How to Rewind and Remove Film from the Olympus OM-1

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 24, 2021
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Olympus OM-1 Unload Film

This page will cover the steps needed to rewind and remove a roll of 35mm film from the Olympus OM-1. If you need help with loading film into the camera see this step-by-step guide on how to load film into the Olympus OM-1.

How to Rewind Film

Time needed: 1 minute.

Here are the steps you need to follow to rewind and remove the film from your Olympus OM-1. For demonstration purposes, I am using a roll of film that was left in a used camera and exposed.

  1. Unlock the Olympus OM-1 film take-up spool.

    Rotate the small dial on the front of the camera near the shutter release button on the Olympus OM-1 to the R. This will unlock the film take-up spool and allow the film to be rewound.
    Olympus OM-1 Film Rewind Switch

  2. Fold the film rewind lever.

    Take note of the direction the arrow points to. This is the direction (clockwise) the film rewind knob needs to be turned to rewind the film.
    Olympus OM-1 Film Rewind Lever

  3. Wind the film back into the canister.

    Rotate the film rewind lever clockwise to wind the film back into the 35mm canister. You will feel some resistance as you wind the film.
    When there is less resistance, that's when the film has been completely rewound into the canister. You can make a few extra rotations to make sure all the film is in the canister.

  4. Open the film door.

    Pull up on the film rewind knob to open the film door. Leave the knob in the raised position.
    Olympus OM-1 Open Film Back

  5. Remove the film canister from the Olympus OM-1.

    You can easily remove the film canister from the OM-1 by tilting it and letting gravity do the work. Keep the film canister away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.
    Olympus OM-1 Remove 35mm Film Canister

  6. Load another roll of film.

    Now is the best time to load another roll of film into the camera. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to load film into an Olympus OM-1.

    If you don't have another roll of film, you can just close the back of the camera. For long-term storage, remove the battery so it does not leak and cause corrosion in the battery compartment, which can make the light meter unusable.

Where to get your film developed?

There are 3 different ways you can get your film developed.

Develop the Film Yourself

The least expensive and most involved way to develop your film is to do it yourself at home. This is what I prefer to do.

You will need some inexpensive equipment and a way to scan your negatives or slides.

Developing film yourself is definitely worthwhile as long as you are consistently shooting film. If you are only going to occasionally shoot film, mailing it to a lab is going to be less expensive.

Mail Your Film to a Professional Lab

There are many photo labs that offer mail in developing and scanning services. What's nice is that you'll get your film scanned using a high-end scanner. This is a big time saver.

Another important aspect is that you'll get your negatives or slides back from the lab. This will allow you to make prints in a darkroom or re-scan them in the future. Plus they act as a physical back-up.

Depending on the lab you choose, you can have the ability to select the machine that does the scanning and any profiles/corrections that get used.

You can also indicate if film has been pushed or pulled so that it can be processed correctly.

Here is a list of US photo labs that offer mail developing services. I have no affiliation with them and I have not used any of their services.

Find a Local Lab

A local lab is a good option as long as it is an independent professional photo lab. These are likely going to be limited to large cities.

The labs located in pharmacies or big box stores are the worst option as they no longer develop the film on location.

What happens is that the pharmacy or big box store will mail the film off to get developed by a third party. You will only receive digital copies of your images. You will not get your negatives or slides back.

Olympus OM-1 Resources

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