What does the code on the back of this photo mean?

I have a print of a photo here, and I was wondering if the code printed on the back can tell you anything about when it was printed. It reads:

E ) 78 666 9132 N N N N -24 2

It sort of looks like it was cut off before the “E”. Anyway, does this code mean anything?

666? It’s evil!!!

Sorry. Looking at it, the “9132” looks a lot like the sort of date code format used on, among other things, integrated circuit packages. In this case, it would mean it was done the 32nd week of 1991. Does that sound reasonable? The -24 2 probably means it was a 24-exposure roll, and this was the second exposure.

Yeah, actually it is vaguely evil… heh heh

If I had to guess I would say the photo might have been taken in the mid-'90s and 1991 is a bit earlier than I would have expected. Of course, I have no idea for sure and that could very well be the correct date.

In my experience, 9132 (as a Julian code) would correspond to 12 May, 1999. The 132[sup]nd[/sup] day of 1999. The way it’s worked out does seem to vary from company to company though. The shot could still have been taken mid-90s and just not developed for ages.

My guess is it is mostly meaningless. The -24 2 probably refers to shot 2 of a 24 exposure roll. The four Ns are for stuff like double prints, mattfinish, replacement film. The rest of the numbers just match the slip they give you when they chuck the film into a numbered envelope. They don’t expect to have the prints laying around so long that they need Julian dates to locate your film.

Mind you I’m sure someone has worked in photo processing so we can find out who is right.

Some of it may refer to the parameters used by the printing process, so that a matching reprint can be produced.

I used to work in a color lab years ago.the "N"s are instructions to the photofinisher on how to reproduce the print. For example:

N, +2, N, -3

May mean:
Normal expourse, plus 2 magenta, normal cyan, minus 3 yellow.

These are deviations from a standard 18% gray that the computer in the printer comes up with. The “N N N N” in your print just means that it was printed straight with no adjustment in exposure factor or color. If it is too red, you could take it back and the person printing could look at the back and know wkat adjustments to make.

Ah, this brings back memories…maybe I should start an “Ask the Photofinisher” thread. You’d be suprised at the types of photos people would bring in to be processed… :wink: :eek: :rolleyes: :o

was wondering if you can help my partners mother was given some old photos but she want to find out more and all she has given me is a number on the back of the photo will this number tell where and when
the number is 16a0194130112nn1n26(027)
hope you can help cheers

Since no one else has responded: Sorry, but those codes on the back are not likely to tell you anything other than the other responses in this thread (like what photo number in the batch, and adjustments on color and exposure).


When color correcting we would write on the back of the print something like Y+5 C-10. There also a code for the overall exposure but I can’t remember what it was. May have be 'B".

Just a heads-up: this is a 7 year old thread.