Kodak ULTRA Compact Single-Use

Since Fujifilm introduced the first Quicksnap 35mm disposable camera in 1986, single-use cameras have been sold in places from camera shops to convenient stores and used in occasions from weddings to car accidents. Most of these disposable cameras are loaded with color negatives while Kodak made one loaded with its BW400CN black and white chromogenic (C41 pocessing) negative and Rollei made one loaded with its “true” black and white Retro 400.

The Kodak ULTRA Compact in the photo above is a “high-end” 35mm disposable camera. Although the exact specification of its Ektanar lens cannot be found, since there is another piece of glass (straightly speaking, plastic) behind the shutter, the lens must have more than a single element. It also has a true and bright optical viewfinder. The shell design of the ULTRA Compact make it looks a bit more serious than the its Kodak FunSaver siblings. The camera itself is loaded with ASA800 film instead of ASA400 which is more commonly used in disposable cameras. While it enables the camera to shot a bit better in low light, the grains of the ASA800 film used are so coarse that it lowers the image quality a lot.

Below are two photos shot with this camera. While image quality is really low even compared to a point-and-shoot camera, the vibrant color combined with blurriness could be quite useful in certain artistic expressions. This also makes the ULTRA Compact a great tool for “lomo style” photography.

The Story behind my Kodak ULTRA Compact…

I bought this camera at a hardware store for a special price of $5CAD with the intention to take it apart. Instead of having me to shoot the sample photos, I passed this camera to my mother who thinks my sister’s digital point-and-shoot is too complicated to use. She went to a day trip to see the tulips and the two photos above were shot by her. I then disassembled the camera, took out the film canister and had it processed at a one-hour lab. I asked to get back the canister so that I can have all the “components” of the camera to write this article and make a display at my living room.

Status: In Collection


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