auto110’s potted history:-
White Asahi: The first Pentax 110’s off the production line had the “ASAHI” and “PENTAX” on the front of the prism in white enamel lettering. At the back of the viewfinder there are two screws and these are panhead. The 110’s claim to fame is that NASA selected this model for use in its constellation observation rocket! The highest reported serial number, so far, for a White Asahi is 1028039.
Black Panhead: Within the first year of production, the ASAHI was relegated to being black and only the word “PENTAX” was in white. For while the two screws at the back of the viewfinder stayed as being panheads before being changed into a phillips screw. In theory there should be a clean cut in serial numbers between the “Panhead” and “Phillips” models but in my collection there is an overlap.
Black Phillips: This is the most common model of the Auto 110 with the two screws by the viewfinder being of the phillips type. As far as we are aware, there were no changes to the model until it was replaced by the 110 Super. The highest reported serial number for this variant is 2056665.
Transparent: The Transparent model is very rare as it was only produced for dealer displays. Despite the body being completely transparent the camera is fully functional. No serial numbers were recorded so the actual number produced is unknown.
Safari: Named after the Leica R3 Safari as it has the same body colour the Safari is also rather elusive. Made for company officials and for presentations the exact numbers are also not known. The bodies have serial numbers which suggest that they are standard production models taken from the line for repainting. The camera came in a sliver and red box with a special presentation stand. The only correct case is a tan suede.
Unusual Ones: I found a Japanese site with a gold and silver 110, and how about a RED one that turned up recently in Germany?. The Japanese also made custom kits for the 110 to cover the black vinyl with other colours.
110 Super: Pentax replaced the Auto 110 with the Super in late 1982. The Super had a number of modifications and improvements although the basic chassis remained the same. The serial numbers seem to start as “25” and the range, so far, is reported to be 2506570 and the highest 2579331. The features that made the Super, super, were:-
- Self timer
- Exposure compensation button
- Shutter lock
The new model was short lived as sales declined and the whole Pentax 110 legend ceased shortly afterwards. The last production date is not known but as a guide the last 110 Super instruction manual was dated June 1985.