In the late 1970s, both Minolta and Pentax produced 110 SLR cameras that were of superb quality. I bought my Auto 110 kit in 2002, just as film was first on the wane.
I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by the detail and vivid color this camera achieved with Agfa Vista 110 film. When enlarged, the grain is smaller than expected for one reason: Traditional pocket cameras (such as the Kodak Ektralite series) don't have very sharp focus, therefore a lot of "circles of confusion" residue swims around there with film grain, giving an overall grainy look.
Not so with the Auto 110. Recently, I ran my first roll of Verichrome Pan 125 through this little wonder, and -- developed in Edwal FG7, a fine-grain developer -- the results were similar when enlarged to 35mm Tri-X developed in Agfa Rodinal.
As a professional photographer, I always carry a backup. This is my backup to 35mm, and on a couple occasions, I have actually used this on a commercial shoot. I didn't tell the client this was the camera I was using, but they said they wanted something a little more gritty than could be had with a 35mm. They assumed I was just using faster film.
I first fell in love with Pentax glass when I purchased my first zoom lens for my Ricoh KR-5 Super, my first SLR, which used Pentax K-mount lenses. The lenses for the Auto 110 are to the same exacting standards. I especially love the wide-angle, as beyond six feet (with decent soft focus at 3 to 6 feet) it gets everything in focus. Conversely, the telephoto lens gets dead-on focus with astonishing detail at anything you point it.
I hope others out there who share my enthusiasm for this wonderful camera can drop by and give their two cents.
i also have a pentax auto 110, and got it maybe in 2000.
i agree, the camera is beautifully made, and it is surprising how nice
the images made with this camera are. i have never used mine on a professional job
for a client, but i have brought it along on documentary jobs, for me (not my client )
i have the telephoto, wide and normal lens and have always wanted the pan focus lens!
what a great idea
i bought new old stock film from eBoink shortly after i bought the camera
(and still have 10-15 or more rolls of fuji110 film )
i have always wanted to shoot b/w 110 film.
are you able to find 110b/w film on eBoink ? or do you respool ?
i know there is an active respooling group on yahoo groups ...
but i have never been very good at cracking open the cartridge and cutting 35mm film down ..
I just picked up some Kodak imagelink 16mm film and some 110 stainless steel reels. Now I will see what I can do about reloading 110 cartridges. I have looked and think I can make this work if I use BlueFire developer I should be able to get close to ISO 100. We will see. PS I have lots of 100 color in the freezer still. We will see for how long I can get it developed via send out services.
I have been reloading with 16mm Tri-x. Once you have done it a few times it is pretty easy. I've got 100' of plus-x as well, but for the moment I am embracing the grain.
I am the proud owner of an Auto 110 system with 18, 24 and 50 mm lenses, a winder, and a flash, all in an original Pentax bag. Everything works - but I haven't actually used it, because I don't have B/W film for it. How hard is it to reload those 110 cartridges? I'd happily buy color film just for the cartridges, if I had a good way to cut and load film...
I am very enthused -- 5 members already!
You can load 16mm movie film into 110 cartridges? How to overcome the problem of too many sprocket holes? Wouldn't the pin catch on it at every perforation? Somebody please help with the FYI on this!
Here's a couple of interesting web pages:
Hi, I seem to have become involved with the 110 world, I can't explain why but there it is I'm hooked.
I have just purchased a Pentax Auto 110 and I am really looking forward to its arrival. I have owned a few 110 cameras in the past namely Kodak and Agfa and have a small pile of negatives somewhere amongst my other prints. I also own a Canon ED and a Minolta 460T.
I still shoot 35mm film B&W and develop it myself and then scan into my PC to print out, alas no space for a darkroom but still enjoy some chemical exposure.
I have a plustek OpticFilm 7200 scanner and now have to come up with a way of scanning 16mm as well as building a film splitter, my plan is to shoot 400asa B&W using the 110 cassettes. I have at last managed to get hold of some Fuji 200 asa cassettes and have managed to split 2 with a view to reloading them.
I am still asking myself why I am going to all this trouble, I guess retirement needs to filled in with some excitement ????? If anyone has gone down this path before me and can offer insight to reinventing the wheel please contact me.
I got a Pentax Auto 110 system yesterday for something like $25. I've just ordered a bunch of film from frugal photographer. What I would really like to do is get B&W film and develop it myself. I guess I have a lot of research to do. It is a very attractive little camera and rounds out my Pentax collection very nicely, alongside a Spotmatic, an ESII, the 645n and the 67.
www.lomography.com is making 110 film now in B&W and color. just ordered a few rolls of both.
I just recently got an asahi pentax auto 110 Super with a bunch of lenses, autowinder, and af130 flash. everything works great, and i cant wait to see what the little camera will produce.
There are several names here that I recognize.
And just recently I became eligible to join this group, having purchased an Asahi-Pentax "auto 110" kit with the 18mm, 24mm, and 50mm lenses, and the AF100P electronic flash. The Asahi-Pentax "auto 110" joins my Minolta 110 SLR cameras, along with the other 110 film cartridge cameras here already.
Dai, I have not found "retirement" to be something that needs some "excitement." In fact, there are many moments when I wish I still had a job to go to for some rest and recuperation. You cannot fully appreciate the predictability, familiarity, and stability of a job, until you no longer have one.
Latte Land, Washington
"An update is available"
The last major item for the Asahi-Pentax auto 110 camera kit has arrived. Sort of. A sample of the Pentax 110 Autowinder is here. I do not really know if it is Ver. 1 or Ver. 2, but it does have a problem with one of the little plastic latching projections on the bottom of the 2xAAA battery compartment cover. It is broken and missing; only one working bottom latch remaining. I can hold it on and in position using some Scotch 33+ black electrician's tape, so I can keep it working.
I have also received the recommendation that the little 110 Autowinder is not that reliable, and probably is not something to use very often. Well, I do agree that there is merit to working things manually and more deliberately to avoid just holding down the shutter release button and running through the 110 film cartridge. Still, I am glad to at least have a sample of this accessory that was also available for the camera.
This little camera is interesting, and in many ways , is quite different from the Minolta 110 Zoom SLR.
Latte Land, Washington