I have an automatic, Minolta Zoom 160. I just finished a roll of 400 / 24 shots & I heard the film rewind back into its canister just as I finished the last shot. When I opened the back of the camera, I noticed some of the strip was still sticking out! It looks as if I just put the film in the camera but I didn't stretch it out into the track winder thing.

I'm not new to this but I never really have technical problems, so it's hard for me to explain everything using the right words. It was not a lot of the strip that was exposed. But my question is, does this mean my photos are ruined because a tiny part of it didn't suck back into the canister? And why didn't it go back in all the way?

This is what the film looks like, it's not even going back into the canister all the way.

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Another question is if I expose my film to light, does that mean the entire roll is ruined?


2 Answers 2


It sounds like everything is fine- some cameras don't rewind the film all the way back into cartridge, and yours must be one of them. When you get the film developed, you won't see any problem.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Some cameras can be set to rewind all the way into the canister or to leave the leader out. the reason for this would be if you only shot a partial roll and you wanted to change film because of changing light conditions you could then rewind leaving the leader out mark the number of shots exposed on the canister and then reload the film at a later time and advance in the dark to the last number shot Plus one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 4:45

That tiny part hanging out of the canister is known as the 'leader'. Notice that it is only about half as wide as the rest of the film (or canister). Don't pull on it to check this if you can't see the full width of the roll, just trust me. The rest of the roll is fine, the canister is working exactly as designed.

Some cameras roll the entire film, including leader, back into the canister, others leave the leader hanging out, exactly as it was inserted into the camera.

Here is a tip: if the leader is still outside the canister after you have shot the roll of film, manually wind it fully into the container. This way, you won't ever mistake a used roll of film with a fresh, new one. With no leader, you can't possibly put in a used roll of film, and create an entire roll of double exposures. This tip is usually learned the hard way (personal experience) and usually only once!


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