In 1972, the year of introduction of the new format, the large-scale spread of the 126 Instamatic format had suggested the introduction of a new format that would reproduce the main features, most notably machine loading error proof, while seeking to overcome the dissemination, leveraging lower cost of ownership and ease of use. He was presented the new 110 format, called Pocket to distinguish it from the previous 110 of the early 900, and, with it, the new series of ultra-compact cameras pocket-instamatic.
The film is contained in a plastic cartridge that can be inserted in one direction inside the camera and that is extracted from the same after you take the last image, no need to rewind the film. The film strip contained in the cartridge is protected by a strip of paper and has a length of about 30-35 cm and a width of 16 mm, while the single frame measures 13 x 17 mm. The film has a puncture which, in most cameras, allows the advance and shutter armouring.
The cartridge, in some cameras with automatic exposure, enables the appliance, using the presence or absence of a tongue on one side, to distinguish the films in low (100-200 iso) or high (200 – 400 iso) sensitivity. The extreme miniaturization of the format (which however is not the smallest that appeared on the scene with the camera) does not allow achieving high magnification, high penalty grain and lack of sharpness that make it, in fact, useless printing.
Cameras & Films
Several manufacturers have made their contribution to the success of the format, producing films that both machines, most of which little sizes exceed those of the cartridge itself without any adjustment; the format itself has allowed the proliferation of all sorts of cameras-gadgets spread in tribute along with many products, from detergents to magazines at French fries! Next to such simple machines, it should be noted the production of camera with complex functions and sophisticated automation, such as the Minolta SLR 110 or even interchangeable lens systems, like the Pentax 110.
Dominating was the availability of color negative film, produced by Kodak, Fujifilm, Agfa and other smaller producers, and for a time was also a 110 version of Kodachrome. Deficient or totally absent production of black and white films for this format. Fujifilm has finished production in 2009 and its latest films have deadlines between the 2010 and 2011; today (2010), Kodak remains the only manufacturer, mainly non-European market.
Similar formats and derivatives
Next to the spread of 110, there was also the presence of two additional formats with similar characteristics, the Minox format (with images of only 8 x 11 mm) and cameras with 16 mm cartridge, such as the Minolta 16 and Kiev 30.
Use the 110 Pocket format today
Being the simplest cameras available on the used market at prices generally below 5 euros, and a few more sophisticated ones, the real obstacle to using today's 110 format is the availability of film and development laboratories. The new film is available only from Kodak, usually Gold in color, and now also the new Lomography line that includes, to date, a film NL iso 100, iso 200 colour and a red-scales; the laboratories capable of developing the format are now completely disappeared, while always Lomography has launched a new service of 110 film processing and printing.
However, having these cartridges you can easily charge with 16 mm film or film 135/120 duly cut, possibly with those cameras that do not need to load the bolt hole; in this way you will have a wide choice of color or black and white film to process and print out on your own.
For scanning, in addition to simple alternative to build a cardboard film, suitable for the purpose are the old life that accompanied the objectives of dia duplication.