F. and S. Marriott 140 Newbegin, Hornsea, England, HU18 1PB

May 2010. Stephanie died peacefully on 19th April after a short stay in hospital. She had been suffering from acute cervical cancer. Fred will continue to run the business to the best of his ability. The web site is slowly getting under control again as he tries to take over some of Stephanie's responsibilities, and learns some of the mysteries of Dreamweaver.

Pieces An on-line look at cameras etc. by Stephanie Marriott

December 2008 - Kodak Instamatic 800

Kodak Instamatic 800

The Kodak Instamatic 800 was one of the range of cameras which Kodak brought out when they first launched the "Kodapak" - now more usually known as the 126 cartridge - in 1963.

It has a 38 mm. f/2.8 Ektanar lens, a coupled coincident image rangefinder and a built-in bulb flash.

At 27 ounces, it weighs more than most other 126 cameras, but it has a lot of features packed into the rather clumsily styled body with its centre 'ledge' which supports the release and the metering cell.

The camera is simple to load; it is after loading the cartridge that the fun starts. Located on the bottom of the camera is a tape and this has to be pulled. Pulling the tape winds a spring motor. The tape retracts back into place by itself. Kodak claimed that seven pulls of the tape would fully wind the motor and that this would be enough to advance a full film.

When this operation is complete, the film is advanced to number 1 and the camera is ready for use.

There are three marked shutter speeds, 1/60, 1/125 and 1/250. One of these must be selected manually; the built-in meter will then set the aperture (range f/2.8 to f/64) to suit the available light and the shutter speed. If there is insufficient light, the shutter speed is automatically reduced, down to 1/30 sec. if need be.

If even 1/30 at f/2.8 is inadequate, there is a built-in bulb flash for use with subjects between three feet and twenty-five feet away. When the flash is in use, the shutter speed is set to 1/30 and the built-in rangefinder is linked to the aperture scale, thus giving automatic flash exposure. This is also the case when the flash is used outdoors as fill-in flash.

There is a one stop manual adjustment (plus or minus) and an exposure lock (hold the shutter release part-way down).

There is a focusing scale and zone focusing symbols as well as the built-in rangefinder, offering alternatives to the rangefinder which may be quicker to use.

The Kodak Instamatic 800 was never, as far as I can see, imported into the UK, which seems a shame. In the USA, it sold for around $130.

It is a very quirky camera.

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