Introduction and contents

The majority of Minolta 35mm are feature packed and hence larger than what would normally be considered subminiature. As usual there is an exception and for Minolta this is the TC-1.

Price new 2498 DEM, 1200USD, 1200GBP

The world’s smallest luxury lens-shutter camera with a titanium steel body, superior-quality optics, aperture-priority AE, plus auto and manual focusing.

The Minolta TC-1 is an ultra-high-quality, miniaturized, multi-featured camera with a titanium steel body for long-lasting durability. It is a camera unrivaled in both form and function. Fitting easily in a shirt pocket, the TC-1 is the smallest lens shutter camera available that offers the creative functions and sharp image quality of an SLR. The advanced automated features provide point and shoot simplicity, while the manual overrides and function control dial allow for personal style and creative expression. Also, the TC-1’s superior optics and exposure control let you get the high-quality results you expect from slide films.  more ...

Technical data / Technische daten / Données Techniques

Lens  28mm f/3.5  5 all-glass elements in 5 groups; 3 aspherical surfaces
Format  35mm 
Focus Modes  Auto & 22-step Manual, External, passive-type AF with focus lock
Focusing Range  1.47' to Infinity 
Metering Type  2-Segment centre weighted & Spot 
Exposure Mode  Aperture Priority 
Aperture Range  f/3.5 to f/16 
Shutter Speed  1/750th to 4 Seconds 
ISO Range  25-3200 (DX), Manual 6-6400 
Flash  Flash on, Flash off, Night portrait, Redeye reduction, Guide number 23' @ ISO 100 with 5-Second recycle time 
Flash Range  1.5' to 6.6' (ISO 100
LCD Panel Info  Flash modes, Exposure compensation, Film ISO, Manual focus indicator, Focus indicator, Self timer, Shutter speeds, Film load/wind, Battery power 
Remote Control  None 
Self Timer  10 or 2 Second delay 
Exp. Compensation  Yes (+/- 4.0 EV in 0.5 EV increments
Multi Exposure  No 
Adj. Dioptre  Yes (-2.5 to +1.0
Cont. Shooting  No 
Weather Resistant  No 
Colour  Titanium 
Power Source  One CR123A 3-Volt lithium battery (for approximately 13 rolls of 24 exposures)
Dimensions  3.9 X 2.3 X 1.2" (WxHxD) 
Weight  6.5 oz. 185g

Ebay 2003/05/29 659.95USD (box), *2003/06/07 296EUR (box), 2003/05/08 404EUR, 2003/06/11 423.50EUR, 2003/07/16 692USD, 2003/08/13 445.44EUR, 2003/09/14 605EUR (box), 2003/10/21 510USD, 2003/11/16 310GBP, 2004/01/09 426EUR (box), 2004/05/13 510EUR, 2004/07/17 643.33USD (box), 2004/12/20 269.88EUR, 2005/05/29 598USD, 2005/05/29 321GBP (box), 2005/09/16 455USD, 2005/09/19 600USD, 2005/09/19 600.50USD, 2005/09/19 610.50USD, 2005/09/29 690USD

User Report

The Minolta TC-1 is a delight to use and small enough and light enough never to get left behind. The lens is tack pin sharp and the auto focus with visible gauge in the viewfinder is very reassuring. The built in flash is adequate and takes effectively no space. It is not as powerful as the Minox external flash units.

There is a major difference between a 28mm and a 38mm lens, as found on Minox 35m cameras. The TC-1 wide angle gives a fish eye effect with vertical and horizontal lines have a distinct curve in print. This does not happen on the Minolta Vectis S1 with 17mm lens or on a Minolta 7Xi with 28-105mm zoom.

The wide angle does come into it's own to fit in a tall building or a wide building or a person full height at close range. The desired photography may not be possible with a Minox 38mm lens.

In use the Minolta TC-1 is nicer to handle than my other cameras but the Canon Ixus II is lighter and although the APS is limiting against full frame 35mm I prefer the results. The Minox 35ML produces better images and the 38mm lens does not distort. The Minox CD155 and CD150 are larger cameras but also give results that are as sharp and I do prefer the 38mm lens results.


Last updated 30th September 2005