Pity the poor Pocket Instamatic photographer.  He/She has seen the film choices dwindle over the years....no 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.

Step 1: 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!

i keep losing the pentax lens cap tho it's so tiny
<p>Thanks for the great tutorial! so far i've got to emptying the cartridge and cutting the cartridge apart. Could I reload it without the backing paper if I put a strip of black vinyl tape over the window that the numbers show through? (does the film advance fine without the paper?) </p>
<p>You could load the film without the backing paper and covering the little window on the cartridge. As far as I know, the cartridge would function just fine. </p><p>In fact the first issue of Orca black and white film didn't have the backing paper. However, how would you tell what exposure you were on?? Too much record keeping for me! I'd be happily shooting after the film ran out! Do you not have the backing paper or just want to try it without?? If you were in a pinch, you could cut down 120 film backing paper to fit the 16mm film??</p><p>What type of camera do you intend on using it in? That might help in fine tuning the cartridge.</p>
thanks for the reply! <br>the camera is a pentax auto 110 that my boyfriend's dad gave me. he kind of treated it like a useless relic of the 80s and i was like NO IT IS PERFECT.<br><br>The cartridge I took apart was expired lomography 200 color. The backing paper is fine, I'm just lazy. I see what you are saying: I'd have to keep track of the exposures if I didn't reload with paper (not ideal for a lazy person such as myself). <br><br>I want to reload with b/w film i can develop at home--usually I use Ilford HP5+ 400 in caffenol c. I'm pretty comfortable slitting it down in the dark. But I really like the idea of using microfilm that's already 16mm wide. I love contrast, but I'm worried about the low ISO because the shutter speed on the pentax is automatic.<br> <br>
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?
<p>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. </p><p>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....</p>
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. <br>
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&amp;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 <br /> <br />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.
One, <br /> <br />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!
The only snag with this is that 110 film gives rather disappointing results compared to even a cheap digital camera (&lt;4Mp).<br> <br> 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 &nbsp;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!).<br> <br> Nice Instructable, but...
Snag? This Instructable isn't for you. Please move on.... Nothing to see here..... <br> <br>
I appreciate the work you've gone through doing all this. But why? <br> <br>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. <br> <br>You do interesting instructables but this is kind of rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. <br> <br>Put your creativity towards something with a greater impact. <br>
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. <br> <br>I never liked that tired clich&Atilde;&copy; 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. <br>
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. <br> <br>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. <br> <br>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. <br> <br>35MM and large format is still viable for archival work where it's important for images to last decades or longer.
Excellent Tutorial!<br> <br> Did you see Lomography have started making a new 110 black and white film? You can get 'Beta' experimental ones atm.<br> <br> <a href="http://uk.shop.lomography.com/lomography-orca-110-bandw-film" rel="nofollow">http://uk.shop.lomography.com/lomography-orca-110-bandw-film</a>
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! <br> <br>From the info it looks like the next version/run will be paper backed. <br>Sounds very much like a prototype.
This is an amazing walkthrough!

About This Instructable




Bio: I don't care about what anything was DESIGNED to do, I care about what it CAN do.
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