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Minox Sub miniature
Old 06-27-2018   #1
lxmike
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Minox Sub miniature

Never shot with sub miniature before, saw a good deal on a minox film sub miniature that looks like a IIIf, l might buy it for the novelty value, a few questions arise, how available is the film, where in the uk develops and prints sub miniature film, what are these little gems like to shoot with....am l mad or just suffering from GAS Thanks for any thoughts on this. Mods if this is in the wrong section please feel free to move
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Old 06-27-2018   #2
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M S Hobbies in Southampton did sell Minox film, don't know if they still do. It's available in the US from Blue Moon Camera in Portland OR. It is very expensive and most folks just build a film slitter to cut down 35mm into two 9.2mm side by side strips, and load their own cartridges. I bought old, outdated film off of ebay, dumped the film and load my own. Even 20 year old outdated film can be $10 to $20 a cartridge so reloading is the only cost effective way to shoot Minox 8X11 now.

There may be a source in Germany also.
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Old 06-27-2018   #3
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I have a lots of experience working with Minox format submini cameras. The originals (Minox III, IIIS, B, C, LX, etc) are brilliant, superb bits of mechanical camera workmanship.

The 'toy' cameras, like the miniature Leica IIIf, can make a decent photograph but are not really up the the standards of lens quality, etc, required to take seriously. They're fun, however.

Film and processing can be obtained from Blue Moon Camera (https://www.bluemooncamera.com/) in the USA. I don't know who in the UK is a stockist or provides services for Minox format film at this point in time. Since once upon a time I used to be in London on a reasonably frequent basis, I remember there was a camera shop near the British Museum that had a ton of Minox submini equipment and film in stock ... I have no idea whether they're still there, it was at least a decade ago that I last recall being in the shop for a visit.

I've always shot B&W in Minox format and processed my own film using the Minox daylight loading tank. Since the mid-1990s, I scanned the negatives directly and rendered the scans for display and printing. Nowadays, I scan the negatives with a copy camera setup ... See https://flic.kr/s/aHskshuyHV.

If you go for it, take it lightly and enjoy it! It's just a tiny sliver of a negative so don't expect grandiose things.

G


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Old 06-27-2018   #4
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Everyone should try one at least once. Personally I prefer 16mm or (better still) Tessina.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-27-2018   #5
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I collected full set. Camera, tripod, developing tank, enlarger, films and else.
After developing couple of films I sold it all. And no regrets.
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Old 06-27-2018   #6
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My dad had a Minox B (I think) which I borrowed when I was in high school. I remember taking photos of my friends and school parades and such. My technique was probably terrible but all my photos, when printed postcard size, were blurry like Godfrey's example above.
I even tired to photograph papers, using the steel cord with marker balls to gauge the right macro distance. Those photos were blurry too. I don't know how spies managed to get usable copies of top secret documents filched from the enemies' safes.
I still love them as mechanical objects though, and a few years ago bought a titanium TLX model, which came with developing reels and a homemade film slitter. I haven't used it.
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Old 06-27-2018   #7
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The Minox sales rep, in the early 70's, would setup demonstrations at various camera stores in Chicago. He had a portable darkroom and could develop and make prints. He would photograph standard 8.5X11 printed pages with line copy film and the next day would make prints on 8X10 paper. You could read every line on the page, they were crisp and clear. I think the film had an ASA of 6 but I cannot remember what company made it.
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Old 06-27-2018   #8
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Well that probably confirms it was my terrible technique. Or maybe I was using film with grain equivalent to the original Tri-X. Pushed.
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Old 06-27-2018   #9
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I posted a recent experiment with tmax 100 film in my Minox.

Check this thread:
https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=164853
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Old 06-27-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
Well that probably confirms it was my terrible technique. Or maybe I was using film with grain equivalent to the original Tri-X. Pushed.
Understand, the Minox rep had this down to a science. The exact distance to the copy, a line copy film that was more like micro fiche film, didn't need to produce any gray scale, just black or clear on the neg. It was a demonstration of what was possible but in real picture taking, not typical. But that said, I have seen some pictorial Minox prints that were definitely much higher resolution than Godfrey's sample. Prints like jbrubaker's sample in the referenced thread directly above.

I'm getting ready to slit some very old (expired 2009) Ilford Pan F. I'll shoot it at ISO 25 and develop in HC110 at 60:1 dilution, as a one shot developer.

Even at that I'll probably only try to make 3X5 prints.
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Old 06-27-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
...My technique was probably terrible but all my photos, when printed postcard size, were blurry like Godfrey's example above.
...
That was a hand-held available light shot film taken on the fly in the dimness of the Palace of Versailles. Here's a photo more representative of what the Minox CAN produce pretty easily when you put a little more effort into it:


Linda - Palo Alto 2005
Minox C, APX 25

I'm just not entirely hung up on the notion that everything about a photograph has to be about sharpness...

That said: The lens in a Minox IIIS, B, C, or LX is capable of resolving over 200 lp/mm on film sufficiently fine grained that can resolve that high. I've made 11x14 inch prints from Minox that are shockingly detailed and sharp; that's a 35x enlargement. But it doesn't come easily ... You must practice technique, focus (on focusing models) and holding the camera properly still. Minox equipment includes a range of different tripod and copy stand jigs to achieve very high resolution results.
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Old 06-27-2018   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrubaker View Post
I posted a recent experiment with tmax 100 film in my Minox.

Check this thread:
https://rangefinderforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=164853
Looks great, John!

G
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Old 06-27-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
That was a hand-held available light shot film taken on the fly in the dimness of the Palace of Versailles. Here's a photo more representative of what the Minox CAN produce pretty easily when you put a little more effort into it:



I'm just not entirely hung up on the notion that everything about a photograph has to be about sharpness...
Me neither Godfrey, I'm messing around with pinhole in 4X5.
I was looking at all the formats I have on hand;
8X11mm - Minox
10X14mm - Mamiya 16 and Minolta 16
18X24 - Various Olympus VF and Pen F reflex
24X36mm - too many to count, main bodies OM-1 and 4Ti
41X41mm - Agfa Isoly
56X56mm - Yashica, Zeiss Nettar
56X84MM - Kodak, Vigtlander
99X120mm (4X5) - Home made contraptions, pinhole and lensed
Too much choice, not enough time.
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Old 06-27-2018   #14
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Thank you for all the very thought provoking replies, time now to mull all this over a hot pot of tea
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Old 06-28-2018   #15
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You and me both, lxmike. I really shouldn't let my minty mintish mint-like TLX moulder away unused.
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Old 06-28-2018   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
You and me both, lxmike. I really shouldn't let my minty mintish mint-like TLX moulder away unused.
For some more inspiration, flickr has a minox group with 3100 images. Some of them are really quite good for such a small negative.

But the basic message with this format is; unless you have crazy amounts of disposable income, it is a 'do it yourself' format. I bought my Minox on a whim at a photo show 4 years ago. It was a fair deal at $40 for a clean, working IIIs with case and measure chain. But I've spent another $200 buying old NOS film off of ebay plus I sprung for a couple of new rolls at $20 each. I've also spent many hours building a film slitter and cutting down/modifying a plastic developing reel so I can develop my own B&W. I've used the missus sewing machine to sew up 120 clear neg files into sections to hold negative strips.
A lot of work for a hobby.
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Old 06-28-2018   #17
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Zuiko85, I admire your application. I took out the bag of goodies that came with my Minox. It seems like the previous owner was as dedicated and resourceful as you. I have from him:

- a film slitter constructed from acrylic sheet, incorporating a holder for 3 Exacto blades. He left on a 35mm film cartridge with a portion of film would onto the receiving spool so that I can see how it works. It will slit off the perforations and down the centre, giving two strips of 8mm film.
- spare Exacto blades for above.
- another acrylic based contraption for winding the split film into a Minox cartridge.
- 2 spare cartridge bits and pieces in their original film cases.
- 4 Agfapan 25 film cartridges, expired in 1986.
- spare silver oxide battery.
- Patterson type reel for 8mm film.
- an attachment for an enlarger to take Minox film.
I really have no excuse now.
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Old 06-28-2018   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyeh View Post
Zuiko85, I admire your application. I took out the bag of goodies that came with my Minox. It seems like the previous owner was as dedicated and resourceful as you. I have from him:

- a film slitter constructed from acrylic sheet, incorporating a holder for 3 Exacto blades. He left on a 35mm film cartridge with a portion of film would onto the receiving spool so that I can see how it works. It will slit off the perforations and down the centre, giving two strips of 8mm film.
- spare Exacto blades for above.
- another acrylic based contraption for winding the split film into a Minox cartridge.
- 2 spare cartridge bits and pieces in their original film cases.
- 4 Agfapan 25 film cartridges, expired in 1986.
- spare silver oxide battery.
- Patterson type reel for 8mm film.
- an attachment for an enlarger to take Minox film.
I really have no excuse now.
Score! But be very careful of the cartridges. They are fragile, thin plastic and the bridge between the feed and take-up chambers is easy to break. I'm a bit ham fisted and snapped one of mine trying to load it. That was a $20 mistake.
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Old 06-28-2018   #19
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Thanks, Zuiks. I feel encouraged. I'll watch out for that pesky fragile cartridge bridge.
BTW i also have a Maitani/Olympus affection like you - Pen FT, FV, OM1, OM2 principally.
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Old 06-28-2018   #20
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Hmm. I guess I have a different scale of what it means to have "crazy amounts of disposable income". Photography has always been an expensive endeavor for me. I just accept that premise as a basis and do what I want within the limits of my budget.

With Minox: About 25 years ago, I bought a bulk order (about two hundred rolls) of Minox APX25 and APX100 for [email protected], and have stored it in the freezer ever since, taking out a couple of rolls at a time to use and process them. Back then, a new Minox daylight developing tank was $100, a used one was $20, and I acquired four or five cameras at an average price of about $75 apiece. Same kind of thing for all the accessories and supplies (like negative sheets, copy stands, tripod jigs, etc etc.) ...

I still have forty or fifty rolls of film in the freezer. I've saved up a hundred or so film cassettes if I ever need to slit and load film. The cameras are all in good working order. I should shoot some new photos...

G
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Old 06-29-2018   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Hmm. I guess I have a different scale of what it means to have "crazy amounts of disposable income". Photography has always been an expensive endeavor for me. I just accept that premise as a basis and do what I want within the limits of my budget.

With Minox: About 25 years ago, I bought a bulk order (about two hundred rolls) of Minox APX25 and APX100 for [email protected], and have stored it in the freezer ever since, taking out a couple of rolls at a time to use and process them. Back then, a new Minox daylight developing tank was $100, a used one was $20, and I acquired four or five cameras at an average price of about $75 apiece. Same kind of thing for all the accessories and supplies (like negative sheets, copy stands, tripod jigs, etc etc.) ...

I still have forty or fifty rolls of film in the freezer. I've saved up a hundred or so film cassettes if I ever need to slit and load film. The cameras are all in good working order. I should shoot some new photos...

G
Guess my definition depends on my income demographic. Probably in the bottom 25% of US median income my whole life (Iím 69). But everyone is high income compared to some and low income compared to others so that informs their perception, including me. Iím the sum of my experience and prejudice however much I donít want to be.
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Old 06-29-2018   #22
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I purchased a Minox B (no meter) for repair price..
Ages ago, lack of use means another service!
Cost of film and processing out of reach..
Everybody sees one using it!
Easier to sneak shots with a Hasselblad or Mamiya 67, which define noise!
Great conversation piece..

Last edited by leicapixie : 06-29-2018 at 06:31. Reason: purchased
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Old 06-29-2018   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
Guess my definition depends on my income demographic. Probably in the bottom 25% of US median income my whole life (Iím 69). But everyone is high income compared to some and low income compared to others so that informs their perception, including me. Iím the sum of my experience and prejudice however much I donít want to be.
Well, yes. The international poverty line is apparently now $1.90 a day, which makes you realize just how rich the "poor" among us are in the "rich west". Clean water; enough to eat; dry roofs over our heads...

And let's be honest. Far more of it is down to being born in the right country at the right time than to our individual wit, charm, diligence and intelligence. A friend of mine, a superb writer, is an Untouchable (Harijan, Dalit, choose the current politically correct word) in the Himalayas. I've lost touch with him because he can't afford an internet connexion or postage. Other friends are Tibetan refugees, or the children of Hungarian or Polish refugees.

Cheers (if that's the right word),

R.
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Old 06-29-2018   #24
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I bought a bunch of Minox equipment over 20 years ago and then moved to digital so I did very little with it. Pulled out the Model B a couple of weeks ago and it is still working fine (meter too) and had a roll of 21 year expired MinoPan 100 in it. I processed it in the Minox tank and it had a couple of usable images still on it. Scanned with a LS8000.



May be over-sharpened but I wanted to see what I could recover from the mistreated negative.

I have a number of other unused rolls from that timeframe but due to bad storage (heat in attic) I assume they are all useless. Will be slitting some film soon and trying my hand at reloading the cassettes. I think one roll of 35mm is good for 4 cassettes. The Minox daylight tank is brilliant. No changing bag needed and it only uses 55cc of chemicals. If one is loading/processing/scanning themselves the ongoing costs of shooting a Minox are very low once you have the needed equipment.

The Model C and later need batteries but offer auto exposure if desired. They are quite a bit longer than the B and also offer the benefit of being able to be opened and closed without advancing the frame if no picture was taken. The meterless A and IIIs are even smaller but I don't have one of them for comparison.

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Old 06-29-2018   #25
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It's been a long time since I inventoried my Minox gear. This thread motivated me to snap a photo of most of it ... There are a few other bits tucked away in boxes and such that I didn't hunt up.



The items are:
  1. Minox Copy Stand - four legs unscrew for storage and are extensible with click stops in keeping with the focusing knob graduations (IIIS, B, and C)
  2. Minox Binocular Clamp - allows taking telephoto photos by attaching to one side of a pair of binoculars with center focusing wheel. (IIIS, B, and C)
  3. Minox Combo Case - holds EC camera and flash unit.
  4. Minox Right Angle Finder - allows you to look down into the viewfinder at near waist angle (IIIS)
  5. Minox EC camera
  6. Minox EC camera leather slip case
  7. Minox Film Magnifying Viewer and Cutter - to view negs and cut film strips precisely
  8. Minox Electronic Flash - for the EC but an adapter elsewhere in my cabinet adapts it to the IIIS, C, and B.
  9. Minox B and pocket leather case
  10. Minox Meter for IIIS - working, but needs a new cell and calibration to be accurate.
  11. Minox table-top tripod in case
  12. Minox table-top tripod assembled with IIIS, B, C holder and cable release. These little tripods are very sturdy and rigid. The legs unscrew and fit into one another so they take up very little space for carrying.
  13. Minox C (early, Complan lens) plus ever-ready leather case
  14. Honeywell Nikor Minox 9.5mm reel
  15. Honeywell Nikor box for Minox 9.5mm reel
  16. Minox IIIS camera and case

Once upon a time, all this gear was very inexpensive on the used market (middle-1990s). I acquired it all at swap meets, by accident, or by someone giving it to me as a gift. It's all beautifully made and very sophisticated, with great performance.

A walk down memory lane for me. I used all of it quite a lot over the years.

G
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Old 06-29-2018   #26
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Well, yes. The international poverty line is apparently now $1.90 a day, which makes you realize just how rich the "poor" among us are in the "rich west". Clean water; enough to eat; dry roofs over our heads...

And let's be honest. Far more of it is down to being born in the right country at the right time than to our individual wit, charm, diligence and intelligence. A friend of mine, a superb writer, is an Untouchable (Harijan, Dalit, choose the current politically correct word) in the Himalayas. I've lost touch with him because he can't afford an internet connexion or postage. Other friends are Tibetan refugees, or the children of Hungarian or Polish refugees.

Cheers (if that's the right word),
R.
Cheers definitely is the right word. I've had a relatively easy life but not travelled a lot. Living now in Puget Sound the only other country I've been to is Canada which hardly counts as a 'furrin' country. I'm also well aware that a very large chunk of the worlds 7.4 billion live below what the US would consider poverty.
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Old 06-29-2018   #27
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I don’t extrapolate my notions of a standard of living to any one else, period. I’ve worked hard most of my life and did reasonably well in the context of the society in which I live.

Photography is for most people a fun pastime and endeavor that you apply your surplus energy and wealth towards. How much of that surplus is up to you. If you don’t have any, well, you don’t do it. Nothing else matters. I just get very tired of people constantly judging things in every context based on money. If you’re conversing on this forum at all, you already have more surplus than about ninety percent of the rest of the world. Just decidewhat you like/want to do with it, and do it.
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Old 06-30-2018   #28
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Ah, we’ve steered the discussion from where to get 8x11 film into social discussion about folks attitudes toward money. And everyone has been able to express their opinions and views. What works for them, as it were.
So, back to the thread, did the OP get to check out M S Hobbies? Do they still sell Minox film?
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Old 06-30-2018   #29
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I ended up trying to slit film for the Minoxs last night using the Minox Acmel slitter. Fomapan 100 for this test. It actually isn't very difficult. If you measure out the two strips you end up with you should be able to fill (4) 36 exposure cassettes and (2) 15 exposures. I just took the two strips and folded them in half then cut that way to fill 4 cassettes. I'll shoot them as if they are 36 exposure to be sure I don't wind the film completely into the cassette (potential light leak) and so the film will be easy to load and fit in the 36 exposure Minox tank.

After I had the four strips I put three in an empty paper box and covered them. You only need to wind the film and put it into one side of the cartridge in darkness. Once the cap is on you can tape the film leader to the takeup spool and get it into the other side of the cartridge in lighting. I did them one at a time and it seemed to go fine. Just getting the film and spool into the other side is probably the hardest part of the process.

If anyone is looking for a film slitter check these out which are pretty inexpensive. I have one to cut down 120 to 127 and a strip of Minox film.

Jimmy Li makes really nice slitters but I expect they are expensive.


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Old 06-30-2018   #30
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Ah, weíve steered the discussion from where to get 8x11 film into social discussion about folks attitudes toward money. And everyone has been able to express their opinions and views. What works for them, as it were.
So, back to the thread, did the OP get to check out M S Hobbies? Do they still sell Minox film?
Well, yes. We wouldn't want to digress into anything unimportant, would we?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 06-30-2018   #31
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...
If anyone is looking for a film slitter check these out which are pretty inexpensive. I have one to cut down 120 to 127 and a strip of Minox film.
...
Ah, it's good to see that Joe is still producing and selling submini equipment! I should order one of his slitters too...

G
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Old 06-30-2018   #32
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Oddly enough I just picked up a Minox B with tripod adapter and binocular clamp at an antiques fair for a price which, given the quality of this equipment, was very little indeed. The camera seems to work ok so now I suppose I need to contact M S Hobbies about film .....
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Old 07-01-2018   #33
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If anyone is looking for a film slitter check these out which are pretty inexpensive. I have one to cut down 120 to 127 and a strip of Minox film.

Jimmy Li makes really nice slitters but I expect they are expensive.


Shawn
I've seen both posts about both those slitters. But, since I have an accurate table saw, drill press, etc. I had no problem constructing my "pull through" slitter. It uses double edge razor blades which can be flipped to use each cutting edge as they get dull. Seems to work fine. I cut only 18 inch lengths of film for 25 exposures each.
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Old 07-01-2018   #34
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The salesman copying documents referred to above would certainly have made use of a Minox feature; the four little bumps on the carrying chain are precisely positioned like the closest marks on the distance scale. 0,2,0,24,0,3 and 0,4 meters.


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Old 07-02-2018   #35
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I might like Digital Minox in the shape of the traditional one, a B or C. No room for an LCD screen, but maybe that's OK.
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Old 07-02-2018   #36
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I might like Digital Minox in the shape of the traditional one, a B or C. No room for an LCD screen, but maybe that's OK.
My memory is a bit dim but it seems there was a digital Minox about the same size as a IIIs. But I just cannot remember any details about it. Anybody here remember that camera?
Ah, google is your friend. It was called the Minox DSC, advertised about 2012, didn’t last long in the market. Think it flopped sales wise.
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Old 07-02-2018   #37
seany65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
M S Hobbies in Southampton did sell Minox film, don't know if they still do. It's available in the US from Blue Moon Camera in Portland OR. It is very expensive and most folks just build a film slitter to cut down 35mm into two 9.2mm side by side strips, and load their own cartridges. I bought old, outdated film off of ebay, dumped the film and load my own. Even 20 year old outdated film can be $10 to $20 a cartridge so reloading is the only cost effective way to shoot Minox 8X11 now.

There may be a source in Germany also.
Here's a link to the MSHobbies shop:

https://mshobbies.co.uk/c/shop


I found it recently when looking for Lomo tiger 110 film. Please don't buy any of their 110 film yet. I've been trying to get clear info about postage and how to pay from Paul who works there.

Anyway, they list Kodak and Ilford films as having been precision cut for Minox size. They list Minox slide film made by Sharan in japan.

They also have some Minox cameras listed.

I'd like to ask if anyone has bought anything from them recently and how it went?

I've been looking through their website but there are a couple of 'oddities', such as the "Dispatch and Delivery" page doesn't have any details about postage or payment options and their "Terms and Conditions" page only has 2 short passages, one about Processing films and the one about Minox films.

I don't know if their site has been written for win/7/8/10 or has been re-done and so there are a few teething problems.
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Old 07-02-2018   #38
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob-F View Post
I might like Digital Minox in the shape of the traditional one, a B or C. No room for an LCD screen, but maybe that's OK.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zuiko85 View Post
My memory is a bit dim but it seems there was a digital Minox about the same size as a IIIs. But I just cannot remember any details about it. Anybody here remember that camera?
Ah, google is your friend. It was called the Minox DSC, advertised about 2012, didnít last long in the market. Think it flopped sales wise.
The Minox DSC ("Digital Spy Camera) was a stylized 3.2 MPixel camera made in the middle '00s, if I recall correctly. B&H still has a listing for it:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...gital_Spy.html

The camera was a bulky Minox A in size, the flash and LCD screen was an included accessory. It didn't sell, the quality wasn't all that great. A similar concept could be done much better nowadays... if anyone cared enough to do it.

G
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Old 07-07-2018   #39
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I just received a new film slitter from Etsy:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/2668299...-any-roll-film

It will cut 2 16mm strips & 3 Minox strips from a 120 film. Since Rollei ATP film is still available in 120, I was able to shoot some in my Minox and process in TD-3 developer (from Photographer's Formulary). Below is a sample frame. I like to shoot this church building as a test because it has lots of fine detail. Printed as an 8x10, there is no visable grain and the detail is sharp! I rated the film @ISO 80 which was about right in this developer. This will be my new film/developer of choice for Minox or 16mm use.
https://www.dropbox.com/preview/shar...?role=personal

Last edited by jbrubaker : 07-07-2018 at 18:14. Reason: problem with image
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Old 07-24-2018   #40
Godfrey
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Yesterday I vetted my Leica CL macro setup for capturing Minox subminiature negatives...


Minox C - APX25 HC110
Processed 27FEB98
scanned: Leica CL + Summicron-R 50mm + Focusing Bellows-R @ 1.75:1 magnification
Two negative panorama merge


enjoy!
G

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