A few years later Kodak introduced its own instant film products in 1976, which was different from Polaroid's in several ways. Kodak instant film was exposed from the back without a mirror, the opposite of Polaroid's film which was exposed from the front with a mirror to reverse the image. This has several advantages; first the instant film is much less complicated compared to Polaroids which has the front layer that has to be transparent during exposure, opaque after the chemical spread and transparent after a development time. Kodak's method uses the chemical reagent as a light shield during development. The instant film in this process is capable of higher resolution compared to Polaroid's system since light does not have to travel as many layers to reach the negative. Other advantages include being able to use a matte finish on the face of the photo. The release of the higher ISO Trimprint series of instant products in the early 1980 also made it easy to remove the instant photo from the development pod. Without a mirror the camera are not as complex and less expensive to produce. The film path being much simpler also allow the use of a simple mechanical crank to spread and eject the film print instead of a electronic motorized unit in Polaroids.
While Kodak instant films have been discontinued, Fuji's instant film for the Fotorama system had been available in Japan since the 1980s and is very similar to Kodak's. The pictures are the same size, the cartridge is almost the same, with some easy plastic modifications; the Fuji Fotorama FI-10 series films can be made to fit. It was closest to the Kodak with the ISO at 160, if required many of the camera's brightness controls can be adjusted to work with the different ISO; However, the FI-10 films was discontinued in the 1990s. The faster ISO 800 instant films from the System 800 and instant ACE will work as well but would require the use of a filter either on the film cartridge or lens. While the ACE film will require the additional step of transferring of the picture elements into a compatible Kodak or modified Fuji 800 cartridge pack. In 2010, Fujifilm discontinued both the System 800 as well as the Instant ACE film.
Curiously, the Handle is very different from its slimmer sister the but has proportions similar to that of Polaroid’s series which is why I had to use a plastic film canister to prop up its nose for these photos. Also unlike the Colorburst 100, the Handle looks and feels very much like a cheap, plastic consumer camera. Despite this, consumers still dished out $40 (about $150 today) for one in the late ’70s. Lucky for me, I only paid 99 cents at the thrift store for the Handle along with an unopened pack of Kodak instant film and the original user’s manual complete with cheesy photos.
The film has gone the way of the dodo a few decades ago and as far as I know there is no way to convert these cameras for use with Polaroid pack film, which in itself will soon be history too. Even when you find some vintage Kodak Instant film, it will be long out of date and won't give you great (if any) pictures. So all in all, these cameras do look great and should in my opinion be part of any 1970s retro style home but there is no way to take pictures with it anymore.