The Japanese and German 16mm cameras of the 1960's were very popular with consumers.  These small, lightweight cameras could go anywhere, any time.  And the half-frame craze of the same time demonstrated that the public wanted smaller cameras -- but with good results.  So in 1972, Kodak reduced the popular 126 INSTAMATIC camera (a super-easy-to-use "35mm" camera) to pocket size with the introduction of five different KODAK Pocket INSTAMATIC cameras -- using a new KODAK 110 film cartridge.  It was actually 16mm film with different perforations that "talked" to the camera.  The line was so popular that more than 25 million cameras were produced in slightly under three years!  That's hard to believe.

My, there sure were a lot of 110 cameras made.  But in the end the 110 cameras were destroyed by their success.  First, it competed against the readily-available, easy-to-use 126 INSTAMATIC cameras, already on the market.  In order to compete, manufacturers kept adding more and more features to the super-small 110 cameras.  At the same time, the 35mm rangefinder cameras were getting smaller and smaller.  Soon, feature-laden 110's -- with built-in flashes, motor drives, etc. -- were bigger and even more expensive than good-quality 35mm cameras -- with lower-quality results.  The 110's were squeezed from both sides. Consumers correctly chose the 35mm cameras.

This list is inaccurate and very incomplete. Typically, these cameras were very simple and specifics were never listed by the manufacturer. Since so many styles and types were made, it is impossible to list them all. Many camera models were sold under various brand names.  If you are able to provide more accurate information than is listed here, please contact us.

Although films of various types were available for 110 cameras, the cameras could only be set for 100 ISO or 400 ISO.  In fact, the earliest 110 cameras were only designed to use 100 speed film.  You can tell if a particular camera is designed for both films by checking the inside of the film chamber.  The film cassette has a tab on the end to tell the camera what type of film it is, and if the camera has a small "arm" to sense the film cassette, it can be used with both film types.  There are other 110 cameras that have a switch on the exterior of the body to tell the camera what type of film is being used.  You can physically use either film in a camera designed for only ISO 100 film, but the exposure will be the same for both types of film.  In the cameras designed for both films, the exposure changes when the ISO 400 cassette is sensed -- so you have to get the right type of cassette for the film or modify the cassette to fit.  A few 110 cameras had exposure compensation dials built-in, so that the ISO of the film can be changed if desired.

110 film is still available -- check out The Camera Shop for details. Processing can be found anywhere. And 110 cameras are still being manufactured, but you are more likely to find them at your local Walmart than at the local camera shop. There were some very high quality 110 cameras made and this category should not be overlooked as mere "toy" cameras. Many were equal in quality and features to the best 16mm cameras -- some would say 35mm as well.

110 film is really 16mm film with special perforations along one edge. The perforations were used on most 110 cameras to cock the shutter and position the film correctly, but it is possible to reload the 110 cassettes with 16mm film. Check out the Darkroom for details.

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