Is Minox film 9.5mm wide ? : LUSENET : Minox Photography : One Thread

Minox film is often refered to as 9.5mm film (William White, Morris Moses and John Wade etc ) But hobbyists who cut 9.5mm width film all failed to load into the Minox cassette.

What is the width of Minox film, as docmented by Minox or Minox insider?

Don't supply your own measurement, this is irrelevant to this thread

It is about what Minox said about it, and about tracking the history of Minox film width as seen in Minox related literatures

-- martin tai (, January 19, 2000


Great number of Minox brochures, manuals mentioned Minox film as Minox 8x11mm. Yes ! But what is the width of the film ? Is it 9.5mm ? As so much propagated by on the web.

No, Minox film is not 9.5mm wide

Many hobbyists(myself included) also measured the width of Minox film, some say 9.2mm some say 9.3mm there is no definite answer

We have a situation :

  1. Minox historians : 9.5mm
  2. Minox hobbyist :9.2mm, 9.3mm......

What Minox says about it ? It will be nice to see Minox engineering deparment's "Minox 8x11 film specification" (May be some of you have seen it )

The most authentic answer was given by Rolf Kasemeier in


He wrote

Minox film, 9.4mm (3/8 in.) wide, is unperforated.

This is the most authentic statement about the width of Minox film.

Minox 8x11mm or Minox 9.4mm film has nothing to do with 9.5mm Pathe format perforated movie film.

-- martin tai (, January 19, 2000.

In Minox historians Morris Mose and John Wade's book :Spycamera, the MINOX Story", they described in great length "The Minox 9.5mm Cameras" "MINOX 9.5MM Film Packaging " and "Minox 9.5mm accesories" Yet they failed to provide credible evidence.

It would be useful if Moses/Wade showed a copy of Minox internal film specification or internal memo which stated "The width of Minox film is 9.5mm under 20 degree C and xx% humnidity" etc.

-- martin tai (, January 20, 2000.

Minoxers, if you come across any data regarding the specification of Minox film (length, width, thickness ) in Minox literature (brochures, advertising materials ) from Riga era, please let me know, or post it here.

This thread try to trace documented history of Minox film width.

Rolf Kasemeir's book was written in the 50s.

The spec in the 50s may not be the same as the spec in the 30s(Riga ) and the spec now may not be the same as that in 50s. After all, even the cassette went through several variations.

Note: I am probably the first one to speculate that Minox film width may have several variations through the years.

-- martin tai (, January 20, 2000.

. On the box of Nikor SS real, there was printed "MINOX ( 9.5mm) REEL." It seems that the use of phrase MINOX 9.5MM by Nikor predated Morris Moses and John Wade.

Any one knows when was Nikor 9.5mm reel first appeared on the market ?

It did make sense for Nikor to make the SS reel width a litte bit wider than the width of Minox film, otherwise, it would be hard to push in the Minox film.

-- martin tai (, January 23, 2000.

I seems that "9.5mm" when used together with "MINOX" lost its real meaning, like the "dozen" in "Baker's dozen" or the 'mile' in "nautic mile'.

I looked through some old Minox advertisements and brochures, and never found a single instance "9.5mm" was used.

"Minox 9.5mm" probably was coined outside MINOX.

-- martin tai (, January 23, 2000.

There is an error in Mr. Kasemeier's statement. He wrote:

"Minox film, 9.4mm (3/8 in.) wide, is unperforated".

However, 3/8 of an inch (24/64ths) equals 9.525mm, much too wide.

Also, Nikon did not make the Nikor (one K) reels, Honeywell did. Nikon makes Nikkor (two K's) lenses. Similar names, no relation.

-- James Jones (, January 23, 2000.

James is right, it is Nikor reel, not Nikkor reel.

Kasemeir probably used inch = 25mm.

The error was in his metric to imperial unit conversion, not 9.4mm.

From a different perspective, 3/8" can never be the width of any film, including Pathe 9.5mm As Pathe film is 9.5mm exact, hence even Pathe film is narrower than 3/8"

-- martin tai (, January 23, 2000.

Rolf Kasermeier in "Technical Data" section of "Small Minox -Big Pictures" provided technical data on film:

He wrote:

" Film: 9.4mm wide. unperformated, (without sproket holes in the edges) comes in daylight loading double cassettes."

No width in inch was given.

-- martin tai (, January 24, 2000.

Joseph D. Cooper listed the film type for Minox IIIs and Minox B as "9.5mm unperforated" in his 1961 edition "The New ULTRA-miniature phtography" Universal Photo Books Inc.

It is possible that in 1958 edition, he used already 9.5mm. He may well be the first one to put the label 9.5mm to Minox film. ( Not camera )

Now we had a Cooper vs Kasermeier dialog:

Cooper: Minox 9.5mm unperforated

Kasermeier: Minox 9.4mm unperforated

This is so far the earliest date "9.5mm" shown up in Minox literature.

But Cooper did not linked up Minox film with Pathe 9.5mm film

I have located an Minox author, who was very vocal in joining up Pathe' 9.5mm with Minox. This person was T. L. Green, the author of ULTRA-miniature CAMERA technique, 1965.

He wrote: "Just as the 35mm. cine camera begat the 35mm still camera, so the old 9.5mm Pathe' Baby and the Kodak 16mm cine camera turned designer's thought to smaller than miniature still camera."

"... and the Minox using 9.5mm film ..."

"THE ARRIVAL OF THE MINOX. In the meantime, another attempt was in progress in Riga, Latvia, where camera pioneer Walter Zapp had chosen 9.5mm film as the basis. That was the width of the film used in the Baby-Pathe with central perforation.In his camera, Zapp made use of 9.5mm unperforated film..."

T.L. Green fabricated the tie in of Minox with Pathe ! But he failed to provide any details about where that "9.5mm unperforated film" came from.

Walter Zapp never "made use of 9.5mm unperforated film". No such film was ever available at his time for him to make use of.

The truth is Walter Zapp made use of 35mm unperforated film, and made 9.4mm Minox film.

There was good business reason to design Minox 8x11 camera film width slightly less then 9.5mm, to prevent 9.5mm movie film maker to encroach on VEF film market.

I believe Minox cassette was designed to reject Pathe 9.5mm film.

9.4mm by design, not by chance.

-- martin tai (, January 24, 2000.

Green's "Cine begat still" story was a good one, that is why instead of Kaisermeier stated 9.4mm repeatedly througout the successive editions of SMALL MINOX -BIG PICTURES, the Minox 9.5mm theme got propagated all the way to Moses and Wade's "spycamera"(1990/1998) and to various subminiature sites in the cyberspace.

But the "Cine begat still" story never happened in the case of Minox.

The fact is only "perforated cine begat perforated still": as in the case of 35mm and 16mm, the designer of those camera could indeed take a piece of 35mm or 16mm cine and used in 35mm or 16mm still camera prototype.

But nobody could take a piece of perforated 9.5mm (Pathe ) positive film and made it into unperforated negative film.

Walter Zapp HAD TO SLIT the MINOX film himself, for his first Ur-Minox he cut a piece of unperforated 35mm film into four 8.75mm width film; later for the Riga prototype, he cut three pieces of 9.4mm strip from 35mm film.

Pathe cine 9.5mm never ever "begat" Minox still, instead, 35mm still was slitted into three pieces of 9.4mm Minox film.

And to this day, AFAIK nobody has successfully loaded Pathe' 9.5mm film into Minox cassette. Even if there is such a thing as unperforated 9.5mm Pathe, nobody can trim 0.1mm off to make a ussable Minox 9.4mm film.

Any one who supply "Minox 9.5mm" film must set his cutter at a different pitch of 9.4mm or less. They lied when they called it 9.5mm.

Walter Zapp CREATED Minox 9.4mm film, he was free to slitted any width he chose.

"Cine 9.5mm begat 9.5mm still" never happened.

35mm begat Minox 9.4mm

-- martin tai (, January 25, 2000.

I found a a Minox spec sheet with Minox film width = 9.2mm !

Minox Film Slitter Film Width =9.2mm

It is interesting to note, the "9.2mm" was given only in the English version of the "Owner's Manual"-- because "Minox 9.5mm" was used only in English language literature.

-- martin tai (, January 28, 2000.

A list of film formats

-- martin tai (, May 25, 2002.

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