this is my first film camera and I followed the instructions to wind the film manually whenever I take a shot. As it was my first few times, I did it the wrong way and turned it anticlockwise. It felt odd so I switched to clockwise. The camera still works fine and normally. I'm just not sure if I have ruined the entire film as I have not reached my last one so I have no idea until I take it out to be developed. Any chances all is good? Thanks!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm truly surprised any camera would let you wind the wrong way. Precisely which camera is it? If you wind half a dozen times one way then half a dozen the other you'd end up with a lot of film kind of loose inside the body. I don't see any good will come out of this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would you think you have ruined the whole roll of film? Film is a bit like sticky tape. If you mess up the start, that doesn't mean the whole roll is ruined. (Well, light-sensitive sticky tape!) \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Dec 21, 2023 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


Most cameras can only be wound in one direction. There are a few basic cameras that can be wound in either direction. I suppose you have one of those cameras that can be wound both clockwise and counterclockwise.

Changing the winding direction part way through the roll is going to cause problems. When you change direction, the film will stop advancing as you take each photo until the slack in the film can be taken out in the opposite direction.

This will cause you to lose one or two photos because that section of film will have multiple exposures without being properly advanced. Once the slack is taken up, the film should advance normally again, but the film counter mechanism, (if you have one) will not be accurate anymore.

Reversing the direction of the film mid roll may also cause some stress to the film itself. That could possibly affect the image quality in some sections of the film.

I don’t think you have ruined the entire roll, but I doubt “all is good”. I think many of your photos will still be okay. My advice is to continue taking photos, and don’t change the winding direction again. Finish the roll, and then rewind normally.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm very curious to know what camera the question-asker has. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 9:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ He probably has a very basic camera like the ones sold by Lomography. shop.lomography.com/ca/cameras/all \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 14:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've seen 'film advance wheel's that look like they have a ratchet on them. maybe it does nothing when wound the wrong direction? \$\endgroup\$
    – davolfman
    Commented May 21 at 18:17

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