Image orientation

Discussion in 'Workshops & Lectures' started by Odal, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Odal

    Odal Member

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    My question might seem a little strange but I have no way of finding the answer myself, having stopped with the hobby many years ago.
    I was wondering how the image gets projected on the film.
    1) Is the image upside down, or only mirrored, or neither?
    To find the answer I have to know how the film gets into the camera.
    2) Is the emulsion side facing forward, in the direction of the lens and the scene, or backwards, in the direction of the back of the camera?
    3) When you read the numbers on the negatives, are you looking at the way the film was put in the camera?

    I would really appreciate not only an answer, but some pics showing this all. Thank you all.
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The image is turned twice: left to right and upside to downside:

    https://learnattack.de/sites/default/files/Camera_obscura_Optik.png

    If you have a camera with data-back or a camera with a hole in the pressure plate to otherwise take the data exposure optic you can see that too.

    Or put a piece of transparent paper or frosted foil over the film rails.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  3. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    The emulsion is facing forward towards the lens unless you loaded it backwards, or are using "redscale" film. On redscale film, the film is loaded onto the spool backwards to create a certain aesthetic.

    The numbers and letters on the boarders of the film should read correctly when viewing the film if you want the image oriented in the same direction as the scene from which the photo was taken. However, there a plenty of valid reasons to not do it that way. For instance, if when scanning film or for compositional reasons.
     
  4. nmp

    nmp Member

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    2) The former is correct.
    3) With non-emulsion side facing you, the number should read correctly.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Odal

    Odal Member

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    Am I missing something or are you guys contradicting each other?
    Let me rephrase the question.
    1) Is the object depicted straight up or upside down on the negative?
    2) How do I know that I am looking at the negative the way it goes into the camera? Suppose I put a developed film back in the camera, will I be able to see the numbers normally or not? please only 35mm!

    I am insisting on this because I am looking at an old negative where I am standing up. When I look at it in a way that I can also read the numbers, I am still standing up!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  6. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The orientation of the edge markings/numbers is not connected to the image orientation.

    The edge marking are exposed when the film is being manufactured.

    The image you take is exposed when you drop the shutter.

    The orientation of the edgemarkings in relation to the image you take with your camera depends on
    1-your camera. Some cameras feed from left to right, some right to left, some even vertically.
    2-how you held the camera when you shot the image. When shooting I typically shoot with viewfinder up, left, or right, but I have used my F5 sans prism upside down to be able to see & shoot over an obstruction. Each orientation creates a different relationship with the edge markings.
     
  7. OP
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    Odal

    Odal Member

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    I really appreciate the effort, but now you have me completely confused. If I understand you right, the numbers on the borders are irrelevant. Well, then how am I suppose to know how the film went in supposing I took the picture "normally", that is holding the camera in the horizontal position? The camera takes the film on the left side, so the film moves right after each exposure.
    Would you be so kind to answer my questions under those restrictions?
     
  8. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    With regard to your other questions.

    Emulsion is normally on the lens/scene side.

    With regard to the rotation that the film sees (same as what is seen on the ground glass of a large format camera), for me rotation is the key word. The image is spun 180 degrees. Half a cartwheel.
     
  9. AgX

    AgX Member

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    To make things worse: it depends on the camera
    Typically the film cassette is put at the left side and the film wound to the right side (seen from behind the camera).
    But there are cameras where the cassette goes at the right side and the film is wound to the left side. As the cassette is the same and optics are the same too, the location of frame numbers to the image then is reversed.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Odal

    Odal Member

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    Please do not make it more complicated that it already is. Most SLR's take the film on the left, and the film moves to the right. I have been taking pictures for years and I never saw the numbers somewhere else than what I think is the bottom border. I have pictures of my children when there were little, and again, the numbers are at the bottom when I can read them right, and the kids are NOT standing on their heads. That is what I like to understand. I beg you to ignore any complication you may think of and stick to the most general situation. 35mm films you buy at the store and put in an ordinary SLR that takes the film from the left to the right. Please!!
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Do I understand correctly that you are in possession of the very camera that was used to expose the film frame you are interested in?
    If so, tell us which camera it is, because someone here will be able to discern whether it is one that feeds film in an unusual manner.
    While you are at it,, tell us which type of film you have. Just in case it has unusual edge printing.
    And welcome to PHOTRIO!
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    By the way, I have Canon cameras (to use an example) that came out at just about the same time. One model feeds 35mm film one way, while another model feeds film the other way.
     
  13. OP
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    Odal

    Odal Member

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    As I said in the previous post, it was an ordinary SLR (a Topcon), with the film put at the left and winding to the right. It used regular 35mm films I bought at any store like everybody else. Nothing fancy nothing strange.
     
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  15. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The film goes in with the emulsion close to the lens, the image in the camera is upside down.
     
  16. OP
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    Odal

    Odal Member

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    Thank you, that is cut and clear, the way I like it. I am curious if other people feel differently about the numbers and how they relate to the image position.
     
  17. nmp

    nmp Member

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    Kind of difficult to figure out what is the problem the OP is trying to solve. Here's an another try....

    If you are looking at the negative and everybody is standing right (unless they were doing headstands,) the sky is up and the numbers at the bottom are reading right, then you are holding the negative with emulsion on the other side - the same way but upside down as it went into your 35 mm camera. The manufacturer would have printed the numbers on the top upside-down starting with #1 at the front edge so that they will read right when the film is held right and also when you make a contact sheet you can identify the shots in the chronological order.
     
  18. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The edge markings are there so that one knows what film it is (helps in setting up to print) and to be able to tell the lab which frame you you want enlarged. Beyond that they are irrelevant IMO.

    What problem are you trying to solve Odal?
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    What, specifically, does the edge printing say (i.e. which film is it)?
    And FWIW, I sometimes use my SLRs upside down, because I am left handed and there are circumstances when it is an advantage to release the shutter with my left thumb. I point this out, because it is difficult to say definitively that a camera was used "normally" to make a particular negative, unless one was there at the time, and can remember.
    There are a couple of other, more unusual possibilities for why the orientation might be inverted - duplicate negatives, photographer playing with a mirror, image is actually a reflection - but the most likely one is that for some reason the photographer held the camera upside down for that frame.
     
  20. OP
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    Odal

    Odal Member

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    The last two posts are very convincing. The numbers are printed upside down by the manufacturer to make it easier for people to identify individual frames. That is all I wanted to know. I was a little bit confused when I looked at my old negatives and I could read the numbers properly while the subjects were also standing straight up. By wanting to make it easier for everybody the manufacturers made it more complicated for me. For a while. I thank you all.
     
  21. AgX

    AgX Member

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    There are no figures printed upside down.
    Or to be more precise they are printed that way that their base is facing the edge they are printed along.

    With a typical camera, and that held horizontally, the figures will appear on the film upright under the image.
    With a camera that has that unorthodox film feed they will appear upside down obove the image.
     
  22. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    I am glad we have the internet to clear up the obvious.
     
  23. Ron789

    Ron789 Subscriber

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    Up is down, left is right, front is back...... no wonder so many photographers are completely lost..... :unsure:
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The image is flipped over and projected on the emulsion side of the the film.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    What does "flipped over" mean? ...

    I assume part of the problem is the position of the viewer:
    https://learnattack.de/sites/default/files/Camera_obscura_Optik.png


    Imagine you could locate yourself inside that camera obscura and would have next to the pinhole or lens a little window to look directly at that cat and then you would turn around and look at the image of the cat you would see it just upside down, but not reversed. If you would stand behind that camera obscura and could see that image on a groundglass you would see it upside down AND reversed.
     
  26. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    It is only complicated when one tries to understand how it works. :whistling:
     
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