How do I swap the film in my camera to a different film pack?

We know sometimes you start one pack of film, but then you see something that would be perfect with a different film, but your pack isn’t done yet, or maybe you want to take the same film and put it in a different camera. Either way, the concern is the same.

In short, yes you can change film packs mid-way and not ruin your film, there’s just a few key things to remember.

First, keep and carry dark slides. If you don’t already carry them to use for shielding, this is a good habit to start. The dark slide is the key to switching packs. Also, if you encounter a camera malfunction, you can use the dark slide to remove your pack with film in it and put an empty in to help troubleshoot your camera without wasting film.

Second, note ambient light. Follow the steps in our video on how to insert the dark slide to put it over the top frame of film, and remember to do this in subdued light. The front of the pack isn’t light tight and especially with the camera door open. If you insert a dark slide in too much light you will flash some of the film, at least on the top frame.

Lastly, even after you’ve taken the pack out and have the dark slide in place, be mindful of light leaks and torn dark slides. Make sure you cover the back corner of the pack so there isn’t a light leak there, and make sure the same corner on the dark slide isn’t torn. This could prevent it from ejecting properly when putting the pack back into a camera.

Also note this trick is a little harder, though not impossible, with Spectra packs because they have a slightly different design.

Remember these tips and follow the instructions in the video and you should be able to capture the moments you want with the right film or camera.

Keep your rollers clean.

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