Double Exposures with Any Camera!


It is very simple, but also very fiddly, to do a double exposure with any camera, and it can be done in a few easy steps.

Firstly, take a picture as normal, but with the iso set to double the number of the film speed (e.g for 400 speed film, set the iso to 800) this is so that the image isn’t overexposed, as there will be double the amount of light hitting the film than there normally is. This will be the first image of your double exposure.

Now comes the fiddly part. First, wind the rewind lever on until you feel a bit of tension, then stop. Then, hold one finger down on the rewind button on the bottom of your camera, and hold another finger behind the rewind lever so that it doesn’t move. While still holding those two things, advance the film with whatever is the easiest, maybe another finger if you feel flexible enough, you could get a friend to do it, but my personal favorite method is to use my teeth :)

This will have cocked the shutter, without advancing the film, enabling you to do some awesome double exposures!

Here are the results i got from doing this on my AE-1:

Although, this method is not fail proof, occasionally the rewind lever will slip, leaving you with misaligned frames like this:

written by sidblack on 2011-01-06 in #gear #tipster #camera #double-exposure-tipster-film-camera-shooting-technique #tipster #tutorial


  1. azzzy
    azzzy ·

    i tired this before, but got really bad results.

  2. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Heiheiei... It's a fun trick, though not always workable. If it fails(as my own experience), never mind as long as a double exposed..... <:))

  3. lawypop
    lawypop ·

    i tried this on my horizon perfekt and sometimes it overlaps nicely and sometimes it doesn't

  4. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·

    Somebody told me this trick about two weeks ago, did not yet try it, but sounds great! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. simon-hedge
    simon-hedge ·

    Well, it's not going to work on ANY camera. What if you've got a motor-wind?

  6. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    This particular trick only works on cameras that can cock the shutter without film in them. If turn the advance wheel with no film in the camera and it stops, then this trick will most likely work. If it just keeps turning with no film in the camera, you're out of luck.

    To make the overlap a bit better, you should make sure that the film is wound tightly in the film canister. I always "rewind" the film after I load it without holding down the rewind button. I rewind until I start feeling a fair amount of resistance. This makes the film tight in the canister and helps keep it from moving too much when you're turning the film advance wheel with the rewind button held in. If you still have some undesirable non-overlap after you've taken your shot, you can just crop it out in post-processing.

  7. beatnik00
    beatnik00 ·

    I tried this a few times with my Zorki 4 - guessing from that, I would say that there's at least a 50% chance (rather better) that nothing slips and that there are no bad overlappings and both exposures fit. But I still hope that it's becoming better, if one does it more often and gets a little more flair for it!

  8. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    This doesn't work in Horizon cameras, because the rewind button only loosens the metal teeth and not the black plastic take up spool, which is directly connected to the winder. I managed to do it once, but it was because it was at the end of the roll and I wanted to make sure it was really done, since I was shooting a test roll. This works in my Kodak Retina IIc, though, so it's really based on the camera. This is still pretty helpful, because a lot of cameras will still work this way, as @gvelasco said.

  9. paperplanepilot
    paperplanepilot ·

    it doesnt work on my Zenit. :( so i have to do it the hard way... go thru my whole roll, rewind, the shot again.

  10. macstef
    macstef ·

    I tried this trick with my LC-A and AE-1... but I didn't change the film speed... worked out fine

  11. stouf
    stouf ·

    Great ! I submitted a few months ago the same for Horizon perfekt... Should be up around March... : )

  12. lomogregory
    lomogregory ·

    Great article! This worked for me using a vintage Minolta Hi-Matic G. Only tested it on one shot on my last roll with good results: More double to come.

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