ILFORD Monarch

The Ilford Monarch was a rebadged Minolta Autopak 500.

By 1966 Ilford had given up trying to compete with Kodak's 126 Instamatic cartridge (via the Agfa Rapid system) and accepted that the Instamatic had won the customer base (even though it was technically much poorer - similar to VHS winning over Betmax in the late 1970s / early 1980s video tape recorder format battle).

The full instruction booklet for the Monarch is available at

The f2.8 38mm Minolta Rokkor lens is rebadged Hifinar (!?). Focussing was via the knob visible to the RHS, with indication in the viewfinder.

Flash was via a flash cube (4 flash pictures from one cube) which could be left on the camera and it only fired if the exposure meter required it. A red light in the viewfinder indicated if flash was required. Exposure control was fully automatic via the square section selenium cell surrounding the lens. "The robot controlled shutter adjusts itself automatically."

In Amateur Photographer magazine for 26th June 1968 (see advert to the left) the Ilford Monarch was advertised at £29.19s.4d (£29.97p) incl. pouch-type case & batteries.

This page last updated: 13th November 2007