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Thread: Is sheet film numbered?

  1. #1

    Is sheet film numbered?

    I'm about to shoot my first box of sheet film, and I've been trying to find out if 4x5 film is numbered the way 35mm and 120 is. I found some discussions about notching the holders that makes me think the film is not numbered.

    If it isn't, how do you match an image on a contact sheet back to the proper negative?

    Thanks,

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic
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    Is sheet film numbered?

    Nope. It's not.

    Bruce Watson

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    Is sheet film numbered?

    Most people label sheet film negs by writing in the rebate area (the clear strips at the edge of the film). India ink or an ultra-fine-point Sharpie both work well. Needless to say, do this before you make the proofs .

  4. #4
    multi format
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    Is sheet film numbered?

    i've also heard of people using an embosser on the edge as well.

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    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Is sheet film numbered?

    Unless you're shooting a very high volume of film, you can just look at the neg and match it with the contact print. Otherwise, numbering in the margin, as Mark suggests works. You can also just label the negative sleeve, keep negs in order, and make contact sheets in the same order, which is what I do.

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    Is sheet film numbered?

    <html>Andrew.

    Some cut classical film holders like the Linhof or the Grafmatic project the image of a small digit engraved as a transparent zone in a thin black foil located on the edge of the image. On the grafmatic it is numbered 1 to 6, with a very clever and fragile rotary dial. I like this mechanical device very much ;-) In the Linhof you have fixed digits, 1/2 - 3/4 and 5/6, etc... one on each side of the double-side holder, according to which holder you have. It was probably an assortment of 3 holders or more.

    This will help you to sort your images after a short photo session... but for 1 to 6 or so. May be the Linhofs counted to higher figures, I do not know.
    I'm not sure that the Linhof holders are still manufactured. The one I have are second-hand. </html>

  7. #7

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    Is sheet film numbered?

    Fuji Quickload films - both color and B&W - have numbers imprinted onto the sheets on the long side of the film. There are also numbers printed on the outside of the Quickload sleeves, and while the numbers on the film and the sleeve are not the same number (Fuji uses some odd code that I've never been able to decode), you can still figure out which film was in which sleeve as the numbers are sequential.

    Kirk
    www.keyesphoto.com

  8. #8
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    Is sheet film numbered?

    Correlation of film, contact sheet, and nook/cranny in the filing system depends on several factors, I think, including how you make your contact sheets, how you use them, and to what degree you want to track a sheet of film to the holder in which it was exposed. Some, for example, like to number their holders and include that information in their exposure-data notes made at the time of exposure, and may use that information as a basis for keeping track of any planned variations in development and such. Notch codes made in the holders provide another means of matching the developed neg (and contact sheet) back to the field notes. Depending on the image, however, the notch codes are sometimes difficult to see.

    Personally, I use a system that relates to my filing method. I use PrintFile sheets for my processed film, and organize those by shoot location or project, date, and PrintFile sheet number. After processing, I put the film in PrintFile sheets and organize those (both rolls and sheets) into roughly the sequence they were shot during the project. For example, the film from a Death Valley project in February of 2003 might get a base file designator of "DV0203", to which is added the sheet number, such as DV0203-05. I mark the top of the PrintFile sheet with that designation using a Sharpie. If sheet DV0203-05 is a page of four 4x5 negs, individual images would be referenced as A, B, C, or D based on location on the sheet. Frames on a roll of film would use the frame number from the film, so DV0203-0623 would refer to frame 23 on sheet 6 from the Death Valley shoot.

    For "contact sheets", I now scan the whole PrintFile sheet using an older Epson scanner that has an 8x10 film scanning area. The scan thus picks up the sheet designator at the top of the page. I then make (relatively lo-res) digital prints as contact sheets. The same sort of thing could be done by using 8½x11 enlarging paper for analog contact sheets. This works for me because I'm not using the contact sheet for examining detail and such, just identification and general content. Scans of the images (neg or print) get the same file name (along with an abbreviated content name and scan size - e.g. "DV0203-14B-Mosaic-550bw" for a B&W 4x5 in Mosaic Canyon reduced to 550 pixels for web display), so everything ties together.

    The trick, I think, is to devise a system that will work for you, and will be easy enough that it will be likely that you'll be able to maintain it consistently over time. For example, my previous attempts at maintaining a database of image information required too much time and effort, and thus failed miserably due to my laziness. What was the admonition of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi? "Gnothe Seautan" - know thyself? ;-)

  9. #9

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    Is sheet film numbered?

    Linhof holders count up to 12 in a set of 6 holders. See this discussion :
    http://largeformatphotography.info/lfforum/topic/496928.html

  10. #10

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    Is sheet film numbered?

    I'm not sure if this is what you're asking, but Fuji colour film (both negative and transparency) appears to have a unique letter code for each sheet in the box. I've noticed that each sheet is imprinted in tiny print similar to roll film. For example, the edge code on the sheet might look like this:

    FUJIFILM RDPIII (film type) 03151 (emulsion number) AK FBBA (?? code)

    The final letter (in this case A) changes with each sheet, so in a 10 sheet box of film, the code would run from A to J. Assuming that the "A" sheet is the one on the top of the pile when you open the box, presumably it's possible to track which sheet came out of which holder as long as you number each side of each holder and note the order in which you load them.

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