110 cartridge - The Smileycam. Make one yourself below.
A detailed PDF of instructions can be found here
A camera which takes 23 colour images with three qualities. Unlimited depth of field from a pinhole 2cm from the ground, indestructible,,,,and it can fit inside your mouth! - Whats not to like! (Buy one here!)
Cartridge film was invented in the early sixties along with the ‘lnstamatic’ as an easy way for people to load cameras.
The Smileycam allows 23 colour pinhole photographs to be taken within one camera and then, (after remembering to remove the pinhole adaptor) processed at a lab or at home.
In instamatic cameras, a hole in the film engages with a pin within the camera to cock the shutter and prevent the film over winding. These pinhole cameras don’t have such technological wonders so they need to be lined up in a camera before assembly so as to avoid 23 half images to be disappointingly collected from the chemists.
Setting up the film
Get an old 110 instamatic. Place the film in the camera and start winding.
There is a window at the back of the film that shows a series of arrows. When these end a number of is will appear, the camera will go click and you will find you can no longer wind on the film. Look to see how many number 1s went past before the camera clicked to a halt . This informs you how many you need to wind on manually to ensure the frame is fully exposing. Such as:
>>>> 220.127.116.11.1 >>>> 18.104.22.168.2. >>>> 22.214.171.124.3. etc.
Do not rely on two similar films off the shelf lining up with the same number, manufacturers are incredibly haphazard at accurately and consistently sticking down their films backing paper. Even though this wastes the first frame this is better than wasting 24. After this you can make and fit the pinhole.
Making and installing the pinhole
Cut out a 28mm x 45mm strip of aluminium. The central area can, with care, be filed down to almost foil thickness for optimum quality then follow the video here.
The ideal size should be around 0.23mm in diameter, which in practice is about as small a hole as is possible to make (As long as you can’t drive a bus through it you should be OK.)
Securely tape the metal pinhole onto the film cartridge.
Fix a lens cap/shutter over the pinhole made up of some more insulation tape (if you have any left by now!) with a tab at the end folded onto itself for easy removal,
Write the word ‘Nikon’ on the front and away you go!
Winding on the film
Bite off part of the cover of the wind on side, (the cog bit!).
Wind the film on manually keeping an eye on the window at the back of the cartridge. It will twang back a bit but just roll the cogs along your finger. This can be tricky to get going at the start. The paper backing starts off with arrows and then five numbers appear. >>>> 126.96.36.199.1. >>>> 188.8.131.52.2.>>>> 184.108.40.206.3. etc. Stop winding when you get to the correct number of each frame. (See assembly above).
To avoid excessive camera shake, ones finger is used as the shutter. Peel off the tape ‘lens cap’, and quickly replace it with your finger being careful not to let light in through the pinhole. (Hold the camera down away from the sky).
Rest the camera on a surface (or stick it onto a wall / windscreen wiper / camel / mouth. Gravity is far steadier than your hands. The exposure will start when you let go of the camera.
Sunlight = 4 seconds. Cloudy = 10 seconds. Indoors = 1 minute+. Or use a flashgun on ‘manual’ (full power) 8cm away.
After exposure, replace ones finger with the tape-shutter.
Subject matter and image qualities.
Unlimited depth of field- Everything is in focus 1 mm from the pinhole to infinity-A bugs eye view of the world 8mm from the ground- No need for a viewfinder-Just ponder on what something might look like and give it a bash.
The ability to view unseen time- indestructible (ish) and you can take photos from inside your mouth!
Anything but make sure you make use of the foreground close to the camera. Always edit out all the ones which don’t work. If they are all blurred and out of focus, give them fancy titles and pretend they are just what you wanted. Good luck.