A 110 to avoid- Skina Super Color T601 Review

It’s rare for me to be so critical of a camera . But given not surprisingly old 110 cameras are quite available still for peanuts, there are plenty of better fish to fry. And given the Skina is by far the worst 110 I’ve ever used, trust me save your pennies..

Directions. Skina Super Color T601. 2023
One of the better images but the subject is 1-2m away. T601 with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed and scanned by Photo Hippo. Early 2023. Click on image for full size

110 – the Film that came back from the dead

In the the 1960’s there was bit of craze for subminature cameras driven by the likes of those classic Minox and Minolta spy-esque 16mm film models. Kodak saw gap and introduced 110 for the masses in 1972. It is very similar to their earlier 126 film format but on a miniaturised scale. Like 126 you have a paperbacked roll film enclosed in a plastic cartridge that made loading easy

110 features a single sprocket per frame which frequently served to cock the cameras. Each frame is 13 × 17 mm (or 0.51 in × 0.67 inches in old money). This makes the format 1/4 the size of a 35mm frame. Wackily about the same as the 4/3 and micro 4/3 digital frame sizes.

The format was dismissed by serious photographer in part as the small sizes were had to enlarge in the days prior to decent scanning. But it was popular with the public. It appealed as 126 did before by being no fuss but now camera could be even smaller.

Halina Micro 110
Halina Micro 110 with a UK £1 pound coin for scale. The camera is unloaded as the 110 cartridge actually overhangs at the sides

Like the 126 although you could buy high end 110 cameras like the Pentax and Minolta TTL SLRs, most 110 cameras tended to be cheap. You even got titchy so called toy 110 cameras given away in cereal sized like the Halina above.

Granted image quality on a smaller frame size was never going to be as good as an equivalent lensed 35mm camera but as we’ll see with some 110 camera the difference can actually be smaller than you’d think

Just not the Skina.

Skina, never heard of them ?

Until a couple of years ago neither had I.

Zenit 510 - a so called Taiwanese Skina Zenit
Although this Zenit 510, a simple 35mm shooter, suggests KMZ manufacture. It was actually made in Taiwan not the FSU. Image by Zpeternew, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I first came across the name when trying to find rare compacts from the FSU post glastnost. According to sovietcams.com KMZ teamed up with Taiwanese manufacturer Toptronic to produce a series of crappy 35mm cheap compacts with Zenit branding. Funnily enough they didn’t sell that well (why have a crappy KMZ compact when you can buy any compact in the former USSR of the early noughties). But they have developed a Kitsch following on the fringes of FSU camera collectors in the Pokémon Gotta catch ’em all fashion and are quite hard to track down.

These late Zenits are known as the Skina line and it looks like sister cameras were sold as Skina models. And there are loads of Skina 35mm cheap compacts. Collectiblend links the Skina brand to New Taiwan (maker of such crap as the Olympia and Mintax scameras) not unreasonably as 2 of the color optical lens cameras bore the branding and collectiblend also links a 35mm compact too.

And that’s really all I can find about the brand.

Foodhub. Skina Super Color T601. 2023
Images soften off to the edges.. T601 with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed and scanned by Photo Hippo. Early 2023. Click on image for full size

110 Skina models

There are a few Skina 110 cameras. All appear to be that classic 110 long camera body with flash (bar the T650). The Super Color name is either on camera or on the box.

In addition to the T601 there appears to be at least

  • T60 – similar basic model
  • T600 – Nearly identical to the T601
  • T602 AF – There is no AF but you do get a switchable focal length like the Halina STM
  • T650 – no flash
  • MK-600 looks like T600 (? Market difference)

I suspect there are more and there would appear to be rebrands of these models too


Skina Super Color T601 Top view
Skina Super Color T601 Top view

the camera looks like any other typical 110 camera with built in flash. The front logo is dated but the white swirl on top adds some 90’s charm to this lump of cheap plastic. The little top finger guide above the flash is a nice touch to stop you from gripping the camera wrongly.

Skina Super Color T601 Front view
Skina Super Color T601 Front view. Yet another black plastic flash 110

There are no lens or viewfinder covers. The viewfinder appears to be a simple reverse Galilean with no frame markings. Build is very cheap. There is a lot of black plastic here. The whole thing creaks. This makes plastic Lomography AG cameras look like they were made by Bentley.

Skina Super Color T601 view through viewfinder
Rather poor mobile shot of the view through the Viewfinder of the T601. But rather app given the image quality

Clearly in the 1990’s AA batteries were smaller as the 2 AA batteries I used seem to get stuck á la Lomography Diana Instant Square

What metal there is seems to relate to the shutter, electrics and the film plate. My one had an intermittent failure in it’s shutter (more later) which is not great.

Core Spec

Your idea is a s good as mines. We have a very basic fixed focus camera with likely a fixed aperture and shutter as there is no metering cell. The camera will work without the 2 AA batteries

The batteries power a manually triggered flash.

This is typical of budget 110s without metering. There is not even a low light waring system

On the base is the typical push lever to wind film on. It took at times 2 full pushes to just over 1 push to get it wind on

Bridge. Skina Super Color T601 110 camera. 2023
In fairness people do that vasoline effect on shots but you get it free here. Note the centre slightly better. T601 with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed and scanned by Photo Hippo. Early 2023. Click on image for full size

Brucie Bonus – You get nothing for a pair

Mines came with the original cheap leatherette case which is both crap and actually more useful than the camera. I suspect this was originally sold with a wrist strap but as that was more useful someone probably took it off the camera.

In Use

This is a typical budget 110. Slide open back. Slot in 110 cartridge. To advance push lever on base inwards. It’s unclear if you need do this just once or part twice. Frame up with the viewfinder and shoot.

I used Lomo Color Tiger and sent films of to Photo Hippo. It was only when I finished shooting did I realise the shutter was starting to stay open. Luckily it turned out most of the roll was spared


Rapidly it became apparent that the focal point was off with my version. Given the camera is likely from a factory that made color optical lens camera, quality control is likely optional. So I’ll caveat this with results may vary

This one shot illustrates the issues. The Political protest sticker is almost in focus but beyond the post all is mush

Sturgeon Protest. Skina Super Color T601 110 camera. 2023
T601 with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed and scanned by Photo Hippo. Early 2023. Click on image for full size

It does softly okay with close objects but beyond a metre o2 everything goes mushy rapidly. To the edges thing go soft not that it matters if your subject is more than a metre or 2 away.

Bridge II. Skina Super Color T601 110 camera. 2023
T601 with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed and scanned by Photo Hippo. Early 2023. Click on image for full size

There’s some barrel distortion and fringing a-galore but these get lost in the mush.

Deli & grooves. Skina Super Color T601 110 camera. 2023
There is a parallax error leading off centrering for close shots. Typica for this class of camera without framelines. T601 with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed and scanned by Photo Hippo. Early 2023. Click on image for full size

But this is just typical for 110 Right ?

You could say that but this an image taken on an Halina Super Mini Flash. It’s another budget number but produced way better images. At the time I thought so so but put it up against the Skina and it’s chalk and cheese. actually rather rubbish crumbly chalk at that.

Comparison shot taken on Halina Super Mini Flash.
Dumfries, May 2019. Halina Super Mini Flash with Lomography Color Tiger 200CN. Processed and hand-scanned by Digital Photo Express Carlisle. Click on image for full size

This is from a more upmarket and scale focus Minolta Pocket Autopak 460T actually can match some reasonable 35mm compact images

Choose Beer. Minolta Pocket Autopak 460T with Lomography CN200
Edinburgh 2017. Minolta Autopak Pocket 460T with Lomography Color Tiger CN200. Processed by AG Photolab (disclaimer – I’m a shareholder). Click on image for full size

Final Thoughts on The Skina Super Color T601

The TL:DR is just no.

This is not great. It achieves a slight bit of infamy for me in being worse than the Lomography Diana Baby 110. With Lots of cheap 110 cameras out there, I’d just ignore. A cheap 110 doesn’t need to be awful but this truly is. Looking back I complained about the Halina being okay just a bit better than the Halina micro 110, a camera so plastic and cheap you’d expect to find it as a cereal give away. But both just were way much better.

And you can get great mufti element lensed 110 like the Minolta for only a little more.

There is no reason to waste your money as I did.

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