Step 14: Kodak Instamatic 44

The Kodak Instamatic 44 is a very simple camera. It was packaged for discount sales at US $9.95 - a shocking $57 in 2008 dollars. The manufacturing date code is usually hidden behind the removable metal field stop. The camera in the picture below has a CAMEROSITY code of YOOT or 06/69. Similar models are the Instamatic Hawkeye II and the Brazilian-made Instamatic 11.

Mfg. 1969 - 1973
Lens: fixed f/11 43mm plastic meniscus lens
Shutter: fixed 1/50 sec.
Film advance: manual knob
Flash: Flashcube, automatic advance during winding
Batteries: Two PX825
image: 28x28mm nominal

  • Hold down shutter button to wind film.
  • For un-backed reloaded film, wind two complete turns between shots.
  • Flash cube must be manually advanced.
  • Replace PX825 batteries with modern 1.55 volt button cells shimmed with coins.
<p>This is a very nice article - thanks for posting and including all of the low-tech solutions (like the no-frills changing bag!)</p>
When I take my film out of my 35mm canister I save the canister and then reload it in a darkroom and its good to go. when i go to the lab i let them know that the film inside has been shot in a different canister then reloaded back into the 35mm can
Just found this camera at a Goodwill store today. Original-sized battery installed and working (no flash currently). Now to get a cartridge or 2... (http://www.frugalphotographer.com/cat126.htm)
After removing the exposed film from the plastic 126 cartridge in a darkroom or dark bag, it's probably a good idea to put it into a standard 35mm metal cassette, with the tongue hanging out, to take it to the photofinisher. That's the only way you can be really, truly sure that someone there won't open the plastic can in daylight, which is what they normally do. Also, as noted below, some systems in common use expect the film to arrive in a standard 35mm cassette, and handing them bare film invites problems. It might be worth sacrificing a roll of outdated 35mm. Just pull the sacrificial film out all the way and cut it off, then rewind the stub back into the cassette. You should be able to stuff a two-foot length into the cassette without popping the end caps off. Also, consider leaving some of the stub, taping your film to it, and rewinding -- you'll need to rig up a tool to turn the cassette hub. Be sure to insist you get your empty cassette back.
Really fun seeing all the old instamatics - thanks!
yeah, I don't quite follow how the film goes into the developer without being exposed when it's just in the canister like that. Normally film processing machines feed in the dark directly from the metal casing...it would be easy if you were processing your own film but otherwise..<br />
what size button cell is a good replacement for the PX-35 3 volt battery?
what do you tell the people at the developing lab? that the film is in the 135 can by its self?
Thanks! Let me know how it works out for you. You might also like the flickr and yahoo Instamatic groups I have recently joined.
I have an instamatic but can't find any 126 film o_0
A good source is <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.frugalphotographer.com">The Frugal Photographer</a> or this <a rel="nofollow" href="http://search.ebay.com/instamatic+film">eBay search</a>.<br/>
Nice ible! Love the "flash bars." Something you might enjoy: received this underwater instamatic housing as a birthday gift (9th or 10th.) Yes, a few years ago.... yes, it worked!
Cool Dive housing and cool instructables patch too!
Thanks...what happened to your reply below? (there wasn't anything at all controversial about it...) I like the railrd photo...that looks like old-school reticulation effects to me. Also--126 film is great stuff. I recall one of my profs in college extolling the virtues of Verichrome Pan -- it was a much better emulsion than Plus-X. And never available in 35mm...
You are right. It is a bug I have seen mentioned in the -ible forums. Oh well :) That railroad photo was pure luck. I was shooting ancient film from an Instamatic I bought at a junk store for $1. And that is what came out. No clue why, but I like it ! I just bought another Instamatic for $2 and it has an ancient roll of VP in it. Will shoot and post the images. I never liked Plus-x much either :)
Woah, flashback! My first camera was an Instamatic, and the first ten or twelve years of my life were documented on my mother's Instamatic. Grand old cameras, great to see them getting a new lease of life like this - good ible.
Some of the best Instamatics are the UK only models. Though in my opinion the all out best is the German made Instamatic 500.
I must be old. I remember when the Instamatic came out. My first camera was an inexpensive cheapo roll film camera, that didn't have a flash option. Mom's camera was a roll film camera from the late 40s or early-mid 50s. Most of the snapshots of my youth where B/W and or outdoors. Color film and flash bulbs where luxuries. Now I have a telephone that's way smaller than the Instamatic's and take "good enough" color snapshots and short color video to boot.
Yeh, photographs used to be precious things, that you took care of in an album and showed people only after they promised to be careful about fingerprints and crease. I've just worked out that I take an average of 15 photos a day. We spent a couple of hours on the beach yesterday, I took about sixty photos. I've just made an ible this afternoon (it'll be up this evening) and took 23 photos. On holiday, I'll take 150 a day, at a wedding I'll take 300-500. I'm drowning in photos...
I'd like to try this 35mm into an instamatic, but I have a question. How do you keep the film flat enough on the film plane to make a decently focused image? Is there some way to keep the film tight so it's not slack & loose?
The secret is the backing paper glued onto the film plane. This keeps the film flat, not slack, and your image in focus.
I found out quite by accident years ago, and old Brownie's can be had for about 5 bux at yard sales. Without coated lenses, they're no good for colour, but perfect for black and white. A Y2 filter will help some. Enjoy.
For those who may be interested, you can also backroll 120 film onto 620 rolls to use those older "point and shoots". Either in a black bag (or a dark closet in a dark room at night), unroll the 120 from it's spool, then starting from the end that came off last, re-roll it onto the 620 spool. The paper backing has numbers which will help you determine where you are on the roll as you are shooting.
Uncle bruce! very cool indeed