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Minolta Meets Orca (or My First Foray Into 110 Film)

So, I found my mom's Minolta Pocket Autopak 450E a couple of months ago, and managed to get my hands on a roll of Lomography Orca B&W 110 film. Needless to say, I was itching to shoot with it!

Like I have shared in a previous post, I had always seen this curious Minolta Pocket Autopak 450E around the house when I was much younger, playing around with it until my mom takes it off me so I couldn’t blind people with the flash anymore.

Fast-forward to June 2012, I got reunited with this 110 camera, and just in time, Lomography had just introduced its own black and white 110 film. I was hoping to find a way to make these two analogue goodies meet—interestingly, one from the 1980s and the other from nearly three decades later.

First, some fast facts about this camera from Camerapedia:

  • It’s a fully mechanical camera with a single shutter speed of 1/200 seconds.
  • Aperture is set manually— f/3.5 or f/11 in normal mode, or distance-dependent in flash mode
  • Focusing is also done manually; there are symbols corresponding to 10 m, 3.5 m, 2 m, 1.2 m, and 0.9 m. A close-up lens which can be shifted over the lens lets you shoot at 0.5 m.
  • Has a built-in flash with a range of 12 ft at 100 ISO and as far as 20 ft at 400 ISO. Requires a single AA battery to work.

The film gods must have heard my pleas and decided to heed them. I finally got my hands on a roll of the Orca, and of course, started shooting right away. It took me a while to get the film processed and scanned (only with the help of my friend/officemate/photography-buddy mindyminde as it’s a challenge to get 110 film, let alone b&w ones, processed here in Manila). Here are my decent results:

You might be wondering, why so few? Isn’t the Orca supposed to yield 24 exposures? Well, that’s where my silly mistakes come into the picture:

1. The Orca is a 100 ISO film, so I should have shot it outdoors, and not so much indoors, which requires 400 ISO film. Why it seemed to have slipped off my mind, I may never know.

2. The flash takes a while to recharge, and in some of the photos, I forgot to check if the pilot lamp has lit up before firing a shot. So, as I was shooting indoors, no flash = no picture (or silly silhouettes).

3. While it’s not much of an issue, I should have had the camera checked to see if it can be cleaned to reduce the cloudiness on the lens and viewfinder. But actually, the cloudiness softened the photos a bit with a nice, hazy glow, don’t you think?

Anyway, I think my first photos taught me a lesson or two about shooting with my mom’s Minolta and also with the Orca B&W 110. I am determined to try it out once more, next time, outdoors on a sunshine-y day.

written by plasticpopsicle

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish & Português.