PetaPixel

Floppy Disk Style Kodak Film from 1982

Here’s a fun bit of photo history: did you know that back in 1982, Kodak attempted to introduce a cartridge film format that resembled a floppy disk? Each rectangular cartridge contained a circular film disc with 15 exposures, and the disc was rotated 24 degrees after each exposure to line up the next frame.

Disc film did not prove hugely successful, mainly because the image on the negative was only 11 mm by 8 mm, leading to generally unacceptable grain and poor definition in the final prints. The film was intended to be printed with special 6-element lenses from Kodak, but many labs simply printed discs with standard 3-element lenses used for larger negative formats. The resulting prints often disappointed the consumer. [#]

Disc cameras were made until 1989, but the film remained in production until 1998. With over 8 million Disc cameras made in the first year alone, it’s no wonder there’s plenty for sale on eBay for just a few bucks.


Image credit: Photograph by D. Meyer


 
  • http://twitter.com/DoctorOctothorp Adam Solomon

    It’s hard to believe that a company that understood consumers’ desire for simplicity and convenience over quality (sigh) has so completely missed the boat in the digital age.

    A high quality _easy to use_ point and shoot with integrated eye-fi card functionality might still be able to win back market share and maybe more importantly mind share from camera phones.

  • http://twitter.com/DoctorOctothorp Adam Solomon

    It’s hard to believe that a company that understood consumers’ desire for simplicity and convenience over quality (sigh) has so completely missed the boat in the digital age.

    A high quality _easy to use_ point and shoot with integrated eye-fi card functionality might still be able to win back market share and maybe more importantly mind share from camera phones.

  • http://twitter.com/DoctorOctothorp Adam Solomon

    It’s hard to believe that a company that understood consumers’ desire for simplicity and convenience over quality (sigh) has so completely missed the boat in the digital age.

    A high quality _easy to use_ point and shoot with integrated eye-fi card functionality might still be able to win back market share and maybe more importantly mind share from camera phones.

  • Anonymous

    I think you’ll find that Kodak was an early entrant into the digital camera market, but the market was slow to develop, and the available technology wasn’t ready.  They even made important innovations such as the Bayer filter, which is still being used by most still cameras and a lot of video cameras to this day.

    I don’t know if pocket cameras can win back people from camera phones, camera phones are getting pretty good, are very easy to use and can email photos too, though WiFi or the cellular network.

  • Anonymous

    The film part of it looks pretty similar in size to the View-master discs.  It seems like a lost opportunity.

  • Rafael Haas

    manufacturers say they can’t do negatives with small grains, but no one tells why the slides have smaller grains.

  • http://www.photographybay.com Eric

    I had one of these in the mid-80’s. I thought it was awesome.

  • http://twitter.com/jorgelfc Jorge Fuentes

    We had one of these,there are still some disc negatives stored somewhere…

  • Jason

    I’ve still got some photos taken with one of these, they looked cool and were convenient, but unfortunately the photos looked like they were developed through a bunch of pebbles.

  • Bhorn

    Same problem as with 110 film. Negatives that tiny are hard to work with in many different ways. I guess they figured it wouldn’t matter since most people never print larger than 4×6. Not only do enlargements look grainy, but you can’t really crop much for the same reason.

    More importantly these days, the hub in the middle of the film makes it difficult/impossible to scan them. Are there any companies that specialize in scanning these or should I just remove the hub so the film will lay flat?

  • http://twitter.com/roblarosa Rob LaRosa

    I remember these from when I was a kid. I never had one though. I also remember that in the mid to late 90s Kodak introduced the APS (Advanced Photo System) film format. It seemed promising for awhile, but never really took off.

  • http://profiles.google.com/markkalan Mark Kalan

    Thanks for the memories! While the historical value of 110 and disc formats were interesting the cameras were more interesting, especially the top-of-the-line models like the Kodak Pocket 60 that had rangefinder focusing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000529913725 Cubo Superschnitzelkönig

    I have two Kodak disk cameras, but sadly I’ve never had the chance of finding one film…so so sad…

  • http://twitter.com/Bookworm Bookworm

    My first digital camera was a Kodak — the DC4800 3.1 MP.  There were add-on lenses (wide angle, telephoto, macro) and it took some really nice pictures.

  • Anonymous

    I remember those. My sisters had a couple. There were some cool ads for them, and the cameras mainly sold on size and convenience compared to 110 cameras. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/skevos Skevos Mavros

    My wife still has hers.  Still has an unexposed disk film cartridge in it.  Might not be too good to use…

  • http://greg.mcmull.in Greg McMullin

    My first camera was one of these. It was a Boots the Chemists own brand one!

  • Bhorn

    They should have stuck with 126 instamatic. Nice big negatives and slides.

  • Bhorn

    They should have stuck with 126 instamatic. Nice big negatives and slides.

  • http://www.thisisjoe.net YJawhar

    I have two of those cameras!! 

  • JasonP

    Mine too… just dug it out of a box a few weeks ago.  The batteries are toast but the plug adapter worked.  I remember being blown away by the quality when I got it (Sep 2000).  But now I’m a bit spoiled by my 7D ;)

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  • Glendower

    Amen.  IIRC, 126 film was 35mm film with different sprocket punching and a square format.  They even made one of these with a wind-up motor drive.

  • andreas

    I picked up one exactly like the above at a fleamarket last weekend, too bad no film is really available where I live and even less ability to develop it.

  • John Reinert Nash

    Who says they “don’t do negatives with small grains?”   Ever shoot Royal Gold 25?

    Kodak does have the image structure in color neg film to pull of Disc today, but the need for smaller cameras and short interval between shots has been quite nicely met by digital cameras.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/aburtch Anson Burtch

    My first camera had this format and as a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever.

  • Sir Stewart Wallace

    I would just cut the hub out and call it good.