Kodak Instamatic Kit: The Thomas the Tank Engine of instant cameras
Could you resist this cute little 50-year-old? I fell in love with the Kodak Instamatic 50 when I saw it at the South London Camera Fair last weekend. It wasn’t so much the camera, which is fairly standard fare for a 1960s pocket camera. No, it was the accessories—the cute little wide-angle lens, the clip-on viewfinder and the pirouetting flash unit—that got the juices running.
I just had to have it, simply for the pleasure of looking at it. The wide-angle lens, made by Kaligar, was accompanied by a telephoto sibling in a neat zippered leather case. All for £10. I wasn’t going to haggle.
This is the first Instamatic, introduced in 1963, and takes 126 film cartridges. It’s now something of a vintage classic, but it is the accessories that make it special. This is truly the Thomas the Tank engine of instant cameras. It looks like a toy but it was a serious snapper. It's what people carried before they had a smartphone.