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110 roll-film format (1898–1929)

The designation 110 was first applied by Kodak to a roll film format introduced in 1898, producing 5×4-inch images. It was discontinued in October 1929.

 

110 film-cartridge format (1972–present)

The 110 cartridge format is a miniaturised version of Kodak's earlier, highly successful 126 format. The image is 13×17 millimetres, with one registration hole.

The film is fully housed in a plastic cartridge, which also registers the image when the film is advanced. There is a continuous backing paper, and the frame number and film type are visible through a window at the rear of the cartridge. The film does not need to be rewound and is very simple to load and unload. It is pre-exposed with frame lines and numbers, a feature intended to make it easier and more efficient for photofinishers to print.

The 110 cartridge was introduced by Kodak in 1972 with Kodak Pocket Instamatic cameras. The new pocket-sized cameras became immediately popular, and soon displaced competing subminiature cameras, such as the Minolta 16 series, from the market.

Canon, Minolta, Minox, Pentax, Rollei, Voigtländer, and others, as well as Kodak, offered sophisticated, expensive 110 cameras, with excellent multi-element, focusing lenses and precise, electronically controlled exposure systems. Such cameras are capable of making high-quality images on 110 film. Some of these cameras are quite small and still hold appeal to subminiature-photography enthusiasts.

However, most 110 cameras have been cheaply made, with mediocre lenses and only rudimentary exposure control. The small negative size of 110 film makes it difficult to enlarge successfully. For these reasons, the 110 format is associated with prints that are often rather blurry and unsharp. This has led to the misconception that the cartridge itself is incapable of holding film flat enough for making high-quality negatives.

The 110 cartridge, as specified by Kodak, has a plastic tab on one end. Camera designers had the option of using this tab to sense film speed, enabling sophisticated cameras to switch between high- and low-speed film. A short tab indicated high-speed film, and a long tab indicated low-speed film. Kodak left it to the film manufacturer to decide which film speeds were high or low. Only a few expensive cameras took advantage of this feature; as with the film, it was up to the camera manufacturer to decide what speeds to assign to each setting.

Although the format is commonly associated with print film, Kodak also produced Kodachrome 110 slide film until 1982.[1][2] These slides required special Pocket Carousel projectors.[1]

Fuji stopped manufacturing 110 in November 2004. As of 2005, 110 is still manufactured by Kodak and Ferrania, but is rapidly approaching obsolescence.

Estes Industries has long marketed several model rockets with a simple 110 camera in the nose; the shutter is triggered when the nose cone separates from the rocket body.

 

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