View Full Version : Noting/Identifying sheet film holders, 4x5

Raymond Bleesz
5-Nov-2005, 15:12
I would be curious to know what methods forum photographers use in identifying, noting, marking, etc. their film holders from one another--those that might need Normal, Plus develop, Minus develop, etc . Are your holders "marked" in advance of the shoot? If marked, with what? Are they "marked" after the shoot? When you get into the darkroom to process your film take, how do you identify those film holders which need N,P,Minus development?

Thank you-Raymond

Eric Biggerstaff
5-Nov-2005, 15:22

I number my holders on the outside and in a notebook indicate which holder gets which development (N, N+1, Etc.) at the time I expose the film. Also, I make notes of the lens, shutter speed, time, etc. in the notebook for future reference.

On some holders I have nothched the flap with a small file. The notch code will show at the edge of the exposed sheet of film so I know which holder was used to make the image. The notches do not show in the image. A small "V" shaped file works best.

Hope that helps.

Joseph O'Neil
5-Nov-2005, 16:46
Post-It Notes.

Sweet, short and to the point


Hans Berkhout
5-Nov-2005, 17:02
holders go in/out of zip-lock bags. labels are in advance attached to bags, notations made after exposure, on label, with pencil. Holders are numbered, matching number on bag label.

Brent Doerzman
5-Nov-2005, 17:26
I don't process my own film, but this might help a little. Good luck!

www.doerzmanphoto.com/film_holders.html (http://www.doerzmanphoto.com/film_holders.html)

Doremus Scudder
6-Nov-2005, 04:28
I've got a more detailed description of this somewhere else on this site. Maybe you can search the archives...

Anyway, I file code notches into the flap of my filmholders that correspond to the numbers 1-100. I use different shaped small files to make notches that are basically Roman numerals (e.g. v... would be 8, etc.). During exposure, the notches are exposed onto the clear border of the film enabling one to identify which number the negative was and match it with exposure info.

Notes for the exposure plus development choice are entered into a little notebook I carry with me. I make forms myself for the info. These are then filed with the negatives. The notches are most useful when I take numerous exposures of a scene and choose one to print. For repeat printings I can then easily identify the neg by reading its number on the code notches.


phil sweeney
6-Nov-2005, 05:28
Hi Raymond,

All my holders are numbered. If I do not need a lot of notes I just write in pencil the development needed on the holder.

Scott Davis
6-Nov-2005, 08:11
I just keep a 0.7mm mechanical pencil in my camera bag, and note any exposure variations on the little white spaces on the film holder body.

james mickelson
6-Nov-2005, 09:44
I just notate on the little white spaces on each holder whether the shot is + or - and what the image is if important. I don't notate in a book what the lens was, the shutter speed, filter, aperture, time of day, who was standing around me, or any other useless information. I used to do it. I wrote down how much dust was in the air and what color the rocks were. If it was a 1/4 sec or a minute. I found I never looked at any of the information when I got into the darkroom. And no one ever asked me when looking at the prints. So I stopped and my images look just as good as they ever did. I also found that I remembered what the conditions were even years after. I know what the color of the rocks are in Zion or Moab anyway so I know I used a green cutting filter. I know that I like 1/4 sec exposure when shooting moving water and that if there are trees I want lighter in the scene, I use my green cutting filter but if it doesn't matter, I use a red 25 filter. And I use a polarizer when shooting sandstone in broad daylight. So I don't worry about all the arcane information other than + or - and if the scene is important and I want to process it first or differently. But if you find you need all that useless information, by all means get a voice recorder. My friend has one and he swears by it. Of course he swears all the time anyway.

6-Nov-2005, 10:57
A friend of mine suggested I use what he does and I have converted to his method. I store the film holders in clear ziplock style bags and after I shoot the shot I use 3x5 cards to note all pertainent data. The card is then dropped into the card and stays with the bag until the holders continents get developed. After the film is developed and dried I assign a number to the film and write it on the film in the clear rebate and also add the number to the 3x5 card and file both away. It is the first system I have had that seems to work for me.


Al Seyle
6-Nov-2005, 12:26
Problem to watch out for with the notching system is when your image has a shadow or black along that edge and no exposure is made where your notch is. It rarely happens but can be confusing if your pouring over dozens of negs.