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Thread: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

  1. #1

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    Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    I'm wondering if anyone out there has a great system of film holder coding that leaves an image number on the edge of sheet film.

    All I've come up with is drilling 1/32" holes in the film flap, with the 1st hole representing the 1st digit in a 2 number code, with the 2nd series of holes being the 2nd digit. I may end up with as many as 20 holes in a flap (0-9 & 0-9)! There must be a better way!

    thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    Way beyond monochrome has a great system described in it.

  3. #3
    Lost mike rosenlof's Avatar
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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    count in binary (base 2). use two files to make a notch. a small triangular file (notch) represents a 1, a small round file represents a 0.

    000
    001
    010
    011
    100
    101
    110
    111

    etc.

  4. #4

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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    Grafmatic...? Or am I missing the point?

    See the 4 on the left side of the image.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    I use base 10 notches.

    On the right of the flap, I file a little groove for one, two for two, up to four, fairly close together.

    For five, I use a different small file, and file a notch in the middle.

    Than I add ones on the right, to get to nine.

    Then, for ten, I file a notch on the left side with the same file as I use for a 5.

    I have 30 4x5 holders, and easily filed up to 60.

    I can see the notches on the proofs. Voila! Works great, except that the numbers read right-to-left. If I could do it again, I'd put ones on the left, and tens on the right.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  6. #6
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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    Quote Originally Posted by mike rosenlof View Post
    count in binary (base 2). use two files to make a notch. a small triangular file (notch) represents a 1, a small round file represents a 0.

    000
    001
    010
    011
    100
    101
    110
    111

    etc.
    Binary seems to require 2 symbols, but you can count a lack-of-symbol as a symbol, if your spacing is good. This is what I do. I use the whole flap as my "register width" and mark off 8 equal spaced fields on the flap by making light scratches on the top of the flap...I use 8 fields simply because it's easy to make a scratch in the middle of the flap, then divide the remaining fields evenly 2 more times. No need for a ruler that way. A notch is a "1" and a lack of notch is a "0". I make the "1" symbols in the flap with any old thing...usually my pocket knife. This lets me encode up to 255 holders...not 256, because I don't count zero (all holders are initially marked zero).
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

  7. #7

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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    I used a similar system. Thin file for the 1s, a V cut for the fives (Roman numerals), and a wide flat cut for the tens.

    Nick

  8. #8

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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    Binary requires that you know binary code, do many here know that? I'm asking as I only vaguely remember them teaching it as a computer class in grade school along with Q-Basic... But it never sunk in.

  9. #9
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    [...]This lets me encode up to 255 holders...not 256, because I don't count zero (all holders are initially marked zero).
    Add one more notch as the Sign Bit for an entirely silly number of holders.

  10. #10
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    Re: Film Holder Coding - Notching, Drilling, or Whatever ...

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    Binary requires that you know binary code, do many here know that? I'm asking as I only vaguely remember them teaching it as a computer class in grade school along with Q-Basic... But it never sunk in.
    Do you really need to know the numerical value, anyway? If you write down the holder in your exposure records, you can just fill in e.g. "1011" as the filmholder used for the exposure. That happens to equal 11 decimal, but it might not matter.

    The only time I actually use my notch code is when I find light leaks.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

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