Reusing Disposable Cameras: Kodak Fun Saver

I recently received a box of used disposable cameras from Analogue Wonderland.

Basically, you give them money for postage and they send you a box of random cameras they have already processed. There were far too many in the box for me to ever use so the first thing I did was sort them out and see which would be the easiest to reload.

This camera was one of them.

The bottom one is the example I have reloaded.

How easy was it? Well first, I took off the Kodak sticker. Then, on the sides and the top, there was a catch you could prise off. See the photo below.

You just put a screwdriver under those tabs to lever the back off. The top one was the trickiest, but it was still not very tricky.

That will give you this view.

As you can see, it looks like a regular point and shoot camera. The flash capacitor isn’t visible so there is little chance of an electric shock. Now, look at the position of the winder, it is above where the film cassette would go. That means the camera winds back into the camera. So to reload it you have to do it in the dark or a dark bag, by rolling the film onto the ‘take-up spool’.

This is the back of another example, see the 800 in the bottom right corner. That is the ASA of the film originally loaded. So when reloading I would want to get close to that or process to that speed. I decided to use Ilford XP2 as I know the 400asa film has enough latitude to be shot at 800. Plus putting an Ilford film in a Kodak camera would just be fun 🙂 I know there was a reuseable XP2 camera in the box, but I was working on THIS camera.

You also need to reset the film counter to the number of exposures on the film, you won’t be able to do this after you have loaded the film as it will be inside the closed body. So do this before you put everything in the dark bag, the dial moves quite easily. The film I was loading had 24 exposures so I set it to that. It counts down as you take the shots.

Then put the whole lot in a dark bag with the film you want to reload.

In the last picture, you can see the top catch previously mentioned. I added some tape to the spool to stop the film from coming off while I wound it. I did this before putting it all in the bag, which made it much easier. There was a slot for the film, but I found it slipped off too easily with my test roll.

Once you have rolled the film onto the spool, it slots back in place…keep a tight hold of it until you get the back almost in place so it doesn’t unwind. Then just snap on the back on again.

Once out of the bag I inserted a battery to charge the flash. I had checked this worked before starting the whole process. Then I taped up the camera to cover holes where the original film had been removed.

Finally, I walked around with the camera in my bag for a week, taking shots of my travels.

Here are some of the results from this experiment.

Like a lot of people with disposable cameras, I didn’t use the flash much. When I worked in a lab I always had a fresh supply of AA batteries as we took them out of these cameras. I took a random shot of dad just to test it did actually work.

Well, bugger, they are great. No light leaks on this one and the shots are better than I get on some more expensive cameras. I visited Scarborough and Barnsley with this camera. I tilted the ‘comb’ sculpture as I didn’t think I could fit the whole thing in. Obviously, what you see in the viewfinder isn’t all that you get.

I have a couple more cameras loaded. So expect a few more experiments with these disposables.

As requested here is where the flash capacitor lies. It is hidden under the area where the battery lies, behind the circuit board. To get to it I had to take off the front cover, remove the battery and pull up the circuit board to get a glimpse of it. So it isn’t anywhere where it can be easily touched. Saying that, where there is an idiot with a screwdriver, anything is possible. Always take care with things that have a ‘capacity to charge’, rhinos or flash capacitors alike, watch out.


11 thoughts on “Reusing Disposable Cameras: Kodak Fun Saver

    1. Peggy says:

      The capacitor on this disposable was right under where the battery is located. So there was no need to go anywhere near it. Plus, if you keep a battery inside, it is covered. I will add a photo later tonight…and done.


  1. Char says:

    This is such a good idea, love how cheap and sustainable it is! I would be really interested in trying out something similar, would you be able to send me a link / let me know how you found these on analogue wonderland?

    Liked by 1 person

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