110 Film  –  Vintage Camera Film Format

110 Film Format Specifications

Introduced: 1972
Type: cartridge film
Frame Size: 13 x 17 mm
Currently: in production

110 Film Format Overview

110 Film is a cartridge-based 16mm subminiature film debuted by Kodak in 1972 as the smaller cousin of its popular, easy-loading 126 format. Each drop-in cartridge is designed a capacity of 24 photos with each frame number printed on the film’s paper backing which is visible through a small window cut into the back of the cassette.

By the early 1970s, many companies such as Mamiya, Minolta, and Rollei had their own proprietary versions of 16mm film so when Kodak showed up with the user-friendly 110 cassette, it effectively revolutionized and standardized the subminiature camera market. Although the vast majority of 110 cameras are inexpensive like the Minolta Pocket Autopak series, several technologically sophisticated models like the Canon 110ED and Minox 110S rangefinders also appeared.

The issue with 110 film (and 16mm film in general) is that it sacrifices image quality with its tiny negatives in favor of pocketability and affordability. Many consumers were initially fine with this tradeoff but as the cost and size of higher-quality 35mm cameras shrank over time, the allure of subminiature formats also began to fade. Kodak began scaling back and ceased production of 110 cameras in 1994. Production of 110 film limped on until 2009 when Fujifilm, the last holdout, finally shut down its production line. Then, a few years later, companies like Adox and Lomographische AG resurrected the format and are currently producing it for a niche market.

Interesting 110 cameras include SLRs like the Pentax Auto 110 and Minolta 110 Zoom, the bright yellow Minolta Weathermatic A which is rated for use down to five meters underwater, the clever and extremely well-made Rollei A110, and PowerShovel‘s Superheadz-branded Book Camera which, unsurprisingly, is disguised as a book.

Interested in finding 110 film or cameras that use it?
Check eBay to see what’s available.

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, WI, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), p 446-447, 471-473, 585.

“110 film,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/110_film

“110 film,” Camera Wiki, http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/110_film

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