Minolta 16 II - introduction

introduction | black | blue | chrome (EP) | chrome (early) | chrome (early2) | chrome (middle) yellow box | chrome (late) yellow box/kit | chrome picture box | gold | green | red | accessories

In 1960 the Model II appeared and was sold until the introduction of the QT in 1972. It features a Rokkor f/2.8 22mm lens which stops down to f16, rather than f11, thus the stop range was increased at both the high and low ends. It now had a B setting for long exposures, and shutters speeds of 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 and 1/500 s. The lens changed from a three-element to a four-element optic. The viewfinder now has lens on both front and rear of the camera.  Finally, a "distance" lens (No.0), a slight negative dioptre lens, was added to the list of accessory lenses to allow infinity focus at all apertures and sharper pictures of distant objects at any aperture.  Overall, these refinements make the camera more useful in more situations. William White in Subminiature Photography rated the Rokkor 23mm f2.8 as one of the top ten subminiature camera lenses. It's simplicity, quality and durability have rarely been matched and remained popular for subminiature camera users because of that.

The camera was available in six finished:-black, blue, chrome, green, gold and red. The gold finish is sometimes referred to as yellow. The chrome or silver finish is really a satin or matt aluminium finish. Polished chrome, possible a D.I.Y. mirror finish to a common matt aluminium camera are also turn up on auctions. The coloured versions seem to have been produced early as all the serial numbers are low. Obtaining a coloured camera with original packaging is so rare as to be non-existent.

It was first sold In the United Kingdom in around 1961, when it cost about £16, including a case; by 1972, which appears to have been the last year it was sold here, the price had increased to about £27, but included a case, flashgun, wrist strap, UV and yellow filters.

Even with the long production period the variations in this model are minor. The labelling of f-stops and shutter speed became smaller. The engraving "Chiyoda Kogaku Minolta-16 (II)" is seen on the very early samples and ‘Minolta Minolta-16 II’ on later ones. This is due to Chiyoko becoming The Minolta Camera Company in 1962. The engraving on the top of the camera is "minolta-16" (lower case 'm').

The final versions dispensed with the spring clip at the rear of the camera that helped to keep the camera closed. The finish is also different with the matt surface having a more tactile feel. This change first appears in the yellow box and the picture boxes (photograph on the cover) of the 1970s. An <EP> version, for Exchange Post of the United Sates Forces is also seen.

The early cameras (and all the coloured versions) had cases similar to the previous model and the wrist straps are of leather, with a core of string. Later serial numbers have a plastic strap and the grey cases have a nylon zip.

Clearly the packaging changed and special editions where also issued. The earliest form has yellow wrapper and a transparent plastic display box. The MINOLTA logo is repeated at regular intervals over the box. The next corporate change retained the yellow colour but has fewer small brown MINOLTA logos. The uncommon version, of the three main ones, is the photograph cover box that matches the style seen on the later 16Ps box, the MG, MG-s and QT cameras. Accessories were sold in matching small boxes.


Other variations have been seen including some with a cold shoe fitted to the end of the camera. The cold shoe adapter, red in the inlay of the engraved "minolta-16" and red case looking like the brown cases of the mini-16 projector are mostly likely a post production modification. True gold-plated examples are known, but these where not factory originals.

The zip-up leather case contains two pockets for lenses or filters. The lenses and filters (18x18mm) are not interchangeable with those for the Minolta 16I. These where supplied in white plastic cases with three filters (1A-skylight, 80A-for indoor lighting, 81B-blue), two filters and distance lens (UV, Y48 -Yellow for deeper sky tones filter and lens No.0 -for focusing at infinity with the lens at wide aperture) or four attachments (Distance No.0, Close-up No.1, No.2 and Y48 filter).

The point of focus for the four element lens was fixed at 9 feet. The depth-of-field is adequate and controllable by aperture selection. There are also two auxiliary lens for close up and a distance lens for sharp focus at infinity.


Years of production 1960
Lens 22mm Rokkor 
Aperture f2.8-16
Shutter Speeds B, 1/30 - 1/500
Flash sync. F Class bulbs 1/30-1/125s
M class bulbs 1/30s
electronic 1/30-1/500s 
Negative Size 10x14mm
Finishes black, blue, chrome, green, gold, red
Supplied case, wrist strap, 
MB301 I, MB704 IE: UV filter
MB301 M: Close Up lens No.1, No.2
MB904 IM: no attachments
Manuals English: early MB-301I MB-301M
later MB-704 IE MB-904 IM
Dimensions 7.75cm closed,  4.4 cm including viewer, 2.3cm
Weight 158g


Filters UV, Y48(Yellow), 1A-skylight (1.1x), 80A (3.2x), 81B (1.3x). 
Auxiliary lenses Close-up #1, #2. Distance #0
Attactment Sets UV, Y48 and No.0
1A, 80A and 81B
No.1, No.2, No.0, Y48
Flash and Tripod Clamp wraparound clamp holds flash unit and includes a tripod socket
Flash MB301 I,MB301 M: Baby Flash - dish & fan type
MB-704 IE,MB904 IM: Duofit S AG flash bulbs
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 Daylight loading and tanks with 16mm spirals.

Depth of field scale

The f/2.8 22mm Rokkor lens provides extreme depth of field. You are in sharp focus from 5.53 feet to 16 feet at f/5.6

For close-ups, or, for subjects in the distance, it is recommended to use the close-up lens attachment (No.1 or No.2) or distance lens attachment (No.0).  
Lens Opening Without Close-up Lens With No.0 Distance Lens With No. 1 Close-up Lens With No. 2 Close-up Lens
F 2.8 6.6 ft. - 10.8 ft. 16.6 ft. - infinity 3.8 ft. -4.9 ft. 2.3 ft. - 2.6 ft.
F 4 6.1 ft. - 12.6 ft 13.7 ft. - infinity 3.6 ft. - 5.2 ft. 2.2 ft. - 2.7 ft.
F 5.6 5.5 ft. - 16.0 ft. 11.1 ft. - infinity 3.4 ft. - 5.7 ft. 2.2 ft. - 2.9 ft.
F 8 4.9 ft. - 27.0 ft. 8.7 ft. - infinity 3.2 ft. - 6.6 ft. 2.1 ft. - 3.1 ft.
F 11 4.2 ft. - 205 ft. 6.8 ft. - infinity 2.9 ft. - 8.4 ft. 2.0v - 3.4 ft.
F 16 3.5 ft. - infinity 5.0 ft. - infinity 2.5 ft. - 15.0 ft. 1.8 ft. - 4.1 ft.

Last Updated on 24th June 2007