Some general information on Kodak Instant cameras and film:
was the original manufacturer of Polaroid Instant film from 1963 until 1969. When
Polaroid decided to make their own film, Kodak prepared a Kodak
peel-apart instant film and its cameras. The project was ready in 1972.
When Polaroid introduced integral film the same year, Kodak abandoned
the project and started a new one for Kodak integral instant film. The
film and the cameras were introduced in 1976. Polaroid sued them for
patent infringement although the Kodak system was quite different. The
Kodak film was exposed via the back, so no mirror was necessary. The
negative was then shielded by a black layer. The colours diffunded
to the front. This film had a higher resolution than Polaroid film as
only a few layers were necessary. With the 1984 Trimprint film you
could even separate the picture layer from the negative layer. Kodak
lost the lawsuit in 1986 which most probably would not have been the
case by today's legal standards. They retired from the market and
bought their cameras back from their U.S. customers.
Instant film was 160 ISO film. Some sources say it's 150 ISO, but I
have cartridges which say 160 ISO on the label. It was called PR10
first and PR144-10 later. The second generation Kodamatic
instant film in 1982 was 320 ISO (sometimes given as 300 ISO). It was
labeled HS 144-10. Kodak first
planned to release this film with 600 ISO sensibility, like the
Polaroid 600 film, but then decided to go to 320 ISO for compatibility
reasons. So either Kodak system could use both films by setting the
lighten/darken control to high on Kodamatic cameras with old film or to
low on older instant cameras with new film. Trimprint was Kodamatic ISO
320 film released in 1984 with the possibility to separate the picture layer from the negative layer and to trim the picture to your needs.
system near to the Kodak system as Fotorama Instant in 1982, same
picture size, nearly the same cartridge and 160 ISO as well. Picture
was once more improved. This film was discontinued in the 1990s. They
made two more systems, with the same picture size: System 800 and
Instant ACE. Both are 800 ISO. The system 800 cartridges could be
adapted to Kodak cameras, the ACE cartridges would require a picture
transfer to a Kodak cassette. Both need a filter in front of a Kodak
instant camera because of their high ISO. The film has been
discontinued in 2010. Until Polaroid went bankrupt, Fuji kept to the
Japanese and other Asian markets, so they were never sued by Polaroid.
The Fuji Instax film is the successor of 800 and ACE film in new
formats and has 800 ISO as well.
Kodak and Fuji have no battery in their film pack. After the
introduction of Polaroid Integral film there were numerous battery
issues until Polaroid decided to make their own batteries. And still
the batteries are a waste problem.
There is little technical
information about Kodak Instant cameras. The manuals don't give any
hint. It seems as if the first generation cameras were made in the
U.S., in Canada and in the U.K.. The foldable Kodamatic cameras have
also been produced in Germany, but I did not find the information who did it.
lenses are mostly given as 100mm F 12.8. For the older and the simpler
new cameras shutter speed seems to be 1/15 to 1/400 (250). There is a
bit more information about the Kodamatic 970L and 980L: 3 apertures, F
11, F 16 and F 27, so the lens was obviously a little more luminous.
Shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/150. These models also have the first
thyristor flashes in instant cameras. No camera of this series has a tripod socket, as there are no real long shutter speeds.
Two photos of the Kodak cartridges:
To the left the Kodamatic ISO 320 cartridge, with its instructions, to the right an ISO 160 Kodak Instant cartridge.