I am trying to sort out thousands of digitised slides. The problem is that I now find that because many of the slide films were not numbered when they were mounted, either by myself or commercialy, many slides are out of order in the boxes or even mixed up between boxes. I have opened up many of the unlabled slide mounts and coppied the frame number onto the mount. Now all I have to do is reorder the digitized slides into the correct order.
If I can label each digitized slide with its corresponding film frame number then it will be easy to sort into the correct order and then change the capture timestamps to match the order.
Problem is I can't find a standard field to capture the frame number or film roll name. Is there one or do I have to make one up?
For reference, I digitized the slides using a Nikon Z7, Micro Nikkor 60mm macro lens connected to the Z7 with the FTZ adapter and a Z mount 11mm extension tube, and the Nikon ES-2 Film Digitising adapter. I mostly used direct sunlight and previewed the slides on an external monitor to ensure correct alignment and cropping.
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To be a bit more explicit, I am looking for a field that I can display in either the Compact or Expanded styles in Grid View and sort on it.
Go to View --> View Options and click on any of the drop downs in the Compact or Extended Cells Extras sections. That will give you a list of fields LrC will display in those cells. There's no "film frame number", so you'd need to repurpose something else that's listed there if you want that data to be visible in the cells.
I did something similar using Caption for the slide group/container and Title for the frame number that was printed on the slide. You still can't sort by those, but it allowed a lot of other things to be done that helped with the organization. For example, I was then able to use those fields in my file naming template, so now sorting by file name effectively gives me the original slide order, but I can still set capture dates independently and use keywords and collections to organize in other ways. It's not the most elegant, but it's worked well for me.
Another thing worth looking at is John Ellis' Any Filter plug in - https://johnrellis.com/lightroom/anyfilter.htm. That can be a big help when you're using metadata that's outside of what LrC is providing access to natively.
Thanks for responding. I have already re-purposed Title for the film name but have used the Caption for a note on what/where/who the slide is. Looking again at the fields you can sort on, I see there is one called Label Text. I don't think I've used that anywhere so can re-purpose it for the frame number 🙂
I wouldn't use Label as I'm pretty sure that's where LrC stores its color label info. Might also want to consider using keywords for the what/where/who. Lots of ways to slice & dice when you use keywords.
Yes, Label is where LrC stores its colour labels, I've just experimented and proved that. But for the duration of this slide sorting exercise, I don't need to use the colour labels.
I do use keywords for some things. But when you want to add info about exactly which bridge in which himalayan mountain valley, then keywords don't do the job as ypu would end up with rather a lot of complex keywords. I find the Caption field is good for that.
So thank you for helping me find a fix that will work for this particular, short term problem 🙂
"But when you want to add info about exactly which bridge in which himalayan mountain valley, then keywords don't do the job as ypu would end up with rather a lot of complex keywords."
Not necessarily. Just depends on your organization and what your end goal is. For me, keywords provide more structure than free form typing in the caption field would. That way I don't get "Bridge", "Bridges", "Brigde" and "Brige"...and even if I do, it's trivial to correct with keywords.
To each their own though. If you've got something that works for you, go with it!
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There isn't really a standard for this, and not a specific field in LR. Maybe the nearest in Instructions (see here), though that's not very helpful as it's only shown in LR's right panel. But it's as you thought, you make it up.
Thanks for confirming that there isn't a standard field. I'm always supprised at how often something I think should be easy turns out to be really hard. But then I suppose there are so many different people using Lightroom in so many different ways that there are always going to be gaps! 😞
I think it's worth saying that if one reaches back into its origins, Lightroom was a product aimed at a purely-digital workflow. The oddity is perhaps that the IPTC doesn't seem to have allowed for film rolls and frame numbers, though the somewhat obscure Supplier Image ID (in the IPTC Extension) can do the job.
Note that Label Text records the color label. So if you set the label to green, LR records it by storing "Green" in that text field (depending on your choice in Color Label Text). I wouldn't use it for something like this.
Ok, warning understood. As this is a temporary measure towards getting the slide collection in order, I think I can use it.
Once I've sorted the slides into a believable chronological order then I'm going to ditch the phyical slides. So the frame number becomes redundant!
You might want to investigate the Exiftool command line utility or various graphical front ends for it, or look at my Capture Time to EXIF plugin (which is an in-Lightroom front end for Exiftool). You could then change the capture times in the underlying files and LR would then be able to sort normally.
I'd be cautious about dumping those slides. What if next year you are better at scanning?
Not sure it helps but I scan my slides on an Epson V500. It increments a number in relation to the position in the slide holder. I use that to manually label the slide. I use a unique manual number for each slide set I scan. The slide set number and slide number are part of the file name rather than in the metadata.
I'm not sure about your concept of "If I can label each digitized slide with its corresponding film frame number then it will be easy to sort into the correct order and then change the capture timestamps to match the order". Are you saying you will create an artifical capture time for each? I adbandoned using capture timestamps as part of the file name for scans. I was lucky to know the month a roll was from. I try to 'guess' at the original date and insert a dummy date/time in the metadata.
If a film has been commercially mounted then often the mounts have a slide number and month+year stamp on them. But sometimes commercial ones don't have the slide number or date. Ones I mounted myself do not have the info - for some reason we didn't think it was necessary 40 years ago!
The problem I'm facing is that I digitized my slides in what I thought was the correct order for each roll. But now checking through I find that many of those without numbers have become shuffled, sometimes even between film rolls. So they are out of order and the 'story' doesn't make sense.
The solution is to open the mounts and find the frame numbers on the film itself. When I find duplicate frame numbers then I know that slides have migrated into the wrong box.
The sort of things I can do to work out where mis-sorts should go is to look at the flim makers name and type on the top of the slides. This repeats in a regular pattern so you can tell when a slide is in the right roll. As many of ours were hand cut with scisors the cut lines are not perfectly straight. I can use that to match slides as well.
Once I have the correct order for the slides then I need to get the digitzed copies back into order. Which is where adding a frame number can help. And I am adding roughly correct timestamps so that the slides show in chronological order when viewed in Lightroom or as exports to my NAS.
I tried various scanners but they were all painfully slow. Using the Nikon Z7 setup, I can digitze about 2 to 3 slides per minute.
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Ok, here is an update on what I have finally settled on doing.
I am adding the slide film frame number to both the Label and ‘Supplier Image ID’ fields. Using Label means it’s very easy to sort the images while I’m cataloguing the images and adjusting the Capture time. The ‘Supplier Image ID’ field gives me a long-term record of the frame number e.g. 12/12A
Setting the Capture time to something near to when the picture was taken means that apps like QPhoto on my QNAP NAS can sort a whole year’s worth of images into a believable chronological order.
I’m setting the file name to the film name and slide number e.g. “Slide Film 80.01 Slide08.NEF”. That let me easily reference back to the original slide. I’ve used ‘Slide Film’ instead of ‘SF’ as I’m sure I will forget what the abbreviations stands for in a few year’s time!
To help with all this I have acquired AnyFilter, CaptureTimeToExif and ExifTools, as recommended in the thread.
Thank you all for your help and suggestions.