This week I found my best find yet for Found-Film – a set of medium format, colour slides in very good condition, which were taken sometime between 1958 and 1962.

I found them on eBay with a ‘buy it now’ price of £15 for a quantity of 110 slides, which is a fantastic bargain. The reason it was such a good price is that the seller had mistakenly listed them as 35mm  rather than medium format slides. Now, to be fair, I didn’t just spot they were a bargain and bought them for that reason – I saw from the picture the seller had posted that they looked the wrong shape to be 35mm, and I assumed they were probably ‘super slides’.

Super slides are 127 format film fitted into a standard 35mm, 2-inch square slide mount which gives a bigger film area for a slide which still fits a standard slide projector. It was only when the box turned up that I realised that they are all 120 format, colour slides. The majority of them are 6x6cm and a few are 6×4.5cm which suggests they were probably taken on two different cameras.

Portrait of a man - about 1960

Portrait of a man – about 1960

Medium format Picture Quality

When I started to look at the pictures I was really impressed with the quality of the images. I think it’s generally thought in this age of digital photography that only digital cameras can produce good pictures – well these medium format images certainly dispel that theory. Some of the pictures are breathtakingly good quality like, for example, the picture show to the left here. This shows a man in a cafe who is having a portrait photograph taken by his companion and the clarity and colour is spectacularly good.

To emphasise how good medium format film can be, one of the pictures I found shows a war memorial in the centre of Milan, although when I first saw it I couldn’t easily find the location.  That picture is shown below and over to the right of the picture is a man reading a newspaper. As an experiment, I tried scanning the man reading the newspaper to see if I could make out what it said. I didn’t really expect it to work but I was amazed to see how close to a readable paper I was able to get – if I had a good quality scanner, I wonder if I could produce a scan that would actually enable me to read the headlines?

Other Pictures

This is a selection of the first of the pictures I’ve scanned from this collection – more will follow so if you are interested I would suggest either following found-film on twitter, where new images are shared, or regularly visit the site to see the latest images.

One thought on “Medium format, glass mounted slides around Europe

  1. Mike PENRITH says:

    To demonstrate the lack of grain with 6×6 slides, when projected to 6ft square on a screen, they vastly outshone 6ft square digital slides. Guessing, but probably a 6×6 colour slide equates to a 60 magapixel camera image ?
    mike

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