I purchased a Canon Sure Shot Supreme today. Every time a photo is taken, it adds a number to the digital window. I had 4 pictures taken, and opened my back up and exposed my film for a brief second, and it made a noise that sounded like it was rewinding. This also took the picture count back down to 1 instead of 4. Then I just took 4 more pictures to get it back up to 5. What will happen to those pictures?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You didn't say why you opened the camera back. I presume it was an accident, but just to confirm... Don't do this with film in the camera \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 9:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ It was an accident. I'm still confused as to why the shutter count reversed. I also took an additional 4 pics and then it rewound the whole roll of film. I think I took a total of 8 pictures on a brand new roll of film \$\endgroup\$
    – Taylor
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 13:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The camera resets the shot counter when you open the back because it thinks you're going to put in a new roll. I'm not sure why it would rewind after only 8 frames though unless you told it to rewind. The key is, once you load the camera and close the back you shouldn't open it until you've taken 12, 24, or 36 exposures (depending on the roll) and the camera has either rewound automatically or told you to rewind because it was at the end of the roll. \$\endgroup\$
    – BobT
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 22:35
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Some film camera wind out all the film when they are loaded, and wind it into the cannister (backwards!) as they take the shots to reduce the damage in this situatio . I think the Canon EOS 300 did that, but not sure about this one. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 2, 2018 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


Camera is Latin meaning “dark chamber”. When you open up the camera in the light, all the dark leaks out. Is the film spoiled? Most likely the pictures you took are ruined. There is a slight chance the first one or two you took will yield a partial image. This is dependent on how bright the ambient light and the length of time the back remained open. What could save the first few frames is the opaque coating on the back. This coat is called “anti-halation”, protects the film from exposure coming from behind. A halation can result if a bright object images and the light penetrates the film. This stray light can re-enter the film after reflecting off metal inside the camera. This film layer might provide you some protection.

Now a word to the wise: Unless the shots are significant, use this film as a sacrificial roll and practice, using it to help you learn how to load, advance frames, and rewind.

  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ You have to practise your Latin. 'Camera' does not mean more than 'room' or 'chamber'. The room does not have to be dark until you make it into a 'camera obscura'. \$\endgroup\$
    – jarnbjo
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 11:41
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Despite the Latin error, I do have to give this a +1 for the very solid science about dark leaking out. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ the Latin term Alan had in mind was Camera Obscura - darkened chamber. A nice read on Wikipedia by the way :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 17:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ thank you mister! I have learned a little bit more knowledge through your answer!! \$\endgroup\$
    – help
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 11:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ But... but, if you have to change the film, how do you refill the darkness? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 13:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.