"shelf life" of an old subminiature Minoxz

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Put a clean, working subminiature Minox in a drawer at room temperature for, say, 30 years. When you take it out of the drawer, will it work? What, if anything, is likely to degrade? What about a longer time, say 50 years?

-- Daniel Iggers (iggers@hotmail.com), April 07, 2000


Mechanical Minox 8x11 camera like mechanical clocks, watches and automata of last two centuries, may last two to three hundred years. Fifty years is no problem. I have a 1954 Minox IIIs, it works flawlessly. Keep in dry place away from fungus, it will last another one hundred years easily.

Electromagnetic Minox cameras probably last about 30-40 years, due to deterioration of electronic circuit parts, such as capacitor dried out, insulation of solenoid peel off etc.

-- martin tai (martin.tai@capcanada.com), April 07, 2000.

After 30 or more years of sitting in a dresser drawer, a mechanical Minox will almost certainly have sluggish or non-working slow shutter speeds. If it had been kept in a temperature controlled, humidity controlled environment, then it might be OK. But the typical house will have gone through many temperature and humidity variations over the years. Another problem it may have is haziness in the viewfinder. Some of the acrylics used back then can degrade over time, getting a slightly milky appearance. There is no way to polish it out, the acrylic lens has to be replaced.

-- James A. Jones (jaj01@gnofn.org), April 08, 2000.

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