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The Beauty of Found Films

After reading a bunch of articles about 'forgotten films,' I finally got a chance of my own. After buying a new analog toy I discovered a used film inside. I decided to get it developed and I got to tell you, I'm really pleased with the results I got from the lab.

During a visit to the semi-annual Fotografica fair in Nieuwegein (it’s in the Netherlands), this Kodak Duaflex camera caught my eye. it looked like it was in a pretty good condition, with a clear lens and viewfinder, for fifteen Euros. After chatting with the salesman for a bit we agreed I could take it home for only ten euros, so that was an easy decision. A couple of minutes later, I was walking along when I realized I hadn’t looked at the inside of my new purchase. I opened it up, and big surprise, hidden inside was a used film!

I showed the lost film to my fellow Lomographers and Sibel offered to send it to the Lomolab. Not a bad idea, I thought to myself, and a week later I got the results: amazing old black and white pictures showing everyday life in a beautiful environment. Thanks to some Facebook connections I learned the photos were taken in Belgium, as you could see the Citadel from Dinant in the South of Belgium, and also some people working on lace in Bruges! Looking at the cars, I’d guess these were taken in the 1950s, but I’m not entirely sure, if you can help me, shout something out in the comments!

These pictures have a real Lomo vibe around them, and they seem to be taken from the hip, I love them! So you understand this is the first thing I will be looking for at the next fair, second hand store or flea market.

Who knows how many treasures are still to be found, hidden in old cameras lying in dusty attics…

written by bbijlhout and translated by math0165


  1. carsten-schmitt


    These came out really well considering how old the film was.

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  2. bbijlhout


    Yes they did. I was quite surprised about it :)

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  3. tiril

    WOW. I wish I find some one day... these were just wonderful! It surely is from the 50s; the women's dresses are just like those my grandma wears in old pictures from her early days! :)
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  4. segata


    I think they might acctually be early 60's going by the styling as european cars all started to go for that sort of style then, Ive got one from 1963 and sometimes its mistaken for a 1950's american car when its acctually british.

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  5. wawasonico


    i found my self once too and old 6x6 certina camera, in a german fleamarket in munich. i develop olso an orwo film in sauter and didnt find nothing marvellous for me in that time ( 6 years ago ) but maybe i didnt pay attention, i dont know were this negatives are, i have to check

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  6. susielomovitz


    100% analogue beauty, 100% analogue magic. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. megalithicmatt


    I have a small pile of found films waiting for development. Most of the ones so far have been pretty uninteresting, though one had been almost completely rewound and I used it none the wiser - very odd to find double exposures of modern and >30yo photos mixed together!

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  8. emkei



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  9. herbert-4


    Films that are very slow stay fresh for a very long time. Found exposed slow B&W is very likely has good images to develop. Watch for Kodak Panatomic X (ISO 32) or similar. If you are going somewhere where you might be lost forever and only your camera and the film in it survive to be found in the far future, shoot with a metal camera with Adox CMS 20 (no expiration date, stable for decades, ISO 20). Enjoy!!

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  10. pixiecloud


    amazing!! The second picture is of the belfort of ghent!! :)

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  11. analogdisplay


    Great photos! I had the same surprise when opening my grandfather's brownie last year! About the date my guess would rather be the early 60's.

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  12. gregoriobruning


    By the Wolkswagen in the third photo i would say it´s from middle 60´s. Great surprise!

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The original version of this article is written in: Nederlands. It is also available in: Spanish, Československy, Deutsch & Italiano.