IIIf Classic questions

Discussion in 'Minox' started by stephen hazelton, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. I noticed a couple of dealers have a pretty good deal on the IIIf
    classic camera, the mini-Leica. Some questions on it:
    1) Is it fixed aperture? If so, does this mean you need to use 25-
    speed film? (IE, sunny-16 rule with f/5.6 and 1/250 works out to 25-
    50 speed)
    2) It appears that some or all of the Minox film is Agfa products-
    any guesses as to whether this will still be available for any time?
    3) Seems like they've made several of these mini-classic cameras,
    but I'm not seeing much on ebay. Did the other models sell well, or
    were they flops? Any guesses on reliability?
    4) Do any of you routinely use this or other 8x11 cameras? Or are
    they more in the gadget-on-a-shelf category?
    5) I don't see much info on the film cartridges used. Are they
    like a mini-35mm cartridge? Are they reusable if you slit your own
    film? And does anyone actually do this?
    6) I noticed a Beseler minox negative carrier on Ebay- are these
    things rare as hen's teeth, or do they show up pretty regularly?
    7) Looks like Minox lab processing is available by mail order- how
    is the quality?
  2. Greetings! I can't answer all of your questions but I can do the film processing one. MinoxLabs does still offer processing but it is a bit slow on the return. I have started sending my film directly to the Minox Factory in Germany. So far, they are quite snappy on the returning developed film. And results are amazing. I am a MinoxLab user for at least 20 years too. They have slightly different equipment for scanning in negatives and it shows. You can also call them during business hours and talk to Frank Hausman. He is the expert on anything Minox. If you are just entering the Minox world, you will find lots of people still use and develope their own film in many ways. Just check out www.minox.org, the Historical Minox Soceity. They have just concluded a photo contest. All the entries are viewable. Enjoy! Robert Ottino
  3. Unless you're a huge fan of the IIIf and need the IIIf mini as a collector's item, you should
    really be looking at a 'real' Minox with Complan lens instead. They have a faster, sharper
    lens and actual manual controls.
  4. Stephen,

    Hi there. It's good to see another person interested in Minox cameras. The more, the merrier!

    I'll try to answer what questions I can (I do not own a Minox Classic series camera, so I can't comment on their use).

    1) It is my understanding the aperture is fixed at f/5.6.

    2) All the Minopan B&W films are Agfa films, cut and repacked into Minox cartridges by Minox.

    3) I do not know.

    4) I routinely use a Minox B and C, the metal-bodied Minox cameras. I also have a IIIs and the plastic-bodied, fixed-focus EC and ECX. All are quality shooters. The metal Minox cameras focus from infinity down to 8" while the EC and ECX are sort of point-n-shoot, with auto exposure and focus set at about 2 meters (6.5 feet or so), with f/5.6 fixed aperure allowing depth-of-field to give reasonable sharpness from 3 feet to infinity.

    5) The Minox cartridge is like a mini-110 cartridge, in a way, but without backing paper. there is no rewinding after you finish film in a Minox 8x11 camera. Yes, the cartridges are reusable if you develop your own film and save the cassette. Minox Labs does not return the cassette to you, but will sell you empty cartridges. I routinely reuse my Minox cartridges (reload them). Film info is available on the Minox Processing Labs site http://minoxusa.xxs3.de/minox2002usa/shop/ and click on "Films and Processing" link on left side. They sell B&W films (Minopan) and color (Minocolor). Also, J&C Photography sells Minox films that are being respooled by 8x11film.com at http://www.jandcphotography.com/ and other photo stores carry the Minopan and Minocolor films, too, like B&H Photo in New York. Joe McGloin of Goat Hill Photo at http://www.subclub.org/sponsors/goathil2.htm will sell Minox-size film loads for reloading your own cartridges from just about any type of film.

    6) I'm not sure--probably more of these carriers on the market now as several people get away from darkroom use.

    7) I think the Minox Lab's processing does a good job, but I prefer to develop my own films (unless I'm using color film, then I send it to MPL).

    --Micah in NC
  5. Fixed aperture at f5.6
    Fixed shutter at 1/250th
    Designed for ISO 100 film but still needs bright sunny days.
    Film available is Minocolor, Minocolor Pro (Fujifilm), Tmax 400, Ilford Delta 100, DIAS film also Copex and Imagespeed.

    The Classic range is discontinued but a number of shops have stock and there are sold regularly on Ebay. Select for searches all countries, not just local.

    Sharan Megahouse make more models.

    Sales figures not known but they did not sell well enough at the original price and where heavily discounted from 2003 and then sold well.

    Some have shutter problems. Some have lens that are not adequate. Repairs are not possible (too expensive).

    Most users would prefer a cheaper and more flexible Minox A, B or C.

    Minox cassette is a small twin (feed and take up) cartridges.

    You can get film slitters to cut 35mm, or build your own (designs on the web).

    To print any short focal length enlarger lens will be idea (25 or 30mm) a 50mm lens requires projection further for the same enlargement. You can make a mask for the 8x11 mm negative. A Minox enlarger is idea for black and white. The colour enlargers are expensive and will need all the filters replacing before use.

    Best labs is Lab811 in Germany. You can also post to Minox who will take credit card payments and handling and sent to one of the labs for processing. No longer done by 'hand' the automated machines are 'fair' but are not as good as doing them yourself. Prices are high, compared to 35mm, e.g. 36 color film is about 30EUR.

  6. Hi Stephen,

    I have the Minox Leica IIIf Swedish Army black edition and am very pleased with the results it gives.

    Please bear in mind it is a pan focus lens with fixed f5.6 and 1/250th sec aperture and shutter speed. Nonetheless it is capable of very fine images in the right hands.

    It is also well engineered and incredibly neat, and very unobtrusive for shooting.

    Look at the following links for decent image samples:



    Minox do a rather nice, but inexpensive book to go with the Classic cameras. It gives a well illustrated history of Leica for Minox users, and a history of Minox for Leica afficionados. It also shows some good image results from the classic cameras:


    PS, I also have Minox B, C and Digital Classic Leica M3 cameras as well.

    Best wishes,

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