Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Minox B

Minox B

I do not know which Minox camera model is more ubiquitous than this one; well, perhaps the Minox C model. If you wish to purchase your first Minox camera, chances are you’ll get a lot of Minox B offers, because it seems that these exist in a much larger numbers out there, than any other Minox camera ever made.

And rightly so: there were produced in a number close to 400.000 units, starting from 1958 to an unknown date of 1972. This Minox B is the most produced camera by Minox Germany, it would appear, seconded by Minox C model, with only (cca) 174.000 units.

The Minox B camera was indeed expected around the year of the apparition; although the Minox A/IIIs was the one that took the world by surprise after the war, times were moving fast and people wanted a camera that did all the thinking for them, easy to operate, and if possible, with the same (or close enough) dimension to the A/IIIs.

Minox B was indeed doing all this, and more; the addition of a small selenium meter built in the camera, there was no need to have a separate meter to read the light for you. The meter was made by the same Gossen company that produced the Minox light meter for the Minox A/IIIs camera. The meter was uncoupled to the camera settings, so you still had to set your shutter speed according to what the meter read, but hey, you had the meter AND the camera in one hand. That was great, and given the very good (for the time) quality of the built in meter, one could really get through a roll of film without much trouble.

Operating the Minox B camera could not be easier, and it was not much change from how you operated a Minox IIIs, really: you pointed the meter to the scene, press the button for a couple of seconds, release the buttn and read the numbers. Transfer the values to the shutter speed dial and snap away.

Of course, the meter has basically a Minox meter internals, selenium cell, put inside the camera, only smaller. It worked in the same way, and it had the same accuracy. Also, there is a flash socket, and there are a number of Minox flash units to fit this camera model. And of course, using the 8×11 flash adapter, you can use the Minox 8×11 electronic flash. There is also a hot shoe adapter, which can be used with (almost) any flash unit.

If you buy one of these cameras, chances are you’ll get either a dead meter or a barely-responsive one. Selenium is known to decade, and after so many years, the selenium is not to be trusted anymore. But the camera can still function without the meter, being completely mechanic, so if the camera is sound mechanically, you can still use like it was a Minox IIIs.

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