5 frames with...

5 Frames with Halina Pocket 2000 ‘Auto-Kameraset’ – By Jordi Fradera

August 1, 2020

Many years ago this rarity was given to my brother-in-law from Holland – he gave it to me due to my fondness for photography and strange things. I never used it and it has been in the corner of a closet for nearly 40 years. Boredom in these days of pandemic made me rummage in all corners of my house and “voilà” – The Auto-Kameraset grabbed my attention.

I suppose that the insurance companies gave the kit to their clients. I imagine the surprise of the opposing driver in an accident when seeing the deployment of the kit – I suspect they may have thought they had already lost the possible legal claim.

The kit is quite complete, camera, film, instruction manual, flash, index cards, pencil, floor marker and bodywork etc … but would the film have expired? Yes, of course, it expired in 1987. As for the Flash-Cube, I have always been surprised by this device, it seems miraculous and it worked wonderfully although sometimes it was a little scary when remembering the old magnesium flashes.

Halina? This is not a brand I knew existed, searching the Web I have seen that it manufactured cameras in various formats and for a few different brands out of Hong Kong. They even made a camera that was a little reminiscent of the Leicas of the 1940s.

What about the APS 110 format? I used it a lot during a time when I was only interested in taking family photos. These days I regret that choice, since it worked well for photos on small 7×10 cm paper, but after scanning the negatives, I now see all their defects… and they are many.

Between 1973 and 1977 I had a Kodak 110 Instamatic, I don’t remember the model. It was quite complete and then a Rollei A110. Fortunately I was robbed of both cameras, I had to buy a Pentax ME and it changed everything, my hobby of photography that I had before returned.

Now please, Auto-Kameraset / Halina, go back to your closet corner

After writing that first part of the article and submitting it to Hamish, he suggest the idea of adding photos taken with the Halina. So that is what I have done… though, not without difficulties.

First I looked for a reel of 110 film – in pandemic times, it was quite difficult! After a little bit of searching, I found Lomography Tiger 110 Color negative 200 in a souvenirs shop for €8 and I got to work. I looked for varied scenarios: sun, shade, interiors, markets and interiors to shoot with Cube-flash.

The next phase was the development, I ordered it for another €8 in a Barcelona store dedicated to analog photography and old analog cameras (http://www.fotojoma.es/). The owner of the store deals with the development by hand, he C41 developed the film for me and also scanned the negatives. In 24 hours I had the result at home.

As I am now used to the good definition of digital photos, I initially found the results disappointing due to blur and visible grain. When I received the negatives I scanned several with my Minolta scanner but the result was worse than the ones I received, especially due to dust and scratches.

But in remembering that the Halina Pocket 2000 is a very simple camera, fixed focus  (1.5 to 3 m recommended), with an f/11 aperture and 1/70 second shutter speed, I recalled better my analog past, and I liked what I saw a little more!

Here is the contact sheet followed by my favourite 5 frames from the roll

 

Shopping center

Cube flash / Enrique, pro-photographer

Pandemic bus

Smithy

Fish market

Thank you for reading, I hope you liked the article, and that you don’t have the misfortunate off needing to deploy the Halina Auto-Kameraset

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Terry B
    August 1, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Jordi, the camera may produce crappy images, 110 so can’t be helped in such a basic camera, but you’ve got a nice little piece of photographic history in the complete set. I’m guessing this will be quite rare in this condition.
    The move by that insurance company to issue its insureds with the kit would no doubt have reaped rewards for them as a picture is worth a thousand words, as they say.
    Thanks for posting your interesting story.

  • Reply
    David
    August 1, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    That is indeed a unique kit. Considering the limitations of the 110 format, your photos are very good. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Patrick Abe
    August 1, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve used 4X4 and 6X6 TLRs after I moved on after Ye Olde Brownie 620. Then there were 35mm cameras, rangefinders and SLRs. I did have a 126-using Minolta Autopak 700, but returned to 35mm. When 110 srrived on the scene, I looked at Kodak’s lineup and decided to wait and see what other camera manufacturers brought out. This led to a Canon 110ED, which even had a “close-up lens” to round out a very capable camera. It was fine for 3X prints and was a compact package, but Ye Olde Leica IIIa could beat it in terms of resolution. I set it aside, and let my older sister borrow it for a conference on an outer island. She left it somewhere in Volcano National Park, and blew me off when I asked what happened.
    While I’d prefer to revisit 126 again, 110 is still available, and the Canon 110ED is calling to me…again. Who needs digital perfection and long Adobe Lightroom sessions to massage image perfection? Lomography may yet have a new customer for their 110 films.;)

  • Reply
    BG
    August 3, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Great story! A very interesting device, that little Halina. For the time, that insurance kit is genius!

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