cutting and storing negatives. (methodes)

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Quinten, Jun 3, 2005.

  1. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    I am starting to know my film but the negatives I still need to print, or worth saving are piling.

    I used to save my negs in envelopes but discovered the paper gives a very fine dust to the negs. The photoshop has some of these special neg covers but I find them way to expensive. So how do you guys store your negatives.

    And is there a simple trick to cut straight? I don't like the idea of placing them on a table and put something straight on it and use a knife. (scratching/dust etc) but simple scissers are hard tools to get straight negs.

    Thanks for any suggestions in advance.

    cheers!
     
  2. ouyang

    ouyang Member

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    Well, since the Negative is what you invest a lot of money in (you buy good equipment, good film, process it well... I would (and I do) invest in good neg covers. Use acidfree slipcovers, store your negatives in a good dust-free place. It's worth it...

    Best,

    Onno
     
  3. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    I store mine in the negative sleeves available at the photo stores. Light Impressions may have them cheaper, you can check their website here: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/servlet/OnlineShopping

    As for cutting, I use scissors (the Fiskar type) to cut my negs. I have a light table that I hold the negatives over when cutting.
     
  4. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Mine are cut with scissors while hanging up after drying and go straight into archival clear plastic sleeves. I used to use the archival paper ones but find I can do contact index prints straight through the plastic sort.

    I store the sleeves in a lever arch file... which is now full...!
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I am not a guy; however, i will speak up, I use the archival ones, along with a very good pair of scissors with about 10inche blades, which increases the "luck " with cutting the negatives straight.

    A straight edge and blade would cut the top of the light table.

    I would suggest not throwing away negatives, as with time and experience you may find something that does not appeal to you today, may do so in a few years
     
  6. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    So maybe there is a reason why they sell those storage sleeves... I'll go for them after all. And I probably just need a bit more patientce while cutting.


    I am sorry Ann... It's too common in dutch to use the guys for more than one person even if there are gilrs amongst. But next time I'll use 'girls' instead of guys in that line, and see how the men respond:wink:
    Even women use 'guys' when no guys are around btw, I recently heard that when walking by a group of four girls talking to each other, it sounded rather wierd.

    cheers!
     
  7. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    interesting, in my world, the women never speak of women as guys, and i agree it does sound a bit wierd.

    good luck with your negative storage project.

    i have also discovered that it is best to organize yourself from the very first roll. It is amazing how much time it takes to find something when randomly stored.
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Quentin,

    I will give you some advice on saving money on those archival storage pages. Throw away the negatives you don't want to print. This takes great strength of character. To date I have not been able to do this, but I'm getting stronger.<g>

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I would disagree with Neal and the suggest to throw out the negatives you don't want to print, time and space may give you different thoughts about your negative.

    As a point of referrence, i just printed a negative made in the 60's; at the time i wasn't h appy with it, but earlier in the year with reviewing old negatives decided to print this one, and was very happy with the results. In fact, the feed back and success of this negative more than made up for the space it took to keep.
     
  10. Quinten

    Quinten Member

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    Whow from the 60's I've only just really started with film and already have loads of negs that will be something in 40 years from now:smile:
    But I found an alternative, there are very cheap paper storage sleaves from hama, I bought enough for 200 rolls so I will be safe for a while.

    But this is a good point over digital, I've recently had a broken HD and about 200 proper pictures where gone in a flash, with this the house should burn down and even then I would run for my negs and warn the neighbours afterwards.
     
  11. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Hmm... in everyday North American English "guys", as in "hey, you guys!", while, perhaps, far from proper, is commonly used to adress mixed company and has no percieved or implied gender exclusivity.

    But, back to the subject at hand - I do agree with Ann 100% - moreif it was possible :smile: that you should keep all your negs. How much room can they really take up? And yes, I cannot agree more with Onno. The whole photography song and dance, as well as financial investment, aims towards that little celluloid rectangle (or square). It is the one irreplaceable part - after you pull the roll of film, you can drop your camera in a canyon, burn all your prints, etc., you will still have the magical entity onown as the negative which is the only irreplaceable component. Sure, you can re-take a picture... but will it be exactly the same? My suggestion is go to the website of one of the excellent outlets that sponsor this site and buy in bulk. I know it hurts to throw down a wad of cash for something so trivial, but it will cost you less in the long run, and once purchased, you won't have to spend money again for a long time on one of these items - out of sight, out of mind, and well worth it. Think of it as clothes for your negatives, or a good lock for your front door. Or a fridge for your food. There is so many little culprits just waiting to prey on your unsuspecting negatives, its best to protect them.

    And as to those cuts - as long as you dont damage the exposed area, who cares if they are all that straight. It certainly matters less than what you store them in... and you were willing to skimp there :smile:

    Here is my method:

    I have a shelf in a closet that is a bout chest high, one of the modular, cut to size meta-rod types, but any metal rod about that high will work. Hang negative so that you can have it flat in relation to the ground when holding up the free end. Now, get a good pair of long, sharp scissors ( I use hair dressers scissors I "borrowed" from my mom a long time ago). Count the frames that fit your sleeve size and rest space between frames on the bottom part of the opened scissors. Pull slightly on the neg (lightly!) to get it flat against the scissor, and cut with a smooth but decisive motion.

    Also, get neg sleeves that fit the roll sizes you most commonly use - I bought some recently that take 35 frames of 35 mm film, in 6 rows of five... Guess what happens - usually, I have one or two frames hat need to go into the nex folder... Oh well, you live, you learn.

    Best of luck and sorry about the novel...

    Peter.
     
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Unfortunately, clear pages that hold 35 negatives seem to be the norm rather than the exception. But given the work that goes into the negatives, putting one or two negatives into the top row of the "next" page is a small price to pay.

    Lately I've just been shooting 35 frames on a roll and re-winding; that way I can have one contact sheet with an entire roll in one of those pages. I figure that losing 1/36th of each roll isn't going to break me.
     
  13. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I guess I was lucky to have some 6x6 sheets. Now that you mention it, it seems to be the norm (7x5). The last package I purchased is from a company called PrintFile. They seem to have a full range of what they call "archival preservers", in all the commonly used film sizes and negative formats (even 8x10!) - and they DO have 6x6 sleeves! I just didn't see them at Henry's when I bought these - but they are there now.
    I know www.henrys.com has them, but htey are Candian, so I dont know how that works for our European friends. The web site has a dealer finder for the US, but regretably not Europe - perhaps they would be forthcoming with information when contacted. I have no affiliation withthe company, I merely stumbled upon a good product at a very fair price! I grabbed these purely by accident, assuming they were 6x6, then realized they were not!

    Here is the website:

    www.printfile.com

    I understand they sell direct as well and seem to have other storage solutions as well as matts and framing supplies.

    Cheers!

    Peter.
     
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  15. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Ann: Here in "Juhrzee" the phrase you guys and yooz guys as it is more commonly pronounced with our unmistakable not quite New Yawk accent, is universally taken to mean the same as y'all is in the south...I doubt that he meant anything by excluding the better gender in his reference...

    And I wholeheartedly agree with you...organization HAS to start early. I started bulk loading about eight months ago and have been shooting up a storm. I didn't think about organizing my negs until a had a pretty respectable pile on top of my desk. Now I have to whittle it down a few rolls at a time to get control of it.
     
  16. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    When print file first came out with the archival pages 6x6 for 35mm negatives was the norm. Now they have a wide variety of sleeves available.

    The down side to the 6x6 is that the page will not fit on a piece of 8x10 paper. In the old days we used 11x14 and cut the paper down; now Ilford has a paper on the market that is 81/2 x11 which does the trick.
     
  17. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    ClearFile has pages that hold ten strips of four frames of 35mm negatives. If you don't mind cutting your film into four-frame strips, this can be a good system. They're available from B&H, among other places.
     
  18. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Mongo,

    Clear File also sells a slightly oversized page that holds 7 strips of 6 frames. This is the size I use.

    Neal Wydra
     
  19. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I, too, agree with Ann - save 'em all, for lots of reasons.

    As to storage, I'd suggest thinking in terms of an overall system that works for both storing the negatives safely, allows you to quickly find that shot of the whatsis at wherever, and is (conveniently) maintainable over the long haul.

    I use PrintFile pages now for everything from 35mm to 8x10. I label the sheets with an abbreviation of the project or location, along with the month and year, which also becomes the base name for any scanned files. Roll or page numbers get appended to that in the case of multi-roll shoots/projects, and the negative number from the film (or, sheet position in the case of LF negs) designates individual images. For example, YNP0599-0115 would be the name for the 15th neg on the first roll at Yosemite National Park from May of 1999.

    The PrintFile pages can be stored in 3-ring binders, but I switched to using file folders (labeled with the "base name") a few years ago. The folders are more compact, and generally easier to work with, I think.
     
  20. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    I use Kenro archival paper neg sleeves (yes expensive, but worth it) and I too cut them whilst they are still hanging up after drying. I use good quality scissors with blades much longer than the film width, which seems to help to get a straight, accurate cut. I used to use plastic sleeves, but went off them after finding that one or two films that had sat unused for some time had stuck to the sleeves. I file the neg sleeves in ring binders which are kept in the dark in a cupboard in a room with dust filters running. I file each page with a contact sheet, which is washed for twice the recommended time to make sure there is no residual fixer in the paper. For colour I make B&W contacts on Panalure, which I find cheaper and quicker than using colour paper (despite the nagging I got last time I said that) :smile:

    My pictures are mostly for work and each film has a code. I have a database catalogue, which amongst other things gives the binder and page number for each film, so I can usually find any of, maybe 100,000 negs or slides within 20 seconds.

    David.
     
  21. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    David, if I had a 100,000 of anything, it would take me 20 years to find any one of it despite best efforts! You are a better man than I can hope to be - kudos! Jokes aside, I find that the plastic sleeves work great (although I can't say my experience is anywhere near that of some of the people who contributed here!), but a word of caution: the negatives have to be absolutely, completely 100% DRY. Even the slightest dampness will make them stick and potentially damage the negative!
     
  22. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Neal-

    Will those fit on an 8x10 for contact printing?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  23. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Member

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    You are absolutely right about getting things really dry. Dry to the touch is not good enough. I usually leave films for 24 hours hanging in a room with two dust filters running.

    As for my cataloguing, it is just part of archaeological ethics. If you can't find the pictures you might as well not have them and, as most of my work is done at the tax payers' expense I need them, or their representatives, to know they are getting something for the money. It is not really that hard if you stay on top of it.

    David.
     
  24. Magnus W

    Magnus W Member

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    I use the Hama sleeves. As for scissors; buy a really good sharp pair, and never ever use it for other cutting than film. Cutting paper takes the edge off in no time at all.

    -- MW
     
  25. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    He hehee, therein lies the culprit - the relationship of yours truly and the whole "staying on top of things" concept - but I am working on it!:smile:

    Magnus- as a long time model builder (I used to make model airplanes out of paper kits when I was younger, I think its a dead art in today's world!), I cannot stress enough the truth of what you say - paper kills scissors! It looks soft, and innocent enough, but it just murders the edge - it is, after all, made of wood - nature's composite material!
     
  26. thefizz

    thefizz Subscriber

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    Storage of negs

    I have been reading through this thread and want to ask if negs should be stored at a particular temperature?

    Peter