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CAT numbers -- kodak film


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#1 bragis chut

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 04:16 PM

I know some of the numbers relate to the age of the film... and the first four numbers reveal the film stock, but beyond that I don't know what the numbers or codes on the label mean. Is there a way to tell from the CAT number how old film is? A friend of mine has some kodak film he wants to give me, and I was wondering how old it was from the numbers. Any help is much appreciated.

Thanks,

--Bragi
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 04:44 PM

If you go to kodaks website they have an online tool that shows you how to read their numbers. I don't think that they do list age however. The website says that their film is 'to be used shortly after purchase' so they don't list age (I think. Check the website, it will say for sure)
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#3 bragis chut

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 05:14 PM

If you go to kodaks website they have an online tool that shows you how to read their numbers. I don't think that they do list age however. The website says that their film is 'to be used shortly after purchase' so they don't list age (I think. Check the website, it will say for sure)


Thanks for the tip. The site is useful to a point, but the example they use is a 35mm label. Do you happen to know how to tell from the label whether the film is single perf or double? It's 16mm.

Thanks.
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#4 David Venhaus

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 05:19 PM

As far as I know there is no way to tell the age by the CAT number. It is just the number in the catalog for a specific film. There isn't really any easy way to find out how old film is until it is developed. There are date edge code symbols on most film that you can figure out what year it was made.

Edited by David A Venhaus, 04 October 2006 - 05:20 PM.

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#5 bragis chut

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 05:26 PM

As far as I know there is no way to tell the age by the CAT number. It is just the number in the catalog for a specific film. There isn't really any easy way to find out how old film is until it is developed. There are date edge code symbols on most film that you can figure out what year it was made.


The first three numbers after the stock type have something to do with the age. Last time I sold some shortends to Dr. Rawstock, they asked me what those numbers were and when I told them the reaction was, "yeah, that's pretty recent stuff, we'll buy it."

Alas, I have no point of comparison.

--Bragi
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#6 Luke Prendergast

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 06:14 PM

to tell from the label whether the film is single perf or double?


1R - single perf, 2R - double perf.
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#7 bragis chut

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 06:50 PM

1R - single perf, 2R - double perf.

Ah! That's hugely helpful, thanks.
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:00 PM

I'm sure people who deal in large quantities of short ends can tell aprox. how old stock is. The label, though not showing date, does show batch number, which if a stock house can referance that and find the average purchase date of film with the same batch number, that gives them an idea. I was told my short ends that I bought 2 months ago was less than 6 months old. (meaning almost a year before proc. and develop.) I hope that doesn't affect it too much, but we post to HD, so little errors in fog/contrast I can correct easily.

I wish kodak would print the born on date on the can, but I suppose that may complicate business if someone demands perfectly fresh stock.
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#9 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:52 PM

The first three numbers after the stock type have something to do with the age. Last time I sold some shortends to Dr. Rawstock, they asked me what those numbers were and when I told them the reaction was, "yeah, that's pretty recent stuff, we'll buy it."

I Think they just go up in sequence with each batch made of that type of Film. So 5302 765 is later than 5302 764. Kodak can no doubt trace this back to the actual date of manufacture on their internal files.. Part of the number also tells which master roll the film came from (6000 ft 50 inch wide rolls that come off the coating alley)

I have gottten ends from more than one source with teh same second group of numbers so I suspect that a given batch is probaly on sale for a month or three. The Short end dealer would know from the number to the rest of the stock they were buying wether it was simalar to ones they were getting from other shoots.

The Year of manufacture is in the Codes on the edge print, so if you have the lab do a fog test for you, and ask them to use two feet you can probaly read the date from the Keycode, or they can tell you if you ask when you drop the film off for the test.

The CAT number is for ONE cut of ONE type of film, and is aggined more or less at random (my make some sense to folks who work in rochester but The numbers don't seem in any order looking at the catalog listing. But say a 100 Ft roll of Single perf, 7205 would be the same CAT from the first roll released (in a given Market) to the last. (same film can have different CAT numbers in different countries, probaly due to slight differences in Packaging.
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#10 Dominic Case

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:56 PM

On the can label, the 3 digits after the emulsion type refer to the batch number, and then the last 5 digits are the roll numbers. So 5218-123-10101 would be batch 123.

The batch is the actual vat of emulsion that Kodak mixes up and coats on the film base. I believe the numbers are incremental - so a higher batch number would be a newer emulsion than a lower number. But you'd need known examples as points of reference to get a real idea.

On the processed film, there are Keykode numbers which include identification of the stock type - but there are also other numbers and letter codes that identify a load of stuff such as perforator number etc. Among them is a two letter code that tells you the year of manufacture. The secret of the code is on Kodak's website at this address
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#11 Jon Kukla

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 03:31 PM

If you're actually asking about the CAT number - ie the one towards the lower right which reads something like "CAT 847 4439" or the like, then that's a catalog specification number that matches the particular type of film in detail to its catalog entry. Even if the stock is the same, if it has a different pitch, length, perforation, etc., then it should have a different CAT number, IIRC.

But if you're asking about the emulsion number, then let's take one for example: 7218 134 022.02 76.1

7218 - the leading 7 means that it's 16mm gauge. 65mm and 35mm films will start with a 5 instead. The last two digits designate the particular emulsion type (in this case 18 is Vision2 500T).

134 - This is the emulsion batch number. Each time Kodak needs to prepare the emulsion mix again, it gets a new batch number. Depending on the particular emulsion type and other factors, a batch can make between 5 and 50 parent rolls.

022 - This is the parent roll number. A parent roll is about 4000 feet long and 54 inches wide.

02 - This is the cut number. It defines the number of cuts made lengthwise along the parent roll. A 4000 foot roll is used because the cuts will divide equally whether the parent roll is to be cut into 100, 400, or 1000 foot cuts.

76.1 - This is the slit number. It defines the slits made width-wise along the parent roll. For 35mm, these will range from 1-38; for 16mm, from 1-78.
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#12 Clive Tobin

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 08:18 PM

...76.1 - This is the slit number. It defines the slits made width-wise along the parent roll. For 35mm, these will range from 1-38; for 16mm, from 1-78.


Any idea why this would be written 76.1 instead of just 76 ?
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