What Happens When You Accidentally Open Your Film Camera’s Back Door?

What Happens When You Accidentally Open Your Film Camera's Back Door?

Guide and Tips

What Happens When You Accidentally Open Your Film Camera’s Back Door?

If you totally forgot there is film inside the camera. What should you do? You might have a million questions in mind, is my film gonna survive? I spent days taking these 36 shots.

There are quite a number of scenarios to determine whether your film will have any “images” on it. But no matter what happened after you opened the film camera back door.


The amount of time letting your film be exposed to the light seriously affects the film and mainly based on 3 main scenarios below.

Situation 1: Not Yet Rewind

“Probably only the top of the image will be there because the bottom part will be heavily exposed and if you are in an outdoor area, those 36 shots are probably all gone.”


Situation 2: Rolled half into the Film Canister

“Can save half of the roll without an issue but also same as situation 1 if the environment is bright then you can top of the image but if it is dark/indoor/night environment probably you will only get interesting light rays in your images.”


Situation 3: Fully Rolled back in the Canister

“No effect to the entire roll of film only if you thought you have rolled all but part of it still unrolled then it will be similar to situation 2.”


What You Should Do!

  • Check if the film can still advance
  • Check the rewind knob to see if there is any film
  • Rewind more to check the tension
  • Open inside duvet to check if there is any film inside

Looking for Cameras / Lenses or Gears?

If you have any questions related to film photography and you would like to source any cameras and gears, feel free to email me or subscribe for free photography tips below.

Support this Community

You may support TAHUSA $5 a month with a coffee or beer, you can help support the keeping up this place or subscribe for exclusive content in my Patreon. 

Recent Posts

Prev Zeiss ZM 35mm f1.4 Distagon - Almost Perfect
Next How to Get Started with Film Photography

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.