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RattyMouse
03-31-2013, 05:37 PM
Anything film related in the news has to help a little bit......

http://www.guampdn.com/usatoday/article/2034585

bsdunek
03-31-2013, 07:05 PM
Boy, that makes me feel old! I was doing camera repair when the Instamatic came out. I figured that nobody was going to repair these things. They were so rugged that very little ever went wrong, and when it did, it was cheaper to buy a new one than get the old one fixed. Time changes everythingl

Truzi
03-31-2013, 09:31 PM
I recently brought an old family Instamatic back to life. It is a fun camera.

Wade D
03-31-2013, 10:33 PM
The Instamatic 104 was my 1st camera in 1965. I was 12 and used slide film at 1st then Verichrome Pan when I started developing my own film a few years later. I still have it in the original box with an unused flashcube.

MattKing
03-31-2013, 10:57 PM
I found the last line most interesting:

"This year is the 50th anniversary of the Instamatic," he said. "But it's also the 100th anniversary of the Kodak lab."

Aristotle80
03-31-2013, 11:51 PM
When I read that story I was stunned that so many people had difficulty loading film into a camera without a cartridge format. One person quoted in the story marveled that it could be "loaded in daylight." 120 film had been loaded in daylight for 50 years before instamatic came out! I think pretty much every roll film format can be loaded in daylight. It's not like ordinary people were still fumbling with loading LF sheet film into holders. My very first camera took a 110 cartridge, but manually loading an all manual 35mm camera was not in the least bit difficult to me as a pre-teen.

Sorry if it comes off as too ranty, I just think Kodak really outfoxed itself by trying to reinvent the wheel with these cartridge formats every decade. Sure, the original 126 was hip, but maybe if it wasn't a hit we would have been spared Disc, 110, & APS.

I dunno, I was born in 1980 and I cannot recall ever seeing 126 for sale in stores in the late 80s when I started buying film. In drug stores it was 110 and 35mm, in camera stores they also had 120 and sheet sizes. If 126 was such a hit, why stop pushing it in favor of successor cartridges?

If it was your first camera, then I respect there's room for serious nostalgia, but on the technical merits I don't see serious improvement in the pictures.

I guess my gut reason for not celebrating 126 is that I don't like waste. I feel like I want my camera to retain its utility as long as possible, and it was effectively abandoned by its creator before its time, maybe. I don't care for change for the sake of change, and Kodak seemed to do that a fair bit over the years. All the 126 people have my blessing. I guess you had to be there. :D

MattKing
04-01-2013, 12:07 AM
If you had ever worked in a retail camera store, you would know that the problems people experienced with loading and unloading 35mm film were very common.

The 126 format cameras were super-ceded because:

1) there were problems inherent in the design with film flatness; and
2) the market wanted something smaller.

BMbikerider
04-01-2013, 02:32 AM
I have a feeling that 126 film is no longer available in UK. Go on someone tell me different. Apart from the simple point and shoot models I remember a neat Kodak reflex that took 126 film back in 1964, but have not seen one since.

railwayman3
04-01-2013, 02:54 AM
I have a feeling that 126 film is no longer available in UK. Go on someone tell me different. Apart from the simple point and shoot models I remember a neat Kodak reflex that took 126 film back in 1964, but have not seen one since.

The last time I saw 126 film for sale in a mainstream shop in the UK was in a branch of Boots in 2003. (I can rememember the date as we were on holiday at the time, and I hadn't seen 126 in any local shops for quite a while).

IIRC, Kodak last made it around 2005, with Ferrania ceasing production a few years later?

AgX
04-01-2013, 03:39 AM
Sorry if it comes off as too ranty, I just think Kodak really outfoxed itself by trying to reinvent the wheel with these cartridge formats every decade.Sure, the original 126 was hip, but maybe if it wasn't a hit we would have been spared Disc, 110, & APS.


It was not just beneficial to Kodak. The whole industry was cranked up by the introduction of type 126, including those who did not jump onto the Instamatic wagon.

Type 110 was very effective too.
You are too young to have experienced all this. But have a look at old catalogs and price lists. They will tell you that cameras of this type were able to serve a broad market, though still being expensive compared to standards of today.

railwayman3
04-01-2013, 04:51 AM
It was not just beneficial to Kodak. The whole industry was cranked up by the introduction of type 126, including those who did not jump onto the Instamatic wagon.

Type 110 was very effective too.


Definitely 126 did much good for snapshot photography....I remember many friends in my student days, who wouldn't have otherwise taken photos, using 126 cameras (and flashcubes) regularly. IIRC, 110 wasn't quite as popular....the quality of processing could be variable, and most casual users kept with their 126 cameras. or graduated to the easier-loading 35mm which became available. There was also the Agfa Rapid easy-loading system, which never really took off, at least in the UK. (Agfa also produced 126 cameras and film).

Disc film seemed to fail through quality of the film and printing, plus the size of the cameras. APS was certainly ingenious, but expensive to use and superceded by digital very quickly.

wblynch
04-01-2013, 08:57 AM
Very few people used 35mm film cameras before the Instamatic came out. They all used roll film, either 120/620, 127 or 828. Loading the brownie cameras of the day was troublesome because the paper rolls could easily unravel and ruin the whole roll.

As a kid, it was my job to reload the family camera which I would take to the darkest closet and remove the old film and install the new. I loved licking the paper tape and sealing the exposed film nice and tight.

I have an Instamatic 104 that is loaded now with unperforated Kodak Portra 160NC film. For some reason it won't fire the flash cubes, even with new batteries.

I get a lot of great reaction from people when I take the Instamatic out for a day of shooting.

AgX
04-01-2013, 11:09 AM
There was also the Agfa Rapid easy-loading system, which never really took off, at least in the UK.

In the first, crucial, 2 years the production rate between Kodak-Instamatic and Agfa-Rapid cameras was about 7/1.

Which is not bad seen the averall 8/1 revenue relation between Kodak and Agfa Leverkusen at that moment and the fact that Agfa was surprised by the Instamatic system. Thus having te re-establish their pre-war Karat system and design and manufacture cameras literally over night to face the Instamatics.

Agfa manufactured Rapid-cassettes up to the mid-90's!

The Karat system is, concerning handling, inferior to the Instamatic system, but technically more sound as it strongly resembles type 135, except for rewinding.

Truzi
04-01-2013, 08:06 PM
My first camera was my mothers Brownie (Holiday?). I was probably 5 or 6, and didn't have a problem loading 127 film.

However, there were probably a lot of people that did have problems (or never tried because of perceived difficulty, impatience, etc.) that were suddenly taking pictures when the Instamatic came out.

Think of it this way, how many of us would be on APUG if it were back in the days of text-only computer interfaces. No mouse, no clicking, no graphcs - just text and commands for everything.
Personally, I'd not find it difficult, but I work in IT and deal regularly with people who can barely figure out email.
I still can't get my mother to understand that Google is a web site, and Firefox is a "browser" that lets her go to websites. She thinks they are one in the same, which makes trouble-shooting difficult when she tells me Google won't open. (Because of this, I made about:blank her home page.) Oddly, she knows the difference between the TV and a TV channel.

The Instamatic brought photography to many people who probably would not have even tried.

Jeff Kubach
04-06-2013, 08:32 AM
I had one back in 1970 or so. It was fun to use.

Jeff

Francis in VT
04-06-2013, 04:27 PM
126 easy loading.
I remember a TV commercial where they showed a Chimpanzee how to open the camera. A person then handed the Chimp a film which the Chimp put in the camera and proceeded to take pictures.
Re: film flatness I think it's hogwash. The problem was with the shutter release being so stiff which
jiggled the camera unless extra care was taken to hold it tight. Other manufacturers recognized this problem and made their release buttons softer.
I have taken photos with a Kodak 500 and with their Instamatic reflex which are as sharp as a regular 35 mm.

To WBLYNCH. Take a 'Q' tip and bend the end . Wet it with ammonia and clean the contacts on the sliding cover with the bent end of the battery compartment also the ones in the top . Install fresh batteries and slide the cover back and forth a few times. The cube should fire

wblynch
04-06-2013, 04:31 PM
Thanks Francis, I will give it a go.

Ian Grant
04-06-2013, 04:42 PM
Instamatic might have turned 50 but the roll film format inside is much older. 828 dates back to 1935. Kodak later repackaged it in a 126 cassette as a square format.

Ian

foc
04-07-2013, 04:43 AM
I think that the Kodak 126 camera and film format did more to popularise amateur photography/ snapshot photography than anything else at the time.

I think it also make Kodak the dominant player worldwide. It was a case of Kodak leading the way and others followed.(remember Agfa tried their rapid system to counteract Kodak 126 but the Agfa Rapid failed to take off even though it remained in production for many a year)

Kodak C22 and later C41 would dominate the processing world while Agfa and others would have to change from their CNS (CN17) process to C41 in the late 1970's.

AgX
04-07-2013, 05:09 AM
Kodak was already the dominant player worldwide productionwise, but by means of type 126 they got more hold in the consumer range in foreign countries.