Thursday, March 6, 2014
Kodak Instamatic 500
The Instamatic film cartridge was introduced by Kodak in 1963, just as the Beatles started to roll. By all accounts it was very popular and lots of cameras were introduced to use it. Mostly were cheap plastic low functionality jobbies but others were very high end with a price to match. This "500" was the high end entry by Kodak that fitted the "rangefinder" format (Kodak also introduced an SLR 126 camera.)
The 500 is mostly made of metal and has a nice Schneider-Kreuznach F2.8 38mm lens. The 126 format is square, which I like. I have collected a few cameras, but shooting with them is a challenge as new cartridges are no longer available. Old stock is available though, but it is expensive. I have tried to fudge 35mm film into salvaged cartridges with limited success. It is rumored that Ferrania may start production on them in the near future - I hope so.
Most old film I can find is color. I process it using my standard B &W chemistry which seems to work OK, but sometimes leaves a color cast, which I sometimes leave in after scanning.