Return To: Pentax Auto 110

As you know, I sometimes peruse Facebook Marketplace for cheap deals. For the most part I can resist the things I see, but a few weeks ago I saw a very cheap Pentax Auto 100 on offer. I have already tried one, but this was too cheap to pass by. The seller said it looked clean and it fired, but it hadn’t been film tested. I thought I would take a punt and asked for it to be posted, which it was. Here it is in front of a regular SLR. It is tiny.

I loaded the camera with a roll of Lomography Tiger and took it to Leicester for the instant day. I know this isn’t an instant…but it is very cool ๐Ÿ™‚

While using the camera, I noticed that it was skipping frames. It would sometimes cock after the two advance strokes but at other times it would not. When I got the film back it was clear it was overlapping and skipping frames.

These were all the shots I got from a 24-exposure cartridge. So I knew there was an issue with the camera, but at that point, I wasn’t sure what it was. I thought the lack of use might have made the camera stiff or something. So I loaded some Lomography Orca and took the set-up to Leeds on a walk with North West Film Photo. Once again the cameras skipped and this time even more often. I developed it at home afterwards and found the actual film to be very annoying. The negative strip had a black mask between the areas where the 110 film would be stopped by the little lever on the sprockets.

That ruined many of the shots. If it had been clear, I would still have had many viable images. Why do that to a film??

Anyway, here are some of the shots that I did get.

So the shutter and exposure worked but what about the skipping issue. If it was something to do with the cogs I was screwed as they are so small and fiddly. I decided to open the bottom and look if I could see anything obviously untoward. And I did!

When the shutter fired, one part didn’t move on its own after film advance, but when I flicked the sprocket lever it did.

…But not every time. Sometimes it only moved part way. So I added some clock oil to the part and tried it again. It moved much more smoothly each time.

Maybe that was it, but I could only tell with another film loaded to see if it stopped after two advances like it should. The last cartridge I had was a Lomography Turquoise film which I loaded and took to St. Aidans for a walk with a fellow blogger.

Everything worked perfectly! No skipping and all 24 shots were exposed perfectly…in a weird Lomography kind of way. Here are most of the shots.

Wow, what weird and wonderful effects. But look how sharp they are! I am glad to have another one of these super little cameras in my collection. After selling the last one, I am definitely keeping this example. AND…I fixed it ๐Ÿ™‚

25 thoughts on “Return To: Pentax Auto 110

  1. Kurt Ingham says:

    Very nice- especially for 110. Looks like my repair skills are on a par with yours- I only work on stuff that isn’t too valuable or important. Much fun bringing a camera back to life. But sadly the real repairman stuff- like replacing shutter curtains- is beyond my skill set

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Peggy says:

      That describes me exactly. Though I would like to be able to replace shutter curtains, I need expert guidance for that though…maybe one day.


  2. brineb58 says:

    As usual. i am floored by your ability to resolve issues with a camera … I just stand in the street and cry until the big hairy comes and fixes it (actually that is just my car) … I have 2 Pentax Autos and one has spacing issues, the other is a dream … maybe I will be brave enough to try what you did, but based on past results …. I will just cry!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Ha, as Kurt said, I can only fix simple stuff, so I would be a failure for sure and possibly damage stuff. If I was younger and there were apprenticeships, I would love it.


  3. Chris and Carol says:

    The color images (first roll) are amazingly sharp and well, colorful! I would never have guessed they were from that Pentax. You’re like my wife – I flip out when something doesn’t work after I mess with it a bit but she holds on tightly until the whatever gets fixed (or downloaded) or installed. Good show!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Well, if the oil hadn’t worked I am sure the camera would be in the bin. Also, you can get adapters for these lenses to put them on digital cameras. I am tempted as they as so good. It would be interesting to see.


  4. Aengus MacNaughton says:

    Even with the original issue โ€” great images. So much better than the typical fixed-focus 110 shots of my childhood!!! And great on fixing it โ€” yes, looking inside the bottom of the Auto 110 is rather intimidating โ€” gears and levers โ€” yikes! Fun fact โ€” the 110 negative image is almost exactly the same as the Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) image/sensor size โ€” and the three lenses made for the Auto 110 work great on MFT mirrorless cameras โ€” I have all of the lenses and a working (for now!) Auto 110 (and a decent MFT mirrorless camera to use the lenses on also). And the colors and grain of the Turquoise are a perfect match for this camera!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Aengus MacNaughton says:

        They do look a little odd since they are so small, and they have a fixed aperture (f2.8 on all, I believe), but they work very well.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Roger B. says:

    Often a tiny blast of electronics contact cleaner prior to applying clock oil yields a longer-lasting fix. The cleaner is something on par with carbon tet, so do avoid breathing it in! It dissolves and blasts away the accumulated goo of ages, and allows your fresh lube to do a better job. [Advice from a fellow amateur repairperson!]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Ooh good to know. I will look into that. This seems to be the most common type of repair so I am sure I will use that technique at some point.


      1. Roger B. says:

        Best feature of contact cleaner is that it leaves zero residue. But do use sparingly, as it completely dissolves any lubricant it encounters!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. arhphotographic says:

    What great looking shots. So pleased the camera worked. Little did you know that during our walk you were sowing the seeds for a small format camera. They matured into purchase of a Eljy Lumiere.

    Liked by 1 person

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