Words of MavericK

Blabbering of a Fool

Blackbird, fly tutorial – How to load film

Thought I’ll do a simple photo tutorial on how to load the film into your Blackbird, fly camera, since even I myself had trouble reading the manual that was provided.


Now that you have your Blackbird, fly, you will definitely need to have a roll of film to start shooting with it. But first, release your Bbf from the cage!


You will realize that the base is stuck to your Bbf! Don't panic just yet (if you are anyway)...


That is because this key is holding the Bbf together with the base. All you need to do is to turn and screw it out. Remember! Don't pull the key or your Bbf using brute force!


Now your Bbf is ready to fly! Or shoot, actually.


To load the film, first you have to open up the camera. Turn the camera over and release the catch, and then open up the base as above.


From the manual, you can see that you need to squeeze two levers to open up the film room. Open it up and you will see this. Before you load the film, remember to pull out the film rewinding crank (you won't be able to stuff your film in without doing so anyway).


What's left is to just put the film in, and then push the crank back in! Make sure that the crank is all the way in (the 'pegs' at the interior must be clamping the film at the axel). Note that you don't have to pull out any film before you close the film room.


After you have closed the film room, you have to now feed the film into the camera. Look out for the spot (see above) at the spool. The horizontal gap directly left of it will be where you want your film to go. You have to latch the second hole of the perforation at the spool at the left side, because the first hole is insufficient for the spool to 'bite' onto the film, whereas you can't feed in until you can latch onto the third hole. ^^


Afetr you have latched the film, turn the film advance wheel slightly to feed the film. Like this.


Make sure your film counter has been reset (if you have finished a previous roll of film). Just align the white line with the mark below the counter. Extra: I thought I broke my camera (after the first roll!!!) when I couldn't turn the film advance wheel in any direction. When this happens to you, just push down gently on the lever next to the film counter (see above), and everything should be fine (Worked for me). ^^


Extra: The shutter is circled above. When you use "N" mode, it opens and closes in a split second. When in "B" mode, the shutter opens and remains so as long as the shutter release is pressed, to allow more light to enter (for night shots or in poor lighting). To close it, just release the shutter release!!

And there you have it!

Well, I’m no photography professional or anything…just trying to help those who had trouble understanding the manual (like me).
If any photography masters out there notice any mistakes I had made, please educate me!!


21 responses to “Blackbird, fly tutorial – How to load film

  1. seishiro Friday, May 16, 2014 at 1238

    im having trouble unloading the film since when i press the button with the cover and try to rewind the film it get stuck and when i open the camera and take the film out i see that the second hole in the film is torn

  2. Batman Monday, May 12, 2014 at 842

    Interesting. From that picture #5, it looks like you can see where the front colour plate is attached to the camera. Is it possible to remove the coloured front? I am interested in getting a Blackbird Fly with the intention of customising the paintjob, and I’d like to know if you can take that front piece of to paint it, as I think painting it with it attached, and trying to keep away from the two lenses, will be awkward. Thanks for the help.

  3. Anais Friday, September 7, 2012 at 543


  4. brittany Friday, February 24, 2012 at 1955

    my film counter isn’t working. when i press the shutter, the number doesn’t count 😦 please enlighten me

  5. Genesis Monday, January 9, 2012 at 526

    I’m having trouble taking out the film. It feels kind of stuck, how do I remove it?

  6. Ray Friday, April 8, 2011 at 1144

    I must have tried 50 times to get the pick up spool to take the film, but it kept popping out. One roll the sprocket holes tore. Finally I tried wedging a little piece of folded paper, and it seemed to do the trick. There’s got to be a better way. Any tips? I tried feeding the film as I wound it around, but It still kept popping out after it got halfway around.

  7. Beatriz Azul Monday, October 25, 2010 at 136

    Hi! Thanks for the tutorial! It’s real helpful!
    This is an unloading question. I believe the whole film has been shot because the side thing won’t rotate anymore, But I can’t get the handle on the other side to budge either. Help! I can’t unload my film!! .. Thanks!

  8. harley Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 2125

    I’ve already put the film in the right place (i think).. My problem is that the film didn’t move although I press the shutter multiple times.. the indicator still ‘s’.. can you help? thanks…

  9. Enzo Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 155

    Thank you so much… I follow every step, now in shooting and hoping for the best… cheers from Chile

  10. Terri Martyn Friday, March 5, 2010 at 2327

    The problem I am having is that the film keeps popping out of the take up reel once I start to roll it forward…it takes me 20 minutes to get the thing loaded…any suggestions?

    • Marie Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 2358

      I just had the same problem! Spent about 20 minutes trying to fugure it out…
      what I did was press the film with my finger so the film holes are also caught in the hooks of the second reel too (not sure about the term here).

      • MavericK Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 030

        What Marie did was the right thing.

        If the film keeps popping out, that’s because not enough film is being fed to the wheel in order to secure it. You need the second hole of the perforation (the holes at the sides) to be caught by the ‘peg’ of the spool, meaning you will need to do a little pushing/force on the film to allow it to go into the spool.
        Hope that helps. ^^

  11. Terri Martyn Friday, March 5, 2010 at 2318

    My problem is that after I lock it onto the takeup reel I advance the film and it snaps out of the take up reel. I am using bulk loaded film..so it may be the way I am cutting it…but really…it so so frustrating…and sometimes there is little problem and sometimes it takes a half hour to get the film cut right or into it..cause i haven’t figured out what the deal is yet.

  12. Bond Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 2249


    I have some blue lines on the photos. Those lines are more obvious on the photos taken where there was not enough light. Have you seen these lines before? Is there a problem in my bbf?


    • MavericK Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 2322

      Sorry for the late reply.

      Hmmm, so far I dun see any blue lines on any of my shots. Are your photos developed in digital format?

      There may be multiple possibilities: maybe the film you used had those lines already, or maybe your lenses had those lines. If you developed your photos in hard copy, perhaps it was due to the shop you sent your film for development.

      Hope I’ve helped in some way. 🙂

  13. ali Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 543

    i still can’t figure it out ! it feels unnatural, bending the film backward. where is the film supposed to be when you shut the film door ? aghhh !

    • MavericK Thursday, October 22, 2009 at 1217

      The film should be sticking out from the bottom after you have closed the film door. After that, you have to bend the film upwards, against the ‘natural’ bend as you pull it out, so as to feed the film.

      No worries there, the film won’t snap or fold that easily 😀

  14. AstrayP03 (Zhe) Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 1735

    OMG There really is such a camera that Decade used? or is that custom made? =)

  15. kodomut Friday, September 18, 2009 at 1031

    Part 2 on digitalising your pictures pls!

  16. zh3us Friday, September 18, 2009 at 136

    wow. thats…. wow….

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