Reliable system for tracking 4x5 slides & negs

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by robert_dermer, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. Hello, I would like to know if anyone here has developed a system to
    keep track of individual sheets of film from shoot to storage. All 6
    of my film holders are marked 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B,.etc. But I find once I
    remove the film from the holder I have no reliable way to know which
    of the 12 sheets coming out of the processing tank is 1A, 1B etc.

    The one method I have come up with has drawbacks: create 12 small
    numbered cue cards and hide them in the scene and then correct/hide
    the card later in PS. One of the drawbacks here is that the image
    will have to be modified.

    Currently I am just running test/learning shots but later that may
    change. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
  2. If you look on the inside of the flap on your film holders, there are two recessed areas about 1/2" long at the top and bottom. These are for glueing identification strips. You can make your own strips by printing numbers on clear sheets.

    These will show up at the edge of your picture and will have to be croped out. Sometimes that area of the scene will be dark and the numbers will not show up.
  3. get some small jeweler's files in various shapes, assign each shape to a roman numeral (or use two and do binary, etc) and file the shape sequence into the edge of the holder. Shapes show up on the film outside the normal image area: no cropping or image manipulation needed to make up for your book keeping.
  4. Certain Riteway holders have two-digit dials that you can set, which will do exactly what Neal said--they will leave an identifying number on the edge of your negative, assuming they are exposed to enough light.
    Wings Camera in Atlanta (404-636-4406)has a stock of 'em in right now (used, but in excellent condition) at $12.00 per pop. I picked up five of them myself two weeks ago.
    Here is a thread discussing other methods for doing this.
  5. "I have no reliable way to know which of the 12 sheets coming out of the processing tank is 1A, 1B etc. "

    Should not be difficult - unload in the same order you loaded it when processing is finished. Depending on your particular tank's film holder, you may need to notch one side to distinguish the start side - I needed to do this with my 25xx series Jobo reels as the two groups of 3 slots are not otherwise distinguishable. The notch, made with a triangular needle file on the top edge of the reel, can be felt in the dark when loading and identifies the side to load (and subsequently unload) first.

    Good luck - cheers,
  6. I second Steven's response. The book "Way Beyond Monochrome" is where i got the idea.
    It's foolproof and you can number up to 16 holders. Other useful info as well. The authors
    are Ralph W Lambrecht and Chris Woodhouse.
  7. Thanks all! I think the notch system will work exactly as I need.

    Bernard, Thanks for notifying me about Wings Camera. Wow, I thought we Atlantans were stuck with Showcase or Wolf (er,...Crap and Crappier). I will have to drive by and check em out!
  8. Hey, Robert--

    Sure thing. Mike and the guys at Wings are da bomb. They always have plenty of cool stuff on hand--my wallet forces me to ration my visits there--and they will always cut you a good deal on just about everything. I have bought three classic cameras, a dry mount press, and all sorts of other stuff from them.

    Sorry this sounds like an advertisement--but it is. Once you visit, you will keep going back. Promise.

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