Kodak Instamatic 500 - 52 Cameres, 52 Weeks

Week 12 - Kodak Instamatic 500, the rolls royce of Instamatic cameras. A metal, solid camera made in Germany, with a button triggered pop out Schneider-Kreuznach f:2.8/38mm lens. A rangefinder camera with bulb to 500 shutter speeds with a built in light meter, though it was  suggested to use a light meter for correct exposure. Most Instamatic cameras feature only fixed focus and shutter speeds.

The Instamatic 500 uses 126 cartridge film with is no longer available, but if you have an empty 126 cartridge, you can refill it with the film of your choice. I watched a youtube video on how to refill the cartridge as well as looking at several websites with instructions. I chose to refill my cartridge with Kodak BW400CN, one of my favorite C-41 films, producing great black and white photographs that can be processed wherever C-41 is still done. In this case, in my kitchen with a Unicolor C-41 kit from Film Photography Project. I gathered my supplies for refilling the cartridge, sat down with my film changing bag and patiently followed the steps to get the film into the camera.

The instructions for shooting with the Instamatic 500 were to take a shot then advance two strokes of the film advance lever and a partial one to get the correct spacing of the frames. After developing the film, I think maybe I should have done just two strokes as there were large gaps between the frames. I think that you could get away with just taking a photo with each stroke as I accidentally shot two frames that way and they came out fine. One cool feature of the cartridge on the negatives is that there are sprockets on the top edge of the negatives. One video I saw, showed the bottom plastic removed from the film frame to produce sprockets on the bottom as well. 

Even though a light meter was suggested, I shot sunny 16 and most of the photos came out properly exposed. For the most part, the photos turned out the way I had framed them in the viewfinder. Focusing is measured in feet on the front of the lens with zone focusing on the bottom of the lens as well. I was on vacation this week, so I was able to take a walk around Hanover on a sunny, warm Wednesday to complete the roll of film. The negatives were scanned on Epson V500 Photo and levels adjusted in Photoshop.