60-year-old Leica negatives discovered

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by tbm, Dec 24, 2007.

  1. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Three years after my father died, my sister discovered a bunch of World War II negatives in a box, all exposed with my father's screw-mount Leica and three lenses while he was stationed in Italy. I printed all those that were in good condition, scanned some of them, and posted some at the following link. It is so interesting seeing what old Leica lenses could successfully capture in terms of sharpness, definition, and tonality as well as what films from that period could do!

    http://flickr.com/photos/21652620@N08/
     
  2. Dinesh

    Dinesh Subscriber

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    Congratulations on a wonderful find. A truly magical Christmas present for you and your family.
     
  3. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I forgot to mention that Flickr requires clicking on each image to enlarge them for viewing; otherwise they are too small to see.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    Aside from the camera he used, your father had a good eye. Great stuff!
     
  5. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Since many of the negs were in good shape; I'd be more curious to know which film he used?
     
  6. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    Thanks for posting this, its a great story and to be honest a little bit emotional
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

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    Wonderful!
     
  8. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Re which films he used, click on each photo. That will not only enlarge them somewhat, it will also display my comments re each one that include the lens used and the film that was used as well.
     
  9. John Simmons

    John Simmons Member

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    Incredible images. Well Done.
     
  10. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Thanks.

    Yes, great shots. Some of the pics of the local population etc. really capture a time and place. They remind me of scenes in early-1950's Italian cinemas.
     
  11. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Very cool.
     
  12. Rombo

    Rombo Member

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    Great photos. Wonderful portrait of Your father. Thank you for sharing these documents!
     
  13. RoBBo

    RoBBo Member

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    Couple of odd ones mixed in?
    Don't know what the deal is with those.
    But those ones out of Italy are beautiful.
     
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  15. msloane

    msloane Member

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    Truly awesome. Some great shots. Also a testment that 60 years later you can still print the negatives.
     
  16. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    The one of Benito Mussolini may be historically significant. Has a similar picture ever been taken?
     
  17. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    Some of these are amazing. Makes one wonder if "progress" has really been made in the modern era with regard to imaging. :smile:
    Thank you for sharing your find.
    Sincerely,
    Jed
     
  18. tbm

    tbm Member

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    I forgot to mention that all the other images on my Flickr pages 2 through 4 (those not labeled 'WW II" and other than the studio image of my father and the park image of my mother holding my father's Leica) are mine, captured with my Leica equipment since I bought M and R bodies and lenses.
     
  19. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    Beautiful. Your dad had a great eye! What a find.
     
  20. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser

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    Wow, what a great find. Very lucky they were saved.
    -rob
     
  21. tbm

    tbm Member

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    The box the negatives were found in had no contact sheets, so when I printed each negative it was like opening individual treasure chests! Additionally, my dichroic enlarger performed beautifully in terms of holding back dust and scratches! Also, today's darkroom chemicals printed each neg so easily compared to the chemicals my dad used in the 1950s, when it was hard to get dark blacks. What a joy it was printing all 30+ negatives!
     
  22. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Great negs. Shows at least two things: 1. If this is the deterioration(none that I could see) after 60+ years there seems little reason to believe that the next 60 shouldn't see another set of top class printable pictures from them.
    2. There isn't much that can't be captured with any slight wide angle to normal prime lens. Like another poster I also wonder about the possilble historical significance of the body of Mussolini. Everyone assumes that there must be several of such negs but are there?

    pentaxuser
     
  23. tbm

    tbm Member

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    Re Mussolini

    There was no corresponding negative for the Mussolini print; there was only a print in the box. All I could do, therefore, was scan the print.
     
  24. nick mulder

    nick mulder Member

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    top find! I'm with the others on the Mussolini pic - very haunting
     
  25. eddym

    eddym Member

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    Absolutely wonderful photos! What a treasure!
     
  26. Frank R

    Frank R Subscriber

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    A brief search found plenty of dead Mussolini photos, but not this one.