Camera Review: Rollei A110 c. 1975

A few years ago, I found one of my father’s old cameras, a Rollei A110. The structure of the camera was one that I was not familiar with at all. Unlike traditional SLR cameras, there was no protruding lens, dials or even space for 35mm film. Luckily, there was a manual. 

At 1.75 inches tall by 3.25 inches wide (when closed) this camera slides open less than an inch more revealing the lens and the viewfinder. This motion of sliding the camera open and shut also advances the 110 film.

Since finding this camera, I take it everywhere with me especially when I am traveling or even when I am walking around my home city of Philly because it is the perfect size to slip right into your pocket. The camera comes with a chain that screws into the bottom so that I can then clip it onto a belt loop and not worry about getting it lost. The camera automatically sets the ISO, aperture and shutter speed. All I have control over is the focus which I must approximate because the viewfinder only helps with framing the scene and doesn’t show if the subject is sharp. It needs a battery in order to engage the shutter which I learned the hard way after taking it on a trip to New York City and returning with an unexposed roll of film.

The reason I love this camera so much is that it is very portable. I sometimes call it my spy camera because, since it is so small, it is very inconspicuous. During my graduation from college, I stowed it away under my gown and was able to subtly take photos during the ceremony.

Here are some of my photographs taken with the Rollei A110:

Smith College Commencement 2019, Northampton, MA

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

The Montague Bookmill, Montage, MA

Beach in Strathmere, NJ

When I found this camera I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to get it processed, but luckily PhotoLounge does process 110 film! So if you are interested in working with this film or have a bunch of it lying around bring it to us and we will take care of it!

All photographs by Lauren C. Mitchell