DIY Film DX Code Labels




Introduction: DIY Film DX Code Labels

Do you have a stuborn film camera that takes the ISO information from the DX code on the canister?
Do you want to push/pull your film, but your camera doesn't let you override the ISO value?
Did you buy cheap film with no DX encoding in the canisters?

I have the solution for you!

Some might scrape the paint to uncover the metal contacts. However, I find it very time consuming.
I prefer to make DX labels and stick them to the canisters.

More information on DX encoding:
DX encoding simulator

If you find something wrong in this instructable, please tell me.

Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed

To follow this instructable you will need:
- Aluminium foil
- Clear plastic adhesive sheet
- Adhesive tape
- Scisors
- X-acto knife

- Printer, to print the label layout.

Step 2: Print Layout

In this step you have to transfer the pattern onto the paper backing of the adhesive sheet.
You can use the attached pdf files to print the patterns.

I used a cardboard sheet and taped the adhesive sheet, so I could feed it through the printer.
But you can also print a regular sheet of paper and then manually trace over onto the adhesive sheet.

Then you have to:
1- Cut the label.
2- Remove the black areas with an X-acto knife.
3- Bend in half. It will make it easier for the next step.

Step 3: Assemble Labels

Now, cut a piece of foil roughly the size of the label. Don't worry with precise measurements.

Use the bend on the label to peel apart only half of the paper backing.

Then stick the foil to the exposed adhesive of the label. Make sure you match the edge of the foil with the bend you previously made.

Peel apart the remaining paper, and fold the label over the foil.

Then cut away the excess foil, following the edges of the adhesive paper.

Finally, don't forget to note the direction of the label and the ISO value with a permanent marker. I usually use the barcode side as a reference.

Step 4: Use It

Now you just have to stick the label to your film canister. Use two small pieces of tape on each side of the label.
Do not cover the exposed foil!

To verify if the contacts are touching correctly the label, place the film in the camera and wiggle it a little.
Take out the film and look at the foil. It should have the markings of the contacts.

Now go have fun and shoot!

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    Maya Warthon
    Maya Warthon

    2 years ago

    Hey! I also used paper labels and sticked the code with some masking tape on my film.
    Do you think, that the paper can be too thick to make the code work? Or does it work as long as the aluminium contacts are exposed?


    Reply 2 years ago

    did this work? :)


    3 years ago

    amazing idea! I'll try it tonight.


    3 years ago

    Excellent work! I'm always excited to see more DX hacks.
    As the person who you linked to about scraping the ink off the cartridges for my own DX hack, I do have to say that I don't think that scraping ink is not as "time consuming" as this solution. But your solution allows for any DX codes to be created, so it's awesome!


    6 years ago

    I'll be making this today... Slightly different approach, I have adhesive backed aluminium foil pipe repair tape and regular paper labels. I'll be sticking the foil tape directly to the film canister and simply printing and cutting a paper label to go on top. Little bit easier I think :)


    Reply 6 years ago

    If anyone's interested I made a quick PHP program to generate a label for your selected film properties;

    White boxes should be cut out to expose foil beneath

    Comment here if you use it please :) also double check results against a known film as this is based off a Wikipedia article :D


    7 years ago

    Worked great. Thank you.

    I printed the codes on a full sheet clear label which made printing the labels easy. Instead of tape I left a little label on the top and bottom and it stuck well to the metal canister. I used Avery labels.


    9 years ago

    Very cool idea
    Thanks for sharing!