GMC Truck

Turquoise truck
Minolta Autopak 470
Lomography Color Tiger

One year I took a 110 camera to the Mecum auction. I’m not crazy about the 110 format for its itty-bitty negatives. But I’m also a curious man, and I wanted to see what that Minolta 110 camera was capable of.

I got the best photos I’d ever made on 110 film from that camera. That’s not to say the photos were particularly sharp or detailed. Maybe it’s better to say that I got the least bad photos I’d ever made on 110 film from that camera.

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Film Photography, Old Cars

single frame: Turquoise truck

A turquoise GMC truck.


22 thoughts on “single frame: Turquoise truck

  1. I don’t think I have ever used 110mm film. To use your phrase, Jim, I have thin memories that in the West Indies, 110mm was a popular format for inexpensive consumer cameras. I think it was designed for people who thought it was too challenging loading and unloading 35mm film rolls.

    This particular photograph appears to have a lot of grain. Is that typical for 110mm?

    • I had a 110 camera as a teenager. I bought it for a trip to Germany that I made as part of an exchange program. We were working class, the trip to Germany tapped my parents out. If I wanted a camera for the trip, I’d have to buy it with my own money. That cheap 110 camera was the best I could afford. Here’s a review:

      I wish now very much that I could have afforded even an inexpensive P&S 35mm camera instead. That 110 camera was junk.

      Yes, grain like this is typical of 110 film. The itty bitty negatives saw to that.

      • We don’t have the standard definitions (working-class, blue-collar, etc. ) in the West Indies, but my father started off his banking career as a teller and was a frugal person, so I get it.

  2. Christopher May says:

    110 is a format I have yet to try because I know that I’d dislike the small negatives, too. That being said, there’s something about the lo-fi look of this shot that works. The softness of both the detail and the colors have a vintage feel that works for this scene. The late Michael Reichmann used to play around with a cheap keychain camera bought at a drugstore. He had every piece of gear that a photographer could ever desire including 80 megapixel medium format digital backs that cost as much as a nice car. Yet, I distinctly remember one of the images from that cheap toy and thinking that it was art.

    • On the one hand, you can make art with even the crappiest camera if you know its capabilities and limitations and find a way to use them to your advantage.

      On the other, if you know what you like in photography and a particular camera is incapable of delivering it, why bother with that camera?

      • Careful, Jim. On most photography forums those two sentences are crazy talk.

        Don’t you know that to make great photos you need in-body image stabilization, f/0.95 lenses, 40 frames per second, 1024 focus points, a battery that last all week, and 200 megapixels and ISO 16 million sensors.


  3. Beautiful in spite of the 110 format. I have a little Diana 110 that came as a ‘gift’ when I bought another camera from Lomography. I do have film for it and have been shooting some lately. Just when I feel like being silly…….

    • Yeah, 110 cameras are great for non-serious photography! I got rid off all my 110s in Operation Thin the Herd. I’ve had enough. Guess I’m too serious! :-)

  4. Michael says:

    110. I have some of those slides. :/ Anyway, are the light spots an issue with that camera or the film?

      • Michael says:

        You had me second guessing myself but they are 110. From Wikipedia, it looks like it must have been Kodachrome 64 slide film which they made up until the year of my trip. I have no idea what 110 camera I had or why I shot slides instead of prints in it. It was just something small and could take some abuse. It seems my dad mostly shot slides on that Pentax you bought when I was growing up so maybe that is why I did. Once I sort of took over that camera within a couple years, I shot mostly prints.

  5. P says:

    I agree with you that the 16mm 110 format is just way too small to be of much use for still photography, but that didn’t stop this photo from turning out great. That’s a beautiful truck.

    • 110 was just terrible, full stop. I regret buying a 110 camera for my Germany trip in 1984. I would have been better off with 126. I could have afforded either (but I couldn’t afford 35mm).

      • P says:

        Yeah, it has always amazed me that 110 found the level of success it did as a film format. Basically everything that came before it was already vastly superior.

        • The cameras were small, or at least thin. That was a deciding factor for me in 1984. I bought a camera pouch that my belt looped through and the camera was always there on my trip, but out of the way when I didn’t want it. I could have done the same with a 126 camera but it would have stuck out farther and could have been in my way more.

        • P says:

          The size of 110 cameras was enticing, but as you’ve noted it wasn’t worth the trade-off in the quality of the photos. But hey, at least you had a camera for your trip in 1984, and you still have photos from it, even if they’re not the ideal format. There are way too many things from my past that I regret not having any photos of at all.

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