Marking film/great tip.

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mike Kennedy, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I found a ziplock baggy with 7 rolls of bulk film stashed in the back of my freezer.Great eh? Not really.
    I used a cheap marker to wright on the masking tape I had attached to the film canisters.What the heck are they?While relating this saga to my pal at the local camera shop an older gentleman offered a great bit of advice.When he bulk loaded film he'd use a fine tipped "Sharpie" to mark the film tab with date/type/# of exposures. Works great and I won't ever have the problem of "guess the film" again.
     
  2. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Yep, started doing that a couple of years ago. Nothing like a Sharpie.
     
  3. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    That's pretty good advice, I'll keep it in mind...I try to keep a sharpie on me most of the time, they're pretty useful just in general.
    When I do forget, I tend to bite 35mm film cartridges after I shoot them to remind myself they have something important on them. It leaves a noticeable mark and I know they take top priority/care in processing. It works surprisingly well.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A fine tip sharpie is one of my standard darkroom tools. I use them to mark the back of test prints and contacts with exposure/paper/filtration/dev/whatever info
     
  5. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I buy Sharpies by the box, keep them in all my camera bags, darkroom, desk, everywhere. They're very handy.

    You could cut a clip of the mystery film, develop it and read the edge markings to see what it is.
     
  6. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Why not write down what kind of film it is, etc., on paper and put that inside the bag, instead of trying to mark the outside of the bag?
     
  7. dmax

    dmax Member

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    When bulk loading film, I write the data (with a Sharpie, naturally) on the film leader, on the base side. That way I have all the information on the particular film roll visible either in plastic bags, or when loading the roll into the camera. A tip I picked up years ago from a UPI photog who encouraged me to pick up my first 35: After rewinding a roll back into its casette (after first making sure that the film leader is not wound all the way in), fold the leader once if processing normal, and fold twice if push processing. With the film leaders folded, it also becomes impossible to accidentally load the same exposed roll in the camera. I've carried that tip with me for decades, and even now I continue to teach it to my students. (Willy, wherever you are, thanks!)
     
  8. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    Fleath -what a great idea! I write the data on the leader with a sharpie too, but I have been known to pick up a roll of 35mm and wonder if I exposed it or not. I'll bite the end of the leader and leave a mark from now on, so I know it's been exposed. I love the simple answers.
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I only shoot HP5+ and FP4+. I shoot both the same way (@ 320ASA and 100ASA), always.
    When bulk loading, to make recognition easy I bought coloured stickers. I put a green sticker on HP5+ rolls and a blue sticker on FP4+ rolls. Makes rolls easily recognisable at all times and I can see what film is in the camera through the preview window. I put the same colour labels on the canister lids too. Its a lot quicker than a Sharpie. :wink:
     
  10. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Sharpies are by far the most significant product of my lifetime. I would be completely lost without them.

    http://www.sharpie.com/enUS/History/1961-1990.html

    And now that there's a silver metalic sharpie, life even gets better. I use the metalic colored sharpie to mark a line on all the darksides of my holders. Both film holders and plate holders. When pulling the darkside to take a photograph I'll reach the silver line, and that's where I'll stop. It helps me prevent unwanted light leaks from entering that end of the film holder.
     
  11. PhotoJim

    PhotoJim Member

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    I've always simply used ballpoint pens. They're far cheaper than Sharpies, legible enough, and the ink is durable. It's also easier to write more information in a smaller area.
     
  12. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I have a Sharpie or two in each of my camera bags, as well as the desk drawer and a whole bunch in the darkroom. Very useful tools.

    But the issue of film management in the field is more involved than just making some notations on the canister, especially if you bulk load (as I do) and both cans and cassettes are recycled many times.

    I have system involving colored plastic electrical tape. When I load up a cassette, I put it in a can, and then apply a strip of tape extending from the top of the can over the edge and onto the side. Then, in the field, when I change rolls, I remove the strip and reapply it around the perimeter of the side of the can before putting the exposed cassette into the can. That way, I can tell at a glance which cans contain exposed film, and which contain unexposed film.

    In the past, when I was experimenting with multiple emulsions, I also used the color of the tape to indicate which emulsion had been loaded into the cassette.

    The second aspect of the system involves the cassettes themselves. On those rare occasions when I take a partially loaded roll of film out of the camera (perhaps to load a different emulsion), I will mark the last frame number on the pigtail (using a Sharpie). Then, when I reload that roll I can advance past that number to avoid double-exposures.

    But in the normal case, when I finish a roll, before I put it in the can, I use the scissors on my Swiss Army Knife to cut off the end of the film and prepare it to be loaded onto the processing reel. That makes it impossible to subsequently load that same roll back into the camera to be double-exposed.
     
  13. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Reminds me about NASA and the Russians

    The story goes that NASA spent millions of dollars to develop a pen that would work in zero gravity. The Russians sent up pencils.

    I don't know if it is true, but there is a great lesson in there.

    Charles Kettering, inventor of the electric starter and the diesel electric locomotive: "Parts that aren't there cost nothing and never go wrong."

    BTW, Sharpies are the best marking device for writing on CD's. The top side of a CD is actually the reflective layer unless it is a "white top" for printing. No need for special CD markers. The alcohol base evaporates instantly. (DVD's have an extra layer of protection between the reflective layer and you. Much more tolerant of abuse, but Sharpies are still the best.)
     
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  15. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    It's not true but an urban legend. However, someone did go through the effort of designing a "space pen" for use in outer space. NASA and MIR eventually bought these pens for use in missions in space.
     
  16. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    Good to know...

    The beauty of a myth is not that it is factually correct, but for the lesson within.

    Humans, for tens of thousands of years, have learned about life and values from myths. "A myth is something that never happened but is going on all of the time."

    Bringing it back to photography, images are myths. They aren't the reality, which in many cases was long ago and certainly in 3-D existence. But they inform us. Guernica by Picasso, anyone? The flags going up on Iwo Jima?
     
  17. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I use the fine tip Sharpie to write information on the negative file sleeve. It beats the ink off the ball pen I used to try to use. When I've got 4x5 negs of the same subject in a file sleeve of 4 negatives, I lightly write on the sleeve over the negative I choose as the best: "This one" since there are, of course, no negative numbers on the rebate. Love them Sharpies to pieces! :wink:
     
  18. PVia

    PVia Member

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    ...but then you can't turn the darkslide around to indicate "exposed"!
     
  19. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I used to use pencils for all of my markings, still do for the exterior of bulk loaded film. One just needs a rubber to erase previous information.

    With other markings, I now use a space pen, have done for a while now. I tried a Sanford marking pen, but found it was prone to drying up and it doesn't like water.

    One interesting thing about the space pen is the ink colour. Sometimes in the darkroom I write on the back of prints whilst they are still in the wash dish. My space pen(s) are black ink, however when I write on the back of Ilford MGIV RC whilst underwater, the ink comes out blue coloured. :D

    The cheapest way to get into space pen writing, is to buy a standard space pen Parker refill. These fit into a myriad of ball point pens which are usually lying around our houses.

    The space pen has a very good writing companion, waterproof paper notebooks!

    Mick.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2008
  20. DannL

    DannL Member

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    Your are correct, I don't pull the darksides completely. All my film holders have turn locks for each darkside. I lock the darkside when that side is exposed. When both sides are exposed I put the holders in the bag "upsidedown" or "head to the right", which tells me I'm done with that holder. :D

    I also use fine point Sharpies to write in the margin of processed sheet film and I index paper negatives with a number before processing. I helps me recall the parameters of the shot months from now.
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Well, it took me up to post #10 to understand what your are talking about.
    Never ever heard of a sharpie.
     
  22. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I keep a Staedtler marker in my camera bag. I mark the end of the film with the number of exposed frames, if I mid roll rewind. I write +2 on the canister if I am pushing the film.
     
  23. Paul Verizzo

    Paul Verizzo Member

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    No Sharpies in Germany

    I'm sure an advanced nation like Germany has something equivalent. They are a hard felt tipped pen that use an almost instant drying alcohol based ink in all the basic colors. It will adhere to any surface regardless of gloss.

    Very, very useful!
     
  24. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    We used Sharpies at the lab to mark nearly everything. We got a new office manager who insisted that Sharpies were too expensive and made us buy cheapie ones. Every one of us went out and bought our own Sharpie brand Sharpies with our own money. They are the greatest!
    I mark the back of prints with a pencil to know how they were printed (filter, f-stop, time), but everything else is marked with a Sharpie.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Well, I guess the generic term would be permanent marker.

    However, the German company which holds the local market had once exchanged the high volatile solvent for something they call less smelly. The effect of the changed ink formula is that it is much less permanent...
     
  26. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Real men don't use pens. They mark themselves with knives.