What type of slide/transparency is this?
July 26, 2021 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Recently found. A whole box of family photos in slide/transparency format. I can deal with the Kodachrome slides, but what are these slides? They are 2 3/4" squares measured at the outside of the cardboard frame.

We could view them on a simple light table, but if I knew the format I think I might be able to find a projector for them.
posted by shoesfullofdust to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Oh, snap! I just opened a second set and they are Ektachrome?
posted by shoesfullofdust at 4:34 PM on July 26, 2021

Best answer: It's likely 120 format film, shot in a 6x6cm camera. Medium format projectors are rare but not impossible to find on ebay. Good news: if you scan them, they're going to be stunning.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:48 PM on July 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify, these are colour/color slides/transparencies. The pictures would have been taken during the late 60s early 70s.

Just having found them, they are stunning indeed. They are part of a treasure trove that was thought long lost.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 5:39 PM on July 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Here's a guide to slide formats that you can use to determine what it is. I think those are 120 or 127.

I would probably digitize them rather than trying to find a working medium format slide projector, but that's personal choice. You can definitely still buy medium format slide projectors on eBay and elsewhere, most commonly Hasselblads. But they have held onto their value well.

I'd probably pay a service to scan them at high resolution (4000+DPI) on professional equipment, so you can appreciate the images and print them at large size if desired.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:23 PM on July 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

I agree with Fiasco da Gama that this is medium format shot on 120/220 film in the 6x6 frame size, resulting in an image that’s about 56mm x 56mm or roughly 2¼” x 2 ¼”. I think a few manufacturers around the world made 120/220 color reversal film during the timeframe you mention, so I can only tell you the format, not what emulsion it is. But if your slide was taken in North America it’s likely to be one of the many varieties of Kodachrome or Ektachrome.

You can find medium format projectors on ebay and elsewhere, using search terms like “medium format projector” or “6x6 projector”. I recently flirted with the idea of trying to track one down when I came across a bunch of old 6x6 slides, but I ended up scanning them instead so I could share them with extended family.

Make sure if you do buy an old projector from an unknown source online that it’s compatible with the voltage/frequency wherever you live.
posted by theory at 6:29 PM on July 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

I used to take Ektachrome slides with Mamiya twin-lens reflex, and to see a transparency that size is almost life-changing (especially when the pictures are of Yosemite in the spring). Digitize it, quick!
posted by lhauser at 7:47 PM on July 26, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: would a Konica autoreflex A3 take such pictures? that's the manual I found in the same box . I think it's a 35mm camera, likely behind most of the Kodachrome slides. And not the larger format ones. Just wondering.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 11:11 PM on July 26, 2021

Response by poster: I really appreciate the answers so far! thanks, all!
posted by shoesfullofdust at 11:13 PM on July 26, 2021

Best answer:
a 35mm camera, likely behind most of the Kodachrome slides. And not the larger format ones
That's right, a 35mm camera cannot use 120 film. The most common cameras for the 120 film 6x6 format in the late 1960s-early 1970s were twin lens reflex, though there were also quite a few single lens reflex cameras made in that format (the Hasselblad the most famous make). And some viewfinder ones as well—there was a huge variety.

I have a camera that shoots 6x6 format, I have shot rolls of Ektachrome in it, and the pictures are worth every cent of the [high] film cost.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:44 PM on July 26, 2021

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