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  index cameras 126 instamatic
k o d a k   1 2 6   i n s t a m a t i c   c a m e r a s
Kodak 126 Film Instamatic Cameras Kodak 126 Film Instamatic Cameras

Until the introduction of the "Kodapak" cartridge in 1963, with it's associated "Instamatic" brand-name, cameras aimed at the consumer market were almost universally roll-film models, with all the inherent problems of loading that that type of film incurs. Now members of the public could load their own cameras with no risk of fogging the film. When the Instamatics were introduced Kodak also released Kodacolor-X for colour prints, and Kodachrome-X and Ektachrome-X for slides. With the improved performance of the new colour emulsions, all three films could be used at the same setting as the then-popular Verichrome Pan black & white film, all of which were available in 126 cartridge. The first Instamatic to be marketed was the Instamatic 50, on sale in the UK some weeks before the Instamatic 100 was launched in the USA. The Kodapak cartridge featured automatic film-speed sensing, a feature possibly first seen on the Agfa Rapid system, and now common-place, with the introduction of DX-coding of 35mm cassettes.

Kodak 126 Film Instamatic Cartridge

The concept was an immediate success, with more than 50 million Instamatic Cameras produced by 1970. Kodak produced these cameras until 1985 in Europe with the 277X, until 1988 in the USA, the last model there being the X-15F, according to Kodak's on-line Customer Service Pamphlet AA-13, though it would appear that Instamatic 126 cameras were still being produced by Kodak in Brazil in the mid-1990's. The term Instamatic went into general usage to describe any easy-to-use basic camera, which rather detracts from a range that included an interchangeable-lens SLR, several range-finder cameras, and many with top-quality lenses from the likes of Rodenstock and Schneider-Kreuznach, as well as Kodak's own renowned Ektar. Whilst the bulk of production was no doubt from Rochester in the USA, and Germany and England in Europe, cameras were also manufactured or assembled in Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Canada, mostly for domestic sales. In Brazil, the Kodak Instamatic was apparently considered to be something of a luxury item, consequently a local manufacturer came up with the Tekinha Camaras, a minimalist option.

Many 126-cartridge cameras have a four-character "camerosity" date-code, usually inside the film compartment under the film gate.

Film availability

Film for this format was finally withdrawn from production by Kodak in 1999, it would appear Agfa ceased production of this format at about the same time. I was notified in August 2001 that Ferrania in Italy still had 126 film in production under their Solaris brand. This is distributed in Canada by Continent-Wide Enterprises Limited, I believe in minimum quantities of 30. Smaller quantities are available from Film for Classics and The Frugal Photographer. Swains International plc are distributing this film in the UK through the Camera Shop and Photo Chemist retail outlets, product code 1912. I have no other details. Please bear in mind that many processors may no longer be able to print the full square frame of the 126 negative, so you may wish to research your options before ordering. At the bottom of this page is a link to the Hints'n'Tips section of this website pointing you to possible resources of Instamatic 126 film.

I have written some thoughts on the concept of re-loading the 126 cartridge on this website, someone may find some use for them.
126 Film Speed Sensing

On the 126 film cartridge the film speed can be sensed, by a camera suitably equipped, from a notch in the upper front edge of the cartridge. This notch varies in position for different film speeds. The sensor is in the groove above the film gate on most cameras (where the film runs from left to right). I believe some (non-Kodak) cameras operate "in reverse", in which case any film sensor would be under the film gate. More sophisticated cameras, such as the Kodak Instamatic 500, 700 range, 800 range and X-90, are able to sense a range of speeds, as the sensor runs from right to left as the back of the camera closes, (25-800ASA is mentioned in the Instamatic 804 handbook), less complex cameras simply have a "low speed -- high speed" sensor, nominally 160 ASA when depressed, 64 ASA when out, as indeed the Instamatic Reflex has, not to be confused with the frame indexing pin, as shown in the lower picture.

Kodak 126 Film Instamatic Cartridge

Kodak 126 Film Instamatic Cartridge
Kodak 126 Film Instamatic Cameras
  Hawkeye Instamatic
  Hawkeye Instamatic A-1
  Hawkeye Instamatic F
  Hawkeye Instamatic II
  Hawkeye Instamatic R4
  Hawkeye Instamatic X
  Kodak Instamatic 100
  Kodak Instamatic 104
  Kodak Instamatic 11
  Kodak Instamatic 124
  Kodak Instamatic 132
  Kodak Instamatic 133
  Kodak Instamatic 133X
  Kodak Instamatic 134
  Kodak Instamatic 150
  Kodak Instamatic 154
  Kodak Instamatic 154X
  Kodak Instamatic 155X
  Kodak Instamatic 174
  Kodak Instamatic 177X
  Kodak Instamatic 177XF
  Kodak Instamatic 200
  Kodak Instamatic 204
  Kodak Instamatic 22
  Kodak Instamatic 220
  Kodak Instamatic 224
  Kodak Instamatic 233
  Kodak Instamatic 233X
  Kodak Instamatic 25
  Kodak Instamatic 250
  Kodak Instamatic 255X
  Kodak Instamatic 26
  Kodak Instamatic 27
  Kodak Instamatic 277X
  Kodak Instamatic 28
  Kodak Instamatic 300
  Kodak Instamatic 304
  Kodak Instamatic 314
  Kodak Instamatic 32
  Kodak Instamatic 324
  Kodak Instamatic 33
  Kodak Instamatic 333
  Kodak Instamatic 333-X
  Kodak Instamatic 355X
  Kodak Instamatic 36
  Kodak Instamatic 400
  Kodak Instamatic 404
  Kodak Instamatic 414
  Kodak Instamatic 44
  Kodak Instamatic 50
  Kodak Instamatic 500
  Kodak Instamatic 55X
  Kodak Instamatic 56X
  Kodak Instamatic 66X
  Kodak Instamatic 700
  Kodak Instamatic 704
  Kodak Instamatic 714
  Kodak Instamatic 76X
  Kodak Instamatic 77X
  Kodak Instamatic 800
  Kodak Instamatic 804
  Kodak Instamatic 814
  Kodak Instamatic Reflex
  Kodak Instamatic S-10
  Kodak Instamatic S-20
  Kodak Instamatic X-15
  Kodak Instamatic X-15F
  Kodak Instamatic X-25
  Kodak Instamatic X-30
  Kodak Instamatic X-35
  Kodak Instamatic X-35F
  Kodak Instamatic X-45
  Kodak Instamatic X-90
See also
  Finding Instamatic 126 film
  Reloading the Instamatic 126 Cartridge
  1998 : Kodak 126 film discontinued
  Kodak 126 instamatic timeline
  Making a pinhole camera

  index cameras
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