War time neg. Back to front numbering?
Old 03-28-2015   #1
Johnmcd
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War time neg. Back to front numbering?

I am currently printing some old negatives from the 1940's. In fact they were taken by an Australian soldier before / after being a POW in Changi, Singapore.

I think the film is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/828_film as it is about 35mm size but has the single spaced hole like 126.

As they have historical significance it is important that I get the orientation correct. None of the negs (so far) have any writing on them in order to check but when I print a neg that has been placed in the enlarger shiny side up and upside down, the numbering on the neg is backwards on the print.

Is it possible that the old numbering was the opposite to what it is now or that the shiny side is actually the emulsion side with this film?

Confused. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers - John



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Old 03-28-2015   #2
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Just noticed some Chinese (Japanese?) writing in this image. Does anyone know if that is reversed?
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Old 03-28-2015   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnmcd View Post
Just noticed some Chinese (Japanese?) writing in this image. Does anyone know if that is reversed?

I can read the first two characters it says "City Capital "

also did you find these negs or are you related to that soldier ? i think its cool if people find negs and develop them and show the world
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Old 03-28-2015   #4
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The characters here would look pretty much the same reversed as they do normally. The first two look like 南京 (Nanjing), the third is possibly 火 (fire), but I can't make out the next one. Taking a wild guess, I'd say the sign says Nanjing Fire Station.
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Old 03-28-2015   #5
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I can't help you but I am fascinated. Please post more.
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Old 03-28-2015   #6
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the film is 828 Kodak bantam film. It was in fact 35mm film with the single perf. It had a paper backing and loaded like roll film.
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Old 03-28-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
The characters here would look pretty much the same reversed as they do normally. The first two look like 南京 (Nanjing), the third is possibly 火 (fire), but I can't make out the next one. Taking a wild guess, I'd say the sign says Nanjing Fire Station.
Darn i thought the first symbol was 市 lol. the third could be fire but it looks to close together but of course some Chinese symbols will look different to Japanese
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Old 03-28-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwright View Post
the film is 828 Kodak bantam film. It was in fact 35mm film with the single perf. It had a paper backing and loaded like roll film.
Thanks, that's what I thought. Do you know if the numbering was reversed to modern films?

John
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Old 03-28-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRaZiGLiTcH View Post
Darn i thought the first symbol was 市 lol. the third could be fire but it looks to close together but of course some Chinese symbols will look different to Japanese
I don't think it would be Nanjing as that is in China. It should be in Singapore.

Maybe 'city capital' is a chance.

Cheers - John
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Old 03-28-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
The characters here would look pretty much the same reversed as they do normally. The first two look like 南京 (Nanjing), the third is possibly 火 (fire), but I can't make out the next one. Taking a wild guess, I'd say the sign says Nanjing Fire Station.
I was hoping that they would look different reversed

Thanks - Jon
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Old 03-28-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRaZiGLiTcH View Post
I can read the first two characters it says "City Capital "

also did you find these negs or are you related to that soldier ? i think its cool if people find negs and develop them and show the world
I was asked by a person who knew somebody in the local camera club where I am the only 'film' guy. So I am printing them up for an ANZAC day exhibition in the local hall.

The negs are in terrible condition and were kept tightly rolled in a 120 film canister so I need to use the glass carriage to keep them flat. They are also badly focused and exposed for the most part. I am using 4.5 grade as they are very low contrast (overexposed or fogged badly?).

It is interesting to note that my Scan Multipro scanner can't get anywhere near the detail that I can get by printing them and then rescanning the print. It's like it can't penetrate the foggy neg.

I'll see if it is ok from the relative to post more.

Cheers - John
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Old 03-28-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnmcd View Post
I don't think it would be Nanjing as that is in China. It should be in Singapore. Maybe 'city capital' is a chance. Cheers - John
Yeah that baffles me a bit too, but the characters certainly look like 南京 (south capital) which is how Nanjing is written. Hopefully a Singapore local will chime in and help solve the mystery for us.
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Old 03-28-2015   #13
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could be Jahore Bahru,Malacca, in fact could well be any number of Malaysian towns as well.Perhaps a few more images would make it easier to identify.
There is also an unusual monument/statue at the end of the street
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Old 03-29-2015   #14
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Quote:
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could be Jahore Bahru,Malacca, in fact could well be any number of Malaysian towns as well.Perhaps a few more images would make it easier to identify.
There is also an unusual monument/statue at the end of the street
The rest of the shots show Singapore (Changi) but it's not impossible that they stopped enroute. I'll check with the owner who is matching the photos against a diary.

John
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Old 03-29-2015   #15
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I just tried reversing the characters, and while they can be read either way, to my somewhat trained eye the angle of the strokes in the characters look more natural in this image


than they do in this image.


So my money is on you having the correct orientation with the image you posted and the "6" is reversed for whatever reason, John.
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Old 03-29-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonmanjiro View Post
I just tried reversing the characters, and while they can be read either way, to my somewhat trained eye the angle of the strokes in the characters look more natural in this image


than they do in this image.


So my money is on you having the correct orientation with the image you posted and the "6" is reversed for whatever reason, John.
Hahah great detective work Jon! I'll print the next few and go with that

Cheers - John
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Old 03-29-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnmcd View Post
I was asked by a person who knew somebody in the local camera club where I am the only 'film' guy. So I am printing them up for an ANZAC day exhibition in the local hall.

The negs are in terrible condition and were kept tightly rolled in a 120 film canister so I need to use the glass carriage to keep them flat. They are also badly focused and exposed for the most part. I am using 4.5 grade as they are very low contrast (overexposed or fogged badly?).

It is interesting to note that my Scan Multipro scanner can't get anywhere near the detail that I can get by printing them and then rescanning the print. It's like it can't penetrate the foggy neg.

I'll see if it is ok from the relative to post more.

Cheers - John
That's so cool, hopefully all of them are still fine to get developed
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Old 03-29-2015   #18
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John the car is on the 'British' side of the road (if that helps)
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Old 03-29-2015   #19
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John the car is on the 'British' side of the road (if that helps)
Of course, another clue. Should have seen that, same side as we drive Great spot, Alistair.

Cheers - John
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Old 03-29-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnmcd View Post
...
I think the film is this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/828_film as it is about 35mm size but has the single spaced hole like 126.


...when I print a neg that has been placed in the enlarger shiny side up and upside down, the numbering on the neg is backwards on the print.
...
It's definitely 828 "Bantam" format.

I have encountered old films where the emulsion side is as shiny or more shiny than the base. One test that is only slightly destructive is to scratch the image from one side to see if you scratch off clear base material or darkened emulsion. In this case, like most, you could scratch one of the edge numbers or a bit of the fogged area at the very edge. Once you know which side the emulsion is on you can orient the negs so that the emulsion side it toward the lens.
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