What is 127 film?

127 film is 46 mm wide, placing it between 35 mm and medium format films in size. It was created by Kodak for their Vest Pocket camera (a folding camera that would fit comfortably in the vest pocket of the user) and as such was often referred to as Vest Pocket film.

Zeiss Ikon Ikonta with 127 film. Photo courtesy of Klaus Wendland

127 film was extremely popular when it was first released in 1912 due to the portability of the folding cameras that used it. However when 35 mm was introduced with its smaller size and greater number of exposures, 127 film fell out of fashion.

In the 1950s there was a short revival of 127 film with the release of many twin-lens reflex cameras that used it to produce 4×4 exposures. One of the best known of these cameras was the Kodak Brownie which was both affordable and easy to use. While Rollei made the more advanced Rolleiflex Baby or “Baby Grey.”

During this period 127 film was made available in color slide emulsions, and the resulting 4×4 cm slides could be projected in a normal projector designed for 24×36 mm slides. They were advertised as “Superslide.”

Kodak eventually stopped producing 127 film in 1995 and these days it’s rare, however there are still some options out there. In black and white there is the Rera Pan 400 and Rera Pan 100S. For color there’s the Rera Chome 100 slide film. Not to mention a great deal of discontinued and expired 127 films that can be found online such as Agfa Isopan, EFKE R100, and Ilford FP4+.

Check out our article on the history of 127 film to find out more about this unique format!

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