Rollei A26

Rollei A26

The Rollei A26 is a compact viewfinder camera introduced by Rollei in 1972 for the 126 film format. Designed by Heinz Waaske—the father of the legendary Rollei 35—and built just two years after Rollei established its factory in Singapore, the A26 is the first of a small number of quirky compact cameras with an orange-on-black color scheme which also includes 1974’s A110 and the Rolleimatic of 1980.

Minolta Autopak 500

The Minolta Autopak 500 is a stylish viewfinder camera introduced in 1966 and designed for the 126 film cassette. Rebadged and sold as the Ilford Monarch in the United Kingdom and the Revue-matic 500 in Germany, the Autopak 500 pioneered an auto exposure system capable of automatically firing the flash in low light situations, a feature that has since become standard in all cameras.

Kodak Instamatic 500

The Kodak Instamatic 500 is a high-end viewfinder camera designed for the 126 film cartridge and manufactured by Kodak AG—Eastman Kodak’s German branch—starting in 1964. The 500 is arguably the most well-built and highest quality fixed-lens camera in Kodak’s expansive Instamatic line but the title of flagship model belongs to the Instamatic Reflex, an interchangeable lens SLR system camera also built by Kodak AG.

Imperial Instant Load 900

The Imperial Instant Load 900 is a simple viewfinder camera manufactured by the Imperial Camera Corporation of Chicago. When it debuted in 1963, the 900 was one of the first cameras designed to be used with Kodak’s 126 film cartridge which had been introduced just earlier that year.

Voigtländer Bessy AK

The Voigtländer Bessy AK is a viewfinder camera manufactured by Balda on behalf of fellow German optics company Voigtländer which introduced the camera in 1965. So called to imply a (in reality, very faint) connection with the legendary Bessa name, the Bessy was a cutting edge camera designed for Kodak’s now obsolete 126 film cartridge, a format overwhelmingly popular at the time among amateur photographers who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of loading traditional roll films.

Sears 2.8 / Easi-Load

The Sears 2.8 / Easi-Load is a rebranded Ricoh 126-C EE, a fixed-lens viewfinder camera designed for Kodak’s now-obsolete 126 film cartridge. It features a 43mm f/2.8 Rikenon lens with a minimum focus distance of three feet. Like many 126 cameras of this era, the Easi-Load has no integrated flash and must rely on top-mounted flash cubes, plastic rotating cubes that have four single-use flash bulbs good for four exposures. Other notable features include an interesting “atomic” Sears and Roebuck logo next to the viewfinder, nicely recessed film advance lever, and a threaded shutter button to accept a soft release or shutter release cable.

Kodak Instamatic 304

The Kodak Instamatic 304 is one of the more technologically advanced cameras in Kodak’s famous Instamatic line with a then-sophisticated automatic aperture system controlled by a selenium meter (seen on the front next to the viewfinder). It has a relatively simple Kodar 41mm f/8 lens with two shutter speeds: 1/90 and 1/40 for flash photography.