135compact.com 110 cartridge ultra compact cameras Pentax Auto 110 and Auto 110 Super
The Pentax Auto 110 was launched in 1979, a real SLR camera and its system for Kodak 110 pocket film*(see below). It was followed by the Pentax Auto 110 Super in 1982. Production ended in 1985.
110 film was introduced by Kodak in 1972. The film sits in a cartridge,
like Kodak's earlier 126 film, but is much smaller. A frame is 13mm ×
17mm, has one perforation per image to control film advance and 24
frames per cartridge (12 were also available). The film is protected by
a backing paper like 120 film. The frame number is visible through a
window at the back of the cartridge. The basic film is ordinary 16mm
film which was already on the market, so it could be processed in
existing machines. The small picture size made very small, pocketable
Kodak introduced with its 110 film a line of
Kodak Pocket Instamatic cameras which were followed by
cameras from other manufacturers. Most cameras were cheap
point-and-shoot, but very sophisticated models were also made. Small
digital cameras made 110 film obsolete. Bit by bit manufacturers stopped making 110 format film (Fujifilm in 2009), but in 2012 (and 2019) Lomography made a large batch of 110 film, followed by other firms.
Pentax Auto 110 has interchangeable lenses and an advanced, yet fully
automatic exposure system for an easy use. It was the smallest SLR
camera system ever built. Its main features are:
3 Pentax 110 lennses at the launch: 18mm F2.8 Wide-Angle lens, 6 elements in 6 groups, filter 30.5mm, min. focus 0.25m (!!), 27 gr. 24mm F2.8 Standard lens, 6 elements in 5 groups, filter 25.5mm, min. focus 0.35m (!), 13 gr. 50mm F2.8 Telephoto lens, 5 elements in 5 groups, filter 37.5mm, min. focus 0.9m, 57 gr.
In 1981 3 more lenses were added (which I have not seen yet): 18mm F6.3 Pan Focus (focus-free) lens, filter 30.5, min. focus 1.75m, 29 gr., which is a rare and expensive lens 70mm F2.8 Telephoto lens, 6 elements in 5 groups, filter 49mm, min focus 1.5m, 160 gr., which is heavier than the body 20mm - 40 mm F2.8 Zoom lens, 8 elements in 8 groups, filter 49mm , 0.7m, 172 gr., which is heavier than the body
Electronic shutter, 1s at f2.8 - 1/750 at F13.5 (F18 on Super) Size: Body 99x56x32(45mm with standard lens), Weight: Body 159 gr. (172 gr. with standard lens) 100
ISO, automatic coding, TTL metering, low light warning, split-screen
focus aid in bright real SLR finder, for Super model: microprism ring
added in finder, self-timer, exposure compensation, single-stroke film
Camera complete system in original box. Only one filter and the hoods are missing.
The lid of the box.
Camera in original faux leather pouch, which has suffered from time.
Camera and standard lens. Lens release next to the lens. On the prism the early Asahi lettering is not whitened any more.
Back view. The window will show the film type and the frame number, when a cartrigde is inserted.
Seen from the top. Flash connections, shutter release, wind lever.
from below. Tripod socket, a spacer is necessary for the tele and zoom lenses. Winder connection and contacts,
Camera film compartment open. Battery compartment contains 2 LR44 or SR44 batteries, easily available.
Camera body and the 3 lenses.
Camera with Wide-angle lens.
Camera with Tele lens. Sorry for the dust, the box is a bit crumbly.
and flash. It connects automatically to the camera an presets 1/30s and
F2.8 with 100 ISO film, F5.6 with 400 ISO. It can only be used if the
exposure warning is lit. Otherwise the result would be overexposure
because of the F2.8 opening. Focussing range is from 0.8 to 4.6m (GN 13
ISO 100). Good focussing is necessary because the shallow depth of the
field with F2.8. So it cannot be used as fill-in in brightly lit scenes
Seen from the back
With the winder added. The battery cover hinge is broken on most of the first generation winders.
Seen from the back
and filters/close-up lenses. S for standard lens, the S16 goes as close
as ~10cm, T for tele lens, there is also a T43 as close as ~35 cm, W
for wide lens, there is only one. The 70mm and the zoom have standard
49mm thread, so there are no Pentax accessories for them.
Distancer for the big lenses that would touch the plate of a tripod.
Pictures of my Super camera:
A complete set, camera now in velours pouch.
The Pentax Auto 110 Super Set.
and standard lens. Note the exposure compensation button on the upper
part to the right and a self-timer lamp on the prism instead of the
from top. Note the switch for L =locked, A =automaric and S
=self-timer. The shutter button has a rim and the flash connection la
lid to protect it.
Seen from the back. There is a protection for the eyepiece.
The standard lens is very tiny.
The wide-angle lens is slightly bigger.
The tele lens is big because of the F 2.8 aperture.
Camera and winder. This is the II version with a better battery cover and a continuous shooting mode of 1 frame per second.
Camera with winder and flash.
Camera and flash seen from the back.
Flash connection open.
Film compartment and battery carrier.
camera is very easy to use. Just focus and shoot.
It has no
manual settings, everything is perfectly automatic. Focus is easy via
the bright finder and its split screen. Half pressing the shutter
lights a green or a yellow confimation lamp in the viewfinder, if it's
camera will use slow shutter speeds. After taking
a picture, you have to action the advance lever twice for film advance
cocking. Putting a film is easy as well,
you drop the film into the compartment, advance to the first frame and that's it.
improvements of the Super are very well. Single stroke advance is
handy, as is the microprism ring in the finder. The shutter blocking
mode helps not to waste photos. Exposure compensation is a very good
feature. If you use ISO 200 film on bright days, it might overexpose.
You can cut out the cartridge to a ISO 400 cartridge and then use
exposure compensation to get exposure spot-on.
a very good luxury point and shoot camera
with very good picture quality, a choice of several lenses in an
incredibly small and light body. As already said, the smallest SLR ever
built. It's much fun to use. A must-have if you are into small cameras.
Picture results were very good. Do not forget to use exposure
compensation in backlight situations. With the wide angle lens it's the
best camera for street photography. There is no other good wide angle
for 110 format as far as I know. Despite being an SLR, it's very quiet.
Macro capability is fine, even without the macro lenses.
it's just a nice toy. The small picture format is a severe limit. Compared to a
simple Konica Lexio 70 135 format, you have similar focal length
without changing lenses in a small body as well, but you have 4 times
the picture surface.