Porst Pocketpak EL

It was decades ago in my life when I bought this camera in my constant strive for becoming a better photographer – LOL. It was somewhere between 1970 and 1975 when I thought, using my then camera, an Agfa Optima 200 Sensor, was not good enough for me and I strongly needed an “upgrade” to something more lightweight and so.

Money was an issue and so I ended up with this then hyped camera type, a type 110 film cartridge pocket camera from Photo Porst – the Porst Pocketpak EL.

If you want to know more about this then world’s largest photo equipment dealer Photo Porst AG, you can find loads of information here – it’s a German website, so maybe using Google Translator is an option for you.

I have to admit here, that I never got a single really sharp image out of this camera. I claimed the camera for this, but who knows.

I do not find the original manual, so there is no way to name the technical specs. Topping this, nowhere on the web you can find a single piece of information about it and so I put here on my tiny blog what I know about and what I guess. Maybe some lucky readers know a little bit more about this camera.

The type 110 cartridge gives a 13 x 17 mm negative size, which is roughly a quarter the size of a 35mm film with its 24 x 36 mm. This is comparable to today’s Micro Four Thirds sensor size of 13.5 x 18 mm and its imaging area of 13 x 17.3 mm.

Let’s make a journey around the body …

From the left, first comes the small window housing the exposure meter, then comes the lens behind a protective glass and to the right sits the viewfinder. The lens might be a 4/21mm fix focus or zone focus type – if it’s similar to its siblings from Photo Porst – with 1.2 to 1.5m minimum focussing distance. Unfortunately there is nothing written around the lens, so it’s a guess only. The viewfinder contains a red LED, warning on low shutter speeds and a green plastic indicator, showing a correct exposure.

Three focus steps, distant, mid and close range can be set via a switch on the top of the body. Right to this focus switch there is a flash mount, where a distance holder can be inserted to avoid the famous red eyes. Standard 4x flashcubes can be used. Further to the right you find the shutter release button with a screw-in cable release socket to it’s left.

From the left you find the viewfinder, the film check/cartridge window and above, the camera back release switch.

Again from the left we have the viewfinder, the two cartridge holder recesses, in between the shutter and lens unit and finally the battery compartment.

On the left there is the tripod socket and on the right is the shutter cock and film advance slider.

The battery (yes, I turned it upside down … or … no, wait, I glued it onto the ceiling :) is some kind of special type – which is no longer available and so makes the camera a dead piece of plastic. However, when hitting the release button, the shutter fires, so there seems to be some kind of fixed manual shutter speed.

The shutter is electronically controlled and might be be capable of something between 1/30 to 1/500 of a second – if it’s similar to its siblings from Photo Porst.

So far for the moment. You know more about this little camera or have an old manual you wanna share?

In case you’d like to contribute some information about this little piece of plastic from the 70s, do not hesitate to send a comment. It’s highly appreciated.

Maybe, you want to visit my website or my flickr page too.

So long … and thanks for all the fish.

4 comments

  1. I looked up the Type K battery and found this video on how you can open it up and replace the innards yourself with regular button batteries and get a working K battery from it.

  2. I too thought at about age 14 that the new Pocket Instamatic 110 format would elevate my photography beyond what my hand-me-down Signet 35 could provide. Such is the naivete of youth. This camera looks very, very much like a mid-range Kodak 110 from that period. The mid-upper end models all took that K battery. Fortunately for me, teenagers were still allowed to work real jobs after school, and by the time I left for Germany a year later I had saved enough to buy a Nikkormat. The Pocket 20 was forgotten….

    1. Hi Bernard,
      thanks for stopping by on my tiny blog ;)
      Indeed, the period of the 110 type film for me was quite short and I headed on to my first SLR – a fully manual one from CARENA – Nikons and other well known brand names were far too expensive for me at that time … but I enjoy them now :)

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