My first Minox camera was a Minox B, and I have covered that in a different post somewhere in here. A couple of years after that, I have acquired some other Minox cameras, and one of them was the (very) popular Minox EC. Why so popular? Well, it is basically a small box which takes Minox photographs in the most simplest of ways: load the film, set the ASA, shoot. Quite simple, and if careful, very nice results.
It was introduced in 1981, and it is quite a different camera than the rest of the Minox camera line, main difference being the lens. Where all the other Minox had 3.5, the f with this EC is 5.6, and that is a real game changer. Fixed focus is another change (1 meter to infinity). Also, the material it was made from is different from the aluminium we were used to: plastic reinforced with fibre glass. To me, looks like the makrolon Lamy made their fountain pens, the texture and durability is the same, at least to my eyes.
The camera loads by a completely different manner than the older Minox models: the body has to be taken out of the exterior shell for a cartridge to be loaded. Once the film dropped inside, one has to rotate the frame counter to set the counter to 0 (it does not set automatically). Put the body back into the outer shell, and set your ASA by rotating the knurled metallic knob right above the outer viewfinder rim; turning this will show the ASA settings situated around the shutter release button (the yellow thingy). Set your film sensitivity and you’re good to go.
There is another feature, and that is the switch between (left to right): battery check, automatic use of camera and flash setting. As this camera does not automatically switch to flash setting when flash is attached, you’ll need to do this manually. If you choose to use the flash setting without a flash, the camera is set to shoot at 1/30.
The metering of the camera is done by a CdS (cadmium sulphite) light meter, usually quite accurate. The shutter fires automatically, from 8 seconds to 1/500, so when using higher than 100ASA films do take into consideration this, coupled with the large f (5.6); you could overexpose your film. Inside the viewfinder, there is a LED lamp that lights up when the available light is too low for the ASA setting you have. You may choose to ignore it and fire anyways, or switch to the flash setting, in which case you’ll shoot at 1/30. Or, you can employ the use of the flash.
The Minox EC came with two (proprietary) models of flash units: the cube flash and the electronic flash. This here presented is the electronic one, officially named “Minox 8×11 Electronic flash unit“, and it takes a 1.5 AA battery. It is not an automatic flash, and you will have to determine yourself the distance and such. Not very hard to this, I always use these distances when using the flash on EC or on another Minox camera (using an adapter):
Of course, you will have to run your tests on the above, just to be certain you do get your own results. Just remember that It is not an automatic flash unit, which means you will have to calculate and figure yourself the situation when you fire, distance and so forth. It does have a charge-ready lamp, but no test button. Three prongs/contacts are connecting with the three slots onto the end of a Minox EC camera, and you have to flick a switch to “flash setting”, in order to sync the speed of the camera with the apex of the flash discharge.
Minox EC – exclusive set, complete with 8×11 flash, Minox EC camera, film cartridge, camera chain, and two batteries (one 5.6v for the camera and a AA 1.5 battery for the flash.
A few night photographs taken with this type of camera, on Ilford FP+ 125, rated 400.