The Kodak i60 actually tries to be a bit different to all the Dubblefilm show clones and similar plastic fantastic 35mm cameras with flash. It has a novel pop up manual flash and an attempt at retro styling But is it flash or just needing to pop off ? Let’s find out
Like all current non-disposable Kodak branded cameras this is made under licence. All current Kodak non disposables are made under licence by two companies. The most familiar is Reto who were a known camera producer (okay they made the Reto 3D but hey). They make the Ektar series of half frames (H35 and H35N fame).
But who makes the i60 ?
The i60 is made by the other group. In early 2023, I would tell you this is Sino promise and indeed my i60 has that on the box. But for those of you with interest in Kodak Chemicals, Sino ran into problems last year (they made a lot of Kodak branded darkroom supplies).
If you go on Kodak and click through the i60 as well as all the other formerly Sino made cameras are now listed as being made by a company called Meta Imaging Solutions Limited. a company founded in 2022 but has nil presence other than the Kodak cameras they sell.
Those cameras are
- the best know Kodak camera is the M35.
- M38 (a M35 MK II)
- Ultra F9 which appears to be a Dubblefilm show clone.
- S88 – motorised fixed focus like the Harman EZ35
The i60 is different with it’s pop up flash. It also has different construction with the batter compartment being on the side not base
Styling and Build of the i60
Like Reto’s Kodak this went for the retro instamatic styling. But unlike reto it doesn’t quite pull it off.
The 4 available colours are just a bit off whereas Reto’s H35 nailed the leatherette to a T. They just feel cheap and the faux selenium cell doesn’t help. It is also one of the more creaky plastic cameras I’ve used in some time and the battery compartment is just awfully finished being very hard to open and reclose (I had to bend the plastic slightly to seal.
It’s a shame as the USP – the pop up flash- feels much posher than the whole camera. The camera is narrower across the front face but more stodgier towards the rear than the M35. It feels heavier. On a plus the raised ring around the lens serves as a good finger guard.
Kodak i60 Spec
I suspect based on the results the fixed focus single element 31mm 1:10 plastic lens is the same found on the M35/Dubblefilms. It has a fixed shutter of 1/125 but unlike the M35 the aperture is not affected by flash status. The flash requires 1xAA to power but the camera is useable without.
The film plane is curved. Behind the lens is a rounded rectangular opening like the Dubblefilm/M35 but with a odd little crescent above the light entry
The focal range is 1m to infinity according to the manual. This reasonable as most DoF calculators would suggest a maximal 1.6m to infinity range with hyperfocal point at 3.21m.
The manual says flash is good for 1-3 metres but doesn’t define with what film nor gives a GN. The camera comes with a nice Kodak branded leather effect wrist strap. There are strap loops on both sides of the camera which is nice.
Cost, Using & Test Notes for Kodak i60
The i60 will set you back around £50 quid in the UK with Amazon being amongst the cheapest (note I get a few pennies commission on that link). This makes it a little more expensive than it’s M35 or Ultra F9 siblings
Once you’ve got the battery in and resealed this is pretty typical for the class. It has an easy load drum for take up (just pull leader over and make sure snags. So you just wind on and shoot. As you’d expect, the shutter is cocked and counter advanced by a cog over the film gate.
There are no controls bar the shutter button, winder and the button on fron to pop up the flash. There is no lo-light system, just a flash ready LED on the top plate.
The viewfinder is said to show 70% aof the frame and that is about right as you can see below.
There is a standard rewind sytem with a depress pin on base to hold down when you start rewinding.
Films shot were processed by Photo Hippo with medium quality scans.
My gut feeling this is the same lens as the Dubblefilm/M35 but at f/10 is being shot wider han the the f/16 they operate and near the f/8-9 most have the flash aperture.
Images are not quite as good as the Dubblefilm et al but are not bad. This shot probably tell you almost all you need to know.
So the image at median range is reasonable sharp for a plastic lens. Sadly it then drops off towards the frame edges considerably. Compare the logo and flyers in the window above to the blurry and chromatically aberrated sign on the left. Pincushion distortion is really noticeable as are the chromatic aberrations towards the edges.
Although the camera softens central at distance it’s still okay.
Flash is the usual blitz of light for a few metres expect red eye .
The i60 is quite quirky and a is certainly different to the other run of plastic flashtastic non disposables. But it is the weakest of the class. That said it still better than an average disposable or reloadable disposable
Look, you basically are getting a dubblefilm lens but at a wider aperture wrapped up in a weaker body and less well styled than its Ultra F9 sibling. It also costs more.
That said it is just that bit different and a more than competent alternative to most disposables.
I’ll focus on in production cameras only here for brevity.
There is a vast Legion of clones of the Dubblefilm Show. I’ve used a few notably the Escura Snaps 35 and the Agfaphoto Analogue. The latter full frame is often the cheapest of these clones but can also be found in half frame guise as pictured. That said if you end up going half frame the Kodak Ektar H35N is one of the best plastic fantastics in production today
The Kodak M35 is cheaper than the more normal looking Dubblefilm clones. But it is wrapped in not quite as nice a shell as is it’s better flash M38 sibling.
The Kodak Ultra F9 is not a football hooligan but likely another dubblefilm clone. If it’s not it will be one of several cameras similar to the LensFayre Snap LF-35M. These include the Cylo which I found for £12.99 at TK Maxx. If you can live without flash the Reto UWS a glorious VUWS clone is worth visiting and if you want more from your plastic fanatic try the Holga 135BC.
Dropping a class to the reloadable disposables I’d recommend one of the Lomography Simple Use cameras. You’ll get these for just over half the cost of the i60 but with a roll of film and a battery. Loading is not as easy though. The Kodak Fun Saver and the 2 Harman B&W disposables are clinically sharper but one use disposable unless you wanna dice with frying your fingers.