How to Rewind and Remove Film from the Nikon N4004 (F-401)

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: March 30, 2021
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Nikon N4004 Unload Film

This page will cover the steps needed to rewind and remove a roll of 35mm film from the Nikon N4004. If you need help with loading film into the camera see this step-by-step guide on how to load film into the Nikon N4004.

The Nikon N4004 needs to have four AA batteries to be able to rewind the film. When all the exposures for a roll of film have been taken, you will need to manually activate the motorized film rewind. This can also be done for a partially completed roll of film.

How to Rewind Film

Time needed: 1 minute.

Here are the steps you need to follow to rewind and remove the film from your Nikon N4004 before a roll of film is completely used. For demonstration purposes, I am using a roll of film that was left in a used camera and exposed.

  1. A red light indicates when all the exposures on a roll of film have been used.

    The camera will light up with a red light when all of the exposures from a roll of film have been used.
    Nikon N4004 All Exposures Used

  2. Slide the rewind unlock to the right and push the film rewind button.

    In order to unlock the film rewind button, the film rewind switch needs to be slid to the right. Use your right thumb to slid the switch and index finger to press the rewind button.
    Nikon N4004 Film Rewind Button and Lock

  3. Wait for the film to rewind.

    The motor will run for ~15 seconds in order to completely rewind the film.

  4. Open the film door.

    Push down on the small button on the side of the camera to open the film door.
    Nikon N4004 Open Film Back

  5. Remove the film canister from the Nikon N4004.

    Remove the 35mm film canister from the camera. Tilt the bottom of the canister out to make removal easier.
    Nikon N4004 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 a Nikon N4004.

    If you don't have another roll of film, you can just close the back of the camera. For long-term storage, remove the batteries so they do not leak and corrode the battery contacts, which can ruin the camera.

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.

Nikon N4004 Resources

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