Reloading a single use camera - what film?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by tomspielman, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Seems like kind of waste put Portra in a disposable but I haven't seen any other 800 speed color film available.

    The ease of having the film pre-loaded isn't something I considered and that might be a sticking point for my daughter and a regular camera. I have to admit that I missed a bunch of shots once because I didn't load the film right and it wasn't advancing. That would be about all it would take for my daughter give up on "real" cameras.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
  2. Part of the reason I've wanted to steer her towards are regular camera is so that she could shoot B&W if she wanted. I think she'd like it. An Ilford disposable and a regular color one might go in her stocking for Christmas. Maybe the Canon will go in mine. :)
  3. The problem I see with reloading a disposable camera (and I have not read the full thread, in case anyone else pointed it out) is that, at least with Kodak disposables, while the film is 35mm, and in a typical 35mm case, the center spool of the film is NOT standard- it has raised splines for the winder mechanism to engage. Best bet, if you planned to do that, would be reloadable 35mm film canisters & a bulk loader, reusing the spool from the disposable in question. Also be sure to check the battery when you have the disposable case apart.
  4. Yes, with the Kodak disposables there's a small modification you need to make in the film advance and you also have to cut a couple of notches in the spool of a standard 35mm roll.

    The idea seems like a non-starter for my daughter, - at least for now. But if a disposable comes my way I might give it a try on my own just out of curiosity. I have scavenged film out of a Fuji disposable before to use in a regular camera. In that case it was just a normal roll of film.
    scottroberts likes this.
  5. Maybe she would warm to a camera that looks kinda funky, such as a Minolta Prod 20'S.
    Image quality will be no better than a disposable, but it can be reloaded.

  6. She might like that, - she might hate it. ;)

    Functionally it would be a good fit, - easy to load film and one button operation. But so many things with teenagers is about their peers think. For whatever reason, her peers are into disposable cameras. It might be like having a certain brand of jeans. A virtually identical pair of jeans that cost half as much aren't going to cut it.

    If I'm going to gamble on picking a camera for her, it might as well be something I like in case she won't use it. :)
    bobbudding likes this.
  7. Honestly, it sounds like someone just needs to break down and purchase the kid a digital camera. Far cheaper in the end and less hassle.

    But there are older , 90s, film cameras that have a magical function that you open the back and put the film in, and leave the tab on one side and closing the film door makes this motor wind it onto the take up spool....
  8. She has a digital camera. She just thinks disposable film cameras are fun. I started the thread 6 months ago and that hasn't changed. She's not interested in a regular film camera so I've let it go...
  9. Many younger people are now getting interested in Instax, legacy of Polaroid.

    But also, there are plenty of reloadable cameras almost exactly like disposables.
    My favorite is a waterproof camera, which comes preloaded but is also reusable.
    I think it was cheaper than the waterproof disposable.

    The three that I mentioned above are build quality about as good as the usual
    disposable. The fisheye is fun, for those of us who can't afford a real fisheye lens.

    Sort of funny, as it doesn't have a fisheye viewfinder, and the one that it does have
    is partly blocked by the lens!

    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
    Mike Gammill likes this.
  10. Kind of surprised this thread isn't completely dead, but it's a good thing since I have a bit of an update.

    I ran across a Canon WP-1 on eBay being sold for parts. Owner said the camera might work perfectly, he just hadn't tested it. Only other thing he said was "Film door is a little finicky." So I took a chance and bought it.

    Turns out "a little finicky" meant completely broken, as in the latch is busted. I"m sure there's a term that I'm missing but the door features two large plastic teeth or hooks and the latch has these jaws they slide into. One jaw was completely snapped off and the other was hanging by a thread. But the broken piece of the jaw was still lodged in the latch mechanism.

    Not knowing what else to do I tried some Krazy glue.

    Other than my fingers, my experience with successfully bonding two things together with it hasn't been great. Usually if you don't get the plastic pieces aligned properly right away, the plastic gets deformed and it doesn't turn out. But the broken piece had a pretty substantial surface to bond with and I got lucky. The 2nd jaw that was still partially attached and was easy to glue.

    So far it's been holding up.

    By this time I've given up on getting my daughter to switch to a cheap P&S from a disposable. So this is more for me. But I'm leaving it out where she'll see it to see if she comments.

    I'm was looking for a camera I can bring out on my sailboat and go swimming with me if I'm so inclined. I have an old Nikonos that works great but it's a brick. I'm afraid that if I dropped it on the boat it might go right through. :)

    And if it landed in the water instead of inside the boat it would be gone.

    The Canon floats. And it floats with the lens facing up at an angle. So with the self timer you might get some interesting waterbug's eye view pictures of things nearby, - or the sky.
  11. I didn't try floating it at Great Wolf Lodge.

    I did tie it onto my swimsuit so I wouldn't lose it going down the slide or somewhere like that.

    I now have a GoPro Hero 3 which I will probably try the next time I am in a watery place needing a camera.

    Last year I took it on some rides at Universal Studios and Disneyland. Like the whole trip on Space Mountain.
  12. Living in Minnesota we try to take a tropical family vacation every few winters. In 2013 it was Belize. In 2015 it was Hawaii. And in 2018 it was Dominican Republic.

    We did some diving and/or snorkeling on all of those trips and I got some digital underwater cameras to take along, - A Nikon AW110 and a reputable Chinese knockoff of the GoPro. During the trip in 2018 they both had some issues. The housing on the GoPro knockoff had some stress cracks around the hinges and it flooded on a dive. The camera was shot.

    The Nikon has a known problem that develops over time with the screen. Corrosion on the hdmi port leads the camera to think there's monitor connected so the screen goes blank. There are some temporary fixes but the problem always comes back.

    Last year I got an old Nikonos film camera and reading up on them I discovered that people who frequently use them for diving will likely experience a flooded camera at some point. A Nikonos can often survive it if flushed with fresh water right away.

    My takeaway is that frequently used underwater cameras have a limited lifespan. :)

    I think GoPro has taken the right approach with their newer cameras. The cameras themselves are now pretty waterproof but they also have the "Super Suit" which can be used for added protection or greater depth.

    Anyway, a GoPro is great for action video, I don't think from an ergonomic standpoint it makes a great still camera, but I haven't looked at one in awhile.
  13. There are a variety of mount for GoPro, such as one that sticks (maybe epoxy) onto a surf board.
    They seem to market especially for sports use.

    I have some interesting mounts, all bought from Goodwill, so not the most carefully selected.
    But then I went on roller coasters, and other rides, just hand holding it.

    Mostly video, as I also had a DSLR along, and maybe also a film camera.

    (I did once, in film days, manage one shot on a film SLR and Vivitar 283 in Space Mountain.
    Close to the top where it moves slower.)

    I have found Goodwill auctions a great place to buy used photographic equipment
    for low prices. I used to be local pick-up to save on shipping, but with Covid restrictions,
    they aren't doing that now.

    I am not sure now where I got the WP-1, but it was a good price in any case.

    Some day I have to try the GoPro under water.
  14. I've gotten several things from goodwill auctions as well, but the word has gotten out because often times the prices will be a much as eBay and it can be hard to know what the actual condition of the item is. And if it's not local the shipping/handling is expensive and often slow.

    So I used to filter just for the local Goodwill but they'd gotten in the habit of selling cameras in lots rather than individually. The prices could be pretty good but you'd end up with10 cameras even if you only wanted one of them. I'm actively trying to keep my camera collection very limited so that just doesn't work.
  15. Nearest Goodwill mostly doesn't do the combining, but sometimes. I do have some cameras that I would not have bought otherwise.

    I also got five light meters, probably three more than I wanted, but for a good price.
    I also got four other cameras along with my Mercury II, which mostly complicated wanting to put the price into Collectiblend.

    Years ago, I was doing networking for schools, and buying parts on eBay. I found sometimes that I could get five of something for less than the price of one. Many people agree with you, and won't bid on multiples. I once got a bag of 100 Ethernet cables that way for a low price.

    Local Goodwill has both eBay and shopgoodwill auctions, with the prices often lower on the latter.

    Condition is a problem, but it also tends to keep prices low. I bid appropriately low, and often enough get things. I don't feel bad when I don't win.

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