I got my photos from my disposable cameras and I’m missing about 18 of them out of 52. I was just wondering if I could get the rest of them back.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "missing"? Because if the images on the negatives were severely under exposed, whoever processed the film simply may not have printed them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Peter M
    Oct 26, 2023 at 1:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ Look at the negatives. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 26, 2023 at 6:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would you be expecting 52 photos? There are no 52-exposure disposable cameras. Even if you had 2 cameras, there are no 26-exposure disposable cameras as far as I know. I've seen cameras advertising 27 exposures. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Oct 26, 2023 at 8:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ If the disposable camera took 36 pictures, you would be 16 short of the supposed 52. Look at the negatives: there won't be any of those missing. The company won't go to the trouble of separating them from the strips and disposing of them; they will want you to be able to see why they didn't print them too. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2023 at 19:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Everybody commenting on the question, please consider if your comment is actually an answer, and write it accordingly. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Oct 27, 2023 at 3:12

4 Answers 4


You would have to contact the company you used to develop the photos. this is assuming that your disposable cameras are film.

In the past (way way way past) I've had situations where some of the photos were so under exposed that they were excluded in the print photo delivery, possibly this is the cause.

Contact the development company and see.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you expand on any other possibilities for disposable cameras other than film ones? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Oct 26, 2023 at 8:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ gizmodo.com/… \$\endgroup\$
    – smartse
    Oct 26, 2023 at 10:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @smartse that's not a disposable camera: it can be "reloaded". \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2023 at 18:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would suggest looking at negatives first before reaching out. Simply comparing all negatives to prints can answer a lot of questions that even the development company may not have records to answer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2023 at 5:08

You would need to examine the negatives or talk with the company who developed/printed the film to be sure, but the most likely explanation is that these frames were simply underexposed too much and weren't worth printing. They would have been dark/black with nothing discernible in the scene. Film works better in good light, and especially when the camera uses a cheap lens. Even if the camera has a flash, this is very weak and won't light up anything that's more than a few feet from the camera.

While it's tempting to use these cameras indoors at events and parties and so on, they are probably better suited to outdoor daytime activities in sunlight.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "They would have been dark/black" - It might be worth clarifying that "they" refers to the prints, had they been made. Underexposed negatives would be clear, of course. It's conceivable there could have been problems loading or unloading the camera and part of the film could have been overexposed. Those areas would be dark/black on the negatives and also would not be printed by the developer. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2023 at 5:09

All the "disposable"* cameras I've seen use 35mm film cartridges. These generally comes in nominal sizes of 24 or 36 exposures. Often in practice you get slightly more than the nominal amount but unless this camera or it's film were something very unusual, 52 is way beyond what you can expect.

Thus my conclusion is that your camera had a problem with the film advance mechanism that caused it to either continue taking photos after the film had run out, or caused it to take multiple exposures on the same frame of film.

If you look at the negatives (Any decent processing lab should include the negatives) you might find a frame or two of messed-up photos that were not printed, but you aren't going to find 18 of them. There simply isn't enough space on the film.

* Most of them can actually be reloaded, the catch is that the process to reload the film has to be done in the dark.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The question uses the word "cameras", so the point about 52 exposures being too many doesn't seem to be well made. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2023 at 5:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, sorry looks like I misread the question. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 28, 2023 at 5:24

Did you get the negatives? if so, check what you missed. If not, assume that dark photos are not printed, since a completely black photo would be a waste of money or time for both parties.


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