BL - Minox 8x11

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year 1972-1977
serial 1200001- 1217880
lens element 3 group 15mm / f/3.5 MINOX
dimensions 100 x 28 x 16 mm 4.000 x 1-1/8 x 5/8"
weight 80g 2.8 oz
shutter 1/1000 - 1/2 B
battery PX675
finish aluminium black/chrome anodized

     
5 (6?) variations chrome/black, metric/imperial, FI for metric (chrome only?)

Finish Focus Engraving
chrome, black Metric Logo BL
BL FI
Imperial (Feet. inch) Logo BL

Essentially a Minox BL is a Minox B with the selenium cell meter replaced by a CdS meter and hence requires a battery to operate the meter. More importantly this camera, like the Minox C, does not advance the film everytime the camera is opened and closed - no lost frames. A strange hybrid of the Minox B and Minox C, the Minox BL was only made in 1972 and 1973 (Heckmann give a limited number produced up until 1977). 

Operationally, it's just like a Minox B, but with the following differences: 

Some-but not many black "private eye" models were made. A gold-plated version was auctioned in 1986 and 1995, this version never officially existed. 

1024x768 background/wall paper 800x600 background/wall paper 1024x768 background/wall paper

For auction results see Ebay

All BL have the engraving 'BL' under the Minox logo. There is also an 'FI' variation, for the Italian trading company FOWA Professional and is "Fowa, Italy".  Rumours are that FI engraving means "FIorenze", Florence, where it seemed that Minox arranged the assembly of some cameras due to the over demand at the  German factory. This has also been reported by German shops and also in the book "Spy Camera - The Minox Story" by Morris Moses who believed it stood for "Fabbricata In Italia".  Diego Massasso of  FOWA explained that FOWA was the importing agent for Minox Cameras in Italy since 1975 to 1996 ca. No cameras were assembled in Italy. The 'FI' was engraved on all Minox 35 cameras imported by FOWA, the exact position depending upon the model. On the EL, GL, GT, PL, PE it is engraved directly on the camera body near the objective (left side), on the ML, MB it is on the right side, under the battery tray. Last imported models GTE, GSE have the 'FI' marked on the inside of the front flap. The markings on the Minox C and some BL and B cameras was to prevent irregular importation.  Fowa was the main dealer for east Europe, specially for espionage equipment and that differentiates it from other EEC (the original 6 members of the EU) and European countries that imported Minox cameras (see FI - FOWA).

The Minox BL is 20mm shorter than the Minox C, almost 20 grams lighter at 80 grams. It was marketed to users who wanted to experiment and not leave everything to electronics. There was also a significant cost advantage over the Minox C.

Serial numbers run from 1200001 to 1217880; thus up to 17,880 may have been manufactured. Because they had the shortest production run of any later model and represent the manual Minox "perfected," Minox BLs are highly prized by collectors making them considerably more expensive than other models to obtain.

In 1974 Minox introduced the 35mm range and 110s; splitting marketing efforts, resulting in the lack of recognition of the advantages of the BL by the few who knew of it's existence. Much cheaper 110 format, both in camera cost and processing (over the 8x11 format), also contributed to the decline of the sales of subminiatures and the poor sales of the BL in particular.

Packaging for the BL is in a black vinyl covered metal clamp shut box with a velvet covered plastic tray. This tray is blue for silver/matt aluminium cameras and red for black cameras. The is form shaped for the camera alone or for the camera and C4 flash cube unit. Cameras complete with presentation box and outer wrapper is very rare and a number of chrome cameras have been sold with red velvet trays.

BL meter with the shell removed.

Shelf adhesive pads are used for the meter release button and ASA/DIN dial.

Auction results Ebay chrome | black

Minox BL in chrome
*01/09/13 782DEM (metric),
01/11/22 406USD ( box, metric ),
01/11/24 881DEM ( boxed with C4 ),
01/11/29 706DEM,
02/01/23 470USD ( #1204957 ),
02/02/10 425USD,
02/02/16 414.02EUR,
02/04/05 355USD ( #1209768 ),
02/04/06 567USD,
02/04/15 312EUR,
02/04/16 478.07EUR ( #1216007 ),
02/04/19 635USD ( #1210973 ),
02/04/20 252EUR,
*02/04/24 585USD (imperial)
02/05/02 449USD ( #1211920, box ),
02/05/04 390EUR ( box ),
02/05/05 449USD ( #1211920, box ),
02/05/06 712USD ( imperial, box ),
02/05/18 300USD ( box ),
02/05/26 151EUR,
02/06/01 313EUR ( box ),
02/06/02 405USD ( #1206938 ),
02/06/16 350USD ( #12136xx ),
02/06/18 282EUR ( #1217xxx ),
02/07/14 298.50EUR,
02/07/18 555USD ( box ),
* 02/08/09 650EUR ( 1. Minox BL : + case en ketting = werkende en mooie staat . 2. Minox B : + case en ketting = werkende en mooie staat . 3. Flits ( goot model ) + case = mooie staat . 4. « ( klein model ) + case = mooie staat . 5. « ( klein model ) FL4 , cube flacher + case + originele verpakking . 6. Vieuwer cutter + orgi verpakking = mooie staat . 7. Adapter voor verrekijkers ( Binocular Attachement) + org verpakking + gebruiksaanwijzing ( instructions ) . 8. Statief ( pocket tripod ) + kop ( tripod adapter ) + ontspanner + case = kompleet . 9. Zoeker Model B ( right angel finder modell B ) + doosje ( org verpakking ) 10. Statiefkop ( tripod adapter ) + gebruiksaanwijzing ( instructions ) + doosje ( org verpakking ) . 11. Reflex zoeker model B ( reflex viewfinder model B ) + gebruiksaanwijzing ( instructions ) + doosje . 12. Ontwikkeltank + thermometer + gebruiksaanwijzing ( daylight developing tank ) . 13. 8 negativ houders . 14. 2 reclame folders Minox 1 : Die minox-camera’s 2 : Minox B 15. Ontwikkelaar ( developer set ) + doos ( org verpakking ) . 16. Film doosje minox ( leeg ) . 17. Minox boekje Alles in mooie staat . ),
02/08/18 281EUR ( #1200368 ),
02/08/20 460GBP ( box, #1202018 ),
02/08/25 328.68EUR ( #1204088 ),
02/09/01 226EUR,
02/09/05 335.02GBP ( #1206636 ),
02/09/05 335.02GBP ( box, #1206636 ),
02/09/09 255.03USD,
* 02/09/15 326EUR,
02/09/30 175USD,
* 02/10/02 406.99USD ( box, #1207321 ),
02/10/02 540USD ( USA fan flash, box ),
02/10/13 280USD,
02/10/14 280USD,
02/10/19 500USD ( #1212322 ),
* 02/10/25 440USD ( FI , #1204964 ),
* 02/10/26 257EUR,
02/12/12 334EUR,
02/12/14 224EUR ( box ),
02/12/15 403EUR ( box ),
02/12/31 385GBP ( #1207353 ),
03/01/21 356EUR ( #1208505 ),
03/02/13 312EUR,
03/02/20 403EUR ( box, #1215687 ),
03/02/22 510EUR ( box, #1206019 ),
03/02/26 450USD ( box ),
03/03/11 402EUR ( #1213235 , copy stand 60s ),
03/04/09 304EUR,
03/05/04 310EUR ( #1210992 ),
03/06/07 390GBP ( #1207353, box ),
03/07/02 223EUR,
03/07/10 401.25USD,
03/07/26 280EUR,
03/07/28 351EUR,
03/07/28 381EUR,
03/07/31 404.99USD,
* 03/09/03 338.95EUR ( box ),
03/09/16 426EUR,
03/09/20 322.99EUR ( box #1211902 ),
03/09/21 212.90EUR,
03/09/28 357.76EUR,
03/09/28 381.01EUR ( (boxed) ),
03/09/29 232.50USD ( #1207267 ),
03/10/05 305EUR ( boxed ),
03/10/05 341EUR,
03/10/17 433EUR,
03/10/19 341.76USD,
03/10/20 276EUR ( #1208762 ),
03/10/23 300USD,
03/10/26 302.25EUR ( (#1208742) ),
03/11/05 350GBP,
03/11/09 306EUR ( box ),
03/11/23 167EUR,
03/11/30 204EUR,
03/11/30 223EUR,
03/12/03 330.05USD,
03/12/05 565USD,
03/12/28 382.77USD ( (box) ),
04/01/04 260USD ( (dint) ),
04/01/11 362USD,
04/01/11 537USD ( (box) ),
04/01/22 400GBP ( boxed ),
04/02/01 222.25EUR,
04/02/02 455USD,
04/02/03 385GBP ( presentation set ),
04/02/06 225GBP,
04/02/17 350USD,
04/02/27 201EUR ( (red lined box) ),
04/02/29 208EUR,
04/03/06 227.66EUR ( tripod and flash ),
04/03/09 611USD ( #1202018 with C4 in presentation box ),
04/03/09 611USD ( with flash cube ),
04/03/11 189EUR,
04/03/14 279EUR,
04/04/02 220GBP,
04/04/03 898.88USD ( presentation box with wrapper ),
04/04/09 590.50USD ( presentation box ),
04/04/24 350USD,
* 04/04/30 595USD ( #1210942, red lined box ),
04/05/01 304EUR,
*04/05/05 400GBP (metric)
04/05/09 202.55EUR ( #1205310 ),
04/05/13 220GBP ( metric ),
04/05/22 363.58USD ( (boxed, imperial) ),
04/05/23 250EUR,
04/05/29 163.55EUR,
04/06/01 550USD ( #1203754, presentation box ),
04/06/17 411.78USD,
04/06/26 332.26EUR ( metric, box ),
04/06/29 277.56EUR,
04/06/30 319EUR,
04/08/08 235.56EUR,
04/09/03 237USD,
04/09/05 233EUR ( box ),
04/09/18 185.81USD ( dead meter #1209769 ),
04/09/26 195GBP ( boxed, metric ),
04/10/04 319EUR,
04/10/21 300EUR,
04/11/02 200GBP ( boxed, metric ),
04/11/13 207.50USD,
04/12/12 121.61USD ( #1202659 ),
04/12/12 249.50UISD ( #1208394 , boxed ),
04/12/22 203.20EUR,
04/12/29 225.55EUR ( boxed ),
05/01/09 122.50EUR ( box ),
05/01/28 85GBP ( #1200368 ),
05/02/09 164EUR,
05/03/12 325USD,
05/03/19 122.99EUR ( boxed, metric ),
05/03/23 136EUR,
05/03/28 539USD ( box, imperial, red sleeve ),
05/04/16 376USD ( #1214231 ),
05/05/05 398USD ( #1208167 with Minox Guide, Pocket Companion ),
05/05/18 196.03EUR ( #1208854, box ),
05/05/18 285USD,
05/06/05 295USD ( box ),
05/06/10 345.67USD ( #1207639, box, C4 ),
05/06/11 181EUR,
05/06/12 240EUR,
05/06/22 138.32EUR ( C4 ),
*05/07/03 255GBP ( imperial, box ),
05/07/17 143.55EUR ( case, instructions ),
05/07/22 395USD ( case+chain ),
05/09/05 165EUR,
05/09/09 151EUR ( case+chain ),
05/07/23 224.50USD,
05/10/09 406USD ( box, sleeve, #1204098 ),
05/10/11 330USD
05/11/14 299USD (imperial)
05/11/13 153EUR (copy stand, binocular attachment, B filter set)
05/11/28 278USD (case, box)
06/01/17 300USD (case, chain, instructions, #1210114)
06/01/28 173GBP (#1213xxx)
06/02/05 181.50EUR
06/02/20 499USD
06/03/13 935.99USD (box)
06/03/02 391.41USD (with manual)
06/03/20 317.12USD (box)
06/04/02 299EUR
06/04/03 660USD (#1210576, imperial)
06/05/20 330EUR (#1213050, metric, box)
06/05/28 118EUR (metric, box, tripod, C4, right angle viewer, binocular attachment)
06/05/30 150GBP (#
1204731, imperial)
06/05/31 201EUR (box)
06/06/01 231EUR (box, metric)
06/06/11 343.75USD (box, #1209505)
06/06/29 127GBP (case, 1214801)
06/10/20 182.50USD (case, chain, #1203891)
06/11/12 201EUR (#1215522, case no chain)
06/11/22 253.99EUR (Kleine Minox, flash BC)
07/02/27 232.51USD (box, B flash unit)
07/03/06 258USD (box, #1201913)
07/03/25 283.50USD (box, battery corrosion)
07/04/29 416USD (1210553, metric, case)
07/05/08 1036.99USD (box, with C in box flat rim, tripod and adapter, cold shoe, Small Minox, Spy Camera, C4 and two sets of filters)
07/05/30 377.50EUR (metric)
07/06/11 109.89GBP (metric, #1210096)
07/06/24 203.27EUR (metric, #1207314)
07/07/01 167EUR (metric, case, chain, ME1 flash unit)
07/07/02 203EUR (metric)
07/07/20 167.09EUR (metric, #
1217085)
07/08/14 405USD (#1210576)
07/08/19 620EUR (#1208529)
07/09/25 565.55USD (box)
07/10/21 235.68EUR (box)
07/10/27 204.33EUR (box)
07/11/25 187EUR (case)
07/11/29 228.89USD (#
1203363, flash)
07/12/16 159EUR (metric, box)
08/01/26 189EUR
08/05/12 396.91USD
08/06/09 571USD (box, USA)
08/06/18 390.95USD (box, USA)
08/07/18 121.06GBP (case)
08/08/11 421USD (#1208391, imperial)
08/11/16 475USD (#
1202746,  boxed, CLA)

Minox BL in Black Ebay
01/11/22 936USD ( metric ),
02/01/02 797GBP ( box, imperial ),
02/06/18 700USD
02/09/22 850USD
02/12/18 613USD
03/04/12 680USD
03/12/03 829EUR
04/01/20 150EUR ( #1214313 ),
04/02/06 499GBP ( metric, box, shop ),
04/02/10 1600USD ( metric ),
04/02/27 600GBP ( #1214316, metric ),
04/02/29 1085.75EUR ( #1217761, metric ),
04/05/23 671.99EUR ( metric ),
04/05/23 671.99EUR
04/06/23 805.55EUR ( boxed ),
04/07/08 1122USD ( imperial, #1217507 ),
04/07/31 912.22USD ( #1211988 ),
05/03/09 530GBP ( #1217698, boxed ),
05/04/07 960USD ( boxed, imperial ),
05/04/20 499USD
05/04/20 499USD
05/04/27 499USD ( imperial ),
05/05/29 685USD ( #1212283 ),
05/07/03 109.99EUR ( metric, box )
05/10/12 685USD (#1209xxx, box)
05/12/18  466EUR (no case)
07/04/04 271EUR (case, chain, #1212887)
07/04/09 533USD

07/08/05 57.78USD (box and manual only)


Last Updated on 22nd November 2008