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Kodak Instamatic Film Resurection Project

by wildseyed, published

Kodak Instamatic Film Resurection Project by wildseyed Nov 26, 2012
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I am not a photo buff by any stretch, but I just bought a vintage Kodak Instamatic 404, and had been reading how the film format for these cameras was dicontinued in 2007. People ask me all the time when I show them my 3D printers, "What's it good for?"

Now I have an answer! This project/Work-In-Progress aims to re-engineer the form factor of the 126 film cartridge, and provide the building blocks for creating an easily rechargeable film adapter, and other gizmos for these cameras.


This project needs information more than anything. I've found the patent for the cartridge, with decent drawings, but no measurements. These are contained in a withdrawn ISO document. I suppose this mean it is generally not available. Google turned up very little.

I have purchased two cartridges on eBay to take measurements from. The plan now is to model a printable shell, and takeup spool so I can load fresh film into the camera. The film inside these cartridges is essentially 35mm, with a couple of differences. The registration holes, and chemistry. The spacing of the registration holes usually requires that you take three "covered" exposures for every shot, in order to advance the film and avoid overlap.

This feature does present the opprtunity to creat a type of panoramic camera if I adjust the exposure window of the cartridge, making each exposure narrow, and tall.

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Cooool. Old 126's were my "outdoor adventuring" cameras all through college, since it didn't matter so much if they fell off a cliff or something.

It'd be great to put some back into service. Disposables are so wasteful!

O.K. eBay is on its way with a 126 cartridge.  Yay!
Tonight I'm going to fill up the back of the camera, and get some approximate dimensions.  I will post an STL of the results, for anyone that want's to try a test fit.  The 126 test 1 did not fit, which I expected, as I was eyeballing it a bit.  I need to grab a battery replacement for my digital caliper.  Off to the pharmacy.

Cool !

Photography is the reason why I started with 3D printing (having made anything yet).

Looking forward to see progress here :-)

Cool idea, I just checked my Kodak 100 instamatic and there was no film in it unfortunately. I like the idea of a digital module that would take the film cartridge cavity and make it useful again.