I had a black and white film canister in my camera full but I tried and failed to wind the knob to get it ready to take out. SO I thought I'd do it the manual way and got in my cupboard (everything was compleatly dark-no light damage) turns out I didn't know how to do it the manual way either

Long story short:
I pulled, tugged, twisted it, put my fingers all over it, some touched the floor, I bent it. I ended up getting it detached from the camera and wound (and before that pushed) into the canister.

Basically I was handling it a long long time before I got it away from the camera.

Is it worth sending this to get it developed or is it ruined?

I don't expect the film to have any light damage what so ever.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You'll probably find that there's a little button on the bottom of your camera that needs to be pressed before you can rewind the film (or manually take it off of the take-up spool). That button/pin is usually just to the right of the lens, nearer the back of the camera. It disengages the toothed sprocket that drives the film. \$\endgroup\$
    – user28116
    Aug 16, 2014 at 1:55

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately this is an opinion and even then only an estimate can be made because only you know how much force was exerted on the film.

It is always worth it to me to try and develop a roll of film that could potentially come out poorly. If I find a roll in a vintage camera, to me the small cost of development greatly exceeds the potential benefits.

What ruins a roll of undeveloped film? Light. Since you believe that you were in a light tight box(I'm skeptical that a cupboard is light tight) then you certainly should have some images worth developing. If you bent it really hard, yes you will see creases in the final negatives/prints. But did you bend each and every frame? That seems unlikely so why not develop the roll and find out.

At any rate this is all a guess and my opinion. My opinion is yes that it is always worth it to send in film and at the very least get the negatives back for inspection.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Besides, odd handling and light leaks can make for some seriously interesting results. That alone can be worth the price of admission. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Aug 16, 2014 at 3:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes that too John. I love using old expired film for example. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Aug 16, 2014 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dpollitt In Great Britain a cupboard is what we in the U.S. call a closet. It is not clear where the original poster is from. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 16, 2014 at 17:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Michael I figured, but my closest still has light leaks along the floor and jams so I wouldn't call it light tight either. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Aug 17, 2014 at 2:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've been in closets tight enough to serve as air locks. They can be totally dark with no outside light. Most of those weren't built in the flimsy construction style of the last 20-30 years, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Aug 17, 2014 at 4:36

As it turns out, film is not only light-sensitive as we understand it. It is also pressure sensitive. Folding, bending, pressing, or stressing emulsion gelatine (film) will produce an image (a difference from the unaffected area). Physicists will tell you that light exerts pressure and can even be weighed. It's not much of a stretch, then, that what you did will be detectable even if the oils off your skin don't affect the action of the processing solutions. (There might be a smudge or two along with a scratch or two.)


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