The Cine Experiment

The last frame #24 on the roll of film affected by light leaks in the film canister.


I bought some Cine Film re-engineered for 35mm to be developed by standard C41 process. This is a high speed tungsten film normally used for cinematography. I had put the roll of film in my Canon F1 intending to shoot film along with digital of the fashion show at Gears & Glamour. However, since the fashion show was in the dark, and I hadn’t worked with the film before, I didn’t want to push it beyond its recommended ISO 800 until I had used it. Since this film is best used indoors or at night under tungsten street lighting, I only took a few shots in the well lighted prep area at Gears & Glamour, a few more at the West Side Chorale’s winter concert, and then decided to use it outdoors with a 600 mm lens. I knew the color would be off in daylight, but I wanted to see how well I could hand hold a 600 mm lens with high speed film.

I got a surprise when I got to the end of the roll of film. I noticed the advance didn’t stop, and when I tried rewinding the film, the knob turned freely. I advanced the film a couple more times to see it would stop — it didn’t, so I took the camera into the darkroom, opened it in the dark and carefully felt by the take-up spool, and discovered the film had not been secured to the spool in the canister. I took out the canister, and as carefully as I could opened it up with a can opener. I carefully pulled the film out of the camera, but when the last of it popped off the take-up spool, the coiled mess of film slipped from my hands and fell to the floor. Remember, I’m in total darkness, so I bent down, felt around at my feet, found the pile of film, gently picked it up, found an end to the film, found the spool from the canister and rewound the film back onto the spool. I put the spool back in the canister and forced the end cap back onto the canister. When I got the negatives back, the canister didn’t seal back up tightly around the edges after opening it (I had suspected as much), so the last frames on the roll had light leaks. This was a mystery, because the last frames should be on the inside of the spool and the first frames on the outside where they would be affected by light leaks in the seal around the outer edge of the end cap. Then I remembered dropping the film, so I must have rolled it back on the spool reverse of how the photos were taken.

The lead photo is frame 24, the last image taken, and the effect of the light leaks from being on the outer edge in the canister are pretty interesting. The rest of the images, shown in order taken, were not affected by the leaks on the edge of the canister.

Frame 1 at Gears & Glamour with no effect from the light leak in the canister


Frame 8 at the Winter Concert


Frame 12 of coyotes on the other side of the river.


Frame 18 of a Blue Heron on a sandbar in the river.




21 thoughts on “The Cine Experiment

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