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Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera

Updated on January 30, 2015

Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera with a 1972 Olympic Case

Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera with a 1972 Olympic Case, and Magic Cube Flashes, and is still works great!
Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera with a 1972 Olympic Case, and Magic Cube Flashes, and is still works great!

The Amazing Kodak Instamatic X-15 camera

The Kodak Instamatic X cameras could flash without flash batteries. This amazing little Kodak Instamatic X-15 camera was manufactured in the United States from the year 1970 until the year 1976 when production stopped in the Bicentennial year. The Kodak Instamatic X-15 was designed to take the size 126, cartridge film which came in an enclosed easy to use roll. When the Instamatic X-15 was unloaded it weighs 5.78 oz., and with the Kodak 126, cartridge film loaded it weighted 6.56 oz.. In they year 1970 the priced for this camera with accessories was $21.00, it came in a wonderful black and mustard color box with a roll of Kodak 126 film, instructions, and a flash cube already mounted to the camera. The Kodak Instamatic X cameras include tripod socket at the bottom of the camera.

The Kodak X-15 Camera came in this Cool Box

In they year 1970 the priced for this camera with accessories was $21.00, it came in a wonderful back and mustard color box with a roll of Kodak 126 film, instructions, and a flash cube already mounted to the camera.
In they year 1970 the priced for this camera with accessories was $21.00, it came in a wonderful back and mustard color box with a roll of Kodak 126 film, instructions, and a flash cube already mounted to the camera.

The History of the Instamatic Camera

The Kodak Instamatic X-15 was one in a series of inexpensive, easy-to-load 126 size film cameras made by Kodak; the company starting making the first series of Instamatic cameras beginning in the year 1963. The Kodak Instamatic camera line was very successful, introducing a new generation to low cost and easy to use photography and spawning numerous imitators from overseas competition in Asia. During the golden age, the range was so ubiquitous that the Instamatic camera is frequently used incorrectly to refer to any inexpensive point and shoot camera.

Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera,in a 1972 Olympic Caring Case

Dean Peterson, the Designer for the Instamatic Line

The man and most known designer for the Instamatic line of cameras was Mr. Dean Peterson. Dean was later to develop most of the innovations in the more high in expensive point-and-shoot cameras in the early 1980s. The first Kodak Instamatic model released in the United States was the Instamatic 100. It had fixed shutter speed, and the aperture and focus were also fixed. The Instamatic 100 continued the tradition of flawless performance as that of the Kodak Brownie cameras. Like the Brownie cameras the Kodak Instamatic provided a simple snapshot camera almost anyone could use. It also featured a built-in flashgun for the AG-1 which is known as the peanut bulb, a feature lacking in the Instamatic 50 model that was earlier released in Great Britain.

1970 Ad for the Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera

The Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera requires no batteries, no focusing or other setting. It offers instant, effortless picture taking by sunlight or with the new four bulb, sell-powered Magicube, Type X.
The Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera requires no batteries, no focusing or other setting. It offers instant, effortless picture taking by sunlight or with the new four bulb, sell-powered Magicube, Type X.

1970 to 1987 with my Kodak X-15 Camera

When I look back at the photos I took for from 1970 to 1987 with my Kodak X-15 camera it still amazes me at the quality of the pictures that this little simple point-and-shoot camera could produce. It was the only camera my family had from 1970 to the time I got married. Which now I am very happy it was given to me as present from Santa on Christmas Morning 1970 when I was ten years old. Thankfully it made me the family photographer. I only wish they still made film for this camera and the flash cubes and a place that would develop the film. So sad we live in such a disposable society. I am glad I had the enjoyment of having a camera at such a young age in a world that stop taking pictures.

Here is a photo taken with my Kodak X-15 back in 1971

Here is a photo taken with my Kodak X-15 back in 1971. The quality was wonderful for such a simple point and shoot camera. In the photo is my Daddy, Mom, and sister Celesa back in 1971 at our home on Otter Creek Road, in Nashville Tennessee.
Here is a photo taken with my Kodak X-15 back in 1971. The quality was wonderful for such a simple point and shoot camera. In the photo is my Daddy, Mom, and sister Celesa back in 1971 at our home on Otter Creek Road, in Nashville Tennessee.

Sell-powered Magicube,

The Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera requires no batteries, no focusing or other setting. It offers instant, effortless picture taking by sunlight or with the new four bulb, sell-powered Magicube, Type X. You just drop the film cartridge in and shoot. Plus dependable Kodak color film for prints and the magicube for flash. Self-powered so there are no batteries to worry about and for sale for less than $23.00 at your photo dealers … the 1970s were so simple and fun.

The Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera requires no batteries, no focusing or other setting. It offers instant, effortless picture taking by sunlight or with the new four bulb, sell-powered Magicube, Type X.
The Kodak Instamatic X-15 Camera requires no batteries, no focusing or other setting. It offers instant, effortless picture taking by sunlight or with the new four bulb, sell-powered Magicube, Type X. | Source

The X-15 was One of the new Series of Instamatic

The X-15 was one of the new series of Instamatic that were introduced in 1970s to take advantage of the new and remarkable Magicube flash technology. The Magicubes used an igneous design that mechanically triggered built in pyre-technic detonators for each bulb. This was a game changing improvement over flashcubes because now the need for batteries was totally eliminated. The Kodak Instamatic with the new Magicube sockets were denoted by a the "X" one the model number thus you have the name for the X-15.

A X-15 with its Magicube attached on Top.

The Magicubes used an igneous design that mechanically triggered built in pyro-technic detonators for each bulb. This was a game changing improvement over flashcubes because now the need for batteries was totally eliminated.
The Magicubes used an igneous design that mechanically triggered built in pyro-technic detonators for each bulb. This was a game changing improvement over flashcubes because now the need for batteries was totally eliminated.

Cartridge-based Film Kodacolor 126

The Kodacolor film called 126 is the name given to a cartridge-based film that was in a format used in still photography for most Instamatic cameras of the 1960s and early 1970s. It was first introduced by Kodak in the year 1963, and is associated mainly with easy to use and inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras such as the Kodak Instamatic series of cameras. The Kodak X-15 camera was made in Rochester New York, and so was most if not all the 126 size film cartridges that were made in America. I few companies in Japan also made 126 size film for these cameras. Although 126 were once very popular, as of 2008 it is no longer manufactured by Kodak or any of the overseas companies, and few photo-finishers will snow process it for the public.

Kodak Instamatic X-15

How to use a Kodak X-15 Camera

To insure against fifth flash fizzle, a red warning curtain appears in the viewfinder if a used bulb is in the forward position. When you use the X-15 have the sun behind you, The subject must be in bright or hazy sunlight. For cloudy bright light conditions insert a Magicube. It is best to keep at least four feet from your subject for sharp pictures. When taking a picture hold the camera steady and take the picture by slowly pressing down the shutter release all the way. It is always best to make sure that the lean is clean and unobstructed by fingers, case or strap. To operate the film advance repeatedly advance it until it locks usually one and a half to two strokes. Then you are ready for the next exposure.

The Kodak X-15 was made in Rochester, New York

1963 Kodak Company Made a new Film called 126

It was in in the year 1963 when the Kodak Company of Rochester New York introduced their new film, it was encased in a plastic cartridge, for which they re-introduced the film cartridge with the 126 designation from which it became famous. They used the number 126 to show that images were 26mm square, using the Kodak commonly known as 1xx film numbering system that many film processor knew at that time. However the actual image size was 28 × 28 mm, but they usually reduced it to be approximately 26.5 × 26.5 mm by masking the finished product during printing or mounting.

The Kodacolor Film called 126

The Kodacolor film called 126 is the name given to a cartridge-based film that was in a format used in still photography for most instamatic cameras of the 1960s and early 1970s.
The Kodacolor film called 126 is the name given to a cartridge-based film that was in a format used in still photography for most instamatic cameras of the 1960s and early 1970s.

Kodacolor 126 had a backing of Paper.

Kodacolor 126 Like the 120 format had a continuous backing of paper, and the frame number is visible through a small window at the rear of the cartridge to be view through the back of the camera from a larger rectangular window on the back door, and visible was not only the frame number, but also a portion of the label that showed the film type and its speed.

Kodak Instamatic X-15, 126 Kodacolor Film, and Magicube's

The Amazing Design of the X-15 Camera

The cartridge has an encased captive take-up spool, but no supply spool for the film and backing paper so they are simply coiled tightly in placed in the supply end of the cartridge during usage. The positioning of the image is amazingly fixed by the cartridge wonderful design. Amazingly the film is a good 35mm wide. The camera is remarkably designed with a sensing pin which holds the film in place when it is fully advanced to the next frame and causes the winding lever to lock to prevent the photographer from winding past the per-exposed film.

Treasures from the Past thanks to my X-15 Kodak

Here is a photo from 1978 of my Senior Prom. Talk about finding a vintage treasure here is Char and Me at my home before we went to her home for more photos
Here is a photo from 1978 of my Senior Prom. Talk about finding a vintage treasure here is Char and Me at my home before we went to her home for more photos

Finding Vintage Treasures made by my X-15 Kodak

Here is a photo from 1978 of my Senior Prom. Talk about finding a vintage treasure here is Char and Me at my home before we went to her home for more photos, I am wearing my Milkman tuxedo, and I got Char's corsage from Kelly Lish, he owned Lish Flowers, a florist in Greenhill's, He would cut the Orchid live from his greenhouse in the back of the shop, you would just pick it out. Without the Kodak X-15 camera I would not have all my treasures from the past.I wonder what will happen to today's generation when one day the internet goes down forever because of a war or natural catastrophe, all those photos online are gone and they do not make X-15 cameras or film anymore to save treasures from the past in shoe boxes and albums to look at.

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