I'm shooting a Nikon FM2 (35mm) with Kodak Vision3 500T (24 exp) repurposed film from The Film Photography Project.

I got scans back (26 images). There's some blue lines - I imagine that those are due to the friction I heard when trying to advance the film in my camera.

Something else - I'm missing a large portion of the end of my shoot. I don't remember looking at the film counter when shooting - I just kept advancing the film until it wouldn't let me anymore, thinking the slight friction that I was feeling/hearing was due to the stiffer movie stock film. It's possible I went past 24 and continued until the camera wouldn't let me advance anymore. There are no multiple exposures on any of the images I received back, though I guess it's possible, if unlikely, that they exist and the lab just didn't send them to me.

What happened to the rest of the 'shots'? I am guessing that some sort of camera error occurred to where I was no longer shooting anything at a certain point, since the shots I'm missing are all in a big chunk at the end.

I had two rolls - and I remember switching rolls at some point, but I'm fairly certain I only took 3 shots on the most recent roll. The camera counter said that, at least. I guess it's possible that the counter was broken and all of the missing 'shots' are on that second roll. I don't think that this is the case - certain details that I remember about the shoot suggest this isn't what happened. I haven't gotten the second roll of film developed, but might based on the advice I hear here.

I'm lost as to what may have happened here. This was for a shoot over a month ago so my memory is a bit hazy, but I know I'm missing a large portion of the shoot (I estimate 8-12 photos) - and that it was towards the end. Any help would be appreciated!

edit: this is bulk loaded film. I've read that it's difficult to tell when it 'stops'. Is this the issue and how would I prevent this in the future?

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    \$\begingroup\$ please post an image of your film, so people can see what exactly you are talking about \$\endgroup\$ Nov 1, 2017 at 7:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks! I don't have my film back yet, it's still at the lab. I'll contact them to see if there were any issues (ripped sprockets, etc?) and report back. It was bulk loaded film, if that makes a difference. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brendan
    Nov 1, 2017 at 9:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Too much hand waving and no examples. Closing as unclear. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 1, 2017 at 11:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ So you got 26 images out of a roll of 24 exposures, and you're wondering where the other 8-12 images are? \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Nov 1, 2017 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ What is the shape of the sprocket holes in this film? Which of these four? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/35_mm_film#/media/File:35mm_sprockets.png \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Nov 1, 2017 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


Blue streaks and feeling friction when you advanced the film sounds like you have something on the pressure plate scratching the film. I'm confused by your statement that you got 26 scans back for a 24 exp roll of film, yet you mention missing some images. ??

I also don't know what you mean about it being difficult to tell when bulk loaded film "stops." If it's a 24 exp roll, it stops at 24 and you don't need to "feel" anything. If you can actually feel the film stop when advancing, you've gone too far and you are risking losing the whole roll when you pull the film off the takeup spool.


What you describe is very common, especially when the photographer is a newbie. When we load the 35mm film camera, we pull out a few inches of the film leader from the cassette. We thread this leader, also called a tongue, and insert it into the take-up spool. Now we advance the camera by firing off a few shots with the camera back open. The idea is to watch the film advance. This action checks the correctness of our film loading. Next we close the camera back and again we fire off some shots to clear the film that was exposed during the loading process. If we “dry fire” too much film, we lose a few frames, so instead of getting 24 pictures from the roll, we get maybe only 20 or so. When the film is developed and printed, the photofinisher will likely not print under-exposed or blurred frames. So the average number of prints returned is likely only 18.

When we are taking pictures we are likely concentrating on the scene and getting the focus and exposure correct. A newbie often operates the camera advance forcefully. This can induce a film tear at the end of the roll. What happens is: the advance gear will rip the sprocket holes. Once this happens, the photographer may be unaware and continue shooting. Sorry to report that the ripped film will not advance. Many newbies continue for a time not realizing what has happened. Examine the returned film and see if it is torn at the end.

Also, the blue streaks are likely pressure marks. Film is sensitive to light but it is also sensitive to heat and pressure. The streaks could be due to rough handling by you or by the photofinisher. Post some examples and we will try to diagnose.


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