The Asahi Pentax Auto 110

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by smithdan, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. smithdan

    smithdan No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have had this one for a few years now and finally found some 110 cartridge film thanks to the Film Photography Project. I remember when these went on sale and think that they were and still are the only 110 film cameras with interchangable lenses made.

    IMGP6728es.jpg
    Tiny critter, hardly larger than the 110 cartridge.

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    ...compared with a 35mm spool.

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    They originally came in a fitted box with three lenses (these two 35mm and 50mm equivalent and a medium telephoto) a dedicated flash almost as big as the camera and the strap. More $$ got you a motor drive and I think some other stuff.

    Like it says on the front, it's automatic exposure with no user input.

    The BW film Branded 110 Fukkatsu came out a bit too grainy for my liking. I took it easy on the shots as well with what I thought to be not too difficult exposure wise. Box recommends D76/ID 11 so it went in D76, 1:1. Somehow the film (100 iso) got packaged in a cartridge coded for 400 iso requiring a strategically placed gob of hot melt glue.

    Here's what it did.

    KCFF-2-012es (1).jpg
    Pentax always had good viewfinders. I wear glasses and aiming this tiny camera was easier than one would think.

    KCFF-2-015es.jpg

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    24mm lens (standard equivalent) at closest focus distance of 1.2 ft.

    KCFF-2-022es.jpg
    low light shot, a green light in the viewfinder shows orange as a warning to expect a slow shutter speed.

    Always wondered why AP put the what must have been considerable effort and money designing this camera with all the unique accessories. anyone serious enough to want to shoot a SLR had dozens to choose from, most with auto and manual features as well.

    Always forget to delete shots that I decide not to post. They magically appear as thumbs. This weird storefront deserves a return with a different camera and better light.


     

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
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  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I remember when that thing was released -- 1981. I worked behind the counter in a large camera store at the time. I remember when the Pentax rep showed up at one of our staff meetings and he said, "OK, guys now don't laugh when you see this." And he reached in his case and brought it out and we laughed and laughed and laughed some more and as soon as he tried to talk we just laughed some more. The Boss made us put one in the store but I don't remember anyone actually selling one.

    Joe
     
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  3. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  4. vin88

    vin88 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    good show !I bought one when they came out for a trip to Finnland. they called it a Yankey spy camera ! got many vey good shots. but, you had to have and use an enlarger. imoved back to 35 mm. as a collector, i have one of the original that are all clear plasic. vin
     
  5. compur

    compur Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Adapters exist for these lenses to mount them on various modern cameras so there is still a market for them, especially the zoom which is fairly rare. The bodies are also still collectible, especially the less common variants such as the clear one mentioned by vin88, the brown body and the Auto 110 Super model which had some improvements over the original.

    There is some interesting info here on the origins of the Auto 110:
    Sugaya Optical Company Minimax Pocket 110 EE Camera
     
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  6. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I bought a Pentax auto 110 in 1984 for $10. Came in its original box with all 3 lenses, flash, auto winder.....have it in my camera case.

    You can see the box in this pic....
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. smithdan

    smithdan No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All cuteness aside, plus the obvious that 110 would never make the trip to the realm of pros or serious amateurs, I remember being puzzled as to why this camera was produced and aggressively marketed. The convenience of a bayonet mount made me curious when the K series arrived but not enough to replace my Spotmatic. Did however like those smaller M's, but a new camera never was in the budget. Thanks to the digital revolution, my curiosity has finally been sated affordably with not only this 110 but four various M's, a K1000 and a clunky A3000.

    That transparent model is a rare keeper vin.

    I have two more 110 cartridges to shoot sometime, then this one will go into retirement for keeps.
     
  8. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

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    Looks very much like the boxed set i got a couple of years ago. I like the viewfinder but never intended to shoot film through it - I just wanted the lenses to use on MFT. They're far better quality than 110 film deserves IMO.

    I have had a couple of other 110 cameras that were significantly smaller. Both were fixed lens models, with fold up viewfinders, that had the film cartridge stick out the side when loaded. unloaded they were very close to a 135 film carton in size. I wonder if I still have them somewhere...
     
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  9. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yep. Minolta made a 110 SLR, but it had a fixed zoom lens.
    The 70mm tele is particularly useful on the Pentax Q (with an adapter). It's a really good way to get into venues that prohibit "professional cameras." Great for concerts.
     
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  10. Pixeldawg1

    Pixeldawg1 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Yup. Considered the smallest SLR camera ever made. I have a full set with all lenses, flash and motor drive. They are a lot of fun to shoot with!
     
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  11. The Barbarian

    The Barbarian Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes. They do remarkably well on digital cameras.
     

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