B&W negative storage in slide mounts???
I’m only a beginner with darkroom work, and am looking for some advice on storing negatives. Previously I had bought some sleeves that hold strips of 6 35mm negatives, but I feel I’d like to protect them better and also reduce the number of negatives I keep. Rather than keeping the whole role of film I shoot, I was thinking about sorting out the keepers and cutting them into single negatives. After that insert them into slide mounts, and put them into slide mount sleeves. Then I’d have one negative per slot, and they’d be well stored and available to print long into the future.
So here are my questions about it. What are your options on this storage method for b&w negatives? Is it possible for me to remove these negatives from the slide mounts (without damage) for when I want to enlarge them and make new prints, or better, is there a way to keep them in the slide mounts and enlarge them for printing? I noticed some of the slide mounts have anti newton ring glass or no glass at all. From what I understand some of the slide mounts need a mounting device, but others seem to clip together without a mounting device, am I correct in this assumption?
Keep in mind I’ll be using these to store b&w films, and do plan on using the films for further enlarging and printing in the future. Any advice or about this or other storage suggestions are welcomed.
I would think that is a good idea. I would recommend glass mounts. Perhaps the variety that has AN glass on one side would be best. You might consider doing this right away and buying or making a holder for your enlarger that allows you to use these mounts.
I believe that you should package and store the negatives that you do not find useful for printing. You might be surprised how much your attitude will change about a negative over the course of time.
Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)
Depending on the type of enlarger your using you may find a negative carrier that will hold a mounted negative, as it would a slide.
Removing the negative from the mount to enlarge becomes iffy, creating all sorts of opportunity for damage; and IMHO, a single 35mm negative is a pain to handle.
With that said, i would like to suggest that you be very careful about throwing away negatives. You may discover years from now something that did not strike your fancy today as being a "gem" later on. Or, as your experince increases a negative that you find difficult to print today will be easier .
One solution might be to storage the negative files in an archival box by subject matter, or date; somthing along those lines. Making it easier to find. Sometimes figuring out a filing method is a headache but if you start out immediately with your first roll and stay with it; it becomes easier.
Not a good idea. From my experience film in glass slide mounts is prone to fungal attack and glassless slide mounts have a problem with the film buckling. Cutting 35mm film into single negatives makes them very hard to handle when placing them into the negative carrier. Keep them in strips of 6.
Also don't discard any negatives, you may later find some images that you first overlooked.
I agree with Claire, Ann, and Gerald. Don't throw away film. I've found unexpected uses for 50-year-old images. Nor is cutting 35mm negatives into individual frames wise. They may curve more in an enlarger, and are a nuisance to handle. While glass slide mounts should maintain flatness, they also introduce four glass-to-air interfaces.
Basic storage and cataloging aren't difficult. http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/ has many tempting solutions to storage problems. A system that stores tightly packed negative strips alternately face up and face down maintains film flatness. If you have several categories of subjects on a roll of film, storing by category becomes difficult. I assign a serial number to each roll, and store them in numerical order. The contents of each roll are briefly cataloged. Exposure and manipulation data can also be recorded. If done on a computer, this should really work well.
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An additional comment: Most slide mounts crop a bit of the frame. Particularly if the edges of the frame opening in the slide mount are curved, this will make it impossible to get a full-frame enlargement from a negative that's mounted in a slide frame without unmounting it, with all the risks outlined earlier. I'm not an expert in slide mounts, but I gather that some designs don't crop the image. If you're dead-set on this approach, I'd recommend you research this issue and try to find slide mounts that don't crop the image.
One more point: A slide mount will be at least as big and as heavy as the film it's holding. You'll also need some sort of storage box for the slides themselves. Of course, sleeves for negatives also take up space and have mass, but not, I think, as much as slide mounts would. Thus, you might not be reducing your storage space requirements by throwing away "bad" frames and storing the good ones in slide mounts. Whether or not this approach would save space would probably depend on how many images you save per roll.
Overall, I concur with most of the other posters: It's better to store your negatives in strips than as slides.
Just a thought to add to Mr. Jone's comment about dust problems with glass mounted slides. If one were sucessful in eliminating dust on the film and intereior glass surfaces, from that point onward it should be more of, and perhaps less of a problem to keep clean when reprinting.
Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)
I agree with keeping all negatives. I'm working on some now that I didn't think were I liked a year or two ago.
absolutely a terrible idea, your reasoning is badly flawed
negs keep well in good quality sleeves, in strips, no problems
single negs are extremely difficult to use in an enlarger
i doubt you could, as a regular working method, remove negs from their mounts without great and unnecessary risk of doing some damage
keep all negs, one major failing i see with digital is that too many people delete to many images, context and aesthetics change over time
don't fix it if it aint broke, the strip/sleeve method has worked for many years for many (probably all) users