Need help unlocking print puzzle.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by ROADSTIR, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. ROADSTIR

    ROADSTIR TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    Am new to this forum and am looking forward to learning more.

    I guess you could call this a mid-life thing, but I'm trying to collect and organize ALL my photos. This goes back to grade school and through present. Fortunately, I kept my negs in the envelope with the original photos for about 3/4 of my pics. The others are presenting the problem. Many rolls are of photos taken during reunions at a children's home. These go back to our first in 1986 and continue every three years. Approx. 200 of these have been kept loose in a box and I'd like to put them in order.

    What do all those numbers on the back of some prints mean?
    For example- <No.17A>036 12+00 NNNNN+21AU 0108

    I understand 17, but what does the A mean? I think the rest of those, except for the last 4 have something to do with the developing? And the last four digits?

    What's a discriminator to help me identify which groups of pics are from the same roll?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Those are the color settings applied to the print at the time of exposure - developing is standard for color film unless it is 'pushed' or 'pulled', which most mini-labs do not do, at least in my experience. If the negative were printed straight, with no correction, it would look somewhat different that what you see in the prints you have now.

    As for the A, that is the closest 'number' to the center of that frame. If you look at the film you will see that you have a frame number, in this case 17, and then a 17A, which allows for indexing the best position of the film for printing the frame, rather than say printing part of one frame and part of the next on the same print.

    The best way to find which prints came from which roll would be to mount the negatives in sleeves, which should be done anyway to preserve them, and then look at them on a light table. Given that the average person does not have a light table, holding them up to the light should work passably. In my experience, there should be a print date on each print somewhere, unless they stopped doing that for whatever reason. All of my old color prints have dates on them...

    - Randy
     
  3. ROADSTIR

    ROADSTIR TPF Noob!

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    Randy,

    Thanks for taking the time to share some info. Part of my orgainizing does involve placing them in sleeves. Am using PrintFile sleeves for the negs and same for the prints and 3-ring binders. They appear to have a decent product and I'm happ with them so far. Am also using a light table a friend is lending me. Most of the negs have codes like Kodak 800-3 or 200-5. I've figured out that the 200 or 800 denotes the film speed, but not sure about the suffix. I'm using it as a discriminator between rolls.

    Unfortunately, about 1/3 of the pics do not have dates. That is pretty odd, isn't it? That's why I'm curious about the last 4 digits in the code.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. cooltouch

    cooltouch TPF Noob!

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    I'm going through a similar process -- organizing and digitizing a bunch of old photos. Many are still in their original packages as came from the photo finisher, and have dates, as a result. These aren't the problem.

    Many others I placed in archival sleeves years ago, and did not record dates. So, now, I'm having to rack my brains, and figure out when (and in some cases where) they were taken.

    I've enlisted the aid of my wife when I get stuck. We'll talk it over, and usually between the two of us, we can get it down to a certain year. So my suggestion would be to enlist the aid of anyone you might know who is in the photo, see if they might have a clear memory of what year it was.
     
  5. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here are some ideas.

    <No.17A>036 12+00 NNNNN+21AU 0108

    <No.17A> As Randall meant, they are negative locators for that particular roll.
    036 More than likely the size of the roll (ie. 24 or 36 exposure roll).
    12+00 NNNNN+21AU Probably some sort of notation applicable to the lab at which they were processed.
    0108 Perhaps a date of process. Not necessarily of exposure.

    Just some ideas.
     
  6. ROADSTIR

    ROADSTIR TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help, everyone. Through the process of elimination and your clues, I've been able to organize all but a dozen or so. Oddly, the "photomat" sort of places in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's put dates on most of the pictures. From the early 90's on, only about 1/4 did so. How much energy or ink would it have taken to put the date on the back alongside all the other data they print on there.

    Cheers!

    Roadstir
     
  7. phocus78

    phocus78 TPF Noob!

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    yeh dates would have made it much easier hey? :)
     

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