Semi OT: When Did Film Developers Stop Date-Stamping Prints?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Bubba, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. Bubba

    Bubba Guest

    Does anyone know when routinely printing a date on film snapshots
    began to be fazed out? I recall taking film to be developed in the
    late 80's with no date stamping on the photographs. If you take film
    to be developed these days, do you have to ask or can you pay extra
    for having the prints date-stamped? Thanks.
    Bubba, Dec 8, 2011
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  2. Bubba

    Alan Browne Guest

    If you mean on the back of the print, that is pretty automatic - ask the
    place where you get it processed.

    If you mean on the front of the print, that was usually done by the
    camera onto the negative. I suppose the processor could date the front
    as well on request, if so equipped, but I never ran into such service.
    Alan Browne, Dec 8, 2011
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  3. My most recent snapshot prints from film, from around 2003, have the
    dates stamped on them, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 8, 2011
  4. Bubba

    George Kerby Guest

    No. Back in the 70's and before. Kodak, Fox and several others printed the
    date on the white borders on 3R prints. This was before borderless 4R glossy
    and matte prints were offered as they are these days. Bordered prints have
    really never made a comeback.
    George Kerby, Dec 8, 2011
  5. Bubba

    tony cooper Guest

    It depended on who did the processing. Some processors routinely
    dated the photo on the front of the photo in the border as shown in
    these two examples from 1962 and 1966.

    Dating on the back is *far* from routine. Again, it depended on who
    did the processing. I have hundreds of family photo prints that are
    undated on the front or the back. Whether or not they are dated isn't
    based on the year. I have date-marked photos from the late 1990s and
    unmarked photos from the same period, but from a different processor.

    In scanning the family photos and keywording them by date in
    Lightroom, dating is the biggest problem. The general age can be
    determined, but whether it's 198x or 198y is often difficult. I have
    to be a detective about clothes, settings, hairstyles, etc.
    tony cooper, Dec 8, 2011
  6. Ah, yes, those. I remember them mostly being just month and day, in the
    bottom borders of B&W prints. I've got some in the albums still.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 8, 2011
  7. Bubba

    tony cooper Guest

    Border or no border is now a choice made at the time the prints are
    ordered or at the time they are printed if printed at home. I still
    specify with-border in both instances. The border on the 4x6s I have
    handy are just under 1/8", but were twice that on old prints.
    tony cooper, Dec 8, 2011
  8. Bubba

    Bubba Guest

    Thanks to all, but Mr. Kerby's response was most germane. If he reads
    this follow-up (or if anyone else knows): was there an industry-wide
    faze-out of the practice--say, with the faze-out of the zig-zag edge?
    On the other hand, I don't recall ever seeing color prints with zig-
    zag edges, at least not bound in those small four by four inch photo

    Anyway, thanks again to all.
    Bubba, Dec 9, 2011
  9. Bubba

    Alan Browne Guest

    I doubt I have a print from about 1990 to present that does not have the
    processing date on the back.
    Alan Browne, Dec 15, 2011
  10. Bubba

    tony cooper Guest

    tony cooper, Dec 16, 2011
  11. Bubba

    tony cooper Guest

    That's you, not what others might experience. I have many prints with
    the date on the back, but more without the date. If I would have used
    the same place for processing over the years, they would all be one
    way or the other.
    tony cooper, Dec 16, 2011
  12. Bubba

    Martin Brown Guest

    That is a bit surprising. All the modern print services I have used tend
    to only put my account number, jobcode, name and filename of the image
    on the back. There hasn't been a date on them for donkey's years.

    I would guess since they changed to the Fuji crystal print kit.

    This is for 6x4 and 5x7.

    Larger prints tend to have nothing at all on the reverse side.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Dec 16, 2011
  13. Everything I got from Proex and Wolf Camera and Ritz and Target and
    Wal*Mart and a local pro lab in the last couple of decades in those
    sizes had a code including the dates on the back. I do my filing of
    film photos that I sent through labs based on those codes.
    Much more variable, yes.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 16, 2011
  14. Bubba

    tony cooper Guest

    If you can de-code this and determine the date shot, I'd be grateful.
    This is the type of info on the back of most of prints I've scanned
    and want to date.

    I was using Eckerd's Drugs (no longer in business) for developing
    family snaps in the pre-digital era. Eckerd's didn't do the
    processing, but used some commercial processing vendor. Dunno who.
    tony cooper, Dec 16, 2011
  15. Yeah, not obvious.

    It's interesting, that last code group, "N N N N 2", is very much like
    things that appear on most of mine (which have nothing to do with the
    date), but the rest of it is not at all like.
    David Dyer-Bennet, Dec 16, 2011
  16. Bubba

    Allen Guest

    Ditto in Austin. I recently found a box full of full of family negatives
    hundreds, perhaps thousands of them. How I wished for dates on them! I
    was able to pin one down to 1914 because there was a reference to the
    tenth birthday of a person who was born in 1914 but beyond a few like
    that I was stuck with estimating ages. Yes, these were negs but in the
    case of photos there is no such thing as TMI.
    Allen, Dec 17, 2011
  17. Bubba

    Eric Stevens Guest

    I have many prints with numbers printed on the back. But these aren't
    dates but the color filter settings used for the print.


    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Dec 21, 2011
  18. Bubba

    John Turco Guest

    By the way: The word you wanted, is "phase" (not "faze").
    You're most welcomed.
    John Turco, Dec 22, 2011
  19. Bubba

    John Turco Guest

    I obtained a set of 110 borderless color prints (4" x 6" glossy), at
    a local "Target" store, in early October of 1984. "OCT 84" (in white,
    and at an angle) is shown on the bottom-left corner of each picture's
    front side. (They were actually shot in late September '84, though.)

    Those were from the first film cartridge I'd used, with that specific
    point & shoot camera (Keystone "Everflash" 110; around $15.00 USD).
    A recent glance at them revealed their lousy, grainy and blurry image
    quality. Still, at the time, they looked pretty good to this budding

    Most any P&S digicam would certainly blow away my humble Everflash
    and its ilk. I'm a bit shocked when making such comparisons, as it
    seems the efficacy of today's cheaper photo gear is always taken
    for granted.

    [Note: My subsequent prints lacked dates, regardless of format or
    John Turco, Dec 22, 2011
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