SATOH Hirotaka Architects
JapaneseEnglish

MINOX B / Minox B


2009.12.08

mionoxB.jpg I don't think there is a camera that is so detailed and beautiful. This is a very small camera that appears in old spy movies. The beauty and precision of the finish surpass those of Rollei and Leica.
MINOX was born in Latvia, one of the three Baltic states, in 1938, and production was transferred to West Germany after the war. MINOX B was made in West Germany and released in 1958. Despite being a very small camera, the shutter has a 1/1000 second from slow, and the distance can be adjusted from 0.2 meters to infinity by helicoid while measuring. The viewfinder uses a bright frame and the parallax is automatically corrected. The lens has no iris and has a built-in ND filter to keep it open (F3.5).
A selenium-type light meter is built-in, and the sensitivity can be set from 25 to 400 with a needle-point type. When the ND filter is used, the sensitivity of the light meter is automatically switched, so that it is not necessary to consider a troublesome magnification when shooting.
Film feeding and shutter charging are performed simultaneously by a series of operations for taking the case in and out. Push the case in to feed one sheet of film and pull it out to charge the shutter. When the case is pushed in, the lens and viewfinder are hidden, the shutter is locked, and there is no misuse.
Furthermore, if the distance is small, aberration due to the curvature of the lens is large. To correct this aberration, the film pressure plate is curved to improve the image quality.
Such an elaborate mechanism in this small body is awesome.
The design philosophy is also very original. Minox does not have a built-in aperture and distance system. However, since the focal length of the lens is extremely short, the depth of field is extremely deep. If it is set to 4M, it will be in focus from 2M to infinity, and it will be enough for eye measurement. The disadvantage of omitting the rangefinder and aperture for miniaturization is eliminated by the depth of field due to miniaturization. Also, being able to shoot with an open aperture is advantageous for handheld shooting because a high-speed shutter can be used. As described above, the design concept of the camera is very unique but clear and rational.
Image is also very good. The grain is rough because the film is small, but the lens is an excellent lens with very high resolution and very sharp.
Despite a unique mechanism and design philosophy like no other, it has this complete world. I don't think there has been a better-designed camera ever since Minox.
When I take a picture of Tokyo with this camera, the particles of the film are rough, and I like it nostalgic somewhere.

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