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09-20-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Filing of negatives & Focus issues

1) What systems do you use for the filing and organisation of negatives and their respective prints? I have about 20 sets of negatives, I want a filing system to match the prints with their negatives. So when a print gets separated from it's negative, it can be matched again.

The most obvious answer is marking the back of the print with a marker/pen, but I've found the writing either dissolves or indents through the other side. I was thinking to write on stickers, then stick them on. What do you use?

2) I have a lot of exposures which are out of focus. When shooting them, they appear in focus. This is on a 50mm f1.7. I'm guessing due to the aperture being wide open, this out-of-focus thing is actually an extreme and unwanted DOF issue. On my last roll I stopped down to 2.8 on some photos and it seemed to solve it. Does this sound right? I'm shooting street photography at night, so I need it reasonably wide open.

Pentax "ME" Super

Thanks!

09-20-2011, 07:43 PM   #2
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I don't want to think about my negatives and prints, which are totally unorganized. So I'm going to skip that one.

This thread discusses a focus problem with another film camera:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/159198-superpr...backfocus.html

You can do some of the tests suggested to decide if it's you or the camera. However, I think the ME Super has a focus screen that's not meant to be user-replaceable. So fixing the problem may mean a lot of disassembly, a professional repair or buying another ME Super.
09-20-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
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I use small labels--about 1/2" x3/4" (a while since I shot film and didn't scan--and used this method). I believe the Avery brand seemed to not stick well (fell off). Anyway I print on the sheet of labels an identifying code (I set up a table in word processer that prints on each little label--a bit of trial and error). For example with 35mm I may use 09122011-01, 09122011-02, thru 09122011-38 to cover all my shots--and I file the negatives under the same code. The small labels go on back (or front) of prints--I put them on back and I still can collage the prints (I do this a lot) without the sticker being a problem.
09-20-2011, 09:17 PM   #4
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One more thing--the label may be large enough to put copyright and email and/or phone number as well. That way you have one less worry if you end up giving/showing them. (I use a really small font.)

09-20-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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I scanned all my negs, slides and prints-without-negs for quick-and-dirty proofs. I named the file using the plastic page#-neg#. For slides, I just used "S" and a sequential number. I made up a spreadsheet of basic details, which you would now called "tags"...

Some software, such as Canon's ZoomBrowser, can print a page of thumbnails with file names, also a handy thing.

Not elegant, but it works.

Did I mention I do not miss film one bit?
09-21-2011, 12:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by zerotonothing Quote
1) What systems do you use for the filing and organisation of negatives and their respective prints? I have about 20 sets of negatives, I want a filing system to match the prints with their negatives. So when a print gets separated from it's negative, it can be matched again.

The most obvious answer is marking the back of the print with a marker/pen, but I've found the writing either dissolves or indents through the other side. I was thinking to write on stickers, then stick them on. What do you use?


Pentax "ME" Super

Thanks!
Your idea about stickers seems straightforward and OK. However, I have duplicated all my negatives (and slides) simply by photographing them with a digital camera/DSLR.

This not only serves as a digital "back-up" of my analogue film (in particular, the diapositives deteriorate over time); my digital library - which you may arrange by album, by year, by film etc. as you like - of the (inverted) negatives makes it very easy to search for and identify any negative that I am looking for.

It may sound a bit tedious, but for me it was actually a fun project during the dark days of winter.......
09-21-2011, 02:43 AM   #7
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My prints are stored in flip albums which are numbered. Each album takes 4 films - it has 4 sets of pockets - and each album has a number stuck on the spine. I've put the prints in starting with the oldest and working through to the newest.

So, when I scan the negatives, the file gets a name along the lines of Fxx-x-xx where F is for film, the first xx is the album number from 01 to 99, the x is the film in the album (1-4) and the second xx is the frame number from the edge of the film. The scans for each film are in a single folder name Fxx-x.

The negatives themselves are stored in Kenko (or Kenko-alike) albums, and each sheet is marked with which film is in it.

I do have a problem few films with larger prints which won't fit the flip albums and I also can't find a source of more similar flip albums, but for the ones I've done this works well - I can always find the negative to go with the scan.

For my slides I simply write the film number on the slide box, make a folder Sxx, and save each scan into the folder as Sxx-xx where the second xx is the frame number.
09-21-2011, 02:47 AM   #8
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WRT the focus issue, there could possibly be something inaccurate in the camera itself, or in your ability to focus at night, or it might be camera shake. Have you tried a series of shots in bright daylight at infinity and at different f-stops? And then on something about as far away as your typical subject?

Also this website might help:
Online Depth of Field Calculator

09-21-2011, 06:29 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by zerotonothing Quote
1) What systems do you use for the filing and organisation of negatives and their respective prints? I have about 20 sets of negatives, I want a filing system to match the prints with their negatives. So when a print gets separated from it's negative, it can be matched again.

The most obvious answer is marking the back of the print with a marker/pen, but I've found the writing either dissolves or indents through the other side. I was thinking to write on stickers, then stick them on. What do you use?

2) I have a lot of exposures which are out of focus. When shooting them, they appear in focus. This is on a 50mm f1.7. I'm guessing due to the aperture being wide open, this out-of-focus thing is actually an extreme and unwanted DOF issue. On my last roll I stopped down to 2.8 on some photos and it seemed to solve it. Does this sound right? I'm shooting street photography at night, so I need it reasonably wide open.

Pentax "ME" Super

Thanks!
I have over time taken about 15,000 prints. they are all separated at this point from the negatives, but.....

I store the prints in an envelope which I have put the processing lab negative number on, and store the negatives in a binder in archiving sheets, by processing batch number. I also have them all SCanned and stored by Processing batch number, and use the processing batch number in the filename prefix.

That way, I can, if I want, look at a print, check the envelope, and go to either the negative or the computer and find the shot. If I find, by looking at photo's that there is a mark, dust etc, that impacts my scan, I can re-scan the negative, or modify the scan settings etc, to get a better copy.

I now, don't really look any more at prints, because I have EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER SHOT digitized. It was a 5 year project, and covers 15K negative images and 5K slide images.

I have the images sorted based upon the negative processing numbers, and also by year and month (or activity)
09-22-2011, 06:48 AM   #10
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These are all good. But, my prints are more likely to get separated from their original bunch. Some are stored in different albums and used on various projects, some stay on the fridge or make their way to a friends house, some are handed down or simply don't have a place to live, even in their original lab envelope with all the others. So, these suggestions are good. But I'm leaning towards marking each original print with the corresponding negative number so a simple turn-over will reveal where it belongs (either physically or digitally - all indexing will be made universal). This won't take too long with the amount of negs & prints I've got. And just a small task to do once a new set is developed.

So I guess I'm looking to for the best way to mark them without affecting the print. Will try the stickers, my only worry is that they may cause dark spots when viewing the print under bright light due to the thickness and density. Maybe a simple pencil marking is the way forward haha.

Will work on the focus issue. Usually the background is in focus, whilst the subject is not. Appears fine in viewfinder.
09-22-2011, 07:52 AM   #11
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Just wanted to mention if you are talking long-term "archival" filing and storage, then any kind of ink or glue/sticker is bad.
09-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by zerotonothing Quote
These are all good. But, my prints are more likely to get separated from their original bunch. Some are stored in different albums and used on various projects, some stay on the fridge or make their way to a friends house, some are handed down or simply don't have a place to live, even in their original lab envelope with all the others. So, these suggestions are good. But I'm leaning towards marking each original print with the corresponding negative number so a simple turn-over will reveal where it belongs (either physically or digitally - all indexing will be made universal). This won't take too long with the amount of negs & prints I've got. And just a small task to do once a new set is developed.

So I guess I'm looking to for the best way to mark them without affecting the print. Will try the stickers, my only worry is that they may cause dark spots when viewing the print under bright light due to the thickness and density. Maybe a simple pencil marking is the way forward haha.

Will work on the focus issue. Usually the background is in focus, whilst the subject is not. Appears fine in viewfinder.
at one point I tried using a non solvent based ink stamp it got messy and smudged,

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Just wanted to mention if you are talking long-term "archival" filing and storage, then any kind of ink or glue/sticker is bad.
BUT, here is a point to consider, virtually all photo printers actually do print something on the back of prints, usually a date code batch code or something. Why not keep a record of the batch on the print, back to the negative processing strip number, and to the date shot / processed. In the end, that is how I sorted my prints to put them away in storage.
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