What's your ULTIMATE neg filing system?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by John McCallum, May 26, 2004.

  1. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Are you like me - with sheet negs in sleeves carefully sorted into piles on the coffee table, drawers, book shelves, boxes and hanging off the clothes rack over the dehumidifier (all carefully labelled of course)? Or have you got the Ultimate filing system?
     
  2. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,089
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Mine are all stored in folders, proof sheet and processing/printing notes (a report from a database I record this in) back to back in a clear sleeve followed by negs in filing sheets. I segregate formats into seperate folders. The folders are arranged in format/number sequence. I'm fairly organised :smile:
     
  3. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Nige, nothing personal, but that's just not normal...mine system is a non-system..meaning I don't ahve one. Yours sounds pretty good.
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

    Messages:
    4,031
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Location:
    None of your
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Mine is rather simple. I have a binder box for each year and a matching box for the contact sheets. Each sheet of negatives is numbered.
    For example, the last negative sheet I shot is now "04-0063", meaning it is the 63rd roll of film for 2004.
    So then when I print a negative, let's say frame #6, the back of the print says "04-0063-06".
    Nice and easy.
     
  5. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

    Messages:
    809
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Cary, North
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Tupperware used to (and maybe still does) sell something called a "bread container." This wonderful container is the perfect size for 4x5 negatives in a sleeve.

    My negatives are numbered on the sleeve mmyynnn where mm is month, yy is year and nnn is negative number from 000 to 999. Variations of negatives are given alpha suffixes.

    Used to store the proof prints in front of each negative.

    Most everything else is in plastic sleeves in 3 ring binders.
     
  6. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Does anyone use the

    http://www.viewcamerastore.com/product_info.php?cPath=87&products_id=368

    8x10 Balanced Seam Envelopes $19.95USD

    These archival envelopes have a superior design that offers more protection than thumb-cut envelopes, and are designed to be used with our Interleaving Folders for maximum protection.

    The seams are sealed on the outside so they don't come in contact with film or prints, and both seams are on the long sides to provide equal thickness in storage. Has 1/8" lip for easy access to contents. Envelopes meet al ANSI IT9.2 specifications. Choose 80lb. Renaissance nonbuffered or Apollo buffered white envelopes. Passes P.A.T. The adhesive is pH-neutral.

    Actual size 8-1/2 x 10-1/2 inches, 50 envelopes/package
     
  7. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,758
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH - Live Fr
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Brian, I use what I think is the same product, but from Light Impressions in 4x5. They work very well, and I have no complaints. I usually store a single negative in a mylar sleave in one envelope. The mylar sleave is to protect the negative when I pull it out of the envelope.
     
  8. argentic

    argentic Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,722
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Echandelys,
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I number my negatives by date yymmdd - neg So negative number 6 from 21 februari 2004 reads: 040221-06. I also write this number with a very fine archival felt pen between the sprockets of 35mm, between negs on 120 and at the unexposed small strip of 4x5 negs. This way, I can never misplace them.

    I once made contacts. Now I just scan the whole film at 200 dpi on my Epson flatbed scanner. Much easier to stock (I can take my whole archive with me on one DVD) and to search.

    Gilbert
     
  9. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

    Messages:
    4,519
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Ipswich, Mas
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I don't know if I'd describe this as "ultimate", but ...

    I work mostly in 120. Each film is developed, cut (4 exposures - three "sticks"), contact printed and stored in Print File Poly sleeves.
    Each sleeve and print is labeled with a date / film number code; the contact prints are held in a "sheet protector" (Samsill 8 1/2" x 11", Heavy Weight Polypropylene Top Load) and placed in a regular loose leaf notebook, contact sheet on the left facing the negative file sheet on the right.
    That way, I can visually select images to be printed and efficiently select the individual negative or locate them form Date / film / exposure numbers.
    The notebooks are labeled appropriately and filed in a run-of-the-mill filing cabinet - although they would easily fit any bookshelf.

    *Some* part of that darkroom HAS to be organized - the rest ... hoo, boy!!
     
  10. mark

    mark Member

    Messages:
    5,261
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    Brian
    I use the same thing from light impressions for 5x7. Check them I think they are cheaper. I just wish they had a fold flap on top. No matter how sealed my stuff is, in N. Arizona the dust gets in every thing. The flap would add one more layer of protection.
     
  11. George Losse

    George Losse Member

    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
  12. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

    Messages:
    1,717
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    Denver, Colo
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My neg filing system consists of regularly begging someone else to do it for me. No takers so far.
     
  13. bmac

    bmac Member

    Messages:
    2,156
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Right now,

    Mine are in print file sleaves stacked in the order they were processed. these stacks live in a filing cabinet. I plan on hanging them all next week when I get some time off from the day job.

    My 8x10 negs are filed in order of processing as well, but are in a plastic binder.
     
  14. Deckled Edge

    Deckled Edge Member

    Messages:
    448
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Manhattan Be
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I shoot 4x5, 8x10, and 11x14, but the system is the same.
    Each neg. is numbered mm-dd-yy-film-holder #. So, the first shot of 05-27-04 might be 17 (05-27-04-17) then I'll turn it over and take 05-27-04-18. I started doing this because of the field notes. I started using a Newton and switched to a Palm. These were imported into an Excel spreadsheet. Also I can keep track of which film holders are malfunctioning (not uncommon with 11x14). It's rare to use the same film holder twice in one day, so each negative is uniquely identified. When using Graphmatics for 4x5, the Graphmatic automatically labels the negatives 1-6, and I have Graphmatics A - F, so these become 05-27-04-E3, for instance.
    After development each negative gets its own 3 mil poly sleeve, and the sleeve goes into an 8x10 or 11x14 archival paper envelope from Light Impressions. Across the top of the envelope goes the neg#, and the name of the image, with the lens, filter and exposure imformation. Under that is a record of all the times I have printed that negative, on what paper, and the exposure and manipulations. In the paper envelope I include the best work print.
    The 4x5s and 8x10s go into hanging file folders labeled by date and subject. The 11x14s go into archival storage boxes, also from Light Impressions.
     
  15. glbeas

    glbeas Member

    Messages:
    3,307
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Location:
    Roswell, Ga.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the negafile sleeves with hanger rods and put them in small file cabinets. They are labeled by date and sequence similar to others mentioned here.
     
  16. FrankB

    FrankB Member

    Messages:
    2,147
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Northwest UK
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    My negs are in a mixture of paper and plastic neg sleeves in large lever-arch binders. Not all are contacted (I started with good intentions but it's a slow and painful way of dying!).

    I did have a go through a while back and sorted them roughly into category (urban landscape, rural landscape, portrait, family, etc.) but I'd hesitate before calling that a "system"!
     
  17. noseoil

    noseoil Member

    Messages:
    2,898
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    3 ring binders

    I use three ring binders, with the appropriate page inserts.

    My shot info sheet has a place for exposure notes (LF 4x5 & 8x10), development (N, N+ or -), chemistry (PMK, ABC) and printing info. The proof sheet goes in place in an office supply clear page holder (with any notes scribbled on the back of the print) and the film is numbered (year - exposure number, i.e. 04-24). This keeps all of the information in one place for film, exposure, development and printing. Although it seems a bit of a bother to set up, it is worth the effort when a year has passed and memory clouds over.

    35mm or 120 just gets cut, put into sleeves for the roll and the contact sheet (8x10) goes with it with the three hole punch in the binder, then the date code (year - roll number, film type) is written in the margin. 35mm transparency gets the same treatment in pages for the binder.
     
  18. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,977
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    need to source some envelopes

    Hi, I'm finishing up my negative storage system and am trying to source some archival envelopes with a foldover top. I have found a few brands but do not need 500 which is what I keep finding, 100 is fine. My plan is to have the envelope, within that a negative in an archival sleeve, and a fully processed work print with notes. The envelopes will then be stored inside an archival box. If anyone can point me to some good envelopes in smaller quantities, thanks!
     
  19. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

    Messages:
    2,410
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Sean, I need some as too. Would be willing to share an order with you, if that would be helpful. (I probably need 2-300 and have one or two friends that might be interested locally as well).
     
  20. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,977
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That would be great, we could probably go halves? pm me, gotta run :smile:
     
  21. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

    Messages:
    1,627
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    Southern Cal
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    My system is not perfect I still spend way to much time looking for specific images, But it has evelved into a pretty good system. I file all negs in neg pages marked and sometimes dated. They are all filed in oversized three ring binders that are started new every year by catagory. I/E Landscapes 1998 or Nudes 2000 or street shooting 2004. With every page there is a proof sheet and a note page.
    These binders are kept on book shelves in a dark corner closet in the darkroom. Well protected from the environement yet easy to access (though I am running out of room).