I've just received my order of Wess AHX500k 35mm slide mounts, after considerable delay: the order was made in late August, through Adorama. The price for a box of 50 was $14.95US. And of course, the price was eclipsed by the shipping charge. (I've got to quit ordering single items.) A current search of the Adorama site for "ahx500" returned no hits. A search for "wess" returned a few hits, but not these mounts. The same applied on the B&H site. The box indicates manufacture date 05/13/05. Also on the box, the website: "www.wessmounts.net" is noted. This site has some further contact info, for direct ordering. It also indicates the slides were made in Ronkonkoma, New York. Inside the mounts is the embossed statement "MADE IN USA BY WESS PLASTIC TEL 516 231-6300". Some description and initial impressions of the mounts, scanning with Minolta Scan Elite 5400 (first generation): (In all descriptions the mount is landscape oriented, hinge at top, open to receive a slide chip.) The mounts are a one-piece design, hinged at the top, clasp at the bottom. The opening appears to be exactly 36mm by 24mm. I don't have an inside caliper to verify, just careful measure with a ruler. The opening is slightly larger than the Gepe "full frame" mounts. The closed thickness is slightly under 2.5mm, micrometer measured at several points. On the bottom half of the mount, behind the top edge of the 24x36 opening, is a row of (roughly) square pegs, one for each film sprocket hole. There is a similar row of pegs along the bottom edge of the opening. The latter, however, are rectangular, and snug fit for the corresponding film sprocket holes. The outside face-to-face of these two rows of pegs is such that when the film chip is pressed down onto the pegs, it is positively pulled into tension. On the top half of the mounts, flats and depressions dovetail with the pegs opposite them. There is also a small round pin, halfway up each side on the bottom half, with corresponding holes on top half. I have been placing the chip loosely in the bottom half, pressing it onto a central peg or two on both rows, just sufficiently to hold it in position, then pressing the mount shut. At this point, the slide chip is like a miniature drum. The topography of the film from center of bottom edge, across the middle, to center of top edge, is virtually level, as measured with Vuescan manual focus. As are all the edges. The weak link is a bit of doming at the left and right edges, but very subdued. Also, I suspect my slide holder's platen is slightly off perpendicular from the scanner's lens, but close enough that shimming is not practical or needed. My usual last step before feeding in my Elite 5400's slide holder is to give both sides a blow with a bulb blower. With these mounts, the blower creates is distinctly different sound. There is a "thrumming" tone, similar the resonance you get by lightly tapping a drum skin. Here's my results of doing a few Vuescan manual focus measurements (positioned per their location on the landscape oriented image): -.623*********-.564*********-.594 -.641***-.652**-.558**-.658***-.641 -.644*********-.658*********-.670 The scans reflect these numbers. The edges and center are usually equally sharp. Any "errant focus" areas are typically near the left or right edges, in the corner as often as not, minor, and small in area. With the Gepe mounts I tried previously, I could do my best to focus manually, bring the bar display of focus so that both were extended equally, then wait 30 seconds, and see the black bar fall back, apparently indicating the slide is flexing as it warmed. With the Wess mount, this does not happen. Getting the slide chip out of the holder is moderately difficult, but get's easier with practice. The first hurdle is unlatching the bottom center edge. A little flexing of the edge helps with this. Then the film itself is locked, solidly, on the posts. I've found a thin needle slipped under a lower left corner, then pushed along at shallow angle, breaks it loose, one post at time. The whole chip can then be broken loose from the top row of posts in one movement with the use of tweezers. Before using the mount, a close look-over is worthwhile. There are occasional little extra flaps of plastic at mold lines. My main concerns are any on the backside, which might throw the slide of- level in the platen,, and the occasional "blip" in the 24x36 opening. Both are easily removed with an exacto knife. Well, I'm going to continue to test these. Also of great interest to me, someone has generously scanned a couple of my slides with a Coolscan 5000. They should be back to me in the next few days, and I'm looking forward to the results, and comparing to my efforts with the 5400. If the quality and depth of focus look good, I might take the plunge. One nagging concern is the large quantity of Kodachrome in my collection, and how the Coolscan would handle them. Perhaps different horses for different courses?