Vintage Instamatic cameras: Flash back to the boxy, iconic cameras that pretty much everyone had in the ’60s & ’70s

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Instamatic cameras The boxy, iconic cameras that pretty much everyone had in the '60s & '70s

With Instamatic cameras, film packs do all the loading now

The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) March 10, 1963

A new instant load system of photography which makes camera loading as easy as popping a bulb into a flash holder is being introduced by Eastman Kodak.

Key to the new picture-taking system is a compact cartridge of film. So foolproof is the new Kodapak film cartridge — it can only be inserted one way — that snapshooters can literally load their cameras in seconds “with one hand and their eyes shut.”

The introduction of the Instamatic system is another step forward in the simplification of photography. George Eastman’s aim was to make a camera “as easy to use as the pencil.” With this new system, the snapshooter doesn’t thread film or handle film spools. The cartridges are simply dropped into the camera in any light — even bright sunlight.

1968 Instamatic camera loading and flash cube

The Kodapak film cartridges will be available loaded with Kodak Verichrome pan film and three 64-speed color films — Kodachrome-X, and new Ektachrome-X and Kodacolor-X — giving the user a choice of color prints, color slides or black and white prints.

Verichrome pan and Kodacolor films will be sold in 12-exposure Kodapak film cartridges — Kodachrome-X and Ektachrome- X films in 20 exposure cartridges.

The four cameras range in price from about $16 to $110. Common features include exceptional compactness (three of the cameras are four inches long, the other five under five inches in length), rapid film advance with automatic film stop and double exposure prevention, and built-in, pop-up flash holder with automatic shutter adjustment for flash pictures.

The kind of film being used in the cameras is visible at all times, as is the total number of exposures in the cartridge and the number of the exposure ready to be taken.

Dec 2, 1966 Kodak Instamatic 104 camera
What do you give them for their very first camera? A Kodak Instamatic 104 camera! Because it loads instantly and is so very easy to use — no settings! It takes terrific pictures — color or black-and-white. Pop on a flashcube and take four flash pictures without changing bulbs. (Vintage ad from 1966)

The three lower-priced models require no settings whatsoever. The budget-priced Instamatic 100 camera has fixed focus, Lumenized f-11 pre-set lens, from four feet to infinity. It is also the first budget-priced snapshot camera with which Kodachrome slides can be made.

The Instamatic 300 and 400 cameras feature f/8 Lumenized, color corrected lenses and electric eye automatic exposure controls. The Instamatic 400 camera also has motorized film advance permitting the user to take as many as 12 pictures in 10 seconds.

The most advanced of the new cameras is the Kodak Instamatic 700, which has an f/2.8 focusing lens, with focus-settings visible in the finder. The camera also has shutter settings up to 1/250, completely automatic exposure controls for both daylight and flash pictures. It is priced at about $110.

Vintage Kodak Instamatic cameras by Joost J Bakker

Vintage Kodak Instamatic 104 camera: To load it is to love it. (1961)

People used to hate to load their cameras. So we launched the instant-loading Kodak Instamatic cameras. No more threading. Just drop in the film and shoot. And your pictures come out good and clear, picture after picture. Color or black-and-white.

Indoors, just pop on one of those handy little flashcubes and take four flash pictures without touching a bulb.

Choose from a wide range of Kodak Instamatic camera models. The 104, shown here, comes in a complete color outfit, including Kodacolor-X film and flashcube, for less than $20. Load it. You’ll love it.

Vintage Kodak Instamatic 104 camera from 1961

Instamatics featured at the New York World’s Fair in 1964

May 8, 1964 Kodak Instamatic cameras

Instamatic cameras load instantly! (1965)

Kodak instamatic camera - 1965

Complete Instamatic camera sets with flash cubes (1965)

Sep 17, 1965 Flash cubes cameras - Kodak Instamatic

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Dec 1965 Kodak Instamatic cameras

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Kodak Instamatic camera - 1966

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What do you give them if they already have a camera?

A Kodak Instamatic 404 camera (1966)

Dec 2, 1966 Kodak Instamatic 404 camera

Kodak Instamatic 804 camera (1967)

The Kodak INSTAMATIC 804 camera lets you pay attention to the sights you’re seeing instead of the camera. Drop in the film cartridge. Then wind the spring motor — and the film will advance automatically after each shot,

Your 804 adjusts itself for the speed of the film; makes the correct outdoor exposure setting for each picture; warns you when to use flash; switches to flash speed as you pop on a flashcube; tells you whether flash is ready; adjusts for flash exposure as you focus; and turns the cube for the next flash. All automatically. The lens is a sharp, fast f2.8, the viewing bright, the rangefinding accurate.

See how good the world looks when you have total automation and Kodak dependability going for you.

Kodak Instamatic 804 camera from 1967

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Kodak Instamatic 804 camera (1968)

The Kodak INSTAMATIC 804 Camera knows it all — and makes it easy. You never do any figuring. A built-in computer does it for you, making the correct exposure setting automatically. For daylight and for flash.

Practically everything else about the 804 is automatic, too. Automatically, it adjusts for the speed of the film, advances the film after each shot, tells you when to use flash, switches to flash speed when you pop on a flashcube, and turns the cube for the next shot.

To load the 804, just drop in the film cartridge. To focus, use either the rangefinder or the quick “zone” settings. The lens is a fast f2.8 and focuses from three feet to infinity.

Shouldn’t you be clicking with the automated precision camera that lets you concentrate on the fun side of photography? Less than $130 at your Kodak dealer’s.

Kodak Instamatic 804 camera from 1968

Vintage 110 cameras: The pocket cameras with small film cartridges that made photography incredibly easy

Kodak Instamatic cameras (1968)

Kodak Instamatic cameras from 1963 (1)

Kodak cameras (1969)

“This is the first Christmas you can give someone a Kodak Instamatic camera for less than $10.”

Dec 12, 1969 Kodak cameras

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Instamatic cameras from the 1970s

Kodak Instamatic X-15F camera (1979)

Kodak Instamatic X-15F camera from 1979

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Retro Kodak Instamatic cameras ad from 1981

Retro Kodak Instamatic cameras ad from 1981

Kodak Instamatic 100 camera (1963)

Kodak Instamatic cameras from 1963 (2)

Vintage Kodak Instamatic 224 camera

Vintage Kodak Instamatic camera 224

Vintage Instamatic 155X camera

Vintage Kodak Instamatic camera 155X

Vintage Instamatic 233 camera

Vintage Kodak Instamatic camera 233

Vintage Instamatic 104 camera

Vintage Kodak Instamatic camera 104

Vintage 110 cameras: The pocket cameras with small film cartridges that made photography incredibly easy

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