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PHOTO BUFFS MAY SNAP UP KODAK FILING SYSTEM

If you're like most of us, negatives pile up at a great rate if you shoot a lot of pictures.

No matter how good your intentions, they are not filed as they should be. And there are times when it is hard to know just which one of several similar shots you want to print again.But the Kodak people have come up with something new that will solve the problem with no real effort on your part and at minimal expense. It's called Kodak PhotoFile Index System.

All you have to do is take your film to your local photo processor as always and ask for the PhotoFile system.

When you get your prints back, they will come in a neat 4-by-6-inch file folder. The outside carries a small, but quite clear, image of each negative, with the appropriate number of the shot. All you have to do is check the pictures, pick out the proper numbers and order any reprints you want.

The print also gives you the type of Kodak film used to shoot the pictures. The negatives themselves are contained in plastic sleeves displaying them in proper order.

Basically, what you are getting is a proof sheet, much as professional photographers often order for their work.

As always, there are a few problems.

For one thing, not every photo finisher will be able to provide the service.

The file prints are produced by what Kodak calls a hybrid-digital system, based on Kodak's photo CD system. That's the process that transfers your shots to CD disks that you can show on your television set with the proper equipment.

The average one-hour lab cannot afford the computer equipment needed to turn out the file prints. But it's not a big problem unless you are in a panic to get your prints back. The local dealers can send the film off to a regional lab that can supply the prints.

Kodak says it started offering the system this spring nationwide, but declines to estimate how many locations will offer it to consumers.

Each retailer will set his own price, but it's expected to range from $1.29 to $1.99 per roll, which seems like a small price to pay to end a lot of confusion.

For information on retailers offering the PhotoFile system, call 1-800-242-2424.

- IT'S NOT OFTEN that Fuji and Kodak issue a joint press release - the competition is just too intense. But they're cooperating in a recycling program.

Dealers handle thousands of handy one-time-use cameras in their processing, and they want to send the plastic innards back for reuse in a new camera or ground up for new plastic.

Kodak and Fuji are cooperating in a program that will aim the Fuji parts to Fuji and Kodak parts to Kodak. The net result will be more camera parts recycled to the retail market.