Minolta 16 I - introduction

introduction | accessories | chrome (early)
black | blue | chrome | gold | green | red 
black <EP> | blue <EP> | chrome <EP> | gold <EP> | green <EP> | red <EP>

The Minolta 16 was introduced in 1957 and manufactured until 1960. It was based upon the Minolta 16 Automat which was a modification of the Konan 16 II Automat.  This camera was the first model to allow the use of slip-on supplementary filters and lenses; on the Konan the filters slipped into a slot. Fitted with a Rokkor f/3.5, 25mm lens it has a three speeds (1/25, 1/50, 1/200s) shutter; no B or T as on the Konan 16 Automat. It produces 20 exposures 10x14mm on a strip of film 18 inches long.  Shutter and aperture dials on the side of the camera.

When the camera is pulled open to use the view finder the shutter is cocked and the film advanced to the next frame. Film is advanced every time the camera is opened.

In 1960, the camera and case cost about 18 in the United Kingdom and 39.95USD in the United States. 

The camera was available in six finished:-chrome, black, blue, green, gold and red. The gold finish is sometimes referred to as yellow. The chrome or silver finish is really a matt aluminium or satin-finish metal colour.  Polished chrome, possible a D.I.Y. mirror finish to a common matt aluminium camera also turn up on auctions.

Some cameras are engraved with EP in a diamond shape. This was to indicate that they were sold in the Exchange Post of the United States Forces. The engraving may be highlighted in white on the coloured cameras. The black version, in particular has a better finish than those found without the <EP> mark.

The zip-up leather case contains two pockets for lenses or filters. The four 14x14mm filters (UV, No 80, Y48, 81A) where supplied in a white plastic case. The lenses and filters are not interchangeable with those for the Minolta 16II

The point of focus for the three element lens was fixed at 15 feet.  At f5.6, everything from 7.5 feet to infinity is in focus.  The depth-of-field is adequate and controllable by aperture selection. There are also two auxiliary lens for close up.

The Minolta 16 was termed the Minolta 16 I after the introduction of the Minolta 16 II. The packaging and literature supplied with the camera refer to it as a Minolta 16 and displayed the Minolta logo with the company name 'Chiyoda Kogaki Seiko K.K. Osaka, Japan'. "Minolta-16" is engraved on the top of the camera.

The last list price for the camera in 1960 was $37.50.

This is the model adopted in the Kiev Vega series and refined into the Vega 2 and Kiev 30.


Years of production 1957-1960
Lens 25mm Rokkor 
Aperture f3.5, 4, 5.6, 8, 11
Shutter Speeds 1/25, 1/50, 1/200
Flash sync. F Class bulbs 1/50 or 1/25s. 
M class bulbs 1/25s
electronic 1/200 or 1/50 or 1/25s
Negative Size 10x14mm
Finishes black, blue, chrome, green, gold, red
Supplied case, wrist strap
4110-D102 Close-up lens No.1, No.2
Manuals English: 5710-5, 4110-D102
Dimensions 7.75cm closed,  4.4 cm including viewer, 2.3cm


Filters UV, 80A, Y48(Yellow), 81B. 
Auxiliary lenses Close-up #1, #2
Attachment Sets UV, Y48, 80A and 81B
No.1, No.2
Flash and Tripod Clamp wraparound clamp holds flash unit and includes a tripod socket
Flash Baby flash: fan-type collapsible reflector, using B-C battery
Projector Mini 16
Enlarger Minolta Mini Enlarger with f3.5 25mm Rokkor lens, stops down to f:11, 100watt bulb, enlargements up to 5x7 inches.
Developing Tank  

Depth of field scale

The f/3.5 25mm Rokkor lens provides extreme depth of field. You are in sharp focus from 6 feet to infinity at f/11

For close-ups, it is recommended to use the close-up lens attachment (No.1 or No.2)
Lens Opening Without Close-up Lens With No. 1 Close-up Lens With No. 2 Close-up Lens
F 3.5 11 ft. - 34 ft 3.38 ft - 4.43ft 1.77 ft - 2.2 ft
F 4 10.5 ft - 40 ft 3.3 ft - 4.46 ft 1.74 ft - 2.23ft
F 5.6 9 ft - 90 ft 3.2 ft - 4.70 ft 1.67 ft - 2.4 ft
F 8 7.5 ft - infinity 2.98 ft - 5.18 ft 1.57 ft - 2.62 ft
F 11 6.2 ft - infinity 2.82 ft -5.18ft 1.37 ft - 3.5 ft

Last Updated on 23rd May 2005