Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

A few words on 8×11 films and cartridges

A few words on 8×11 films and cartridges

These were factory-loaded film cassettes, produced between 1978-1993, with approximation. From what I have gathered (regarding the film types), the Minopan 25 was Agfa APX 25, Minopan 100 was Agfa APX 100. I am not too sure on what sort of negative went into the colour ones. Minopan 400 was the then version of the Agfa APX 400. There is a difference between the old emulsions of the APX and the current ones, and of course, the old Agfapan is now gone too.

A brief word here, regarding the factory-loaded film width: from what I could see, the width varies, within 0.1 and 02.5mm, which translates to widths between 9.2mm to 9.35mm. I have always cut my films at 9.2mm, which is the “standard” width if you ask me. Of course, I have heard of film being cut at 9.00mm, 9.40mm, 9.50mm, but I never tried this. A strip of film at 9.0mm wide will probably have little to no frame borders, a 9.5mm will probably give me headaches, so I chose the middle path, which is (for me) 9.2mm.

I have measured two original (factory) Minox negatives, Minopan 25 (1981) and a Minocolor 100 (1990), the widths vary indeed. The Minopan has a width of 9.17mm, whereas the Minocolor is 9.21mm. Not much, but there is a difference all right. And these are factory -loaded films, not cut by a third party. True enough, a 1940 Riga film (VEF produced and marketed as such) had a width of 9.41mm, but we are talking the brass cassette here.

I am not saying other widths will not work in your cassettes/cameras, but there are slight differences in size of various cassette generations, and things may go south. My take on this Minox width film is that 9.2mm is the most suitable for me. If it works, do not change it, as they say.

Many of these film cassettes came in both 15 and 36 exposures, clearly marked on the boxes and also on the cartridge itself. The difference is that you can reload a 36 exp cassette with film without any modification; however, the 15 exposures one needs to have the take up spool changed with a 36 exp one, due to the larger diameter of the first. Otherwise, the cassettes themselves are identical in size and shape.

I do recall some interesting conversations on the old Greenspun forums, where it was said that the Minocolor 100 was actually Fuji Super G 100 and the Minocolor 400 was in fact Agfa Color 400, so there you go. Again, not sure if this is accurate information, but it’s completely believable.

There is one other film, the Minocolor 100 Pro, which is said to be Fuji Reala 100. To be honest, I never managed to see a notable difference between using the regular 100 and the 100 Pro. It probably says somethign to more knowledgeable fellow Minox photographers, but it doesn’t to me.

Other films were available for Minox cameras, until the mid-90s, such as the ones sold by ACMEL, i.e. Asanuma Japan. The film was almost the same as with the Minox one, with some differences. For instance, their Acmel Reala Ace colour film was actually Minocolor Pro 100 (itself a Fuji Reala 100).