View Full Version : Marking filmholders

Mark Sawyer
21-Apr-2005, 12:29
I'm looking for brighter ideas than the ones I have for keeping info on exposed film in the holder.

I drill little holes in the film guides which lets dots of light hit the film, the number of light dots corresponding to the filmholder. That way, if I make notes on whatever was exposed in filmholder #4, or have two near identical negatives, I can identify which was in which numbered holder. (Holders are numbered in the usual little white rectangle.)

I used to carry a little notebook to make notes on specific exposures, but lately have switched to little post-it sticky notes which I can attach to individual dark slides. They're still numbered so if they get separated in my backpack or wherever I can sort them out, (if I can find them, not a problem so far.)

I wrote on the dark slides with a white grease pencil a couple of times, but it was a minor pain cleaning it off, and I had to transcribe any notes I made.

Still looking for that perfect system... how do you folks do it?

Daniel Grenier
21-Apr-2005, 13:03
Me? I have all 12 8x10 holders numbered 1 to 24 both on the holder and on the slides with permanent black marker (no drilling for me). I don't write anything down in the field but I do have a pocket voice recorder that I "talk to" after each exposure noting the film holder #, the subject, lens, speed, aperture and whatever else needs noting. When I get home I sort everything out accordingly from the voice recordings and then write file notes for each sheets. Works for me and saves time in the field as talking into this thing is easier than writing notes for each sheet.

domenico Foschi
21-Apr-2005, 14:43
I use round stickers of about 1/4 inch diameters in 3 different colors, (red for n-1, blue for n+1 and white for normal development ) which i stick to the dark slides as i shoot along.
That is all the information i need , i do not bother in recording exposure, zones, shift, tilt and so on.
I find that being too anal in these details interrupts my flow.

David A. Goldfarb
21-Apr-2005, 16:11
I like using Post-it notes just like you are doing now. They can follow the sheet to the darkroom or lab and to the neg sleeve. Usually I'll copy the info out on the sleeve for the keepers. If I'm shooting a lot, I'll use a notebook.

Mark Sawyer
21-Apr-2005, 17:16
In the field, I note the holder #, exposure (+ or -), development (+ or -), lens, and sometimes subject; just the right amount of info for a post-it note. Add the month/year and developer used to the sleeve after processing. Thought about a voice recorder, but it's one more piece of technology for batteries to die in...

Henry Ambrose
21-Apr-2005, 18:39
Writing with a #2 pencil in the white writing area on each side of the holder works for me.

Ole Tjugen
21-Apr-2005, 23:46
I'm lucky enough to have some old Linhof holders, which expose the number onto the film. I use those holders when I really need to keep track of something, for "everyday" use I have Fidelity's.

Steve Bell
22-Apr-2005, 02:52
All my film holders are numbered on the white area with a CD writer pen. When I load the film holders I note what film goes into each number in a small note pad. I also write this on a post it note and stick on. The film holder then goes into a zip loc bag to keep dust at bay. I then write on the post it note the side number, location, exposure and anything else relevant. The post it note stays inside the bag when exposing the film. If it blows away, which has happened, I'll jot down the exposure details and number off the film holder in my notebook. I also cary a little Olympus pearlcorder for this, but last time I went to use it the batteries were flat. When home I stack the film holders in order, and load my Yankee tank from left to right so after processing I can identify the film with my notes, useful as I'm still learning. I don't use the Zone System, so I don't normally need to process the film differently. With Fuji Quickloads E6, I write on the sleeve, and transfer this data and the Fuji number that appears on the sleeve to my note book. On return from the lab I can then correspond my notes to the film number. I don't have this luxury with E6 I load into holders.

Ed Pierce
23-Apr-2005, 07:04
The voice recorder is a great idea. I've tried various kinds of exposure record books and forms. They take time, interrupt the flow and I always seem to misplace them.

These days I'm using 1/2" x 3" white removeable labels made for laser printers. I stick them on the black part of the holder over the 'Fidelity' label. I record the indicated development and anything else I think might be useful to know, like shutter speed or which filter was used. Back at the ranch I peel them off and stick them onto a sheet of paper, which I keep with the proofs. They leave very if any residue.

However, I want a good way to know how I metered the scene and where I expected the values to wind up after development. The record forms are great for this. So I'm stopping by Radio Shack today for a voice recorder. Thanks!


Sharon S.
23-Apr-2005, 10:09
I use white artists tape (easily removed paper tape) cut to the size of the white strip on the filmholder. I fold over the end to create a tab for easy removal. I mark all my information on that piece of tape (film type, speed, shutter, exposure info, reminders). When I go to process, I remove my film in the same order as I remove the tapes. I put the tapes in a small notebook on the left side (backside) of a sheet. On the right side (the next sheet), I mark down any developing/printing info. This way, when you open up the book you have all the info in front of you.

Okay, I'm anal, but they haven't developed a 12 step process for that yet...


Patrick Thrush
30-Apr-2005, 11:03
Dim, 12 Step programs often make that particular problem worse... Each of my filmholders is labeled by a number and frame (ie, 7A, 7B) with a small Dymo label. I keep a log made in table format by Word on a clipboard, and each sheet has entry lines for six exposures. Most of the repetitive data; film speed/type, f and shutter settings, filters, is already entered as a series of selections. All I have to do is circle the appropriate choice. There is a cell for notes, location by coordinate at the end. This all matches a spreadsheet format for quick data entry later. One day I am thinking about trying to put a small spreadsheet or Access file on my pocket PC and dump the paper altogether.

When processing in a tank, the sheets are loaded in numerical order, and hung to dry in the same sequence. Once dry, I use a Pigma Micron 01 (made by Sakura) disposable archival drafting pen to add a unique sequence number in the corner margin of each shot. This way, I always know what holder and specifics a neg or print has, and can look it up quickly on the spreadsheet. This has helped to eliminate a few faulty holders. For tray development of multiple sheets, I use those cute little self-adhesive mylar "sign here" sort of tabs with the ID number attached to them. They must be cut down, and applied to the base side of the sheet of course, as I have discovered the hard way... The neg is then labeled as described before.