How do 110, 126, 135 (35mm) & other photo slides differ?

Photographic slides, also known as transparencies or positives, were once widely used for both amateur and professional photography. There are several different types of photo slides, including 110, 126, 135 (35mm), and other formats. In this blog, we will explore how these different types of slides differ and what makes each unique.

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110 Slides

110 slides are the smallest type of photographic slides, measuring just over 13mm in width. They were introduced in the 1970s as a convenient, compact alternative to other types of slides, and were popular for amateur and snapshot photography. 110 slides are often referred to as "pocket film" due to their small size and portability. They're produced in the standard 2 x 2 mount, or as minis measuring 1 x 1.

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126 Slides

126 slides are larger than 110 slides, measuring approximately 28mm in width. They were introduced in the mid-1960s as a convenient alternative to other types of slides and were popular for amateur and snapshot photography. 126 slides are sometimes referred to as "Instamatic slides" due to their association with the popular Instamatic camera.

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135 (35mm) Slides

135 (35mm) slides are the most widely used type of photographic slides and measure 36mm in width. They are used in 35mm film cameras and are popular for both amateur and professional photography. 35mm slides are sometimes referred to as "135 slides" due to the standard ISO film width of 35mm.

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Medium Format Slides

Medium format slides are larger than 35mm slides and are used in medium format cameras. They are typically used by professional photographers due to the high image quality they provide. Examples of medium format slides include 120 and 220.

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Large Format Slides

Large format slides are even larger than medium format slides and are used in large format cameras. They are typically used by architectural, landscape, and commercial photographers due to the exceptional image quality and control they provide.

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Instant Slides

Instant slides are produced by instant cameras and produce a physical print in addition to a slide. The slides produced by instant cameras are usually smaller than other formats and are not meant for professional use.

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Pros and Cons of Different Slide Formats

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The choice of slide format will depend on the intended use, image quality needs, and budget. Regardless of the format, each type of slide has its own unique characteristics and limitations, and the best format for any given situation will depend on the specific needs and goals of the photographer.

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  • Large format slides provide the highest image quality and control but are the most expensive and require the most equipment.

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  • Medium format slides provide a good balance between image quality and accessibility, making them popular among professional photographers.

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  • 35mm slides are versatile and widely used, making them a popular choice for a variety of photography styles.

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  • Instant slides are convenient and easy to use but are not meant for professional use and have lower image quality.

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Despite the decline in the use of slides, many photographers and enthusiasts still appreciate the unique characteristics and archival qualities of this classic format. Understanding the differences between the different types of slides can help you to appreciate the beauty and versatility of this classic medium.

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Written by Geoff Weber

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