The Pentax auto 110 super was the first analogue camera I bought in the “digital” era. Then I was living in Budapest next store to a photo store specialized in vintage cameras. The camera was quite cheap, 110 film still available online and most of all, I could remember the camera: In the eighties in a store in Schaffhausen. My father and me instantly decide to buy the camera, but our mother believed that spending 1.000 DM (Full system: body, three lenses, flash and winder) for a toy cam would be lunatic. And actually she was right: the 110 film was developed for cheap “push-pull” cameras, known for their poor quality.
About the camera: As well as her predecessor, die Pentax auto 110, the auto 110 super is neither the smallest SLR ever built (which was probably the Russian “Narciss” using 16mm film) nor the only 110 film SLR (the Minolta 110 Zoom SLR was first) but the only complete SLR system manufactured for the 110 film format. The full system consists of 6 different lenses, two flashes and a winder for automatic film advance. the difference between the Pentax auto 110 and the auto 110 super are a timer with indicator LED on the front, a shutter lock and a button for backlight compensation.
Taking pictures: The cameras works fully automatic, apertures and shutter speed are calculated by the camera. Shutter speeds between 1/400 and 1/30 are indicated by a green LED, a yellow LED suggest the use of a tripod or a flash.
|Camera||Pentax Auto 110 super|
|Year built||1984 (?), built from 1982 to 1985 (auto 110: 1979 – 1982)|
Pentax-110 1:2,8|24mm Nr. 1389758
Pentax-110 1:2,8|18mm Nr. 1129683
Pentax-110 1:2,8|50mm Nr. 1416207
|Film format||Pocket 110 13x17mm|
|Special features||Ultraminiature SLR
|Manufactured by||Pentax Asahi Optical Co., Tokio, Japan|
|Date of purchase||08.2009|
|Price||9.500 HUF/ca. 35 € (Body and 1:2.8 50mm lens) others lenses 30 €, Flash 15 €|
|Place of purchase||Soós Fotó Budapest, Lenses ebay, Flash Fleamarket Leopoldplatz Berlin|
Tips&Tricks: Unlike other cameras, the film speed is predefined by the manufacturer. The Pentax auto 110 super is set to 100 or 400 ISO. The “coding” is done by a little button, which is pressed or not by the specific cartridge. Currently are only 100 and 200 ISO film available, both coded as 100 ISO, so here are usually no issues with the speed setting. Wrong coded 400 ISO cartridges can be easily set to the right speed by removing some plastic from the cartridge.
Film purchase & processing: I got some expired Fuji 200 ISO films on Ebay. Jet-Foto in Berlin developed in 2012 still films . Since June 2012 black&white and color films are available at Lomography as well as a lab service.
http://www.pentax110.co.uk/ (All you need to know)
http://whitemetal.com/pentax/a110_super/ (Overview and manual)