Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Minox B meter with a mind of its own

Minox B meter with a mind of its own

A Minox B camera acquired recently has baffled me since I loaded the first film. The film setting is DIN, and it’s a metric distance dial, lattice meter, in excellent condition.

However, the meter appears to be way too sensitive. I know this sounds weird, but it does measure at least 1 full stop above anything my meters show (checked with 3 different and calibrated meters, Lunasix 3/Nikon FM3A camera meter/recently refurbished cell Weston Master III). For instance, when every meter shows 1/500s, the B has a 1/1000s reading.

No idea why this is. Meter cell aside, could this be related to the film setting internals being damaged? Or perhaps the meter window has a small space that lets more light onto the cell? Could any of these explain why the light impacts the selenium cell in an unusual way? As said, I am really baffled. The DIN has been set at 20, related to the 100 film I am using, and yes, the “100” red dot rule observed. As selenium cells do not usually read low light indoors, this one does, and accurately so. It reads the correct light, on par with the Lunasix 3, which is unusual.

The negatives I took out of this camera are overexposed. Not usable, to be honest, way too much light reaches the film. I have tried to adjust the DIN disc to either side of the scale, 1 or stops either way that is, to no avail. Same results, or thereabouts. However, the speeds are very close if not on par with my other Minox cameras. After some 20 + yrs of using these cameras i do know the sound of a 1/30 versus of a 1/500. So I do not believe this is due to shutter blades being lazy.


The plot thickens. I checked today the B’s meter by means of a grey card, against a fully working Lunasix 3. Conditions were all the same, light the same, distance and film settings the same. Thought to go towards the higher end of the sensitivity, as this made sense to me. No point in going lower, I believe.

The readings I got from the problematic B:

1) At 100 ASA (DIN 21), its reading of the card gave me way over the speed of 1/1000 (like almost 2 stops over), when Lunasix read 1/500.

2) I changed the DIN at 23, same reading gave me just a notch over 1/1000, perhaps 1/2 stop.

3) I changed the DIN to 26, reading gave me 1/700.

4) At DIN 26, sliding the ND filter over the lens, I had the right meter reading.

I am still not entirely sure on what goes on here. I wonder if there is something here I’m missing.

PS – yes, the film setting was observed, including the setting of the red dot at 100.

I believe I just had enough of this little rascal. It will be taking the long road to MS Hobbies for repair, which appears to be a case of need. And it will not go alone, mind; another 3 or 4 Minox various models are awaiting despatch. It shall travel in good company, as it were.