James's Camera Collection: Triad Corp. Fotron III

Traid Corp. Fotron III USA Cartridge
Fotron III camera
Film type: 828 Cartridge (proprietary)
Approx. dates of manufacture: 1960s
Approx. original price: $150 to $500!!!
Approx. street value: None

This is it, folks. If you polled most collectors for their lists of the worst cameras ever made, this would be in the Top 3, if not the overall winner. And I'm not talking about bad the way plastic Kodak Brownies are bad—those were designed to be as inexpensive and as basic as possible. This thing was actually meant to be a decent camera.

You know the old saw about how a camel is a horse designed by a committee? This is a camera designed by a committee. It's as if someone wrote down a list of ideas he wanted in a camera, and then handed it to engineers who had never seen a camera before; and this is what he got back.

The result isn't something bad like a Pho-Tak or a Holga is bad, this thing is bad on a Wagnerian opera scale. This thing could fire-bomb Dresden.

There are three(!) versions of this beast. The first and third have three focus buttons and just say Fotron on them (the third has a different frame counter, and it's gray instead of black). The second version is the Fotron III (nobody knows why) and it only has two buttons. That's my version.

This is often found with its original case and all of its accessories. You know why? Because they were never used.

Camera manual: Orphan Cameras.com

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