I always thought the mag number was the 4 or 5 digit number from the original film can. For instance, if i was loading the first spool of kodak 5279 118 6601 on a shoot, i'd label it Mag#6601 CR#1 (single cam shoot). But then I saw a response here:
The mag # should be the number on the mag you are using. This is so if there is any question about a roll of film i.e. a scratch/light leak etc. you know what mag it came from. The full number of the emulsion/batch etc should also be written on each report and can label but in the correct spot. Both of these methods exist to trace the source of any problems that arise, either from the manufacture or from the mag.
There are lots of differing opinions as to the precise order and method of labelling mags, but the general consensus tends to be that it must include the following: the length of the stock loaded, what kind of roll it is (new, short end, or recan), stock code, emulsion number, mag serial number, and roll number. As far as how you choose to display the info, that depends on what you're working on, where, and who you're working with. So there is no definitive answer.
The magazine serial number is a unique identifier that is given by the manufacturer.
The mag number may be Mag 1, Mag 1 or Mag 3 or Mag A, B or C that is given to it by the owner, rental house, assistant etc... sometimes they may just use the actual serial number.
The emulsion, length, batch, strip etc.. numbers is a unique string of values that identify a given roll of film. These are given to the roll by Kodak or Fuji (or Orwo or Ilford) to describe that product or from where it came from within thier production process.
All of this information can be rendered in anyway you see fit in your reports or on tape on the magazine so that any problems can be quickly tracked to the film or the mag.
But, there s no definitve way of displaying that info. Some assistant just put the emulsion number and mag number while others write out the whole batch number and magazine serial number as well as the date it was opened etc...
The mag serial number is just that -- the MAG's. That means that if I get a report back from the lab that a roll has a scratch in it I can check which physical camera magazine housed that roll so that I can clean it or send back for replacement. The numbers you referred to are the batch and cut numbers. In these days of computer quality control these numbers are not as important as they used to be, but I still like to note them as well. Back in the pre-Vision stock days, a film stock's performance could vary wildly from batch to batch so it was very important to keep track of this info.
ah, so the mag number really has nothing to do with the film or the film can label at all -- it would seem best just to put the serial number Arri or Panavision has stamped on the mag itself...?
Hi Daniel, you are referring to my post. The question about the Mag number was answered above. Usually Mags are numbered (#1, #2, #3,...), if not the assistants stick on numbers. This numbering is a lot easier to use than the multi digit serial numbers the manufacturer stamped in.
Mitch is right ro keep on recording the batch and roll numbers. It's not about wild variation in colour, it's about the remote possibility of having to trace a fault. Just ever so occasionally there might be a question about manufacturing (perforating or slitting error, emulsion blemishes etc that have slipped through QC). Although the manufacturer can trace a lot through the film's edge markings, it's surprising how often it helps to have the actual numbers from the can written up on the camera sheets.
The mag number just needs to be enough to identify the mag - again, this is usually only ever needed when you have to trace a problem: if you can tie a seemingly random scratch to a consistent mag number, you have found something to go on.
Thanks for all your replies -- they were a great help. It seems that there is some leeway with mag#'s -- as long as you keep it consistant, and make it which which one is which, it doesnt matter how they are called.
Hey all, Thanks for all your replies -- they were a great help. It seems that there is some leeway with mag#'s -- as long as you keep it consistant, and make it which which one is which, it doesnt matter how they are called.
Exactlky. As long as each mag has the same number throughout the whole shoot (and never changes) you're covered. This is primarily to help diagnose problems with mag(s) should one arise.
On an every day basis, you want each mag to have it's own number, the footage, the emulsion number, the speed, and the light balance. The filmstock is usually taken care of by the color of the tape the label's made of, but not always.
Again, the complete Film Code-Emulsion-Roll-Part-Strip number really helps Kodak track any potential problem right to the equipment and people that made each strip of film. If there ever is a problem, returning unopened cans from the same batch aids in the investigation:
My general school of thought on mag numbers is that you specifically SHOULDN'T be using your own numbers, precisely because it's increasing the error for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes people just put a piece of tape on the mag with the number on it. This can lead to problems if the tape comes off, for example. Or if a problem needs to be traced after the kit has been returned. What good is it if you know that a scratch was occuring on mag 4 or mag C, but you've already taken the tape off when you returned the equipment? How do you tell the rental house which one it was.
The serial numbers on the mags are unique identifiers which will never be found on another mag of the same make. That's why they exist. The fact that they are longer strings of seemingly-random numbers oftentimes makes it easier to remember which one could be giving you a problem, or be noisy, I find. Mags 5155 and 3178 are much more distinct numbers than 1 and 2. You can go back to your sheets weeks or months later, and still be able to absolutely determine which mags were used (also very useful on shoots which have a lot of equipment going in and out regularly).
What good is it if you know that a scratch was occuring on mag 4 or mag C, but you've already taken the tape off when you returned the equipment? How do you tell the rental house which one it was.
What I do is I label each mag A, B, C and so on with camera tape. Then I also keep a written record which letter corresponds to which serial number, so that I will know that (for instance) mag A is/was 3594, mag B 1196 and so on long after the shoot if necessary.
(or is it, say the Arri magazine serial number on the back of the actual mag that always stays the same for everything put in that mag?)
Yes - the "Mag Number" is the magazine manufacturer's serial number (usually 3-6 digits) usually engraved into the magazine. This is the only way to absolutely and uniqely identify the actual magazine used for a particular roll of film. The film's emulsion number (10-15 digits), identifies the roll of film, necessary to track down a defective batch of film, found on the film can label, should also accompany EVERY roll of film, wherever it goes - onto the label for the magazine that roll is loaded into, on the Camera Report for that roll, onto the can for every Recan or Short End made from that roll, etc.