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Minox B Subminiature

The Minox B is a subminiature camera produced from 1958 until 1972.  The idea for a subminiature camera was conceived by Minox inventor Walter Zapp in 1922, and the first prototype was made in 1936.  Walter Zapp was intrigued by the notion of a miniature or toy size camera that could be carried on your person at all times.  By 1938, the first production Minox subminiature models were released to the general public.  The Minox subminiature cameras never reached the popularity of 35mm cameras, but they earned a successful place in a niche market.  They were considered more of a luxury item due to high manufacturing costs. 


The Minox B and other subminiature models are perhaps most well known and famous for their role in espionage photography.  Due to the small size and macro focusing capabilities of Minox's subminiature cameras, they attracted the attention of intelligence agencies in the United States, Great Britain and Germany.  Their portable nature and discreet size made them perfect for covert uses such as surveillance and document copying.  An 18'' chain was provided with most of the Minox subminiature cameras to be used as a measuring device.  This allowed the shooter to properly photograph documents.     

During its 14 year production, the Minox B enjoyed a successful run with approximately 384,000 units.  The Minox B is small, high quality and portable camera that fits in the palm of a hand.  It is the first Minox to feature an integrated coupled selenium cell exposure meter.  The built-in light meter added an extra 15 mm to the length of the camera for a total length of 97 mm (approximately 3.8 inches).  Some, but not all, are engraved with the letter "B" on the back of the camera.  The Minox B is made of aluminum and weighs approximately 3.2 ounces.  It uses an 8x11 film cassette, and has a high precision lens that allows focusing from 8 inches to infinity.  A great classic spy camera!       

Click HERE to view the Minox B subminiature camera on the KEH Camera website.
~L.M.

Minox DC-1011 Carat

The DC-1011 Carat is a compact digital point and shoot camera produced by Minox.  It was Minox's goal to create a unique lifestyle camera for shooters looking for something outside the normal digital camera market.  The result was a digital device coated with a 24 carat gold plated outer finish, hence the name "Carat" for this particular camera  In addition to the golden finish, ten genuine diamonds adorn the lens.  Each round diamond is approximately 2mm in diameter with a carat weight of .03, allowing this gadget to be as much a piece of jewelry as it is a camera.  


Beyond its golden exterior, this 10.1 mega pixel camera features a 3.0x optical zoom, integrated image stabilization and a 2.5 inch color display.  It also has a Minoctar auto focus lens, an internal memory of 32 MB and video recording capabilities.  Each camera was hand finished in production, giving it the special attention of a luxury item.  The Carat also comes with an elegant wooden display case to safely store this bejeweled golden treasure when not in use.  In this instance, all that glitters really is gold with this unique camera.         


Click HERE to view the Minox DC-1011 Carat on the KEH Camera Outlet on eBay.
~L.M.

Minox 35 EL

The Minox 35 EL is a 35mm miniature viewfinder camera produced by Minox in 1974.  It was first introduced at Photokina, the world's largest photographic and imaging fair.  Although known for their subminiature cameras such as the Minox B, the German based company produced a series of 35mm cameras as well.  The Minox 35 EL was the first in a range of miniature, full frame 35mm cameras made by Minox.  At the time of its release, the Minox 35 EL was the world's smallest full frame 35mm camera.  It became a popular consumer camera, as it was an affordable alternative to the more expensive Minox B.  According to the instruction manual, the Minox 35 EL is "so featherlight, it can be your constant companion everywhere." 


The Minox 35 EL features a 35mm f2.8 Color Minotar lens with a focus range of 90 cm to infinity.  The lens is retractable and protected by a folding cover when not in use.  When closed, the camera is 10x6x3 cm in size.  The flat design allows the camera to fit easily into a shirt pocket, and the compact construction makes it lightweight and portable.  One of the distinguishing features of the 35 EL is the easily identifiable red shutter release button.  The Minox 35 EL also features an electronic shutter for automatic exposure control, and the camera is powered by a small 5.6V battery in a compartment above the lens by the viewfinder.  The small size, lens quality and the ability to use 35mm film made the Minox 35 EL a great option for document duplication and covert photography during the spy camera era.  It is a neat find for vintage camera collectors and lovers today as well.            

Click HERE to view the Minox 35 EL on the KEH Camera Outlet on eBay.
~L.M.
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