Snapshots in time: Oxford in 1981

The gallery below shows a set of medium format pictures of Oxford which I found in a collection of slides I bought last week. There were a total of about 700, medium format, Agfachrome slides which had been taken over a 7 or 8 year period from the mid 1970s to the early 1980s, and this set of Oxford is just a small part of the various interesting and well taken pictures I found.

I understand from the seller on ebay, that the pictures were taken on a Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera by a very enthusiastic photographer. Whoever they were, they certainly seem to have been prolific in their photography – the subject matter seems to be of many locations about the UK, particularly in many of the traditional walking areas in the Lake District and Scotland, and some in other parts of Europe.

Pictures of Oxford

I don’t know the city of Oxford at all, so I’ve not been able to name all the locations shown, but I’ve put names to the locations I could find in a google image search. I suspect many of the buildings shown are part of the University and I’m sure the river is the Isis.

These pictures are another example of how good the quality of medium format colour slides can be, especially when they are taken on a good quality camera. Although I don’t know for sure that a Rolleiflex was used, the pictures would suggest that if it wasn’t a Rollei, it must have been a good quality camera.

I’m also struck by how well the exposure has been judged. Colour slide film is notoriously difficult to get the exposure right on – it has a latitude (error range) of about 1/2 stop before it starts looking either dark with no shadow detail, or completely washed out. I don’t know if the camera used had a built in light meter, or if the photographer used a hand held meter, but the results they obtained were very accurate, and that applies to virtually all the other slides in the complete collection.

If you find these pictures interesting remember to visit again in a while because I’ll be adding posts featuring more sets from this collection.

Snapshots in time
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A software developer by profession, I've always been interested in photography and vintage photography in particular. This site is one of several I run which is dedicated to film, photography and photo equipment.

One thought on “Snapshots in time: Oxford in 1981

  1. The punt and water shots and pond are all in the Botanic Gardens next to the river. The man up in the tower is up on the the university Church tower looking down on the High Street. All Souls College from above is shot from the same tower but facing west. The University Church tower is the tower in the last shot behind Radcliffe Camera ( the Bodelian Library )

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