Manufactured by National Instruments Ltd. in Jadavpur, Calcutta (now Kolkata), the National 35 was a 35mm camera released in 1979. Also known as the National 35 Sprinty BC, it has been hailed as India’s first locally manufactured, low-cost camera. Based on the design of a German camera, the Regula Sprinty BC, production of the National 35 started when National Instruments purchased the plans and design of the original German camera from its manufacturer, King KG, in the 1970s. The National 35 was extremely popular through the 1980s and continued to be produced until the early 1990s, when National Instruments shut down.
The forgotten role of the National 35 in the history of Indian photography is one of the subjects of a 2011 exhibition by photographers Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya, titled Through a Lens Darkly. Held at PHOTOINK, New Delhi, the exhibition featured photographs and photo-animations exploring the ruins of the erstwhile National Instruments factory in Jadavpur.
Camera-wiki. “National Instruments.” Accessed June 20, 2021.
Mitra, Madhuban and Manas Bhattacharya. “The camera that went out of focus.” The Sunday Post, January 23, 2011.
PHOTOINK. “THROUGH A LENS DARKLY (2009): Photographs and photo animations by Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya.” Accessed June 20, 2021.