This section contains a complete (or near complete) list of all 16mm Subminiature cameras and their accessories. Each camera is listed on a separate page including variations, photographs and details of manufacture date, purchase date and an estimate of the current cost of purchase (new or second-hand) and links to hand books, instructions and leaflets that have been published about them.
The collection of 16mm subminiature cameras began in 1972 with a Minolta 16Ps. A Minolta MG-s was added in 1975, a Minolta QT the following the following year and then a Rollei 16s and Minolta MG. The remainder have been added over the years with the majority collected from Ebay since November 2000.
16mm formats represents the most varied of choices in the camera designs, negative size and in film cartridge. Although one of the prime reasons for using 16mm film has been to make a small camera many are larger than 35mm cameras. Special use cameras are also included such as the microscope fitting Olympus 16, the panoramic Viscawide and stereo cameras such as Linex, Konan, Mikroma, Simda and Stylophot.
Until 1930s there where a number of motion picture film formats including 35mm, 17.5mm (split 35mm). 16mm, 9.5mm and 8mm (split 16mm). Slowly, impelled by mass marketing of Eastman Kodak, 16mm won out. The first sophisticated subminiature of the twentieth century was the Minifex in 1932 and the last 16mm, the Minolta 16 QT, in 1972.
The downfall of 16mm cameras was due, in part, to the nemesis of 16mm cameras - a unique cassette, propriety to each manufacturer.
In 1972 Eastman Kodak took up the marketing battle of subminiatures with the introduction of the 110 format - 16mm film, 13x17mm negative size in a special drop in cartridge similar to that of the Minolta 16. The key feature of the 110 format was the easy availability of processing from standard high street outlets. 16mm had to be sent to specialised laboratories, and a premium paid for the service. 110 was processed for 35mm costs. The 110 format was backed by other suppliers of film, notably Agfa, in Europe, and cameras made by most of the leading camera manufacturers including Canon, Agfa, Minolta, Minox, Rollei and Yashica. Leitz even made a prototype Leica 110, but never marketed it.
Although the 110 format was very popular it did not immediately lead to less expensive processing for 16mm camera users. The 13x17mm negative of the 110 is larger than most 16mm formats and the frame space controlled by pre-exposed frame numbers and the single sided perforations. The automated equipment reduced costs but also produced less quality prints from the negatives. Results from laboratories where inferior to the hand made prints made for 16mm films .
Books on 16mm subminiature cameras and their accessories; relating to the formats in this section. See also under General.
This section consists of 16mm cameras and accessories only. The list contains details of the cameras and accessories, including cases, manuals, boxes and an estimate of the current price for the item, and further information. There are also photographs (snapped using a Sony PC100 DVC camcorder) with views top, bottom, front, back of each item.
Photographs taken with various 16mm subminiature cameras.
For the most detailed information on using subminiature cameras visit the link page. There are many web sites with features on the Minolta, Mamiya or Yashica cameras but only the SubClub gives an extensive lists of 16mm cameras (http://www.subclub.org/shop/16mm.htm).
Check out the Submini web ring http://p.webring.com/hub?ring=submini which links sites although most are Minox related and http://www.indexstock.com/pages/spy1.htm for details on "Spy Camera A Century of Detective and Subminiature Cameras By Michael Pritchard and Douglas St. Denny" a compelling read for anyone interested in subminiature cameras.
Collections on the web with a significant 16mm content include
Stephen Gandy's CameraQuest http://www.cameraquest.com/classics.htm
Rick Oleson http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index.html
Nigel Richards at http://members.tripod.com/Nigel_Richards/Submin/SubminFrame.htm
Some detail photographs and comparisons of the results taken with various subminiature cameras can be seen on the Japanese web site http://members.ytv.home.ne.jp/minoxfan/
Although some subminiature cameras are not too difficult to find they are often without manuals. Here are links to manuals posted on other sites as well as those available here. Some are photocopies, but the majority are high resolution (300dpi) full colour scans from original manuals.
Also included are advertisements, manufacturer's brochures and articles from magazines of the period and collector journals.
If you have problems downloading the pages please view the Frequently asked questions.
There have been a number of tips posted in the groups, discussion forums and usenet that are not otherwise available.
Last updated 22nd November 2005
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