Ansco’s cameras once not only competed directly with Kodak’s, but they were made in Binghamton, New York. Most of them, anyway; some were made in Germany due to their longtime partnership with Agfa. But times changed, and in the 1960s Ansco began partnering with Japanese firms to provide more advanced cameras. Ansco started to lose its way as the 1960s faded into the 1970s (and the company rebranded its cameras as GAF, to match the parent company, General Aniline and Film). In 1978 GAF sold the Ansco name to Hong Kong camera maker Haking, which began affixing the Ansco name to many of its cameras for export to North America. The 1985 Ansco 600 Flash for 110 film is one of those cameras.

Ansco Flash 600

The Ansco 600 Flash is a rebadged Haking Flashmatic 110, also known as the Halina Flashmatic 110. Haking made cameras using all three brands. Some sources say this camera was made in Taiwan; others claim Hong Kong.

Ansco Flash 600

The camera is fully mechanical, using a simple leaf shutter said to operate at 1/125 sec. Its fixed-focus lens is said to be 27mm at f/8. These specs make it a good sunny-day camera.

If you like classic film-cartridge point-and-shoot cameras like this, check out my reviews of the Keystone XR308 (here), the Minolta Autopak 470 (here), the Kodak Instamatic X-15 (here), and the Imperial Magimatic X-50 (here). Or check out all of my camera reviews here.

I wanted to shoot fresh Lomography Color Tiger film, but none was available. Accordingly, I turned to eBay and bought a roll of Kodak Kodacolor Gold 200 expired sine October of 1991. The scans came back dim with muted colors. Photoshop and the Radiant Photo plugin helped these images a lot, but fresh film would still have shown this camera’s capabilities a lot better.


I shot all 24 exposures on springtime walks near my home. The 600 was an easy companion, fitting snugly into my back jeans pocket. It is about as simple as they come: aim, press the shutter button, wind. The controls feel surprisingly sure under use, making the 600 pleasant to shoot. The shutter fires with a clean, quiet click, and the winder is smooth and easy.


This lens is decently sharp all the way out to the corners, with no perceivable vignetting. I don’t see any distortion in these images, either.

Old Navy

I couldn’t test the flash on my 600 as it wouldn’t fire up after inserting fresh batteries. That doesn’t matter to me as I’m an available-light shooter, but in a review it’s good to test the flash to see how it performs.

Suburban Scene

The 600’s major bummer is its tiny, cramped viewfinder. It sees less than what the lens sees, and thanks to parallax, shifts subjects off center. This giant sign filled the viewfinder when I made the image.


It’s true even with subjects that don’t fill the frame.

Suburban house

Also, the 600 needs plenty of light to return well-exposed images. I made this image in a shadowy area on a cloudy day. The long-expired film didn’t help matters.

Front garden

But in bright sun, when perfect framing doesn’t matter, the 600 delivers just fine. When it was new, it was a fine low-cost camera for the family snapshooter.

Spring suburban scene

To see more from this camera, check out my Ansco 600 Flash gallery.

This camera was donated to the Jim Grey Home for Wayward Cameras by a longtime colleague who gave me all of her dad’s cameras after he passed. This and the Kodak Brownie Starlet I reviewed earlier were the least of them, and both were good enough cameras to capture family memories.

If you like old film cameras, check out all of my reviews here!
To get Down the Road in your inbox or feed reader, subscribe here.


8 responses to “Ansco 600 Flash”

  1. Kodachromeguy Avatar

    The results are grainy but surprisingly good resolution, at least when viewed on a desktop monitor. It is a pity that Ansco (GAF) could not make a go at it even with their film. Recall that their Versapan B&W film was top quality in the 1970s. It must have been a tough era because other strong companies, like Dupont, also dropped out of the consumer camera film business.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes – I’d like to shoot some fresh 110 in this to see how it performs. I may do that yet.

      I’m just young enough to not really remember Ansco and GAF films. A pity.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        I’m so old, I remember printing on DuPont Defender Varigam paper in high school! Actually a wonderful variable contrast paper! Much lamented when DuPont pulled the plug! Also knew some fashion photographers shooting Anscochrome 500 (asa 500!) just for the soft grainy effect, sometime in the early to mid 70’s. It looked like nothing else.

        1. Kodachromeguy Avatar

          Was it Dupont whose film formulas and machinery became the basis of Efke films? I thought I read somewhere the film coating machinery went to Yugoslavia. Many people loved Efke films, and I wish I had tried it when some was still in production.

          1. Andy Umbo Avatar
            Andy Umbo

            I don’t know what happened to the machinery, but used Efke films a while back and liked the stuff, old school silver content… Actually when I was that young, it was Kodak and Agfa on the shelves, I don’t even remember seeing any other films at my little “Camera Corner” store in my local indie drug store; where I used to go with my sweaty paperboy dollar to by a roll of 35mm Tri-X, 20 shot, for 75 cents! Lot of Agfa In Milwaukee, since the city used to be referred to as the Munich of America. Our high school DuPont paper was sourced from the local pro shop downtown, which was also the largest supplier to press companies with printing supplies, like film and plates.

            That little store also sold some sort of print paper from Europe for cheap, and I used to buy it and print and really liked the results. Wish I could remember the brand, but it was probably just made up by the local distributor.

  2. David Avatar

    And we complain about the immages we get from our DIGITAL Point-and-Shoot cameras!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Not sure what you mean!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: