On the styling of Minox 35mm cameras.

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Thought on the styling heritage of Minox 35mm.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), February 01, 2000


Design Style of Minox 35mm Cameras

Folder camera with a bellow is often used as decoration in shop window of all kinds of business, from fashion botique to funiture store. Folding camera is a symbol of photography. Every photographer, professionals or amateurs, must have used a folder camera in early days when they learned about photography. Many years ago I saw a Kodak folder caemra using 828 film, it looked lovely, I bought it back as a house decoration.

There were many great folder cameras, such as Zeiss Ikonta with great coated Tessar lens, Kodak retina folder with Tessar type Ektar lens. To this days, these famous folder cameras are still sought after collector items.

A Minox 35 camera is a miniature folder, complete with a folding cover, even complete with the two supporting rails on each side.

Minox 35mm cameras inherits the styling of these great folder.

A Minox 35mm also inherits one of the greatest lenses in the last century

When you open up a Minox 35, pulling down the cover, slowly pull the lens out, it brings you back to the old days when you were in elementary school, open up a big Kodak folding camera, or a Zeiss Ikon wood folder.

A Minox 35 camera connect your present and your pass.

A Minox 35 is the culmination of a century of folder camera design.

And this, imo, is one of the great attraction of Minox miniature folder camera.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), February 01, 2000.

I have a Minox 35ML and love it. However, the 35mm focal length is limiting. I wish Minox would come out with a "normal" lens of 50mm or so. As a result, I actually use a Retina IIa as a prime camera. While it is certainly larger and heavier than the Minox (did I actually make that comparison?), it still fits into a hip pocket. Martin is right when he says there's something special about unfolding a camera.

-- Jeff Polaski (polaski@acm.org), February 01, 2000.

It is interesting to note, that when Minox first got into 35mm camera business, they looked for diferent styling other than the distinctively Minoxian push pull telescopic film advance mechanism.

Intead, the push pull design was picked up by Rollei in three of their subminiature cameras: Rollei 16/16S, Rollei A110/E110 and Rollei A26 ( for 126 film cartridge).

After looking at all these Rolleis with push pull design, I think Minox made a wise choice. Push pull mechanism would made any cmaera other than 8x11 clumsy.

For instance, in the Rollei 16S, the mechanism is not that smooth, in the Rollei 110 camera, it has no free wheeling, in the A26, which is bigger and heavier than Minox 35mm camera, push pull mechanism makes the camera twice as big, and still has no free wheeling.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), February 01, 2000.

I will agree with the positive comments on the styling and sharp lens. Minox 35 gives one "that rush" when unfolded. I know it's ready, because I've bonded with its opening process. The flexibility, carry ability, and accurate results speak highly of this camera's design.

-- Jeff Drew (jdrew@westlandbank.com), February 01, 2000.

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