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
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