Earlier this year I scanned a couple of hundred of my family's holiday snaps from the '60s and early '70s, most of which were taken using an Instamatic, and most of them apparently on Kodachrome (Kodachrome-X ?).
What I found photographically interesting was that the large majority were perfectly well exposed, despite all the strictures common amongst "serious" photographers about how slide film must be exposed with deadly accuracy!
Or were those old emulsions simply more forgiving?
I find nothing to celebrate with the Instamatics. The design was a poor one since it allowed too much slop in the film plain. The result was two generations of fuzzy pictures. It was certainly a step backwards from previous cameras.
Some Instamatics had built-in light meters, so it's very possible that your parents had one of these.
Originally Posted by pdeeh
Otherwise, it can be whittled down to the beauty of Kodak's instruction manual. Their manuals did not advocate any creative picture taking like those for foreign cameras; they simply told users to take pictures in bright sun, with the sun facing behind you. If you have played around with a light meter during the day, you'll notice that most traditional "snapshot" situations are ± 1/2 stop from sunny 16. As long as the user followed the instructions, he or she could get adequately exposed images at least 70% of the time.
Or maybe your parents threw out the bad ones!:laugh:
Hmm I think you may be assuming I'm younger than I really am :)
I was the custodian of the slides from a young age ... none were ever thrown out!
No, I used it myself & it was as basic as you like: an Instamatic 25. It had a big metal shutter release, a shoe, a viewfinder and two settings - Sunny and Dull/Flash.
Along with the Instamatic it seems the price of color film and prints finally became affordable for most families. Before that it was two or three rolls per year of black and white. B&W was expensive enough and color was out of the question.
Instamatic brought simple, affordable color photography to hundreds of millions of people.
My parents bought me one about '65 or '66 for about $12. I stopped using it about 30 years ago when I got into more serious photography. I took it apart a few years back and the lens was a dime-sized, plastic, single element, uncoated lens. No wonder the pictures were fuzzy with low contrast and flare. But despite this, the general snapshooting public (which I was one of once), not knowing any better or caring, bought millions and millions of them.
There had been all kind of type 126 cameras ranging from single-element, most basic cameras up to multi-element lenses in SLR-bodies. Kodak themselves offered a type 126 SLR.