Why strips of four? Rant!

Actor

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Archival pages are designed to take 7 strips of 5 frames, or 6 strips of 6 frames. So why do labs inevitably cut the negative into strips of 4? I like to archive each roll on its own page. I'll even waste a couple of frames so I get 35 frames (7 x 5) instead or 36 or 37. If a roll of 36 gets cut into strips of 4 then I have to use two pages and a lot of space gets wasted.

They will even start off a roll with a strip of 2 then finish it up with another strip of 2. I've even had them include a strip of 2 from the middle of the roll.

I've given the labs special instructions like "cut in strips of 5" or "do not cut." In my experience these have a high probability of being ignored.:grumpy:
 

c.cloudwalker

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If you use pro labs, they'll pay attention to your instructions. If your photos are not worth the expense of a pro lab, are they worth storing in archival pages?
 

Josh66

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If you use pro labs, they'll pay attention to your instructions. If your photos are not worth the expense of a pro lab, are they worth storing in archival pages?

Even Wal-Mart will do what you want, if you ask them to.

If I don't want prints, I just tell them "Develop only and don't cut the film" and that's exactly what they do.

(They roll it back up and put it in an empty film container.)
 
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Josh66

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They will even start off a roll with a strip of 2 then finish it up with another strip of 2. I've even had them include a strip of 2 from the middle of the roll.

They are probably "doing you a favor" and cutting out the "bad" ones.

Did you count the frames? Strips of 2 frames seems kinda stupid, but if you have less than 36 (or 24, or whatever that roll is) I would ask them why there are missing frames.

If they say they were bad so they cut them out, make it clear to them that you will decide which ones are bad.
 

c.cloudwalker

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They are probably "doing you a favor" and cutting out the "bad" ones.

No lab will ever do that unless they are really stupid. Can you imagine the law suits :lol:

"Yes your honor, they cut out the best photo to sell it as their own." :lmao:
 

Josh66

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They are probably "doing you a favor" and cutting out the "bad" ones.

No lab will ever do that unless they are really stupid. Can you imagine the law suits :lol:

"Yes your honor, they cut out the best photo to sell it as their own." :lmao:

Yeah, but I bet it's happened before. How would you even be able to prove it was yours...?



The only other thing I can think of in Actor's case is maybe they couldn't tell where one frame stopped and the next one started.
I could see that happening on a roll of star trails and stuff like that, where the frame is mostly dark.
 

c.cloudwalker

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They are probably "doing you a favor" and cutting out the "bad" ones.

No lab will ever do that unless they are really stupid. Can you imagine the law suits :lol:

"Yes your honor, they cut out the best photo to sell it as their own." :lmao:

Yeah, but I bet it's happened before. How would you even be able to prove it was yours...?



The only other thing I can think of in Actor's case is maybe they couldn't tell where one frame stopped and the next one started.
I could see that happening on a roll of star trails and stuff like that, where the frame is mostly dark.


It has probably happened at some drugstore with a new tech who still knows nothing but it has never happened to me.

In the case of star trails (or whatever is hard to make out the specific frames) I think they would just not cut the film.
 

molested_cow

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Just cut it yourself man, seriously. When I send my negatives to the shop, I always tell them "No print, no CD and no cut!" I do the rest myself.

Get yourself a small paper cutter like this :

Dahle_guil_218_b.jpg


You can get them at craft stores. Just be careful about not leaving finger prints on your negatives. Other lessons are, COUNT the frames before you cut. You may also want to consider getting a light box to see the negatives. Otherwise, I use the monitor's screen as my light box.
 

CSR Studio

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What do you expect when you take your film to an amateur lab?

And I sure don't want them rolling my film up and putting it in a canister. Talk about scratches. Like cloudwalker said a pro lab will do what you want. Mine will even sleeve them into the archival sleeves if I provide the sleeve. I would never take my film to walmart. Too many bad things can happen. Mainly lack of maintenance on their machines. If the machines aren't maintained, how do you know replenishment rates are correct, the answer is you don't know. Personally my film means more to me than that!

FYI, the reason for strips of 4 is that is what their machine is made to do.

 
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aerialphoto

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Ouch - that brings back memories.

I was a service manager and ran photo labs way back when; all the minilabs I dealt with would hang the negs right out of the processor or sleeve them in customer provided sleeves. Walmart and other labs though? I generally cringe.
 

usayit

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My lab will put them into a long sleeves, loosely roll them up and use a thin rubber band.... I cut them at home. They do the same with medium format.
 

CSR Studio

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Dwig

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FYI, the reason for strips of 4 is that is what their machine is made to do.

And it is made to do that because the strips of 4 fit perfectly in the envelope with the prints. In the age of automation, everything is related :lol:

Exactly. That is why they call them minilabs.

The common "standard" photofinishing envelope size, roughly 5x7", has a long history. There is absolutely nothing to do with "minilabs" that has had any influence. The finishing envelopes used in the '30s were very much the same size as those common today. The 4-frame convention is what it is because that's what has fit the finishing bag since the birth of the standardized 135 cassette.

The common archival filing pages evolved many decades later from completely different roots. They evolved to mimic the cut pattern used by hand darkroom workers to fit a roll of film onto a standard 8x10 print for contact printing. There are several variations with 5, 6, and 7 frame strips to deal with the various compromises involved with fitting binders, holding a whole 36 exposure roll with the inevitable extra frame or two, and fitting the images on an 8x10 sheet of paper.
 

aerialphoto

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On a positive note, be glad they're sleeving and not just shoving them in with the paper strip on the bottom like the huge factory labs do.
 

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