Minox 8x11 - Microfiche readers

Introduction | Mikroplan-Koffer-Lesegerät | M1 Portable Lesegerät | C6

In 1936 when Walter Zapp formulated the design of his Minox he included close focusing to 20cm. From the first lens the Minox has been able to photograph documents and document film was sold by Minox until 1996. Many films and television programmes on espionage have the agent taking photographs of document with a subminiature camera; frequently this is a Minox.

Other than speciality photographic equipment perhaps no other camera has been used for copying as often as the Minox.

Minox manufactured the MD microfiche reader in 1967. This sold until the mid-1970s and was featured in brochures of the Minox C and BL. It is a grey wooden housing with a screen bright enough to use in normal room lighting. The 25 times enlargement of the 8x11 negative can easily be read. The MD projected an area of 11x11mm and could be used to view other type of microfilm. Removing the screen enabled it to be used as a projector.

The MD811 replaced the MD in 1977. The upper part of the MD811 is orange and the lower part matt black. It weights 17Kg. With a stronger lamp - halogen 15 volt 150 watt compared to the MD's 12 volt 100 watt it included four positions of brightness control. The screen enlarges 29 times and has a cross slider film stage.

The Mikroplan-Koffer-Lesegerät, sold in 1983 is an attaché case Microfiche Reader making it idea for the the German military. It is 390 x 410 x 150 mm and opening to 435mm high. It weights 10Kg. It operates from mains at 115 Volts / 220 volts AC or 12 volt/24 volt DC with all the cables being stored away in the lid of the case.

The M1 portable microfiche reader was also sold to the German military. Introduced in 1984 it can be carried like an attaché case with the mains power supply unit in a pouch strapped onto he outside of the case. It is 330 x 290 x 125 mm opening to 300 x 290 x 210 mm and weights 4Kg. It takes standard batteries to work without mains or can run off 12 and 24 volt supplies. The mains transformer is for 110 V and 220V.

Sold in 2001/2002 as army surplus the prices for the Mikroplan (Ebay *2001/03/30 136DEM, 2001/10/21 130DEM) and M1 (Ebay *2001/04/14 130DEM) have been low. Whether for viewing Minox negatives or for using in libraries, where access to Microfiche readers may be limited, the M1 comes into it's own.

A variation of the Minox negative wallet, called the "document sleeve" in a blue envelope has wider channels and could be pressed flat, unlike the negative wallets. It has seven channels of up to 10 negatives.

Last Updated on 23rd October 2005