Picture of Disassemble and Reload a 110 Film Cartridge
Pity the poor Pocket Instamatic photographer.  He/She has seen the film choices dwindle over the more Kodachrome, no more black and white, no more slide film, etc, etc, etc.

Well, some people can't be dragged into the 21st, so lets work around it!

>>>In this instructable, we'll disassemble a 110 film cartridge and reload it with any film you choose to load.

None of this information is particularly ground breaking.  The Luddites of the Subminiture community have been doing this for years.  The purpose of this Instructable is to pull all the info I've found into one spot for easy reference.
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Step 1: What is 110 Film?

Picture of What is 110 Film?
Kodak had a hit with their 126 cartridge film introduced in 1963.  Its main "claim to fame" was the ease of loading.  It was just a drop in cartridge unlike all the fiddling that went with loading a regular 35mm camera of the time.  However, since 126 film used 35mm wide film, the cameras could not be be made smaller and more portable.  After all, if you have a camera you could take anywhere, you would use more film....Kodak film!

So the 110 cartridge film was born.  Cute and portable cameras that take advantage of the "new" film format soon filled the camera stores.  As soon as Dick Van Dyke got involved in advertising the new "Pocket Instamatics" thing really took off.

It is difficult to imagine in these digital days just how big the 110 phenomenon really was, but you might look at the camera section of your local thrift shop where these cameras are sold by the ton!

Hookpillar1 month ago
I am in love with your tutorials!! Learning a lot with them and I am practically inspired as well as my son who is homeschooled. I was wondering for someone who is going to start will this be hard to do?
Nano_Burger (author)  Hookpillar1 month ago

Well, nice to be loved! You are in a great time in history where film photography has gone from mainstream to hipsterism. A sweet spot where film gear is inexpensive and film is still available! Twenty years ago, taking apart my Bronica ETRsi was unthinkable...too expensive to screw up! Now, I can break out the tiny screwdrivers. What I have found out is that gear is understandable/fixable/hackable and not the black box technology I figured.

This particular project is a fun way to start reusing your 110 camera. The getting the cartridge open part is the most difficult. If you can find an old one, it should be easier. Be careful with the razor knives...I have a nice fresh scar on my hand to remind me of that....

mcduffco2 years ago
Thanks for this tutorial. It is great. I will give it a try, even though I have given and will be giving lomo lots of bucks for their 110 films. I am guessing their orca film will have paper soon as their colour now does.
onemoroni12 years ago
Oh here we go, all the naysayers of the pleasures of reviving old technology. I suppose all the classic cars and steam-punk creations don't merit existence according to your narrow digital philosophy. Like the man says, if it's not for you, move on, to each his own and get off you bashing wagon. Personally I see a large aesthetic difference in film and digital B&W. Most digital camera owners don't have a clue as to what makes a good picture except to to push that little shutter thingie, fill up a memory card, and overwork the Photoshop to make contrived images that to me are just calendar grade art. The best camera is the one 12 inches from the lens, your brain. End of sermon. Peace

p.s. Man am I tempted to pick up one of the many 110s sitting in the thrift store, but I don't have a cartridge and my wife would freak out.
Nano_Burger (author)  onemoroni12 years ago

110 film is now being produced in black and white and C-41 color. If you need a cartridge and camera, please e-mail me and I'll send you what you need. As always...the 1st dose is free!
rblee2 years ago
The only snag with this is that 110 film gives rather disappointing results compared to even a cheap digital camera (<4Mp).

I have one of those Pentax auto110 kits as featured in your video (I used to do a lot of motorcycle touring so small was good) which is as high quality as  you're going to get in 110, but the small negative size means it's pretty grainy compared to anything but a web or disc camera (yuk!).

Nice Instructable, but...
Nano_Burger (author)  rblee2 years ago
Snag? This Instructable isn't for you. Please move on.... Nothing to see here.....

I appreciate the work you've gone through doing all this. But why?

Cartridge film's time has come and gone. It seems to me the one with the most potential was the Advanced Photo System of 1996. Now it's gone too. Should have come out a decade earlier.

You do interesting instructables but this is kind of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Put your creativity towards something with a greater impact.
Nano_Burger (author)  Lokisgodhi2 years ago
If you think bending old technology to serve your own interests is without worth, do yourself a favor and don't look at any of my other Instructables. It will only make you cry.

I never liked that tired cliché about the deck chairs on the HMS Titanic. If you were creative enough, you could rearrange the deck chairs to make a serviceable life raft.
The Titanic wasn't a HMS. That's reserved for warships only. The Titanic was RMS, Royal Mail Ship. Which is only for ships that were contracted to carry British mail.

I looked at your other projects. Great creativity I just think you'd be better served putting it into coming up with one's to make digital better. Greater value because it'll serve a larger audience.

I think digital fills the needs of the vast majority of consumers and commercial users. The ability to view, discard and retake is the golden app for digital.

35MM and large format is still viable for archival work where it's important for images to last decades or longer.
gmjhowe2 years ago
Excellent Tutorial!

Did you see Lomography have started making a new 110 black and white film? You can get 'Beta' experimental ones atm.
Nano_Burger (author)  gmjhowe2 years ago
Yes, very glad someone is taking submini seriously. Not so sure about not having backing paper in the cartridge. I've found that the backing paper has made 110 film particularly good at controlling light leaks. You can take a cartridge out mid way though the film and only sacrifice 1 frame. A good feature as far as I was concerned! Hopefully, this Instructable will continue the Buzz about 110 photography.
I still want to try and put some film through my Coronet Midget. I am actually working on a device to put 35mm film through the back of it without having to splice. Just so I can get it developed easily!

From the info it looks like the next version/run will be paper backed.
Sounds very much like a prototype.
This is an amazing walkthrough!