|Lomography still makes 110 film cartridges. A single color cartridge sells for about $9 (24 exposures).|
110 film was first introduced in 1972 as an alternative to 35mm/135 format. A cartridge-based system, 110 film offers a more user-friendly experience than 35mm: The cartridges can only be inserted one way, so they’re easier to load. And the design consists of two light-proof containers, one for the unexposed bit of the roll, the other for the exposed portion. This means there’s no need to rewind the roll at the end. And if you do make a beginner’s mistake and pop open the camera mid-roll, you won’t lose any of the shots you’ve taken.
The tradeoff is 110 film offers a smaller frame size than 35mm at 13x17mm, but it turns out that’s the same imaging area of a Four Thirds sensor.
Ultimately, 110 film never really took off or saw great commercial success. Lucky for us, this means there are plenty of 110 film cameras floating around the used market for cheap. And even better, Lomography still makes and sells the format for not too much cash per roll.
Now the less lucky part: actually developing the format is a little tricky and requires a bit of a DIY spirit. Our friends over at 35mmc have an entire primer on the format, including how-to rework a standard developing tank to accept 110 film (they also have plenty of samples). Go on and give it a read, then let the hunt for a Minox sub-miniature camera begin!