Artefact 53 – a continuing series
For many years I used transparency film for two reasons: they could be used in a geography classroom and they produced much better colour-definition than photographs. I have used a variety of hand-held devices to view slides and still have a light-box which is really useful for sorting them. However, good quality projectors, especially those with a long focal-length, were expensive and the sensitive lamps equally so. A Kodak Carousel was too expensive for personal use so we had a 2400 Series from Boots which had a straight-tray, as shown in the picture, as well as the capacity for a Rondex 120-slide carousel. As indicated by the term “2400 Series”, there were options and this one had “RF”, remote focus, which was actually the forward and back buttons, and focus control, mounted on a handset device which sat on the projector. The device could be detached with an ungainly wire which allowed the comfort of sitting further back from the bright and hot projector. The “IR”, infra red, cordless option with timer was more expensive. Ours was bought at Boots the Chemist, Canterbury in November 1983 and cost £49.95 plus 10% VAT so £54.94. I have four carousels for this projector, loaded with transparencies, plus to Kodak Carousels from when I used the professional standard device in connection with work.
I have a scanner with a transparency adapter and if works fine but for one thing. The software assumes a 35mm slide and doesn’t cope with a square 126 slide. In trying to determine a landscape or portrait orientation it fails to detect and select the full square image. A search online conformed this was a universal frustration with scanning devices. My solution, which worked well, was to project the image and take a photo of it with a tripod-mounted digital camera. I tried to open the projector to clean the internal lens and light reflector but managed to kill the whole machine in the process. So, this artefact is destined for the original purpose of the series which is to clear out items for reuse or for recycling.
Mum and Dad had a Boots Q50 – a metal contraption with side-loading device for one slide at a time. That has to go, too.
Here is the Artefact series introduction.