Super Slide Me!

One of the finds in my treasure trove of boxes was a set of super slides! You may have never heard of them: they are 2″x2″ slides made on size 127 film. In this case the film was Ektachrome, the camera was a Yashica 44 (a wonderful little TLR), the place was Letchworth State Park, NY, and the year was 1975 (one of the rare instances where I have the pertinent information).

I did not have any proper way of scanning these because although the slides fit in a standard 2×2 holder the image size is too large for the scanner or indeed a slide copier. So I literally hand held them in front of a window with the sun glaring off the snow, used the Nikon P610 with slight telephoto and close-up settings, and gave it a shot. There are some odd spots on some of them because of this less-than-ideal copying method. Ignore the ‘sky shadows’; they can be removed with more effort. First, let’s look at side-by-side examples so you can see how different the format is.

Super slide vs. regular 35mm slide

Imagine slipping one of those into your slide show, eh? Or maybe you don’t know about slide shows. *sigh* Can you quote the mantra “upside down, shiny side towards the light”?

So let’s have another look at Letchworth!

Upper Falls
This one is my favourite of the lot
Train trestle and upper falls
The Glenn Iris Inn
Field of view
The Big Bend
Genesee River
The Middle Falls
Rainbow arc
Another rainbow

You get twelve pictures on a roll, but there were a couple that weren’t worth the effort. One of them I couldn’t figure out why I took it at all! BTW I didn’t do much processing to these: cropped the square picture out of the middle as best I could, did a slight colour correction on some, and shrunk them down to ‘Internet size’. This film has stood up better than the Kodachrome, although it starts out a bit bluer in the first place.

One fault with super slides is their greater tendency to buckle compared to standard 35mm slides. More film and less cardboard combined with the heat of old projector lamps and … sometimes they’d bend and jam while in the machine. Too bad you can’t get the 127 film anymore, because if you have something like a Yashica 44 (or Sawyers/Nomad equivalent) you can take some pretty amazing pictures. Incidentally, Exacta also made some professional SLR cameras that took 127: the VP (127 was known as Vest Pocket film size) Exakta ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘Night’ models.

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