Instamatic Film Slitter




Introduction: Instamatic Film Slitter

Make a nearly free film slitter. Cut cheap 35mm film down to submini and 110 size. Fill those Holga and Lomo spy cameras with any type of film you want.

Especially useful for reloading Instamatics, since the film is getting hard to find. See my Pocket Instamatic Instructable.

Just get a few used one-time-use cameras free at any photo lab.

I prefer the ones without a flash, but I take what I can get.


The shock you get from the flash unit is molar-melting, so play it safe and get the outdoor, sunny-day, no-flash type cameras if you can.

You'll also need a pack of snap-off cutters from the dollar store, some 5 minute epoxy, a metal nut, and masking tape.

Step 1: Gut the Camera

There are 5 photos in this step. Click the thumbnails under the main picture.

Peel off the paper cover.

Next, remove the front by gently prying up the latches on the sides.

Discard the flash unit and be prepared for you WILL get shocked.

Remove the two plastic flaps on the camera bottom, the inside mechanisms and optics, and back cover.

We just want the camera as a film holder.

Step 2: Blade Holder

This step has two photos.

Buy a 6-pack of snap-off cutters from the dollar store.

Snap off two blades using the knife cap.

Use a metal nut about 15mm across to make a blade spacer.

Epoxy the knife blades to either side of the metal nut. The long side of the blade should line up with the side of the metal nut. The triangular cutting tip should protrude above the top edge of the metal nut.

The epoxy sets hard enough for handling in about 5 minutes. It takes 8 or more hours to completely cure.

Mask off the edges of the camera film path with regular masking tape to protect them from the globs of epoxy you will use to set the blades:

Now epoxy the metal nut with the two blades into the film path with just the tips sticking into the film path. The cutting edge should slope towards the loose coil film holder side of the camera.

Step 3: Completed Slitter

This step has only one photo.

You can see the silver metal nut stuck in the glob of black epoxy.

The two tips just stick into the back of the camera when you press it in place.

The plastic key is a piece from a garden sign. It has a X cross section and works great for winding the film.

You can also use a car key.

If the blades ever wear out, or become dull, or out of alignment, you can usually pry the entire lump of epoxy out of the camera and start over.

Step 4: Using the Slitter

This step has one photo.

Loop the narrow film leader back and tape it down.

This keeps the film from rewinding all the way back into the 135 cartridge.

In a dark room or bag, coil the film as you unroll it from the metal cartridge.

Then load the coil and the cartridge into the film slitter.

You can see more information at my other Instructable - Pocket Instamatic.

Be the First to Share


    • Cookie Speed Challenge (Share a cookie project or recipe. November 29)

      Cookie Speed Challenge (Share a cookie project or recipe. November 29)
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Tiny Things Speed Challenge

      Tiny Things Speed Challenge



    4 years ago

    To the poster who asked about the holes to arm the shutter... the Japanese Minolta-16 and others don't require holes. However, you can set up the blades to keep the 35mm holes and get 2 strips of 15mm wide film. You'll just need to take at least 5 pictures with the lens covered between shots to advance enough film


    Rather than risk getting shocked, you should discharge the capacitor.

    (Mentioned in the photo, but not the main instructions...)

    Take a long screwdriver with an insulated handle (plastic is good) and, as soon as you pop off the front of the camera, touch the metal part of the screwdriver to both leads of the main capacitor at the same time. (It's the black cylinder just behind the flash.) If it was charged, there should be a loud snap.

    Now you shouldn't get shocked (much), as you remove the electronics card.

    Finally !!! this is exactly what I've been trying to do for an old 8mm movie camera thanks for the instructions :)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I works great for my Minox, but for many 110 Instamatic / pocket  cams you need some holes in he film to arm the shutter.



    12 years ago on Step 4

    What is a film slitter?


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    A device used to cut film into a smaller size for cameras which use non-standard 35mm film, like the Instamatic.
    Slitting film is much cheaper than buying specially sized reels of film.