Disposable 35mm cameras

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BetterSense, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Let's discuss disposable cameras. Some disposables have flashes and some are waterproof and then there are the cheapest 'daylight' ones.

    They probably use a hyperfocal, smallish aperture lens...that's why they say to stand back 'at least 5 feet' or whatever. But what about further exposure controls? Are they simply fixed 'sunny 11' or something and let the developing minilab 'fix' everything in the printing?

    CVS has a deal with a 'free film for life' if you get photos developed there. You buy the cheap camera for like $10 and I guess they return it to you full after they get it developed.

    What's your favorite disposable camera?
     
  2. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    You know, I've never used one, but my daughter used a Kodak with built-in flash that took surprisingly good photos. I'm sure it has a hyperfocal lens, and maybe even some rudimentary AE brain, but it made me think that it could possibly work quite well as a grab-shot or street photo camera.

    Best,

    Michael
     
  3. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Kodak made one with a glass Ektar lens.Very nice.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Remember they're not really disposable. Don't throw them out when you've finished the film!


    Steve.
     
  5. pauliej

    pauliej Member

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    BS, before you sign up for the lifetime supply, you may want to try some of CVS's film and have it processed/printed and see how it is. You get what you pay for (except at Sears, as I used to say), so free film may be ok or not. Also, you may want to try some other films in your disposable, and see how they work too. Just my 2 cents, before taxes...

    paulie
     
  6. eddym

    eddym Member

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    My wife used to carry around disposable cameras with her so that she could shoot photos of scenes for her paintings. Last year Walgreens offered the same kind of "free film" camera deal, and so she bought one. I think she had it reloaded once; the prints were so bad that they were useless even for her to paint from. In other words, either the camera is crap, or the film, or both. She has used both Kodak and Walgreen brand disposables, however, and had good results. But the "refillable for life" cameras suck!
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    As there are only 4 color film makers left, EK, Fuji, Lucky and Ferrina it is a safe bet that the film will be OK. The last house film I saw at CVS was Ferrnia.
     
  8. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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  9. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    They're more likely fixed to overexpose quite a bit in daylight. The latitude of the film will compensate for it, and it would provide better low light performance, especially with the flash. That doesn't help those of us who want to print in a darkroom.

    I wouldn't get the $10 camera. Get the $5 Olympus Trip 35 (mid 1970s, try ebay) or the Nikon L35AF. The former includes exposure compensation and has a real lens which will outshoot pro zooms and the latter even includes (gasp) autofocus! There are much better cameras for no money at all. Don't waste your time.
     
  10. mabman

    mabman Member

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    I was thinking of trying to crack the lens on one and see if I can get Picasso-like abstract distortion. However, after looking at one more closely, the lens is awfully small, so I'm not sure if that would work...
     
  11. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Of course I'm not going to buy one and use it 'seriously'. But once upon a time you have to admit they sold a lot of them. There are people in my family that still use them; when we go visit for christmas or whatever someone always has one. It got me to thinking what kind of exposure controls they use. My dad used to keep one in his glove box for evidence in case of car crashes. And I have one in my tackle box for taking pictures of trophy fish (it's probably expired by now). They are perfect for stuff like that.

    I know the trip 35 has only two shutter speeds, but I'm not sure if disposables have any AE capabilities at all. Perhaps back in their heyday there were more complicated ones?

    Really, how do you get the film out? And reload them? I always looked at them and didn't really see a way.
     
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I was referring to the fact that everyone calls them disposables although you don't throw them out. You take or send them to a lab for processing then (hopefully) they are recycled.

    The proper name is usually 'single use camera' but as I said, I hope they get recycled.

    You can take the film out of most of them yourself. I have done it.

    You need to remove the cardboard cover then you should see some sort of flap on the bottom. These cameras usually use a standard 35mm film canister. When it is assembled the film is wound out onto another internal spool ready for use. As the camera is used the film is wound back into the canister.

    So when all the exposures are used up you have a fully re-wound 35mm film ready for processing.

    I have not tried re-loading one but I'm sure it could be done with a bit of ingenuity. As long as you got the leader onto the take up spool o.k. There is usually some means of winding the film out of the spool on the outside of the case.


    Steve.
     
  13. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Ken Rockwell published a helpful article once about the Fuji QuickSnap. Apparently not at all a bad camera. It can be reloaded, but that seems a rather complicated process (or not, I don't know Mr. Rockwell's skills).

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/fuji/quicksnap.htm
     
  14. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Ken Rockwell's review is interesting, didn't know that disposables have even some superiority compared to some features in DSLRs
     
  15. Francis in VT

    Francis in VT Member

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    One time use cameras

    This makes the most sense. Most of the later "PHD" cameras were auto loading and some even had auto rewinding. Just in case the user forgot the film had to be rewound, unlike the "One Time Use cameras".
     
  16. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    They're light. Pro # 1.

    Lets see, the quicksnap and many of those cameras take special cartridges with different shaped spindles to prevent you from reloading. This is not a problem if you bulk load, if else, that presents a real pain. Some take regular canisters, those would be fun, but the process involves a darkbag and careful calibration of the counter thing to get the proper number of frames. I don't know how that's done.
     
  17. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    FWIW you can force the CVS cams open, load it w/ kodak, do whatever. Just put the CVS brand film back in and take it back there when you want a free roll.
     
  18. bob100684

    bob100684 Member

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    Pro #2 No shutter lag/focus lag.


     
  19. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    The best optics in disposable cameras are in the Kodak disposables. The difference is quite noticeable.

    Steve
     
  20. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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  21. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    My wife and I have gotten surprisingly good film from Kodak, Fuji and generic disposable cameras. She prefers to buy and use them on vacation and mail them home for processing. It saves luggage space.

    The generic camera(s) we used, were mostly filled with Agfa film in a re-used Kodak disposable camera, with a paste on generic paper label. The underwater camera I used was Fuji and the pictures were surprisingly good.

    I like to save the batteries sometimes, as they are hardly used at all.

    PE
     
  22. Jeffrey S. Winn

    Jeffrey S. Winn Member

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    I have used one time use cameras on vacation all of the time. I like the underwater ones, as I don't have a real underwatrer camera to goof around with. The photos are usually OK, and they are just the kids and I goofing off at the beach or pool. I like the fact that I can record a quick snapshot, and not worry about anyone dropping the camera in the ocean or pool.

    To take this a step further, I bought a Nikon N-70 camera for $17.00. I was given a 70-300 lens from a friend, and I added a 28-105 zoom. I don't have a lot of money invested in this kit, yet it can produce wonderful images. Last summer my 5 year old daughter wanted to take a few photos while we were at the beach. I handed her the camera told her to stay out of the water, and have fun. She took about 10 photos before she dropped the camera in the sand, and came running back. But, since this is my vacation camera, I wasn't worried. I just brushed off the heavy sand, and told her to go play. I later cleaned up the camera properly, and the trip to the beach and sand has had no ill effects.

    With 35mm film gear sooooooo cheap, why mess around with a one time use camera. You can buy a real camera with a zoom for next to nothing, and have a ton of fun, and produce better results.

    Jeff
     
  23. mabman

    mabman Member

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    As it has a fixed shutter speed and aperture (eg, the "focus free" part), I highly doubt it's doing anything with DX coding (or metering, for that matter) - I think the 200-400 ISO part is just a suggestion for "best" results.

    I have a similar "Made in China" focus-free model branded Bell & Howell that someone gave me. I'm currently running a roll through it. The only downside - my particular model has the flash always on with no way to disable it.
     
  24. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    electrical tape?
     
  25. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    They give fair results after all. I used them for three years when I had no money to invest into a new SLR. It's just incredible how they give acceptable quality when you think about their very basic concept, to say the least.