||[Tuesday 11th April 2017 at 9:01 pm]
One downside of using film is there's many ways in which it can all go wrong leaving you with no photos. In this case, I had a roll of film that seemed to be exceptionally long and was going well past the usual 36 exposures. This was a bit disconcerting so I decided to rewind it - and found that there was almost no resistance to the rewind crank, and the telltale spinner on the cover wasn't spinning. Ah-ha, I thought, the camera must have pulled the film off the reel inside the canister, and so I gave it all to Boots to extract inside their dark tent.
A few days later I picked the film up from Boots to find it was completely blank! This puzzled both me and the lady at Boots (who was kind enough to not charge for processing) - the film was not obviously defective as the leader was exposed, and being a SLR it would have been rather obvious if I'd left the lens cap on. However I've come up with a theory: the Nikon doesn't have a slot you have to thread the film through, but rather you pull the film out far enough to reach the takeup spool and it grabs the sprocket holes and winds it on automatically. Except if I haven't quite got things lined up then it won't do so - and the symptoms of "film pulled all the way out of the canister" and "film not advancing at all" are identical.
Lesson learnt: pay attention to the telltale spinny thing when loading a new roll of film, and check that it is actually advancing properly!