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110 Film Cartridge Cameras: A Great Collectible

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I have just started what I would call an "occasional" collection of cameras that use the 110 cartridge film format. I have three so far, all bought for less than a fiver each. One is a rather nice Agfa, probably used once and complete with extras and box; one is a bright yellow Minolta Weathermatic, purchased today, and the final example is a Boots own label camera with a number of features including a motordrive. I hope that by the time you have finished reading this topic, you will feel that the 110 film cartridge camera offers real scope for collecting; some of the cameras are rare and quite desirable but many examples are inexpensive and offer a fascinating window on the 1970s and 1980s for a small outlay.

 

 

Front and back views of a Fujicolour 110 film cartridge (pic from upload.wikimedia.com):

1200px-Pocketfilm.jpg

 

 

 

In the years before Kodak introduced the 110 cartridge to the world, smaller cameras had become fashionable including 16mm sub-miniature film cameras and half-frame models. In addition to the desire for cameras that were small and easily pocketed, there were also consumer complaints that needed to be addressed concerning problems with loading and unloading roll film. Kodak came up with a neat solution - the film cassette or cartridge that could be dropped into the camera without fuss and easily removed when the film had been exposed. Kodak first introduced this type of film on the 126 Instamatic camera, then following this up, in 1972, by the launch of the 110 cartridge film and the (Pocket Instamatic) camera.

 

 

The early flag-ship camera in the Kodak 110 cartridge film camera range is this Instamatic 60 featuring stainless steel casing, a rangefinder and automatic exposure. Note also the "socket" for flash cubes on the camera (pic from staticflickr.com):

15528686248_ed1fa27820_b.jpg

It has to be said that most 110 cartridge cameras were simple affairs, operating a single shutter speed and aperture and with no focusing (initially designed to use 100 ISO film); their main selling points were their pocketability and ease of use. In the main, the cameras were shaped like a slim rectangular box, but there were notable exceptions, just as there were certain camera companies that took the 110 cartridge cameras to a high degree of sophistication including Rollei, Minolta and Pentax (and such parameters as film speed rating can be changed by the user on some more advanced 110 cameras). It should be mentioned here that the speed rating of the film (100 or 400 ISO) was sometimes included in the form of notches at the end of the cartridge; however few cameras took advantage of this feature and many film cartridges were not so marked.

 

 

My own Holy Grail of 110 cartridge film cameras is this Pentax Auto 110 SLR model - I can remember lusting after it when it was in current production, hoping to get the set with all three interchangeable lenses (pic from lomography.com):

765x576x2.jpg?auth=6bd8b89a1a7b5a11ee740

 

 

 

The 110 cartridge film camera had a rapid rise to mass popularity, then a slower fall, followed by something of a phoenix-like rise from the ashes in recent years. The main problem with the 110 cartridge camera was the small film size. This limited the quality and size of finished prints that could be obtained with any real degree of sharpness and overall quality, even with improvements in film emulsions. Right from the get-go, 110 cameras were competing with the also quite compact 126 cartridge cameras, and there was also increasing competition from 35mm compact rangefinder cameras that could produce high quality images from neatly sized cameras. Camera firms attempted to compete by adding extra features until the situation verged on the ridiculous, where feature-laden 110 cameras were as expensive and as large as many 35mm cameras which could produce better images and larger sharp prints.

In 1982, Kodak discontinued 110 slide film and in about 1994, the firm stopped making 110 cartridge cameras altogether, with other companies for the most part also discontinuing production of the cameras at around the same time. The film itself continued for some years in production, with Fuji abandoning 110 colour cartridge film in September 2009. Kodak and Ferrania did continue producing the film for a few years after that time.

 

 

The rare  Fujica Pocket 330 Zoom camera, produced for a while from 1978 (pic from collection-appareils.fr):

fuji_Pocket_330.jpg

 

 

 

Given what has been said already in this topic, it may seem surprising that the 110 cartridge format did not die completely and it has now outlived the two formats designed to replace it - disc film and APS film. In 2010, Fotoimpex (under the Adox brand name) looked into the possibility of making 110 cartridge film, and in the following year, their web page announced that cartridges and backing paper had been produced. In 2012, the company was retro-fitting the factory with a view to 110 cartridge film manufacture. Also in 2012, a small Hong Kong based company called "Films Reborn" released small batches of Fukkatsu 100 ISO black and white, and 400 ISO 110 colour, film for direct distribution, and Lomography was also jumping on the bandwagon. In 2012 Lomography introduced their Orca black and white film - at first without backing paper - and the firm has subsequently introduced other types of 110 cartridge film for enthusiasts of the format.

 

The Minolta Weathermatic A 110 film camera - my latest purchase being this model, bought today for £2 (pic from rockycameras.com):

minolta-weathermatic-a-vintage-camera-st

 

 

Another extraordinary and desirable 110 Cartridge camera is this Minolta Zoom SLR, introduced in 1977 (pic from leicashop.com):

102831_1.jpg

 

 

Part of the 110 cartridge camera revival is this simple focus free, single aperture (f8) Lomography Fisheye Baby 110 Camera (Bauhaus Edition), available currently for about US$50 (pic from static.bhphoto.com):

1409782561000_IMG_420931.jpg

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I was just looking through some old pics recently and some of the last lot on actual film were taken on some sort of camera that when you sent the film off came back in a pack like this. 

I'm pretty sure it was 110 of sorts but let you take some panaramic format type pics as well. 

On looking at the card this was mid 90's

DSC_0245_zpsldiinmwq.jpg

DSC_0244_zpslwb3lpew.jpg

DSC_0243_zpsovfxbjkl.jpg

Another great memory jogger thread. 

Thanks for sharing 

:thumbsup:

 

 

 

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Gosh, thanks for that memory jog about Truprint. I can so remember Kristina always had her pics developed by Truprint and regarded them as pretty good. As a professional artist she was (and is) quite fussy.:biggrin:

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Excellent again , memories indeed, but what I always wanted was a Minox spy camera, believe they used special film cartridges loaded with negative size same as 16mm film....tiny.

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On 16/02/2019 at 19:37, BondandBigM said:

I'm pretty sure it was 110 of sorts but let you take some panaramic format type pics as well. 

 

DSC_0244_zpslwb3lpew.jpg

 

 

 

This is the Advanced Photo System, or APS the Always notes in the original post.

This was one of the developements that was supposed to kill off 'convenience' formats like 110/126 and replace the fiddly old 35mm format, where you had to thread the new roll into the camera.  With APS you just dropped the cartridge , which was roughly the same size as a 35mm cart, into the camera and it automatically loaded the film.  As you poitn out, it could take high quality, standard and panoramic shots, and the information about this, along with time & date was written by the camera onto a magnetic strip on the film, for reading in the processing lab. 

At the end of the film the cartridge automaticallay rewound itself back into the cart, whcih would then be sent off to the laboratory.  One unusual feature was the ability to rewind a partially exposed film and exchange it for another.  When you replaced it later it would automatically wind on to the next unexposed portion, presumably using the magnetic strip.  I had a couple of these cameras and I used to keep a colour and a black and white film and swap between them. 

When the photos came back from the lab, instead of getting the negatives back as strips, the processed film/negative was wound back into the original cartridge.  This would enable you to use machines like this one reveiwed by Techmoan (excellent channel) to view your photos as a slideshow on the TV, years before you could cast from your mobile telephone!

 

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   the little pentax auto 110 AND all the various lenses is very colledtable.  i have the set and used it frequently.  as far as pic's go,  the cell phone takes them better .  vin

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he he ...... i remember those 110 cartridges ..... and the cameras.....my mother had a kodak in that familiar flat rectangular shape with a flat sliding "film winder onner".....that you pushed in with your thumb.....also remember a draw full of undeveloped cartridges (probably due to me and "our kid" showing off to our mates with the "james bond" looking camera lol).....wonder if you can still buy these cartridges?.....or if you can....could you find anyone to develop them? :)@Always"watching" ......nice trip down memory lane thanks.....good post

Edited by enfuseeast
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On 17/02/2019 at 23:07, Q.Lotte said:

This is the Advanced Photo System, or APS the Always notes in the original post.

This was one of the developements that was supposed to kill off 'convenience' formats like 110/126 and replace the fiddly old 35mm format, where you had to thread the new roll into the camera.  With APS you just dropped the cartridge , which was roughly the same size as a 35mm cart, into the camera and it automatically loaded the film.  As you poitn out, it could take high quality, standard and panoramic shots, and the information about this, along with time & date was written by the camera onto a magnetic strip on the film, for reading in the processing lab. 

At the end of the film the cartridge automaticallay rewound itself back into the cart, whcih would then be sent off to the laboratory.  One unusual feature was the ability to rewind a partially exposed film and exchange it for another.  When you replaced it later it would automatically wind on to the next unexposed portion, presumably using the magnetic strip.  I had a couple of these cameras and I used to keep a colour and a black and white film and swap between them. 

When the photos came back from the lab, instead of getting the negatives back as strips, the processed film/negative was wound back into the original cartridge.  This would enable you to use machines like this one reveiwed by Techmoan (excellent channel) to view your photos as a slideshow on the TV, years before you could cast from your mobile telephone!

 

Thanks for the info, I don’t really remember much about it other than it took some decent snaps, not even sure what make it was. It’s probably still lying in a box somewhere.

:)

For me the next step up was one of these Sony Mavicas

sonymavica.jpg

Great camera for quick snaps and short video clips, the floppy disc meant you could use just about any computer and upload a few pics without having to worry about software compatibility. Although I seem to remember they were stupidly expensive at the time. 

Probably still in a box somewhere along with hundreds of 3-1/2" floppy discs. 

:laughing2dw: :laughing2dw:

 

 

 

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I have these old camera they both take 120 film but I have a converter which allows them to use 35m film 

I also have Rolleiflex baby and Yashica 44 but they takes 127m film which is so hard to get and when you can get 

them they cost very expensive .

 

tWMRzMx.jpgxJCB7qU.jpg

c7w84Q1.jpg

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Wow, that brings back memories, i had a Kodak 110 camera too, heaven knows where it is now!! 

I was happy with mine :) 

My grandad had a 35mm Voigtlander with all the lens's, that was high end in its day

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I still have a 110 cassette camera, it came with a approx. 2" high plastic extender that raised the flash cube (remember them?) higher up and off the body. 

It was a simple affair of sliding the cover from in front of the lens, looking through the viewfinder, and pressing button. They seemed such simpler, innocent times. sigh! 

Did they need 2x AAA batteries for the flash? 

My photographs from it looked like a translucent plastic lens was used. :yes:

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the era of the film camera is not over.  there are reasons why film is better than a cell phone, i  will not go into that.  i reloaded 35 mm film into a Nikon F film cartrage for years.   film is still available,  but a camera phone is much easier to use and store photos.  vin

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I still have a largish collection of old film cameras including a few Leicas & Nikons, though I only use  my digital Nikon SLRs these days...

 

DSC_0006.thumb.gif.6a6e52467e8ba764797d9698530edefb.gif

 

                                                                                                                                                                   1657450547_(6).gif.d444fb3680c6960975a588f890dd135f.gif

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On ‎31‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 04:41, mach 0.0013137 said:

I still have a largish collection of old film cameras including a few Leicas & Nikons, though I only use  my digital Nikon SLRs these days...

 

DSC_0006.thumb.gif.6a6e52467e8ba764797d9698530edefb.gif

 

                                                                                                                                                                   1657450547_(6).gif.d444fb3680c6960975a588f890dd135f.gif

    have you tried puting film in those early leicas?    vin

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1 hour ago, vinn said:

    have you tried puting film in those early leicas?    vin

I have in the past but not for many years now, these days I use three Nikon Digital SLRs  :thumbsup:

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