Any way to save date/time info when shooting film?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by davidlong, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. I've been using more film recently, and I have a lab develop and scan it for me. Then I post the results to a
    web gallery for sharing with friends and family. The same gallery also has photos taken with various digital
    cameras. In the gallery, pictures are automatically organized by date and time, which is nice since it keeps
    events in chronological order even if different cameras are being used. The problem is the film images. Since
    there's no date and time, I have just been batch timestamping them whenever I get back the scans from the lab.
    Going back and trying to remember when each picture was taken is laborious, and writing little notes that I'll
    lose before getting back the scans is just as bad.

    What I'd like is some sort of gadget that would just make a record of the date and time as I take each image.
    I'm flexible as to what it might be, but the smaller and more convenient it is to use, the better. Ideal might
    be a watch with a button that I could press each time I make a photo. Obviously the watch would need to have
    some way to connect to a computer for downloading the data at the end. A separate tiny device that I could put
    in my pocket would be fine. Or I suppose that I could switch to something like an iPhone and write a little
    application for that to do what I want, but I suspect that would be a little more cumbersome in operation. I am
    not averse to programming and even possibly building something myself, but if there's an already existing answer,
    I'd prefer that.

    Any suggestions?
  2. There are (or were) a number of film SLRs that accepted a "data back" which would imprint the time, date, etc. in the space between frames. Other than that I do not know of any "device" that would do what you want. The idea of progamming an i-phone sounds like a good idea but I have no idea how involved that may be.
  3. I'm constrained as to the film cameras I'm willing to use -- my main one is an OM-2. Now that I think about though, maybe some sort of mini keychain camera would work, if they record date and time too. If they did, I could just keep that in my pocket and snap a shot on it whenever I took a picture with the film camera.
  4. some point and shoot 35mm cameras have data backs
    but I think it puts the date on the lower corner of the print.
    since you are uploading photos to a "gallery"
    why should there be any difference between a digicam image ( a file) and a scan of a film negative or slide? ( a file)
  5. The Nikon F100 has an optional data back that records the date in one corner of the image. There is a data back for the F5 which does that as well, but a more expensive ($500) version which logs data between frames instead of defacing the image itself. Now for that kind of money, you could buy a digital P&S (maybe two) which records the time and date invisibly in the file, and probably gets better results than a minilab scan. Whoops! We can't be suggesting a sensible choice, can we?
    The traditional method used by O-C photographers was to keep a written journal of time, date, place and exposure data for each and every shot. I do that, after a fashion, to keep track of names for events and society shots, using a reporter's notebook rather than scraps of paper. The "hip" way would be to log the data in your I-Phone (or We-Phone, if you share it with someone else). Another possibility would be to press the "Mark" button on a hand-held GPS, which would log the time, date and location.
  6. One simple option is to carry a very small P&S digital when you are using film and take a photo with it at the beginning of each film shooting session. If you really need to know the exact time for a given shot simple shoot it with both the digital and film camera at close to the same time.
    Since you would not really care, I am assuming, about the quality of the digital shot you could set the camera to very low resolution and get many thousands of shots on one memory card.
  7. How about a pad and paper? Older books about learning photography always said KEEP A LOG!". I tried, gave up, so I just enjoy the images.
  8. Pictures are automatically uploaded and organized in the gallery based on the date/time in the EXIF info, so I need a way to stamp that into the film scans.

    I thought about a separate digital camera, though it's bigger than I want to carry. I'm looking now at keychain versions, but it's not clear whether they record date/time info. A phone app would perhaps be OK since I carry a phone anyway. If there's a very small GPS logger, that would probably work.
  9. A P&S is likely going to record some information about when a photo was taken, even if it's just the "Date Created"
    information on the "Properties/Get Info" dialogue on your computer.
    Of course, if you feel like taking an iPhone/iPod touch with you, the "Notes" app that comes standard records time when
    you make a note, which could be a short number on a roll of film, or more info if you wanted to record camera info as
    well. Then just make a new note for each snap. The list of notes would show the time's along the side, though only for
    that day. But the time itself would be recorded until you delete the note.
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    There's also a document program which is something of a front-end for google docs, though you would have to note your
    time manually. And there are probably any number of Blackberry, Smart Phone and maybe even plain ol' cell phone apps
    that would allow you to do something similar.
  10. Pocket notebook. My notes look horrible; mostly use them in the darkroom more than camera work; but, every so often I'll do a spreadsheet listing of what I think will be useful later. I guess what makes the notebook work is that I'll copy down the useful information, instead of all the information.
  11. There is photojots for the iPhone I have not found a real need for this program.
  12. I believe the databacks (late 70-80's) imprinted date/time on the negative; only film camera that does differently and probably the way the OP querried .. is the Nikon F6 which saves shooting data and exif information for later download. .. or for in-camera viewing.. I believe all earlier cameras used accessory data backs, some with mechanical dials .. others with a digital LCD.
    Of course, photographers with paper and pencil have been doing this for years; and many people learning film photography keep notes of such when testing films .. a lot of 35mm point-shoot cameras have this feature but who wants that on the negative? ..
  13. The OM series, 1-4 have a databack that will record date on them. Databacks 3 and 4 can record the actual time. The OM-1n, 2n, 3 and 4 all have electrical connections for #3 and 4 databacks. 1-3 all can or must connect using the flash synch otherwise on the OM-2 and OM-1 that didn't have the back electrical connection. Databack 4 must have the eletrical connector, so it won't work on an OM-1 or OM-2 (only 1n or 2n). The earlier ones seem to print to the frame itself, not sure about #3 and 4, they might print between the frames.
    Personally I just enter the date information when I scan the negatives after getting the roll back. To me a course date of say 091708 for the entire roll is sufficient for archiving purposes. For something like a vacation I put in the actual date taken as it isn't that hard for me to remember what day the pictures where taken or what order.
  14. I used to use a small micro recorder, later a digital dictation recorder, and now a microphone on my iPod to dictate date and time of each film frame. With digital technology I was able to import the MP3 file into the directory with the scans to use as a reference. My dictation went something like this... "Date...Time...Location...brief description of the scene... shot settings including film used, speed, stop, shutter, lens and any filter."
    If it was part of a series I would describe what differed from the previous shot, like: "Same as frame X but 1/125 sec. at f/11"
  15. Search for Nikon MV-1, Nikon MC-31, Nikon MC-33, nikon MC-34, Nikon MC-27

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