When I was a kid, the Kodak Instamatic 25 was our go to camera for family stuff. Sure, my dad had a fancy Olympus OM-1, but the Instamatic went with us everywhere. My mother recently found that camera and gave it to me. Ever since then it’s sat on a shelf, in the hopes that one day somebody might start producing 126 film again. Well, 126 film still hasn’t become available, but we do now have another option.
Camerhack have been producing various film adapters for a while now. Typically, they’ve been to convert 120 format to fit into other cameras or to shoot panoramics onto 35mm with medium format cameras. Now, they’ve released the new FAKMATIC 135 to 126 film adapter kit.
DIY techniques to use 35mm film in 126 cartridges have been known for a while. But tearing apart original 126 cartridges can be a delicate process. They can break quite easily. Camerhack’s new solution is a 3D printed 126 cartridge specifically designed to be reopened, refilled, and then closed.
You’ll still need to load film into the cartridge, and then load the cartridge into your camera using a changing bag. Or, you’ll need to be in the darkroom. But it’s a lot easier than trying to re-seal a commercial 126 cartridge that you’ve cracked open.
I haven’t fired that Instamatic in about 20 years. I think I might just have to get one of these and run some HP5+ through it.