The Skinny on Fixing Fat Film Rolls: A Permanent Solution

2012-07-26 10

Feeling burnt by fat, loosely wound rolls of film from your Diana F+? Is the extra light eating away at your photos? Here is a quick, cheap, easy and permanent fix to wind thin and tight rolls once again!

Sure, light leaks can give a regular photo that je ne sais quoi or wabi sabi artistic quality that adds to its aesthetics and composition.

Credits: wendyraeann

Eventually, these fat rolls will allow light to burn your subject matter into oblivion, and may leave you feeling like this:

Credits: wendyraeann

With a Diana F+, these light leaks are usually caused by ever increasingly looser and fatter wound rolls of film. But what causes these fat rolls of film? Essentially, more tension is needed on the spools to keep the film from getting slack. There are three areas that can attribute to loosely wound rolls of film:

1) The film spool holder
2) The take up spool and
3) The back plate (by not keeping the film flush with the framing mask).

Fix your tension and light leaks issue with the space age invention called Velcro!

You will need:

  • Six inches to a foot (15 – 30 cm) of the soft, fuzzy side of self adhesive Velcro, ½ inch to one inch wide (1.25 cm – 2.5 cm). Preferably you should use black—I used white because it was what I found laying around the house. DO NOT USE THE HOOKED ROUGH VELCRO as it could scratch film.
  • A pair of scissors

To fix loose holding and take up spools cut a two to three small strips (½ inch by ¼ inch or 1.25 cm by .75 cm) or smaller for each spool, for a total of four to six small strips. Remove paper backing from the Velcro to reveal the adhesive and affix the strips on the inside of your camera around the upper pegs that hold the film spools in place on the upper right and left sides, forming a triangle or a “U” shape around the peg. On the film take up side (the right side) don’t put Velcro over the parts that need to turn. Turn your film winder to help you see and to make sure that you didn’t accidently tape it in place.

To keep the film flush against the framing mask, and to create more tension on the film one strip of Velcro the approximate length of the camera, and two strips the height of the camera minus the width of the Velcro. Remove paper backing from the adhesive side of the Velcro and put it horizontally across the inside of the back plate of your camera. Be sure not to cover the red viewer window and not to get too close to the edge so that your camera wont fit back together again. Take the remaining two strips and stick them vertically, on the far left and right sides, below the horizontal strip. These two strips place pressure on the film rolls.

Now, go test your camera! You should immediately notice a difference; no more loosely wound film!

Credits: wendyraeann

The Diana F+ is a new twist on the ‘60s classic cult camera. Famous for its dreamy and soft-focused images, the Diana F+ is now packed with extra features such as panorama and pinhole capabilities. Available in our Online Shop.

written by wendyraeann on 2012-07-26 #gear #tutorials #film #tipster #modification #diana-f #camera-modification #fat-rolls-of-film #loosely-wound-film #fix #velcro #lomography #repair


  1. original_j2
    original_j2 ·

    Now this is a real tipster! Thanks!

  2. dandyzim
    dandyzim ·

    Very useful, thanks :)

  3. sudhashunmu
    sudhashunmu ·

    amazing tipster will try and let know

  4. jessmachina
    jessmachina ·

    great tips!

  5. linusbm
    linusbm ·

    Just thought about doing this the other day but didn't have any velcro :p

  6. kimpy05
    kimpy05 ·

    great article

  7. simonh82
    simonh82 ·

    Interesting idea, but the same problem can be fixed a bit easier like this:…. Same principle though.

  8. gatokinetik-o
    gatokinetik-o ·

    i'll definitively try it :D

  9. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    I think I need to try this,

  10. permafrost
    permafrost ·

    Very, very useful!! I stopped using my Diana altogether because I sometimes had the entire film destroyed by light leaks (really not usable). Thank you for this!

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