I have a canon ae-1 loaded with 35 mm fujifilm (36 shots/roll).
I thought I loaded the film properly because it advanced correctly for all of my shots, except that once I got to the 36th shot, I was able to continue to advance the roll many more times. Usually, I can tell when the roll is finished because I physically can't advance the film beyond the 36th or 37th shot.
Concerned by this, I rewound the film in the usual way (by pressing the button on the bottom of the camera and then spinning the rewind lever), but I never felt any tension, nor did the picture counter dial back as usual. So, I went into a completely dark room and opened the back of the camera and then noticed that only a part of the film was left outside of its canister (about the amount you usually pull out when loading the camera).
So I took out the film canister from the camera and tried rewinding it by hand (by spinning the knob on the canister), but the film wouldn't rewind.
Now my question is, did I even shoot this film in the first place? I don't think it is possible that I could have rewound an entire roll of film without feeling the usual tension or seeing the picture counter dial back. If this is the case, how come my film advanced all the way to the 36th shot (even past it) giving me the illusion that everything was working correctly?
Also, before I took the film canister out of the camera I tried to see if it would advance, and it did advance just fine. So the film is advancing, but not rewinding back.
I do know how to rewind film back manually, by the way. I tested a spare roll of film and it worked just fine.
The film is not damaged in any way (except for being exposed).