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Confused after getting negative film back


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 02:45 AM

In February of this year, I was shooting on 16mm negative film for the very first time and I have just received the film back from the lab today. Though when i opened the film can, I was surprised to see that the film was tightly wound around a core. I was expecting the film to be returned on it's daylight loading spool as with reversal films. Is this normal for negative film to come back this way? And what is the core used for? For one thing, it seems inconvenient to view the film - I wanted to take a look at several frames to check the exposure and registration but I'm worried that if i remove the film from the can, it may unwind everywhere as there is nothing to 'hold it in place.'
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#2 Don Brown

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 02:53 AM

In February of this year, I was shooting on 16mm negative film for the very first time and I have just received the film back from the lab today. Though when i opened the film can, I was surprised to see that the film was tightly wound around a core. I was expecting the film to be returned on it's daylight loading spool as with reversal films. Is this normal for negative film to come back this way? And what is the core used for? For one thing, it seems inconvenient to view the film - I wanted to take a look at several frames to check the exposure and registration but I'm worried that if i remove the film from the can, it may unwind everywhere as there is nothing to 'hold it in place.'

A core is normal if you where projecting it you would use spit spools or on a flat bed editor the core fits straight on.


Regards

Don
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 04:03 AM

Hi Patrick,

Negative film always comes back from the lab on a core (usually a 3" core). This is because negative film is almost always either workprinted or telecined, then vaulted at the lab for storage and safekeeping, whereas reversal film is meant to be projected directly. Negative film also usually has leader added to it (unless you ask the lab to PROCESS ONLY) for the same reasons; reversal does not.

By the way, workprint also always comes back on a core (usually a 2" core for rolls 400' for less). You need to use one split reel and one take up reel to project it, or two split reels to run the film on a rewind bench. These split reels "hold the film in place" so it doesn't spill off of the core. If for some reason you wanted to project your negative (or put it on a rewind bench), the procedure would be the same -- get at least one split reel and put your film on it first. Then do as you would with workprint.

Just remember, negative film is much more delicate than reversal film, and can get damaged very easily (it's acetate and not polyester, after all). Think twice before handling any negative that is important to you, as putting it through a projector will almost certainly scratch it and ruin it. Obviously, registration tests and the like are excluded from this.

Hope this helps :)
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#4 Nick Mulder

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 04:03 AM

A core is pretty standard... If they are tight wound they can be handled ok, otherwise you'll need a split reel.

I always request that my 100' daylights are returned as I'm spooling my own from 400' loads - I'd soon run out if I didn't get them back (empty)
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