What do you get when you combine a tasty meal, a vintage toy camera, and some expired 110 film? A cheesy serving of analogue grain with a side order of light leaks!
I recently rediscovered a film format from my youth, 110 format. You know, the little tiny cartridges? So of course I needed a retro camera to play with this film. hmm… what is this that I found by accident, but the cheesiest camera I have ever seen!
The Velveeta shells and cheese camera was a promotional offer from Kraft, to promote the tasty macaroni & cheese meal to kids. I don’t know the details of how you would have gotten one- maybe you had to send a few dollars, or maybe just a few UPC/bar codes from the boxes. But however it was done, what you got back in the mail was a bright yellow rectangle made of plastic, complete with plastic lens and red wrist strap, plastered with delicious looking photos of shells and cheese! Many years later I was able to rescue one for just a few dollars.
So, how does it work? Easy – just open the back, and pop in your 110 film cassette. It only fits one way, and it’s impossible to expose the film when loading, so this is perfect for young children to use.
Close the back door, and wind the film until you stop seeing X and start seeing number 1. You’ll feel the shutter cock,, then you know you’re ready for your first photo. There is no focus, no aperture, no shutter speed, no flash, so do be sure to have a nice sunny day!
Just aim the camera, and press the big red button to take your first cheesy photo! If you can make some mac&cheese from a box, you can take pictures with this camera even easier.
I had loaded mine up with some expired 110 from Fuji. 110 is so tiny, that when you scan or print the negatives you’ll generally see lots of grain and muted color, especially with a camera like this. It gives an instant vintage look.
I think the one I got might be made of Swiss Cheese, though, complete with holes! I got lots of light leaks on just about every photo, they look like red lines… I’ll have to figure out where the leak came from, unless the 110 cartridge itself had a crack.
If you scan your own film, you can choose to include the area next to each image that has the numbers. You might find some interesting bits in there!
So the final verdict? For only a few dollars of your hard earned cheddar, why not- I think this one is tons of fun! Just watch out, it will create a lot of conversations and might make you hungry…