I like the 16P. Of my subminiature collection, it is my favorite so far. My Minolta 16 is completely manual, but the settings are easily disturbed. The 16MG has a coupled selenium meter with a match needle, but there is still no way to know exactly what the camera is doing. You simply align the pointers, and the camera chooses an appropriate shutter/aperture combination.
The 16P is all manual. It has a fixed 1/100s shutter speed; aperture is adjusted with a thumb wheel on the back. The scale lists f-stop numbers, but the ASA wheel adjusts a series of pictographs (sun, clouds, etc.) to assist with correct exposure. I can interpose my brain in place of the meter. I believe I would not have gotten some of this week's images with an automatic camera, but I could adjust manually for proper exposure.
My only complaint with the 16P is the shutter release. It is very light and easy to trip, and it doesn't have a lock. I know I wasted a few shots. I eventually learned to wind immediately before shooting. It's a minor quibble.
The Minolta 16P is the third variant Minolta’s 16mm subminiature line featured on this blog. (See Minolta 16 and Minolta 16MG.) Produced from 1960 to 1965, it was a budget minded contemporary of the original 16. Unlike its fancier sibling, it does not fold. It has a single, fixed 1/100s shutter speed.
Aperture is manually varied from f/3.5 to f/16 via a thumb wheel. The camera is marked with weather symbols to assist with proper exposure. The scale is printed for films up to 200ASA, so that’s what I’ve loaded into it.
Mine was an inexpensive eBay impulse buy, and I haven’t run a roll through it yet. It will be a big change from carting around the Bronica.
The Ektralite 10 is a nice snapshot camera. Kodak really hit the mark with this one. It’s not very special, but for quick and easy photos of the family, it just works. The 110 format produces a smaller, grainier image than I prefer, but this camera did a decent job with the conditions it was given. In the past I have achieved images good enough for my family’s annual photo calendar with this little gem.
There is a bit of technical confusion I must mention. I have seen a copy of a manual page stating the shutter is fixed at 1/170, yet others quote a pair of shutter speeds depending on which film was used. I don’t know if the specs changed during its long production run.
The Ektralite 10’s biggest strength is also its major weakness in my opinion: that big flash. It is always available to really light things up:
Yet it is also big and clunky and ruins the slim lines of the camera. Other 110 cameras fit in a pocket, but this one is only pocketable if you are wearing a flasher’s raincoat.
Overall, I’m not a huge fan of the 110 format, but I think this one does a decent job with it. If you find one for $5 or less, pick it up.
I have to amend my original post. Since then I’ve added a Minox to the collection, and it is substantially smaller.
With that said, the Minolta 16 is a fun shoot. Small wheels on the end of the case adjust exposure and shutter speed. They are easily jiggled and must be checked before each shot. Closing and opening the case advances the film to the next frame, but there is no stop. If you close the camera again without exposing it, you lose the frame.
I carried it in my pocket to a horse show at the Big E and on a field trip to Providence.
The Minolta 16 is a classic “spy camera.” Although Q Branch issued Minoxes, the average person could not tell one apart from this. My 16 is a collapsible camera with a 22mm fixed focus lens. It folds smaller than a pack of cards and easily fits in a pocket. Small wheels on one end adjust aperture and shutter speed, and there is no meter. It uses Minolta 16mm cartridges which are still available via the Internet, and they can be reloaded with skill and patience. Each cartridge holds 20 exposures. Opening and closing the camera body automatically advances the film. Mine appears to date from around 1960.
I loaded up a cartridge of 200 ASA color and took it to the MA Morgan Horse Show. . .
I have an oddity this week, a Single Lens Reflex camera using 110 cartridge subminiature film. The Minolta 110 Zoom SLR (Mark I) was introduced in 1976. It is an odd-looking little pancake of a camera with a 25-50mm f4.5 zoom lens. Focus is manual with a micro prism finder spot. Exposure is aperture priority with a wheel located around the light meter to the right of the lens. LED indicators inside the viewfinder indicate whether the wheel should be rotated left or right to obtain proper exposure. Shutter speed ranges from 1/50 to 1/1000 and is automatically varied to match the selected aperture.
Shutter speed can be manually set to a fixed 1/150 by rotating the selector to X (for flash sync) or to B; otherwise it is set automatically and there is no way to know what the camera has selected. Film advance is via a single-stroke lever on the bottom of the camera. There is a hot shoe for electronic flash and a tripod socket on the left side of the body for portrait-only orientation.
As with many of my cameras, i dont remeber exactly why I bought it. It simply struck my fancy one day on eBay. I've loaded a roll of rare Fukkatsu 400 color film and set off for the long weekend with it.
Camera Wiki has a good article on both this camera and its Mark II sibling.
I actually have a paper manual for this one, but you can see the electronic version courtesy of Mike Butkus.
These particular leaks I understand. My 16MG has a hole in its back. It’s the size and shape of a “red window” hole, but this camera isn’t suposed to have one. I’m not sure why it is there. I’ve covered it with tape, but my first attempt was not fully light resistant.
Shooting with the 16MG was nice, subject to the quirks of an old camera. The lens cover must be fully retracted to release the shutter. On a few occasions I had to wiggle it before I could take the shot. The meter seems to work well, and the film advance is via a large thumb wheel which turns approximately 1/4 turn per frame. A red bar advances within the wheel to indicate film progress. It makes for a cool effect.
The combination aperture/shutter speed control means it is virtually impossible to know exactly what the camera is doing for any given shot, but this was never intended to be a profesisonal device. The exposure will work for snapshots, and that’s all you really need to know.
This bridge and statue should look familiar, as they are favorite subjects.
For a subminiature offer this week I chose the Minolta 16MG from 1966. It’s similar in size and format to both the Minox 16mm and Kodak 110 cameras but uses a different cartridge. Film is still available from sources on the Internet, and it is possible to slit 35mm film in the darkroom to reload your own.
Mine came with a detachable flash unit and a nice leather case. The flash uses bulbs and an odd battery, so i haven’t tried it yet. The camera has enough weight to feel solid in your hand without being heavy.
This particular example is in the middle of my range; it has an uncoupled selenium meter and a close up filter. I also have a fully automatic Minolta 16 EE and a 16P with no meter at all. I’ve loaded it with a roll of 200 ASA color film and pocketed it for most of the week.
A brief note: Things have been a bit crazy on the home front. Film from weeks 13 & 14 is at the lab, and Beth and I have taken on a challenge project which I will write about soon. Work continues, but I haven’t found the time to write about it lately.
For this week's camera, we swing the pendulum from medium format to sub-miniature. The Olympus Pen EES-2 is a half-frame camera from 1968-1971. It uses regular 35mm film, but it produces a 24x18mm image instead of the usual 24×36. This makes it a great camera for traveling, as you can fit up to 72 images on one roll.
The EES-2 uses a 30mm f2.8 lens which is roughly equivalent to 45mm on a full-frame camera. It's a viewfinder camera with a guess focus system. The lens barrel has four pictographs ranging from portrait to landscape with a positive notch at each. Exposure is automatically controlled using a selenium cell mounted circumferentially around the lens. Exposures from f2.8 to f22 may also be manually selected with what I believe is a 1/40 shutter speed. Automatic shutter speeds are 1/40 or 1/200. It has both a hot shoe and a flash sync socket.
The Pen series of cameras was designed to be small and light for everyday use. While it is a nice size, I don't find it appreciably smaller than a lot of my other cameras. If fact, it is both larger and heavier than my Olympus 35RC rangefinder.
I'm using mystery film this week. I found a pair of bulk loaders with film for $10 at a flea market last weekend. The right thing would be to run a test roll, but instead I've loaded a short roll in the Pen. I don't have the patience for a full roll of 48 or 72 shots. I've discovered in the darkroom that the film appears to be good Kodak Tri-X 400. As I don't know how old it is, I've rated it at 320ASA. We'll know soon.
This little gem jumped at me from the shelves of my local Goodwill store. I haven't owned many 110 cameras as they were mostly known as cheap snapshot cameras. What I first noted about the 33 was its metal construction.
While the metal is nice, what made me buy it was this:
A hot shoe! In addition to the Magicube socket. It also came with this:
$5.99 also brought a genuine leather holster for the whole rig. The combined camera is a bit weighty, but the flash is easily removable and useful on any camera with a flash socket. I've loaded it with Lomography's Orca black & white film and taken it on a field trip with the 3rd grade. The results should be interesting.
Camera Wiki doesn't have it, but they do have a brief listing for a sister JC Penney 11.
Manual? It has a film advance lever, a shutter release, and a power switch for the flash. There's not a lot to figure out.
If you want one, good luck. You could haunt eBay or your local thrift shops. I've never seen another.