Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of

The aim is to provided details not only on all the production subminiature cameras but all the variations in the cameras,  their accessories and literature.  The cameras are shown with detailed photographs of all sides, not just a general snap shoot looking straight on and too small to make out any details. 

The literature, that is brochures and handbooks are mainly in English, America and German editions and a few in French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Japanese. More will be added particularly if contributions are sent in.

Some material (scans of manuals and photographs of equipment) have been donated, but more are required to fill in the gaps. The information has been collected from handbooks, observation of the camera and accessories, books published at the time the cameras were on sale and from collectors around the world. Corrections, additions and details on incorrect links are always gratefully received.

At the outset it was not considered that over 4Gb of material would become available for free download. That is the equivalent of over 270 hours or 11 full days active on the internet. Currently 5.66Gb (up from 2.55Gb in December 2003), 31,800 files in 1850 folders sourced from over 46,000 views of the cameras has now been generated and made available.

Because of the large volume of material, particularly the handbooks and magazines, the information is also published as a set of CD-ROMs and on DVDs.

The Collection - December 2005

There are several collectors who have many times more cameras than found here, and a fair number of large brass and wooden cameras from which claims I guess they have several rooms full e.g. in Country Living <,,284652_590756-1,00.html>, <> and <>. More links at <>

At least two collectors who have been selling large collections of large format cameras and using the funds to purchase subminiatures. There are even collectors of subminiatures which dwarf this site's efforts. The HIT 17.5mm cameras shown here still fit in five shoe boxes (small feet - continental 42 :) and about one-sixth the number of some collections. Only 8 Coronet Midgets are included and one collection has over 50 variations.

The information detailed at is very much the tip of the iceberg for the variations of subminiatures known to exist. The site is a dynamic work in progress, that gets updated every week or so.

The collection started with a handful of 'user' cameras in 2000 consisting of Minolta (16 Ps, MG-s, QT, MG, 16 I in gold and black), Rollei 16s and Minox (BL, C, C black, EC, LX matt aluminium and black) and no purchases for over 7 years. Interest in other models arose from providing the brochures and manuals to people who where finding instructions hard to get, or had to pay over $20 for a poor photocopy. The few web pages where little more than a reference for personal use only with a list for the few items being searched for. A Minox AIII and a new Minox Classic Leica where purchased and so filling in the gaps began. After all there are not many models (Riga, AII, AIII, AIIIs, B, C, BL, LX, TLX, AX, ECX, MX). The original restriction was to metric versions as much for the copy stand and chains and the fact that they are a fraction of the cost in Germany to the UK. The metric rule got broke when a US import version B arrived and was resold. This was regretted being a really mint 1967 camera. Expansion to other cameras using the Minox, Minolta and Rollei cassettes continued until an auction for Rollei 16 film came with an Edixa 16 (Super 16 - Rada Rollei cassette). Next Acmel, Yashica, Nikoh, Kiev 16 and Yashica 16EE were added.

The fatal error was in getting a book - Spy Cameras. This sparked interest, and a new direction, that the otherwise excellent site failed to do. I had to find out about more of these cameras and so the scope exploded. 2139 Ebay auction wins, 13000 bids, 2690 transactions, 5800 outbids later (easy to count as they are all in Outlook) many additions directly and so it builds up. The principle aim is still to make as much information available as can possibly be found and that includes all the manuals, literature, advertisements and brochures hence the 5.6Gb of web space taken up so far.

In December 2002 the ISP server crashed. Some material had to be pulled from older backups and it took more than a week to upload the whole site on modem dial-up with 20 hours at a session. I could not upload using my broadband connection and the line is charged at a local call rate (about 60p per hour). I could have purchased a Riga, or two, for that phone bill. The hosting is free and unlimited storage and no monthly fees, just the dialup time and cost to upload. The domain name is about 60GBP for 3 years.


There are a number of definitions as to what is a subminiature camera. Miniature cameras are 35mm film cameras and so any film format smaller than 35mm can be termed subminiature. The first edition of "The Focal Encyclopaedia of Photography", in October 1956, published a detailed article on Subminiature Camera and provided the definition "This class of camera includes models which take film narrower than 35mm, such as perforated or unperforated 9.5 or 16 mm cine film." In America Joseph D. Cooper published a series of articles in "Modern Photography" under the banner Ultra miniature and his books, published in 1958 and 1961, have the by-line "A Complete Guide to Sub-Miniature Photograph".

The first edition of the Focal Encyclopaedia defined subminiature cameras as "A sub-miniature camera is usually much smaller than any other type, varying from matchbox size to 4 x 2 x 1 in."

Dr. William White settled on three definitions:-

1. Subminiature Photography: all photographic technologies and techniques working with, or producing, original film formats smaller in size than standard 24 x 36 mm produced on 35mm perforated film

2. Subminiature cameras: all cameras smaller in size that those regularly used in 35mm photography, including using respooled or reformatted 35 mm film.

3. Subminiature or miniature copies of larger cameras: working copies of larger cameras; some are true subminiature cameras in themselves, but more often they are dollhouse miniatures of larger better known cameras.

Popular Photography published a special small camera edition in August 1963 and looked at subminiature cameras using 16mm and 9.5mm (sic!) film and Sub-35 to include half frame, 24x24 and the Tessina. The Petersen's Guide to Pocket Camera Photography avoids the issue referring to Kodak Pocket Instamatic, Minolta, Minox and Yashica Atoron as pocket cameras.

The SubClub defines a subminiature as using a film size smaller than 16.7mm x 30.2mm -- the size of the APS format and excludes stereo cameras, APS, small full-frame 35mm (such as the Rollei 35) and cameras that take movie as well as stills (e.g. Bolsey 8mm). Oddly then that the Bolsey 8,  Stereo Mikroma and Linex are listed as well as an extensive coverage of 35mm full frame and APS cameras.

Submini-L (e-mail news group on subminiature cameras) at one time loosely defined a subminiature camera as having no dimension greater than 4 inches, being approximately 4x2x1" (101.6x55.4x25.4mm like the Minolta 16) or using a film smaller than 35mm.

Jerry Friedman writes for Camera Shopper and has written articles on large format subminiature cameras such as the Boltavit/Photavit, Eljy Lumiere, Univex, Minox and Rollei 35mm cameras. Jerry views these cameras as being made small enough that the intention is clearly that they should be carried at all times.

Many 16mm cameras, and certainly a large number of 110 format cameras are larger and heavier than some 35mm cameras, even the point and shoot compact cameras with zoom lenses.

When considering photography with digital cameras, where there is no film, the only workable definition of subminiature is of size (volume). Volume indicated the packing size but not the ability to be carried easily in the pocket. For a pocket, particularly a shirt pocket, the camera has to be very small or flat - thinner in one dimension than the others - and roughly under 100x60x30 (180000 mm3). Small volume but with height and depth similar may not fit into a pocket or be uncomfortable to carry.

Make & Model Format mm3 Dimensions
Minox A 8x11 36736 82x28x16 mm
Minox EC 8x11 43200 80x30x18 mm
Minox C 8x11 53760 120x28x16 mm
Ensign Midget 40x30mm 59341 76.2x44.5x17.5 mm (3 x 13/4 x 11/16")(closed)
Minolta 16 (I & II) 16mm 78430 77.5x44x23 mm (closed)
Tessina 14x21mm 93345 63.5x52.5x28 (24 with no finder, 32 with meter) mm (2 1/2x2x2")
Ducati half frame 127200 100x53x24mm
Compass 35 24x36 35mm 127680 70x57x32 mm (2 3/4 x 2 1/4 x 1 1/4")
Minolta 16 MG-s quarter frame 131043 107.5 x 46 x 26.5mm (4 1/4 x 1 3/4 x 1 1/16")
Rollei A110 110 132000 100x44x30 mm (64x44x30mm closed)
Canon Ixus IX240 APS 151200 90x60x28 mm
Rollei 16 quarter frame 168300 110x45x34mm ( 4 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 7/16") (closed)
Eljy Lumière 24x36 171000 76x50x45 mm
Minolta TC-1 35mm 178151 99x59x30.5 mm (3.9 X 2.3 X 1.2")
Pentax Auto 110 110 183393 71x63x41 mm
Minox 110S 110 183924 131x54x26mm
Minox 35EL   35mm 189100 100x61x31 mm (3.9x 2.4x 1.2") (closed)
Mec 16 10x14 16mm 196350 102x55x35 mm (4 x 2 3/16 x 15/16")
Minicord 10x10 16mm 198198 99x70x28.6 mm (3 7/8x2 3/4x1 1/8")
GaMi quarter frame 201376 116x56x31 mm (closed)
Biflex 35 35mm special 215664 95.3x62x36.5 mm(3 3/4 x 2 7/16 x 1 7/16")
Canon 110 ED 110 222656 142x56x28 mm
Agfa Agfamatic 5008 110 225456 132x56x30.5 mm (closed)
Univex A 28x38mm 257602 89x48x60.3 mm (3 1/2x1 7/8x2 3/8")
Photavit 24x24 258638 82.5x55x57 mm
Minox CD150 35mm 305100 113x60x45mm
Rollei 35 classic 35mm 319721 100.8x70.8x44.8 mm
Wilca 10x14 16mm 320901 111x70x41.3 mm (4 3/8 x 2 3/4 x 1 5/8")
Goldeck 16 10x14 16mm 321440 112x82x35 mm
Mecaflex (SLR) 24x24 35mm 390000 100x60x65 mm (hood closed)
Minolta 110 Zoom SLR 110 762696 132x108x53.5 mm
Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mk II 110 803250 105x102x75mm

Any camera that has been made to be unobtrusively carried at all times, with out being a burden, so that it is not too large, too heavy or too awkward and preferably can slip into a shirt pocket  would be recognised as subminiature. Cameras having a film width smaller than 35mm and cameras that extend the range of the pocketable subminiature for special use are included. This includes APS, stereo and panoramic cameras using 16mm film, 16mm cameras designed for microscope and telescope use and binocular cameras. Due to it's unique history and continuous production of the 8x11 Minox camera the range of other Minox cameras are also included.

This broad definition excludes most Robot cameras. Although small (compared to many 35mm cameras) and clearly "small objects of desire" they are heavy and large compared to compact 35mm cameras such as the Minox 35ML and Rollei 35SE. Similarly the standard 35mm cartridge Photavit 36 and Lucky 35 at 5 inches wide, collected by many who specialise in subminiature cameras, are also excluded.

Not only cameras!

Subminiature cameras fall into the definition of "small objects of desire" and so do a number of other optical devices including some binoculars, monoculars and pocket telescopes.

Instruction Manuals and brochures

The instruction manuals, literature, advertisements and brochures have been set up as web pages with thumbnails to click on to open up the full image. Most images are JPEG, which can be viewed and printed by a large range of graphical programs. See Manuals Frequently Asked Questions.

How can I find my way around?

The basic structure of the site is by major categories {8mm, 8x11, 16mm, 110, 17.5mm, 35mm, large formats, APS, disc, general} which are then divided into books, collection, manuals and gallery. The collection and manuals sub-categories are then divided by manufacturer.Each section uses a slightly different back ground so that you know when you move out of the current section being viewed.

You can use the browser's back button or edit the 'Address' - the URL, to navigate. Removing the file name, ending in .htm or .jpg, will normally open up an index page, if not remove the last directory name and try again. Most pages have camera icons at the top and/or bottom. These move you up a level or to open up the contents and index at the current level.

There is a search page at that uses Google to index all the pages on the site and questions can be addressed to "Help".

Occasionally you may wish to view several pages side by side. In this case pop up the menu of the browsers and select open link in a new window or new tab (e.g. with Firefox). 

Most pages open in the right hand frame with the left hand column being the index and content page for further navigation. The top of the window is a section title.

At the top of many information pages are links. Bright blue links indicate the page you are viewing. Dark blue ones indicate that the item is in the collection for inspection. Brown links indicates that some details are provided, including a photograph but a sample is wanted. Red links are for items for which samples are wanted and for which photographs may not be available - this is also used on the DVD/CD-ROM distribution to indicate that the linked item can be found on another DVD/CD-R.

Information - the Data

Introduction pages cover an overview with each camera or accessory having a short description, a specification table and photographs showing the item, the packaging, accessories in the kit and the camera from several angles.

Most items have a table with information on the model, specifications, year of manufacturing, purchase date and price, original price (if known) a nominal value and a list of final values at auction (taken from Ebay since 2000). As most purchases from online auction also involve postage, insurance and possibly import duty and VAT these can double the cost upon arrival. Auction prices vary considerably and are often at extremes, these should be ignored for the purpose of evaluation but taken into account if bidding for a similar item.

For Sale

No item shown is for sale. To assist searches for a particular camera use the search engine and the 'Forsale' section. Under this section there are hot links to several photographic shops with a selection of subminiature cameras and to also to some private collectors selling items surplus from their collection.


There are a few sources of information on the value of a camera, less for accessories. (KAMERAPREISE) has a list of manufacturers and models with estimates of value in EURO. Some cameras are missing and some estimates of value are at odds with Ebay results and other sources.

McKeown, James. McKEOWN'S PRICE GUIDE TO ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC CAMERAS, 2005-2006  The 12th Edition of McKeown's Price Guide is the most ambitious undertaking yet. Nearly 1,200 pages, more than 10,000 photographs, this is the world-recognized identification and pricing guide to thousands of collectible cameras. Price of the softcover is $100.00 + shipping; hardcover is $110.00 + shipping. More detailed information and shipping prices will be found if you Click Here

Monitoring Ebay for a couple of weeks and looking at the last 30-90 days listings that are available through the advance search may turn up the camera you are interested in.  The result of German auctions do not show up after the close of the auction. The rules for Ebay differ in each country and as a consequence some features are suppressed.


The information compiled at would not have been possible with out reference to the books of

and web sites

and others listed under Links.

Personal thanks to

and the large number of fellow collectors who have helped by correspondence providing notes and corrections over the past 5 years including:- 

Eddie Albrecht, Philipp Brandenburg, Alan Corb, Tom Desaulniers, Godfrey DiGiorgi, J.Daniele, Jack DeLisle, Al Doyle, Larry Feldman, Jerry Friedman, David Foy, Tim Goldsmith, Francois Guinand, Frank Hausemann, Hubert E. Heckmann, James A. Jones, Marti Jones, Don Krehbiel, David Lawrence, John Loong, Thomas Petry, Bernard Plazonnet, Nigel Richards, Joop Riemens, Ted Rosenberg, Douglas St. Denny, Harald Senne, Gerald Steinbach, Lew Steinfeld, Martin Tai, Neil Thompson, Steve Uhrig, D. Scott Young and Edward C. Zimmermann

Go to the main index Last Updated on 11th February 2006