Julian Tanase Photography

My Minox journey continues…

Minox on the streets

Minox on the streets

I cannot emphasize enough the usefulness of a Minox camera to be the (almost) perfect tool for snapping street photographs. Most of the times people don’t even know they’re being photographed. The beauty of this is that, many times, you will take pictures of moments which otherwise would not be so candid, if people would see you with a larger camera near their face. Because if you haven’t discovered yet, not many are happy to have a lens shoved in their way while doing whatever they do on the street.

An angle viewer would go a long way too; pointing your Minox camera in the opposite direction sets people at ease, thinking that while they’re not the subject of your interest, you’re all right. Hip shots are also a thing to be considered, and with some experience you can get beautiful pictures. So go out there in the streets and get some.

Although not necessarily mandatory, most of the times you’ll better have an electronic Minox camera in hand, because many times over you will not have the time to set your shutter speed. True, Minox C and/or Minox LX are larger than a Minox A, but still unobtrusive; what you lose in size you gain in quality of the photograph. Most of the times when I shoot with a Minox A on the street I just set it to hyperfocal point, and the average speed for that film and light conditions. It takes me but a fraction of a second to modify the shutter speed dial to anything radically different (say, a narrow street with too much shadows, or suddenly too much sun in a certain spot).

Minox C or LX are great because they’re electronic, meaning that as long you have set the shutter speed dial at “A” and distance at say, hyperfocal point (you remember this being the red dot between infinity and 2m markings), you should get some interesting images. But it is up to you, to your own experience working with a Minox camera, so go out there and try it.

Minox EC is also a good tool, as long as you remember that this Minox is a different kettle of fish; at 5.6, its lens has a faster stop than the 3.5 lens of your regular 8×11 camera, AND the minimum distance is different, i.e. not modifiable by camera settings. In other words, try and use slower films with the Minox EC, at least this is what I do. Shooting away with say, 400 ASA film, in all sorts of different light conditions with an EC may get you overexposed negatives in some cases, so what I always do is load the camera with 50 or 100 film. Beautiful results most of the time.

Obviously, when shooting people moving around, one has to have a faster than 100 ASA film. But not always; I have taken many street photographs with any Minox camera I own, loaded with 25/50/100 ASA film. It all boils down to the moment, the ongoing movement (or not) of the object or person, the lighting. When in doubt, shoot away, you’ll sort them out later. Better take a half-decent picture than none at all, I say.

So, what Minox camera should you use on the street? The one you have will do, of course.

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