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.

DSCN2154
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!

DSCN2142
Upper Falls

DSCN2143
This one is my favourite of the lot

DSCN2144
Train trestle and upper falls

DSCN2147
The Glenn Iris Inn

DSCN2148
Field of view

DSCN2149
The Big Bend

DSCN2150
Genesee River

DSCN2151
The Middle Falls

DSCN2152
Rainbow arc

DSCN2153
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.

Letchworth State Park, NY

Some more from the archives. These prints date back to the 1970s, and I’m pretty sure they were a test roll for some camera judging by the questionable quality.

letchb

Letchworth is known as “The Grand Canyon of The East” and it deserves the title. There’s quite a few features to it, including a bat cave you’re not allowed near. Oh well you can at least enjoy the park, the Glenn Iris Inn, and the three waterfalls. There’s also a dam, but I’ve no pictures of that in this batch.

letch1
Circling Hawk

letch3
Trestle Bridge

The railroad bridge across the upper falls. This iron work structure replaced a wooden one which burned down over a century ago. I understand this one has been torn down as well, but I don’t know if it’s been replaced. I’ve stood on this bridge and taken pictures out across the Genesee river, even while a train passed. Beside it there was a set of decayed wooden steps that led all the way down to the towpath of the old Genesee Canal, which was abandoned almost as soon as it had been built.

letch5
Falls on the river

Pretty sure this is the Lower Falls. Possibly the Middle Falls which is behind the Inn. My memory isn’t what it was.

letch9
Wolf Creek

A splash of one of the many small rivulets that feed the river from the hills beside it.

letch8
View of the gorge

letchc
Another feeding stream

letcha
Flock of birds

The park was one of Dad’s and my favourite places for trying out cameras. Not only did it offer the familiarity of views for comparative purposes, but the scenery is fantastic all on its own. It would be a shame if these were the only remaining images of it from all that we’d shot there over the years.

 

Elysium Fields

Some more old prints I found. The pictures were taken in Perry, Upstate New York, and are at least 25 years old. Beyond that I don’t know the exact location, date, or what camera and film were used. They had suffered a bit from the passing years, so I cleaned up the worst of the damage after scanning. But not too much because I don’t want to lose the “old film look”.

field1
Certain this is “the old Mlyniec farm” on Myers Road

field2
Possibly on Page Road

field3
Unknown

field4
Unknown

field5
Probably on Page Road

field6
Could be Simmons Road

field7
Unknown, probably Page Road

field8
Page Road near Simmons Road

It’s kind of fun finding the old photos, but it emphasizes the overwhelming number that have gone missing and makes me wish all the more that they hadn’t. There may have been some great pictures in there.

I’ve found more prints, slides, and negatives to scan and will be doing so as there’s not much chance of taking new pictures under the current circumstances. I did not find what I was looking for, of course!