The current frame counter is at 3 on my Canon AE-1 Program Film Camera. And I have taken two pictures already. However, I noticed that the Film Rewind Lever is not turning when I am advancing the film.

Did I load the film correctly? Or is this the proper behaviour?

To answer my question above after some investigating, yes, I did not load the film correctly. The Film Rewind Lever should turn when the film is being advanced.

2 Answers 2


It sounds like the film was not loaded properly and is not being advanced when you move the lever. When loading film, be sure the holes in the film are lined up with the sprockets on the take up reel on the right side of the camera. The other possibility is that the rewind lever is not correctly seated in the film cartridge. In either case, unless the shots you have already taken are irreplaceable, I would find a dark room with barely enough light to see and open the camera and check that the film is loaded properly. You will lose the pictures you have already taken, and the next one or two may be affected by light leaking into the cartridge. If you are more familiar with the insides of your AE-1 Program, you can try it in total darkness. Be careful not to touch the shutter curtains, the film rails, or the pressure plate while feeling around for things. These can be easily damaged. Unless the pictures you have already taken are worth that risk I would just write off the two photos instead.

There are detailed instructions for loading film in the AE-1P Instruction manual.


It seems unusual that the rewind crank isn't turning.

If you try to gently rewind the film using the crank (without pressing the small rewind button on the bottom of the camera), you should quickly encounter resistance, and stop trying. But if it turns easily, that would indicate that the film was loaded improperly. (The downside to this technique is that you might rewind the film into the cartridge, and not be able to reload it without using a film extraction tool.)

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