Pocket Instamatic




Introduction: Pocket Instamatic

Buy 'em by the bagful. Pocket Instamatics are the coolest shoot-from-the-hip Lomographic junk store cameras. Now you can reload them with regular 35mm film.

All you need is a film slitter to slice the film down to 110 size. Easy, cheap, and quick to make. See my Instamatic Film Slitter Instructable.

110 film is hard to get except from The Frugal Photographer. This is a great source for other hard to find film as well.

Most photo lab chains can develop, but not print, 110 film for under $2 USD a roll.

Or for developing and prints, you can use York Photo for about $4 USD a roll.

Submini cameras need to be very steady. You will get sharper photos if you prop the camera against a wall, tree, or car, or use a pocket tripod if the camera has tripod socket.

Step 1: Unload the 110 Cartridge

So you are starting with an exposed roll of 110 film.

Place the 110 cartridge on a table in subdued light.

The winding gear on the cartridge should be up, and the label side should be away from you.

Use an X-acto knife or utility knife to carefully and shallowly cut along the semi-circular edges of the 110 cartridge.

You can now pull the cartridge gently apart.

Step 2: Slit the 35mm Film

For this next step, you will need to make a simple film slitter.

You are going to slit the center out of standard roll of 35mm film to make it about 16mm wide.

Bend over the narrow film leader and tape it to make a loop.

This loop will stop the film from rewinding into the cartridge by mistake.

In a changing bag or dark room, coil the film up with clean, dry hands, and place the coil and the 135 metal cartridge into the film-slitter.

Press the back onto the film slitter.

All this in total darkness. Hmm. Maybe you should try a dry run or two and waste a roll of 135 film in normal lighting.

Stick the winding knob into the 135 film spool knob.

Press down on the camera as shown with the palm of your hand to pierce the film.

Now rewind the film into the 135 metal cartridge by turning the knob.

Step 3: Remove Your Slit Film

Still in the dark, remove the 135 cartridge from your DIY film slitter.

Unspool about a foot (15 cm) of film.

Discard the narrow side strips with the perforations.

Step 4: Load the 110 Cartridge

Tape over the rectangular hole in the back of the cartridge.

You will not be using backing paper.

In the dark, tape your 1 foot length of slit film onto the spool as shown.

Coil the film with clean dry hands and load the spool and coil into the 110 cartridge.

Step 5: Load and Shoot

You can tape the cartridge shut in subdued light.

Load it into the camera.

The Minolta 110 cameras do not need perforations.

You can simply wind twice between each shot.

Get out there and get artistic.

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you for a good instructable.

    I have a question for you camera buffs. Have any of you ever made a mircodot camera? I've gotten curious about them recently and can't find any good plans. I will be going back through my optics books to try and create one. However, if any of you have accomplished it your guidance would be most appreciated!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    be careful with film splitters, i cut the hell out of my hand a few years cutting 8x10 down to 6x9 film.   They can be nasty.   Get yourself a pair of IR goggles that would help... (like the crappy MW2 ones).



    12 years ago on Introduction

    In the most of cases you need some spockets / holes in the film to arm the shutter...



    12 years ago on Introduction

    I don't see sprockets in the film - are they not really necessary? I can imagine that they're really only there for consistant spacing, but I don't know. L (used to have one of these - crappy images, but compact)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    thank you. my mom gave me her old instamatic and i was worried i would never find film for it.