manual (Part 1) (Part 2):

If the film is removed from the camera in midroll without being rewound and then a new roll of film is loaded, the new roll (film leader) will only be rewound into the film cartridge. To prevent this, close the camera back and press the shutter button completely before loading a new roll of film.

To be honest, I can't quite understand exactly what this is saying. I think the camera will wind all the unwound film back into the film canister once you close the camera back. However, let's discuss the real issue here...

I think your intention is to give some "cool effect" to your photos? You won't get any cool effect. The entire frame will be fogged once you open the camera back, and this film won't produce any image at all. You will be wasting your film, money and time. Bear in mind that daylight images are formed on film during exposures in the ballpark of 1/125 second or even shorter. How quickly do you actually believe you can open/close the rear of your camera?

I guess you might intend to open your camera when light levels are very low...but I still don't think you'll get any cool light leak effect - your film will just be evenly fogged.

If you really want some kind of "destroyed" effect to your photos, you might enjoy experimenting with Revolog's special effect films.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I get what you're saying but from a quick google search most analog methods of getting light leaks on film say to open the back of the camera, I think if I dont open it fully, just a slight bit then it might act like a sort of thin source of light and the film might get exposed unevenly, even that might look good. But anyways if closing the back on unwound film results in the camera rewinding all the film back into the canister then I am not risking it. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 9, 2023 at 18:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You'll get light leak effects on the part of the film that is wrapped around the take-up spool, but the part of the film that is laying flat across the back of the camera will be totally fogged, including most of the last frame you took that is only partially wound back into the film cannister until you take another photo. There's always part of the last photo sitting between the film gate and the light seal on the film cartridge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 10, 2023 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some higher tier Canon EOS film cameras had a menu setting that allowed the use to change the default rewinding behavior from rolling the entire lead-in into the cannister and instead leaving a couple of inches still sticking out. If the 500N allows that, then you could let the camera rewind the film, then reload it and take dark exposures (lens cap on and viewfinder covered) to advance the film back to where you left off. The frames immediately before and after the one sitting in the film gate will also be almost totally fogged, so maybe advance it one more frame than you had shot? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 10, 2023 at 8:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ The "light leaks" on the part of the film in the take-up spool will be "pre-exposed" before you actually take a frame on those parts of the film. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 10, 2023 at 8:52

If you only want to affect a few frames and not the entire roll, you might want to consider freelensing instead of opening the back of the camera. This is where instead of having the lens securely mounted to the camera, you simply hold it in front of the mount opening to allow some small light leakage.

Or, scan the roll and fake light leaks in post. You'd have a lot more control over the appearance that way.

See also: Colorcinch's "A Simple Guide To Create Light Leaks in Photography"


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