View Full Version : Keeping track of film in holders

Eric Woodbury
26-Sep-2009, 16:19
I developed some sheet film the other day and noticed one sheet that was older than the rest. I use about 50 holders and randomly shoot and develop film, but it looks like this sheet had been around the block a few times and had a slightly higher fbf and a different notching (when Freestyle was Ilford film) than the Ilford film I use today. It got lost in the system.

Just wonder what you all do to make sure that the oldest film is shot first?


Robert Hughes
26-Sep-2009, 16:24
First of all, do you really need to use 50 holders? I have about 20 4x5 holders, but I use only a half dozen and reload them on-site.

26-Sep-2009, 16:30
I only keep about a dozen sheets loaded at a time, and the film holders are labeled and numbered as to what type of film they contain. (I only currently use two types of film)

In the darkroom, on the shelf I have three stacks of film and holders. New (contains the boxes of unexposed film and loaded unexposed holders. Used (holders with exposed film). Empty (holders that are not yet reloaded or are spare, and an empty box incase I have to shoot more film than I have holders for)

In the field, I use the sheets in sequential order. (In addition to flipping the darkslide over)

David Karp
26-Sep-2009, 16:36
I keep my holders in insulated cooler bags. I keep track of what is in my 4x5 holders this way:

-Empty are upside down (darkslide end down) with the white or silver side of the darkslide showing.

-Loaded but unexposed are darkslide end up with the white or silver side showing.

-Exposed are upside down with the black side showing.

I also include post it labels with important information, which can include when they were loaded. I keep the holders in ziploc bags with colored dots stuck inside them to indicate the type of film (dots available at Office Depot or Staples). Green is for HP5+, blue for Delta 100, Orange for Arista.Edu 200, etc.

David Karp
26-Sep-2009, 16:40
Oh yeah. I have a ton of 4x5 holders too. I bought a few new, and then a few used, and then a photographer I knew retired and gave me a garbage bag full of nice 4x5 holders! For car trips, you can't beat having a zillion holders. It minimizes time spent reloading when you could be doing something more fun. It is easier, and avoids situations where you might have dust problems. Obviously, it is a different story for airplane trips, where you have to economize on holders.

Barrie B.
26-Sep-2009, 16:44
I agree with David K.
All of my holders are numbered 1A 1b , 2a 2b, etc. I only use one type of film , and always use holders in numerical order ... Barrie B.

26-Sep-2009, 17:52
I use 3/4" masking tape on the top face of the film holder. It fits neatly between the two raised runners on the facing. I write all the information I need with a Sharpie pen.

Tape peels clean when I need to change information

Scott Knowles
26-Sep-2009, 18:22
I have 18, 6 with the camera and lens bag and 12 in a Thermos brand cooler bag. Each one is in a Ziplock with the seal up for available and upside down if used, besides setting the film holder too. Each one is labelled (on the bag) the film and ISO, but I only use two films, so it's kinda easy to know (color slide or b&w).

Lee Christopher
27-Sep-2009, 14:17
I do what Salty does.

Works well so far.

John Bowen
27-Sep-2009, 16:22
I keep my 8x10 holders (about 35 of them) in cooler bags. Six per bag. Once or twice a year, I take an extended photography trip and arrange the bags in my vehicle so that every holder gets exposed before I expose a holder for the second time. Keeps the film fresh.

all 9 of my 7x17 holders fit in a custom Saita bag. I expose them from the holder in the front to the holder in the back. When I reload holders I move the "not yet" exposed holders to the front of the bag and put the freshly reloaded holders in the back. This way I am always shooting the oldest film first.

I only use 1 type of film for 8x10 and 7x17.