Red-O-Lutionary: Redscale Has Never Been Easier!


Making your own redscale film always requires a lot of time and a darkroom. Frightful for Lomographers like me who want to point-and-shoot and let the lab handle the rest. But I found a solution that makes creating 35mm redscale film possible for everybody in just a minute!

Redscale is all about exposing the ‘wrong’ side of the film. This effect was achieved by either pulling all the film out of the canister (in a darkroom of course), then turning the material around and putting it back into the canister or by transferring the film into a whole new canister. Sounds complicated and difficult, doesn’t it? But to achieve the redscale effect, all you need is four simple things (you have all of them at home):

1. The film you want to redscale (any 35mm color film will do)
2. Your favorite camera (unfortunately this may not work with all cameras)
3. Scissors
4. Pliers (I use combination pliers)

Step 1:
When you insert a film in your camera, there is a little thingy (Does it even have a name?) on top of the canister that stops you from putting it in upside down. But that’s exactly what we want to do! So the thingy must go! Use the pliers to remove it. You may need some violence but most of the time its made from plastic, which makes it easy.

Step 2:
We are almost done! That was fast, wasn’t it? As we can now put our film in the camera upside down, the film puller is on the wrong side. Use the scissors to make a new puller by cutting some film like shown in the pictures.

Credits: metobi

Step 3:
Put the film into the camera and make sure that the ‘wrong’ (or right) dark side of the film is exposed and the bright side is facing you.

Credits: metobi

And now go and take some photos! And best of all: You can do all of this on the go! And if you decide to go EBS (Expose Both Sides), just cut a new film puller and turn the film around again!

As I said earlier, this may not work with every camera, but you’ll have to try to be sure! I can say that this works with the Lomography Konstruktor and the Minolta Hi-Matic AF but I can’t try it with every camera in the world so please share your results in the comment section below!

written by metobi on 2013-08-03 #gear #tutorials #red #film #diy #35mm #redscale #tutorial #tipster


  1. aanum
    aanum ·


  2. coolsigg
    coolsigg ·


  3. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    I do it like that to, I was planning to write a tipster about it! It works with the Zenit 12 and the Fisheye 2. It doesn't work with my Canon EOS 500, which have automatic advance.

    An important thing: to rewind the film, you have to turn the spool in the opposite side.

  4. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    This way of redscaling film is also good for the lab which develops it. They usually don't like when the film is re-spooled in the opposite side and taped.

  5. mansquatch
    mansquatch ·

    Just did it and can't wait to try it out tomorrow in my sprocket rocket and spinner 360!

  6. istionojr
    istionojr ·

    oyeah interesting tipster! will try it soon, hopefully the film chamber could accomodate the upside down film.

  7. buckshot
    buckshot ·

    Potentially a very useful tip - thank you!

  8. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    @mansquatch The Sprocket Rochet can take films upside down even without removing the "little thing without name" !

  9. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    And for real "on the go" redscale, you can break the "little thing without a name" with your teeth. Your dentist wouldn't advise it, but the photos worth it!

  10. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    When you rewind the film by rotating the spool in the opposite direction, the rewind spool could unscrew. Check how strong it is before, or remove your film in a dark room, or find another solution.

  11. vici
    vici ·


  12. micky_s
    micky_s ·

    Great tips, but if that doesnt work, buy a smena....… !!! :)

  13. ishifishy
    ishifishy ·

    Awesome !!! Thank you so much.

  14. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Great idea - I might have to give this method a try as there is far less room for error compared to cutting and flipping the film in a darkroom or dark bag.

    p.s. I think the "thingy" is called a film leader :)

  15. martadublin
    martadublin ·

    it works with LOMO LC-A+

  16. dashu
    dashu ·

    haha great idea, gonna try it with my diana f+ ^^

  17. fedehp_y2k
    fedehp_y2k ·

    Great tipster

  18. jiloo
    jiloo ·

    Great tip! Definitely will have to try it!
    What film do you recomend for red scaling?

  19. layaaah
    layaaah ·

    i will try it as soon as possible. Did anyone already tried this with the diana mini?

  20. twinklecat
    twinklecat ·


  21. aderian
    aderian ·

    i'll try, hope it works on my camera >.<

  22. clickiemcpete
    clickiemcpete ·

    Wow, no kidding, it works. :) Well this is certainly an interesting development. Just remember kids, you have to turn the rewind knob backwards though when you go to rewind. ;)

  23. clickiemcpete
    clickiemcpete ·

    Well, it worked for one frame in the LC-W but then the trouble started. It got tight and would not advance. I took it out, recut the film and tried again. No go. So, this might work for some simple cameras but it isn't going to be a good fit for many. Still, it's worth a try again, maybe in the sprocket rocket.

  24. cabreb
    cabreb ·

    If you don't want to tape the film an respool it, you can also close yourself in a very dark room (wait some minutes in the dark to ceck for light leaks inside it and cover them) and extract the whole film. Now you have to bend it near the canister so the film can be wound back in it, but inverted, without cutting and taping it! It's very easy and works very good. Remember only to avoid the bent part of the film to come out as il will get stuck inside the camera; to do this avoid shooting the last frames: rewind the film two or three frames before the end. To load it in your camera simply cut a new puller, and that's it! This works with EVERY camera!! (Remember that redscaled films need a lower ISO setting, so you could get bad results in cameras with fixed shutter speed and aperture.)

  25. robertofiuza
    robertofiuza ·

    Worked perfectly on my Yashica Lynx…
    Tried it on my Nikon FA but it unscrewed the rewind knob like @aguillem warned.

  26. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    @robertofiuza In this case, you can still go in a dark room...

  27. pasadena85
    pasadena85 ·

    worked in my Holga 135 but the shots are all mirror-inverted

  28. robertofiuza
    robertofiuza ·

    @pasadena85 That´s because your are exposing the film from the "backside" but are scanning from the front.

  29. thejomi
    thejomi ·

    Nice tipster. Good to read that this is really working with some cameras. I tried same style with my spinner360 earlier this year. No way! The film stucks.

  30. barocio
    barocio ·

    Thanks for the tip! This is the easiest redscale method I've seen, assuming you can get it into your camera. I tried it with a Konstruktor. I had a little trouble at first because the sprockets weren't catching the perforations, but I managed. I also noticed the winding forward movements became a bit harder, but nothing that felt like it was going to break the film. Maybe my film was too tight, I'm not sure. Anyways, I'm currently waiting for the photos to be developed.

  31. aguillem
    aguillem ·

    @thejomi it's normal because in this way, the film is "folded" at 90°, so there is more tension. The spinner unroll the film during the picture. So if the tension is higher, it will turn slowly... or not go at all!

  32. gemwood
    gemwood ·

    So could you take this film to a normal high street developer ? would you have to get them to develop it backwards too?

  33. jakemasa
    jakemasa ·

    thanks for the tip

  34. maeusedisko
    maeusedisko ·

    works with my canon ae-1! thanks for the tipster!

More Interesting Articles