Week 86 – Minolta ac301

Kodak introduced its disc format film in 1982 as an advancement of the 110 Instamatic format.  15 8mm x 10.5mm exposures fit in each cartridge, which simply dropped into the back of the camera.

My first camera was a Kodak Disc 4100, which I saved my pennies to get. If memory serves, it cost $40 in the mid-1980s. It had fixed focus, automatic exposure, auto winding, and a built-in flash. It featured a permanent Lithium battery which “never” needed replacement.

It was a great, fun camera; and it took horrible photos. Poor grainy images would be its downfall, and I would replace it with a cheap Fuji 35mm in college.

Fast forward to Christmas 2013 when Mrs. Mack505 found this gem for my collection: the Minolta ac301!

Minolta disc 7/ac301Minolta disc 7/ac301Minolta’s Disc-7 model sported all of the common features of disc cameras: fixed focus, power winder, auto flash.  Minolta added a feature ahead of its time, however. The camera features a convex mirror on the front to facilitate self-portraits. It also has a self timer and a closeup mode.

The ac-301 was an interesting gimmick. Minolta partnered with the French fashion house André Courrèges to style a special version of the Disc-7. It features a white case with gold trim adorned with the Courrèges name and logo.  I have no idea how successful this version was, but it sure stands out among disc cameras today.

Disc film is no longer available. I have sourced some from eBay and some from friends. This week’s disc is among the freshest in my refrigerator.  We shall see.

REFERENCES:

Camera-Wiki

eBay (all Minolta disc cameras)

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