The Sleeping Giant's Sea Lion

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I have my father's vintage Kodak Instamatic 500 Camera. He took slides with this camera, of which I am now the fortunate owner (both the camera and the slides). I wonder if someone knows where I can buy film for this camera? I believe it takes a 126 cartridge film.

I would like to take photos with the camera and have the film developed as prints, so I also need to know where it could be developed.

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2 Answers 2

Unfortunately 126 film is no longer made, and even the stocks that were held on to after production ended have for the most part dried up. The good news is that you have another option, and that is to reload the 126 film cartridges with 35mm film. The 126 film was after all, just 35mm film in a more convenient roll that didn't require film leaders or rewinding after use. The process has a few steps, but isn't overly complicated for the aspiring photographer.

The basic idea is to use an empty cartridge, with either regular 35mm film, or unperforated film if you prefer to not see the sprocket holes. Use this film to reload into the cartridge, preferably a 24exp roll so you do not overfill the 126 cartridge. You have to do this in a light tight bag or dark room so you do not expose the film.

Some guides can be found here:

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As often the case with forgotten technologies, some offers are now and then on eBay. Consider yourself very lucky if you find 126 film that has not expired yet. There's some hope that Adox might start production of 126 film in the end of 2012.

The film can usually be developed using standard C-41 processing just like a 135 film negative, but printing the square format might not be as readily available. You might have to cut the prints yourself or find a service that does offer printing from 126 films, e.g. Dwayne's Photo.

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