How to Retrieve Film Leader Out of The Canister Without a Film Puller


What do you do when the film tongue gets inside the canister, just when we’re about to do some doubles? Of course, we can buy a film puller or we can go to a lab (the people from the labs are our friends) but what if the lab is closed? Well, you only need double-sided tape, scissors, and a little film.

  1. Cut a strip of film from an old roll of film. Place a piece of double-sided sticky tape on one side of the film strip.
  2. Carefully insert the end (where the double-sided tape is) into the canister. Note the side where the tape is. It has to be facing down in order for it to retrieve the film leader.
  3. Wind the roll of film so that the film strip goes into the canister. Leave out about 20 mm of the strip.
  4. Now gently pull out the strip of film. You should be able to pull the film leader out. If it doesn’t, try again, it works most of the time!

Need to stock up on film? Head over to our online shop or one of our worldwide gallery stores to refill your supply!

written by bongofury on 2011-06-21 #gear #tutorials #film #tipster #canister #how-to #bongofury #top-tipster-techniques


  1. maxwellmaxen
    maxwellmaxen ·

    or just wet the strip of film you are pulling in!

  2. damaris
    damaris ·

    oh!! This happened to me last week and I have a "halfexposed" film, inside the canister... THANKS!!

  3. damaris
    damaris ·

    oh!! This happened to me last week and I have a "halfexposed" film, inside the canister... THANKS!!

  4. ydpsh
    ydpsh ·

    I found this works better than wetting the film strip :D

  5. angelwulf
    angelwulf ·

    I licked the end of the film strip and it worked first time yay :-)

  6. johnccc
    johnccc ·

    Nice tipster !

  7. mandecster
    mandecster ·

    thanks!!this is really help..=)

  8. strangelilgirl
    strangelilgirl ·

    Will definitely remember this!

  9. analogmonolog
    analogmonolog ·

    it helps. thanks :)

  10. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    Thank you. Great advice.

  11. mystikmonk
    mystikmonk ·

    nice tip!! :)

  12. andrea_gail
    andrea_gail ·

    excellent. No need to buy a tool!

  13. mr-korn
    mr-korn ·

    Just lick the end of the film strip, Umm....Yummy :^P

  14. strummy
    strummy ·

    I tried the wet film trick and it worked really well. No tape necessary.

  15. babybath
    babybath ·

    Oh thank you. I tried this once a few years back and have forgotten how to do it.

  16. falsedigital
    falsedigital ·

    OMG, so simple, yet so effective. Worked perfectly!

  17. sixty
    sixty ·


  18. dogma
    dogma ·

    Great idea! Thanks!

  19. dogma
    dogma ·

    Ha ha :) just did it for one of my roll :) This trick works very well!

  20. vici
    vici ·

    Thank you!

  21. polka-dot
    polka-dot ·

    danke! great tip

  22. rhemaangel
    rhemaangel ·

    Very timely here. I have several rolls that I needed to rescue. Great tip, as well as the "wet the film" trick. I'll have to try both to see which one works best for me. :o)

  23. verenaxm
    verenaxm ·

    haha. i just tried it and it worked. but i wet the film because i don't have double sided tape

  24. lomographyembassyspain
    lomographyembassyspain ·

    Muy buen idea!!! Felicidades al creador!!!

  25. isoterica
    isoterica ·

    This is clever, thanks for the tip! Sometimes I get two shots in and decide I want to change films but I fear rewinding the film will get it lost in the container. Now I can do it.. and when I reload the film into another camera or the same one later just shoot the first two shots with the lens cap on preserving them :)

  26. bongofury
    bongofury ·

    Thanks to all . I´m glad to be usefull.
    I must say i also lick the film and it taste real fine :)

  27. grazie
    grazie ·

    thanks for this! I have two films in need of this ;)

  28. aprilrich427
    aprilrich427 ·

    yay thank you! I just did this but didnt have tape so i licked the negative strip and it worked :)

  29. qlamerand
    qlamerand ·

    I had to try this tipster yesterday and it worked. Thanks !

  30. zulupt
    zulupt ·

    Awesome tipster, really helpful!!!

  31. chrystani
    chrystani ·

    Sweet! I was just wondering if I would have to throw away my roll of film. I know lazy right. Thanks for the tip. :D

  32. weidong
    weidong ·

    Great Article

  33. stouf
  34. feelux
    feelux ·

    Niiiice! Very useful! I can now rescue my Elitechrome.

  35. hilarion
    hilarion ·

    water works, too. but thanks a lot!! really helped me.

  36. kwakken
    kwakken ·

    very helpful! :)

  37. nanyeah
    nanyeah ·

    great help!

  38. ngjinglingfiona
    ngjinglingfiona ·

    couldnt get it for the first few tries, but its worked in the end! Great tip (:

  39. flashstalker
    flashstalker ·


  40. tectum
    tectum ·

    :) even easier :

  41. bongofury
    bongofury ·

    @tectum , realy easier ,thanks

  42. danbarry
    danbarry ·

    This just saved an unused / recycled film

  43. c5gebj2
    c5gebj2 ·

    Great tipster. Saved me some time with the changing bag.

  44. diogolima
    diogolima ·

    Hello. I need somebody to help me. I had two cannisters who had the film all pulled inside. I tried this tecnic on the first cannister and it worked but in the second the film barely got in, it entered probably 2 cm and it didn't pull outros anything. I really need help because this last film was for my photography class and all my project is inside it :( . And it wasn't even used all the way. I will be really happy for any feedback. Thanks in advance

  45. frenchyfyl
    frenchyfyl ·


  46. lomo_floresiensis
    lomo_floresiensis ·

    works like a charm.. wetting the film strip with saliva as recommended on another site didn't quite work for me

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