What's your ULTIMATE neg filing system?

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John McCallum

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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?
 

Nige

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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:
 

photomc

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Nige said:
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:

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.
 

david b

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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.
 

Joe Lipka

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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.
 

bmac

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Does anyone use the

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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
 

L Gebhardt

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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.
 

argentic

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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
 

Ed Sukach

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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!!
 

mark

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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.
 

George Losse

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bmac said:
Does anyone use the

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8x10 Balanced Seam Envelopes $19.95USD

50 envelopes/package


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You might want to check on this site. If you buy in larger quantities you can bring the unit cost per envolope. Their storage boxes are very cheap too.
 

bmac

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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.
 

Deckled Edge

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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.
 

glbeas

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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.
 

FrankB

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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"!
 

noseoil

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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.
 

Sean

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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!
 
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John McCallum

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Sean said:
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 .... If anyone can point me to some good envelopes in smaller quantities, thanks!
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).
 

Sean

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That would be great, we could probably go halves? pm me, gotta run :smile:
 
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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).
 
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