Found in an Instamatic Camera

This cartridge of 126 film was found a random “Instamatic” camera, most likely made by Kodak, came from an auction lot “grab bag” consisting of many miscellaneous photography items and ephemera. This old, 12-exposure film cartridge yielded 6 good photos with typical color-shifts to the warm side, plus 3 accidental duds, and 2 blanks. I’m guessing it’s from the 70’s!

As you may know, the 126 format is basically a square cropped out of a 35mm film frame, so it’s the next step down in image quality, but still big enough for decent photos in the right hands. Most of the time, 126 film cameras were inexpensive “snapshot” devices, wielded by everyday people recording family, friends, events, and travels.

My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic X-15 using 126 film, as detailed in this back-story post, and I did my best to coax better than average pics out of it. Some manufacturers, including Rollei, Zeiss, Voigtlander, Minolta, and Kodak went as far as putting great lenses and engineering into their top 126 film cameras to optimize what that smallish, square film could deliver! I’ve got a bunch of Instamatic cameras in my collection, but I’ve landed on the Rollei A26 as my favorite for shooting any expired, unexposed 126 format film I come across.

So what’s on this particular roll of 126 film? It’s got cars, RV’s, campers, boats, people on blankets in the grass, surrounded by what appear to be wild horses! My first guess is that these shots were taken in Chincoteague or on Assateague Island, in Virginia, known for its wild, untamed horses. But one of the images has the horses behind a wire fence with barbed wire at the top, so maybe it’s somewhere else. On close examination, some of the cars and vans, the ivy-covered building in one shot, and the village in a valley (with the light flare) all look like they might be in Europe… Take a look below — what do you think?

Here are the images I found on this roll of 126 film. Since all the photos were color-shifted over time, I converted the better shots into monochrome…

Here are the Instagram posts from this found roll of 126 film:

Hope you enjoy these “found-film” images!

[C+F] Cameras+Films

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