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Thread: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

  1. #1

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    Jul 2017
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    Question Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    I tend to keep my exposure sheets, dividers, etc. in with my negatives just in the 3-ring film binders and am starting to wonder if that's wise for archiving safety.

    The film itself is in PrintFiles (35mm, 120, and 4x5) in BW, C-41, and E-6. I have my old binder from high school (not many moons old heh) that had shoot sheets with the negatives with no notable issues (all that stuff was BW though).

    Curious, I know acid-free paper is better for mounting prints. For negatives, do I need to get a certain type of paper and/or 3-ring dividers or is normal paper and stuff a-ok? PrintFiles protect the negatives from touching anything but not sure if any off-gassing could be an issue?

    Asking because it is convenient to keep some metadata with my films - such as exposure, push/pull, film type for the 4x5's if it's not obvious, etc. I actually document this in a custom webapp I made (thefilmlog.org) but the idea was to include much of this information with the negative just in case I lost the digitally ethereal versions. But if it's not ideal to do so, I may either keep the notes in another binder or just stick with my digital notes (and make copious backups).

  2. #2
    David Schaller
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    Mar 2002
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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    I use a separate small notebook for my exposure details, with the scenes and holder numbers. I write the processing information in the notebook as well, and on the Printfile sheet with a Sharpie pen. If I made a mistake, I make notes to myself in the notebook, which I will have with me in the field in the future. I also have a another notebook in the darkroom, which notes the film processing, and print exposure details. I honestly don’t refer to past exposures too much, and the processing notes mostly to decide whether to develop the second sheet more or less than the first.

  3. #3

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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    I used to keep printing notes but found I rarely print same image twice, or the same way when revisiting. the only problem with paper near your negatives will be the attraction of bugs over long term storage. I now write some items on the negative sleeve such as VC Grade or density. I use a whiteboard during printing between refinements then will transfer that info to back of the final print(s) when dry in pencil. If I mount, the print info goes on the back of the matboard.
    Adventure is worthwhile in itself. ... Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done. -- Amelia Earhart
    http://www.searing.photography

  4. #4

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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    I don't think ordinary paper 'gasses out' like (styro)foam and certain glues. Paper may be acidic but it seems unlike that it will penetrate polyethylene - I'm assuming that those Printfiles are made of PE? I wouldn't worry too much if I were you.
    The future is not what it used to be - Arthur C. Clarke

  5. #5

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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    I had to stop using Printfiles as well as Unicolor pages for my negatives when they began to turn to dust and fall apart. I now have good quality sleeves for both sheet and roll film which I bought in large quantity a good number of years ago.

  6. #6

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    Jul 2017
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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    Hmm thanks folks! Gives me some food for thought!

  7. #7

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    May 2019
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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    Jereom, which sleeves do you use for 4x5? Cheers

  8. #8

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    Re: Keeping paper (exposure sheets, notes) with negatives - bad for archiving?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmarxz View Post
    Jereom, which sleeves do you use for 4x5? Cheers
    I shoot 8x10 and I can only get pergamin sleeves in Europe.
    The future is not what it used to be - Arthur C. Clarke

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