In my opinion, this is the greatest 110 shooter hands down!
During the late 70’s and into the 80’s, 110 photography was the cheapest (low cost) format for the average backyard shooter. Most offered a simple cartridge loading system, fixed focus, no exposure exposure control, and only limited flash power and distance. But somehow the 110 format captured the hearts of many due mostly to it’s simplicity. I was the proud owner of a Kodak TrimLite Instamatic 110 camera decades ago when I was a kid and successfully burned through many many cartridges of film – it was a great little camera. When Pentax released the Auto 110 line of cameras my jaw dropped and I was instantly filled with lust for this camera. At the time it was the absolute coolest camera ever and I wanted one really really bad. I would take the train from the far south side of Chicago to one of the big camera stores in downtown Chicago called Central Camera Co. just to look at that camera in the window. The Auto 110 kit’s were always in stock and included several lenses, power winder, a flash and other goodies, but was priced more than I could afford. The stand alone camera with a 24mm lens was within my budget but was always out of stock. As photographic technology progressed, so did my skill level and I moved on to other cameras and film formats – but I never forgot about the Pentax Auto 110. About two years ago I bought one used on eBay for cheap and the memories of wanting that camera as a youth surfaced…..I finally got it.
The only reason I bought the camera was to detach the lens and use it along with an adapter on my Lumix GF2 – a micro four thirds camera. Months later I stumbled across a few rolls of 110 film for cheap on eBay and snapped it up thinking it would be fun to shoot 110. But the harsh reality of getting 110 film processed, scanned, and printed quickly set in once I got started shooting. Most shops dumped 110 service years ago and at best will only develop the film….no scanning, no prints. I found a few places online that will process and scan 110 film but the cost is high – as much as $15 per cartridge once you figure in taxes and shipping which makes it more that the cost of the actual film. I also looked at stand alone 110 negative scanner but they make really low resolution scans and most are not compatible with Mac’s. I’m still looking for a cheap 110 negative holder that I can use with my Epson flatbed scanner – they currently sell for around $80 on eBay and may not fit my Epson….it’s a gamble. The negative size for 110 film is about 17mm so at best you’ll get decent 4X6 prints – I would stay away from anything larger that 5X7. The negative scans should produce a web-friendly image size that should look good posted to any blog or photo sharing site. But 500px members might wanna take a pass on posting 110 images to this high-end social network. My Pentax Auto 110 is an awesome camera, so really really cool. It’s too bad the back-end processing is so costly – it will put an end to my shooting 110 film. I’m planning on burning up the remaining cartridges of 110 film I’ve kept on ice, but after that this camera will be shelved.
Check out a short video I posted over on my YouTube Ch. about my Pentax Auto 110 – Just search for “Adventures In Analog” or “Dred242”
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