View Full Version : Sheet film notch identification

29-Apr-2006, 04:08
Recently on assignment, I cracked under pressure and dumped all my spent DDS into the same bag.
I knew it was the wrong thing to do especially as my DDS filing system broke down when I ran out of labelling tape. So DDS's labelled Velvia 50 contained anything but Velvia 50 in the second and third reloads. Just so desperate to get shooting finished and get out of there. Now I'm out, I'm trying to make sense of the mess I created.

As far as I remember, I was using the following film:

1. Velvia 50
2. Astia 100F
3. Provia 100F
4. Kodak 160 C41
5. Ilford FP4+
6. Ilford HP5+
7. Adox 25
8. Maco 820IR
9. Fuji Acros
10. Agfa APX100

Also shot Polaroid type 55s and Quickloads - no problem with identifying these of course.

Can anyone help me identify the notches on the above film? I used up all the film in the boxes so would have to buy more to feel each film!

In one box of exposed film, I can feel sheets with a notch code like this: triangular notch-space-triangular notch. The space is at least 2 cm apart. Any idea which film this might be?

1. Velvia 50: Single half-moon (smooth) notch
2. Astia 100F: Similar?
3. Provia 100F: Similar?
7. Triangular notch
8. Triangular notch, thinner base?
9. Easily identified as rounded semi-moon notch-space-serrated edge-semi-moon notch.
10. Can't remember

Does anyone think an illustrated web page on notch identification for 5x4"would be a good idea? I had a reference system a year or two ago but haven't tried to shoot so many varied emulsions in one go. Next time it'll be different....

29-Apr-2006, 06:28
Ilford and Kodak both print their notches on the back of the box. I bet Fuji does, too.

Yeah, its obvious, but sometimes people look past the easiest answers...

Diane Maher
29-Apr-2006, 06:43
It probably would be a good idea. If you can get hold of Steve Simmons' book "Using the View Camera", there are two sections which contain some notch pictures for films.

You might also check the tech sheets for each of the films in question. I know the manufacturers' websites can be hard to navigate, but the data is available as pdf files and can be found with some patience.

Number 8 is a half moon notch on the right side (emulsion side up). It is not broad like the Velvia one. I believe I have the tech sheet for the Maco 820c IR film (this is one that's not easy to find online). But I shoot this film and that's what my sheets look like.

The triangular notch is probably your Kodak film, but I would check the data sheet to be certain. It seems that a lot of Kodak films have the triangular notches.

Wilbur Wong
29-Apr-2006, 07:51
Out of curiosity, why were you using 10 different types of film? Was this a test?

29-Apr-2006, 09:28
Ilfod, Kodak and Fuji publish their film codes on their web sites.

29-Apr-2006, 10:22
Diane - many thanks. That's another one eliminated (Maco 820IR). I read Steve's book a long time ago. Not sure the recent film emulsions will be there.

Gfen & Brian - my boxes don't have notch coding systems printed. Could you please check yours and let me know? Perhaps your boxes are more recent than mine. The notch identification system I was thinking of might look something like www.digitaltruth.com where users can submit low-resolution scans of their notch films onto a database. It's taken me over 10 minutes to navigate the Kodak website to try and work out what I need and I still haven't found what I'm looking for. I guess I'm thinking for future use.

Wilbur - I just didn't have time to unload between the last assignment and this one (landscape/architecture & portraiture). I only shoot LF sheet film when the client requires otherwise I try and get away with a roll-film back.

Oren Grad
29-Apr-2006, 10:26
Code notches for Kodak sheet films. (http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f3/f3.jhtml)

Oren Grad
29-Apr-2006, 10:28
Notch codes for Ilford films are in the individual product fact sheets available here (http://www.ilfordphoto.com/products/producttype.asp?n=3&t=Consumer+%26+Professional+Films).

Oren Grad
29-Apr-2006, 10:32
Notch codes for Fuji films are in the individual product data sheets available here (http://www.fujifilmusa.com/JSP/fuji/epartners/proPhotoProductsFilm.jsp).

29-Apr-2006, 10:46

Thank you!

The Kodak technical sheets work for me. That's Portra 160 eliminated.

I'm so relieved I don't use Kodak E6 sheet film - how is anyone supposed to be able to discern these in the dark?

EKTACHROME 64 Professional / EPR

EKTACHROME 100 Professional / EPN

EKTACHROME 100 Plus Professional / EPP

EKTACHROME 64T Professional / EPY




EKTACHROME Electronic Output 100

EKTACHROME Electronic Output 64T

Best wishes,


Oren Grad
29-Apr-2006, 11:12
James -

I try really hard to stick to one film wherever I can, or at least one film per format. And if I can't, I label the holders. I think I'd just lose it if I had to try to distinguish emulsions within a given manufacturer's product line by feeling the code notches.


...ham-fingered Oren

Donald Qualls
29-Apr-2006, 16:45
I'm so relieved I don't use Kodak E6 sheet film - how is anyone supposed to be able to discern these in the dark?

For most purposes, you wouldn't even care, would you? They all get E-6 process; just put them all in the box and figure it out when you get the trannies back. Not to mention it's hard to envision using that whole list of wildly disparate films in one shoot, and thus having them mixed up. And if you mixed them before shooting, well, shame on you!

FWIW, to date in 4x5 I've used only two films; Classic 400, with a single V notch, and Fomapan 100, with a single half-round notch. In 9x12 cm, I have Fomapan 100 (same notch as 4x5) and old, expired Tri-X Professional, with three closely spaced V notches. If I find myself trying to keep track of ten different sheet films from a single session, I might just have to rethink what I'm doing...

Donald Qualls
30-Apr-2006, 15:50
Well, just to keep us on our toes -- I just opened a new box of film, and Arista .EDU (Made in Hungary) 400 film, from the same factory as Classic 400 (both Forte), has three V notches, very similar to the 9x12 cm Tri-X sheets I have. Sure hope I don't have to try to distinguish *those* in the dark, because the Fortepan 400, whatever label is on the box, requires about 50% more development than Tri-X...