Camera Hacker


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Mid-roll change with any 35mm camera

Your hacks talk about "exposing in a closet" as a means to run past previously-exposed frames. For many cameras (probably ALL that don't use off-the-film metering) there's a far easier system, and one far less likely to result in extra light getting to the emulsion.

Place the camera lens-down on a FLAT surface in daylight. (Ideally, one which is slightly resilient so that the lens housing rests IN the surface rather than ON it, IYSWIM.) If the camera has such facilities, set it for no-flash, maximum underexposure, infinity lock, focus lock. Now simply fire off the shutter, noting that the camera BODY may move up as any autofocus system drives in the pre-shutter-release phase of exposure.

The point about this procedure is that ONLY the lens is obstructed - all other aspects (autofocus sensors, exposure sensors) can operate normally. Some cameras may refuse to expose (autofocus detects "subject" closer than minimum focus distance), but they can normally be fooled by going to infinity lock and/or focus lock.

Doesn't work well if the flash fires, but otherwise works a treat.

For non-off-the-film TTL-metering cameras, put camera on a tripod, depress shutter halfway to get focus- and exposure-lock, then with the other hand cover the lens (oversize lens cap is ideal - just hang it on the front). If the camera has manual-override of exposure settings, even easier. Fit the lens cap, force (say) default flash exposure, fire away. (I use the "O" mechanical 1/100 second setting on my Minolta XD-7, for example.)

I've used these techniques for decades, without a single problem.

Tim Forcer
Tue, 31 Oct 2000 08:48:19 +0000

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