Kodak Instamatic X-15F
This is the "Kodak Instamatic X-15F"; it is one of the many models of 126 Instamatic type cameras produced by Kodak from the early 1960s up until the late 1980s. This particular model was produced between 1976 and 1988; and it was the last 126 camera produced by Kodak.
This is a standard Kodak 126 Instamatic from the 1970s and 80s, with a very basic "point-and-shoot" design. The only user controls are a shutter leaver located on the front of the camera, and a film advance leaver located on the rear of the camera. The shutter mechanism is a simple mechanical leaf type shutter (1/90th sec normal, 1/45th sec with flash). The shutter will not fire until the film had been fully advanced to the next available frame. This camera would have originally used the "Flipflash" attachment, although majority of 126 cameras used "Flashcubes" (Hence the letter "F" in the model name). The Flipflash was an array of 8 to 10 miniature flashbulbs that mounted horizontally onto the top of the camera. The chassis of the camera is primarily made out of plastic, including the lens. The only metal parts are the front faceplates, and the advance leaver.
The Kodak "Kodapak" (better known as 126) introduced in 1963; was a light-tight cartridge with a built in film magazine. The main purpose for developing the 126 Instamatic film format was in response to customer complains about difficulties experienced while loading and unloading film. The result was a film cartridge which one could easily drop into the camera, and could only be loaded into the camera one way; ensuring a "fool-proof" system for loading and unloading film. For the 126 cartridge, basically all Kodak did was take the ailing 828 roll film format and simply build a plastic housing around it. An interesting thing to note about the 126 film format that is featured one of the built-in first film-speed sensing systems; although not all 126 cameras would take advantage of this feature. Kodak would later introduce the 110 instamatic film format in 1972; with a cartridge size nearly half that of 126.
The gradual decide of the 126 format was due to the fact that majority of the 126 cameras produced were cheap, being made either almost entry of plastic and/or with a poor quality plastic lens. Also, because almost all 126 cameras produced were "point-and-shoot" aimed towards the armature market, and the square nature of the pictures prevented many professionals from adopting the format.