4 negs per cut strip (possibly because most rolls have 12, 24 or 36 exposures) with the lowest common denominator as being... uhm, 4? ...
That shows a lack of knowledge of the history of 35mm and the discussion of labs. <snip>
That shows a lack of knowledge of the history of 35mm and the discussion of labs. The four frame strip convention dates from way before the adoption of the more modern 12/24/36x roll length pattern. For a long time, the pattern was 20 & 36 exposure lengths, no 12 or 24. This dominated the post-WWII through mid-'70s period.
The original Kodachrome, a slide film so not directly part of this discussion, came in shorter lengths (8 exposure ?) at first because of its expense and only later in longer rolls. It was never returned as cut strips. It was originally returned as an uncut roll and later as mounted slides. In later years, boxes of mounted slides, Kodachrome or Ektachrome, would contain a few unmounted images when those images were misspaced preventing automated mounting. When this occured, the film was either left uncut or, if the unmountable images could be cut shorter, they would be cut to 2 frame strips to fit the box. The strip length was chosen to fit the existing package just as the four frame negative strip was chosen to fit the existing package.
Cost is the overwhelming issue. Every roll has 10 inches of waste film. With 36 exposures you get 16% waste. With 24 exposures you get 22% waste. 12 exposures, 36% waste.Why do they make predominantly rolls of 36 nowadays? You can get plenty of multi-purpose film with 24 frames per roll, but most professional films run 36. Why? Why don't they still make the 24- and 12-exposure canisters?
My first guess is to reduce the cost.... but I'm not sure.
On some occasions I wish I had a couple of 12-exp. rolls of various speed, so I don't have to waste the remaining frames or rewind mid-roll in case lighting conditions change. ???