DIY Film Retriever/Extractor

2012-06-29 19

Don’t you just HATE it when you accidentally rewind the entire roll of film that you intend to use for a film swap? So here is a simple tip that you can use on any 35mm fully retracted film leader!

I have always experienced problems when it comes to making sure that I don’t fully rewind my 35mm film. Tips such as folding a kink and sensing the changes in tension during rewinding might work for most of you, but for a beginner like myself, is very difficult. So today, I’m going to share with you a simple technique that my friend recently taught me on how to pull the film out after you have fully rewound the film.

So, first things first; you will need:

  • A pair of scissors
  • Double sided tape
  • A section of 35mm negative, and
  • A roll of film that has a fully retracted film leader

With your pair of scissors, cut a section of double sided tape and stick it on the tip of the negative. Peel the backing so that the sticky side is exposed.

Step One.

Then, insert the negative into the roll of film, making sure that the sticky side is FACING DOWN. Try to push in at least one inch.

Step Two.

Turn the small knob on top of the roll until it starts to pull on the section of negative. By doing this, you are causing the roll of film to come into contact with the double sided tape.

Step Three.

Once you feel that the tape is stuck on, slowly pull out the section of negative. You should be able to see the film leader.

Step Four.

Then, TA DA!!! The good thing about this technique is that you don’t need to buy a film retriever/extractor and it can be done in broad day light without affecting the film. This would also be useful for people that develop their own film!


Now, you are ready to do some film swap or double exposures!

written by amytam on 2012-06-29 #gear #tutorials #film #diy #film-swap #tip #tutorial #tipster #lomography #quick-tipster #film-retriever #film-extractor

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  1. dollymixture
    dollymixture ·

    Oh wow, this article couldn't have came at a better time.. I keep winding my rolls of film too far and have been using tweezers!! Needless to say this has been damaging the film canister somewhat, eek! Thank you for this idea : )

  2. amytam
    amytam ·

    Thanks, glad that this tip was useful!

  3. flashstalker
    flashstalker ·

    This month, I wrote the same article:…

  4. flashstalker
    flashstalker ·

    like it :)

  5. amytam
    amytam ·

    Whoa! What a coincidence! If only I know how to read Italian!

  6. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Thanks for the tip. I saw something similar about a year ago, but the tip on turning the roll of film after inserting the tape to make sure they catch on is very good. I will try that next time.

  7. amytam
    amytam ·


  8. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    There's a much simpler way: just lick the end of any strip of old negative, feed the wet end into the canister, wind it around a turn or two, then slowly pull the negative back out. The end of the wound-in film will come out with it. Works every time.

  9. kuryzu
    kuryzu ·


  10. amytam
    amytam ·

    I must give that a try!

  11. iandevlinphoto
    iandevlinphoto ·

    if you dont have sticky tape you can simply lick the negative...

  12. exquisitenat
    exquisitenat ·

    i thought i was going to have buy a retriever, so glad i won't have to now!

  13. kasadawai
    kasadawai ·

    thank you for sharing!!

  14. amytam
    amytam ·

    You're welcome! Glad you found it useful :)

  15. thewallflower
    thewallflower ·

    Most helpful article I have read. I just did a film swap with a friend but she accidently wound in the tab and I thought I was going to have to crack open the roll and just handle it in a black bag. Thanks!!

  16. amytam
    amytam ·


  17. mario-salvenmoser
    mario-salvenmoser ·

    that's so useful thank you!

  18. dida
    dida ·

    useful tip ;) thanks

  19. 22photos
    22photos ·

    MaNy ThAnKs for sharing!!

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