How to Rewind and Remove Film from the Pentax Spotmatic

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

Time needed: 1 minute.

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

  1. Unlock the Pentax Spotmatic film take-up spool.

    Find and press the small silver button on the bottom of the Pentax Spotmatic. This will unlock the film take-up spool and allow the film to be rewound.

    Pentax Spotmatic Unlock Take-up Spool

  2. Fold the lever out from the film rewind knob.

    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.

    Pentax Spotmatic 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.

    Pentax Spotmatic Open Film Door

  5. Remove the film canister from the Pentax Spotmatic.

    Remove the 35mm film canister from the camera by tilting the top out first. Keep it away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.

    Pentax Spotmatic Unload Film Canister

  6. Trouble removing the film canister.

    If you have any difficulty removing the film canister, pull up on the film rewind knob. It is spring-loaded and the prongs stick out a bit with it in the raised position. By pulling up, you can retract the prong further, at which point you can use gravity to tip the canister out of the camera.

    Pentax Spotmatic Pull Rewind Knob Up Further

  7. 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 Pentax Spotmatic.

    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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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