Istanbul, 16mm footage from early 1950s

My grandfather was a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army and served in the European Theater during World War II. I think he served primarily in a staff position in Patton’s Third Army, but I need to confirm the specifics. He always liked cameras and had a couple of Leicas and Rolleiflexes that, sadly, are completely out of date. After the war he was stationed briefly in Istanbul, Turkey, as a visiting military instructor.

My family and I are working on archiving and digitizing some of his photos and 16mm video. If you’ve ever scanned and sorted photos and videos for archiving purposes, you know that it’s a slow process. But we’ve gotten a few reels back, so I thought I’d post a short video of some footage. The folks at Tempe Camera and Arizona Media Service did a great job with the reels. I used Photoshop to compile a shorter version of one of the DVDs we got back from them.

(The video is about a minute long. I haven’t done much editing of video. It might look like a blank white screen the first second or two because I clumsily added in a brief transition.) [Note: WordPress didn’t like the MP4 format, so I uploaded it to YouTube and linked it below.]

4 thoughts on “Istanbul, 16mm footage from early 1950s

    • Hey Ray! So, they’re old Leicas, I forget the model ID. But I think they use a cartridge film that is not made anymore. I took them into Tempe Camera and asked if I could get them working. They took one look and shook their heads. I will research further with a Leica expert.


    • I think so, too, especially since I am often striving for (and often failing at) ruthless minimalism. I’m glad that my grandfather and mother were so organized and made the decision to keep it for the long haul. Reminded again nothing beats actual film.


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