There are a few key settings of your 35mm camera to learn for properly setting film for beginner basic photography. Please note some cameras may have automatic features that others may not, such as photo film advancement and rewind, but this photography guide for beginners will encompass all steps for photographers using equipment without these automatic features.
Setting the Film Speed for Film Photography
Before you do anything else, you should always remember that the film speed must be set on your film camera. Typically on the upper left of the camera is a film speed dial, which will serve multiple purposes for film photography. First of all, you must be sure that the ISO film speed of your film is set properly on this dial. You will likely have to push a release button in order to move the film speed dial. This dial will also play an instrumental role for basic photography to open the back of the camera to allow you to load and unload your photo film, as well as rewind the film after the roll is finished. To open the back of the camera, simply lift the rotating part of the dial up to release and open the back of your camera.
Tips for Loading and Unloading 35mm Film
With the back of you camera open, you will see a space for your film on the left and a spool on your right. With the film speed dial still lifted, place the 35mm film into the left part of the camera and push the film speed dial down to lock in your film. Grab the film coming out of the canister and drag it across the back of the camera and into the spool on the right hand side. The spool will have a slip to slide the end of the film into and notches for the film holes to help when advancing your film. Make certain that the film is properly lined up with the notches so that your film will advance properly and that the film is held firmly in place. Advance the film with the film advance lever to be sure that the film catches. Close the back of the camera to ensure that no more film is exposed to light and continue advancing the film until the exposure counter reaches 1.
After your exposure counter reaches 24 or 36, depending on the amount of exposures from the roll of film, you will have to rewind the film before you can open the back of the camera. To do this, there will be a button on the bottom of the camera that needs to be pushed. This button will release the spool’s grip on the film so that you can rewind it. If you do not push this button it will be hard to rewind the film and you could damage your camera or film. After the button is pushed, you can use the lever on the film speed dial to rewind your film. You will hear the film finish rewinding or feel less tension when it is finished. You can then open your camera and remove the film. Your film is now ready to for film processing and development.
For a video guide to loading and unloading film from your 35mm film camera, please visit how to load 35mm film and how to unload 35mm film.