Is Minox film 9.5mm wide ?

Discussion in 'Minox' started by mtc photography, Jan 19, 2000.

  1. Minox film is often refered to as 9.5mm film (William White, Morris Moses and John Wade etc )
    But hobbyists who cut 9.5mm width film all failed to load into the Minox cassette.
    <p>What is the width of Minox film, as docmented by Minox or Minox insider?
    <p> Don't supply your own measurement, this is irrelevant to this thread <p>
    It is about what Minox said about it, and about tracking the history of Minox film width as seen
    in Minox related literatures
  2. Great number of Minox brochures, manuals mentioned Minox film as Minox 8x11mm. Yes ! But what is the width of the film ? Is it 9.5mm ? As so much propagated by on the web.
    No, Minox film is not 9.5mm wide
    Many hobbyists(myself included) also measured the width of Minox film, some say 9.2mm some say 9.3mm there is no definite answer
    We have a situation :
    1. Minox historians : 9.5mm
    2. Minox hobbyist :9.2mm, 9.3mm......
    • What Minox says about it ? It will be nice to see Minox engineering deparment's "Minox 8x11 film specification" (May be some of you have seen it )
      The most authentic answer was given by Rolf Kasemeier in
      He wrote

      Minox film, 9.4mm (3/8 in.) wide, is unperforated.

      This is the most authentic statement about the width of Minox film.
      Minox 8x11mm or Minox 9.4mm film has nothing to do with 9.5mm Pathe format perforated movie film.
  3. In Minox historians Morris Mose and John Wade's book :Spycamera, the MINOX Story", they described in great length
    "The Minox 9.5mm Cameras" "MINOX 9.5MM Film Packaging " and "Minox 9.5mm accesories"
    Yet they failed to provide credible evidence.
    <p> It would be useful if Moses/Wade showed a copy of Minox internal film specification
    or internal memo which stated "The width of Minox film is 9.5mm under 20 degree C and xx% humnidity" etc.
  4. Minoxers, if you come across any data regarding the specification of
    Minox film (length, width, thickness ) in Minox literature (brochures, advertising materials ) from Riga era, please let me know, or post it here.
    <p> This thread try to trace documented history of Minox film width.
    <p> Rolf Kasemeir's book was written in the 50s.
    <p> The spec in the 50s may not be the same as the spec in the 30s(Riga )
    and the spec now may not be the same as that in 50s. After all, even the cassette went through several variations.
    <p> Note: I am probably the first one to speculate that Minox film width may have
    several variations through the years.
  5. .
    On the box of Nikor SS real, there was printed "MINOX ( 9.5mm) REEL."
    It seems that the use of phrase MINOX 9.5MM by Nikor predated Morris Moses and John Wade.
    <p> Any one knows when was Nikor 9.5mm reel first appeared on the market ?
    <p> It did make sense for Nikor to make the SS reel width a litte bit wider than the width of Minox film, otherwise, it would be hard to push in the Minox film.
  6. I seems that "9.5mm" when used together with "MINOX" lost its real meaning, like the "dozen" in "Baker's dozen"
    or the 'mile' in "nautic mile'.

    <p> I looked through some old Minox advertisements and brochures, and never found a single instance "9.5mm" was used.
    <p> "Minox 9.5mm" probably was coined outside MINOX.
  7. There is an error in Mr. Kasemeier's statement. He wrote:


    "Minox film, 9.4mm (3/8 in.) wide, is unperforated".


    However, 3/8 of an inch (24/64ths) equals 9.525mm, much too wide.


    Also, Nikon did not make the Nikor (one K) reels, Honeywell did.
    Nikon makes Nikkor (two K's) lenses. Similar names, no relation.
  8. James is right, it is Nikor reel, not Nikkor reel. <p>
    Kasemeir probably used inch = 25mm.
    <p> The error was in his metric to imperial unit conversion, not 9.4mm.
    <p> From a different perspective, 3/8" can never be the width of any film, including Pathe 9.5mm
    As Pathe film is 9.5mm exact, hence even Pathe film is narrower than 3/8"
  9. Rolf Kasermeier in "Technical Data" section of "Small Minox -Big Pictures" provided technical data on film:
    He wrote:
    " Film: 9.4mm wide. unperformated, (without sproket holes in the edges) comes in daylight loading double cassettes."
    No width in inch was given.
  10. <p>Joseph D. Cooper listed the film type for Minox IIIs and Minox B as "9.5mm unperforated" in his
    1961 edition "The New ULTRA-miniature phtography" Universal Photo Books Inc.
    <p> It is possible that in 1958 edition, he used already 9.5mm. He may well be the first
    one to put the label 9.5mm to Minox film. ( Not camera )

    <p> Now we had a Cooper vs Kasermeier dialog:

    <p> Cooper: Minox 9.5mm unperforated
    <p> Kasermeier: Minox 9.4mm unperforated

    <p> This is so far the earliest date "9.5mm" shown up in Minox literature.
    <p> But Cooper did not linked up Minox film with Pathe 9.5mm film

    <p> I have located an Minox author, who was very vocal in joining up Pathe' 9.5mm with Minox.
    This person was T. L. Green, the author of ULTRA-miniature CAMERA technique, 1965.
    <p> He wrote: "Just as the 35mm. cine camera begat the 35mm still camera, so the old 9.5mm Pathe' Baby and the Kodak 16mm cine camera turned designer's thought to smaller than miniature still camera."<p>"... and the Minox using 9.5mm film ..."
    <p> "THE ARRIVAL OF THE MINOX. In the meantime, another attempt was in progress in Riga, Latvia, where camera pioneer Walter Zapp had chosen 9.5mm film as the basis.
    That was the width of the film used in the Baby-Pathe with
    central perforation.In his camera, Zapp made use of 9.5mm unperforated film..."
    <p> T.L. Green fabricated the tie in of Minox with Pathe ! But he failed
    to provide any details about where that "9.5mm unperforated film" came from.

    <p>Walter Zapp never "made use of 9.5mm unperforated film". No such film was ever
    available at his time for him to make use of.

    <p> The truth is Walter
    Zapp made use of 35mm unperforated film, and made 9.4mm Minox film.

    <p> There was good business reason to design Minox 8x11 camera film
    width slightly less then 9.5mm, to prevent 9.5mm movie film maker
    to encroach on VEF film market.

    <p> I believe Minox cassette was designed to reject Pathe 9.5mm film.

    <p> 9.4mm by design, not by chance.
  11. Green's "Cine begat still" story was a good one,
    that is why instead of
    Kaisermeier stated 9.4mm repeatedly througout the successive
    editions of SMALL MINOX -BIG PICTURES, the Minox 9.5mm theme got propagated all the way to Moses and Wade's "spycamera"(1990/1998) and to various subminiature sites in the cyberspace.
    <p> But the "Cine begat still" story never happened in the case of
    <p> The fact is only "perforated cine begat perforated still": as in the case of 35mm and 16mm, the designer of those camera
    could indeed take a piece of 35mm or 16mm cine and used in 35mm or 16mm still camera prototype.
    <p> But nobody could take a piece of perforated 9.5mm (Pathe ) positive film and made it into unperforated negative film.
    <p> Walter Zapp HAD TO SLIT the MINOX film himself, for his first Ur-Minox he cut a piece of unperforated 35mm film into four 8.75mm width film; later for the Riga prototype,
    he cut three pieces of 9.4mm strip from 35mm film. <p> Pathe cine 9.5mm never ever "begat" Minox still, instead, 35mm still was slitted into three pieces of 9.4mm Minox film.
    <p> And to this day, AFAIK nobody has successfully loaded
    Pathe' 9.5mm film into Minox cassette. Even if there is such a thing
    as unperforated 9.5mm Pathe, nobody can trim 0.1mm off to make a ussable Minox 9.4mm film.
    <p>Any one who supply "Minox 9.5mm" film must set his cutter at a different pitch of 9.4mm or less.
    They lied when they called it 9.5mm.

    <p> Walter Zapp CREATED Minox 9.4mm film, he was free to slitted any width he chose.
    <p> "Cine 9.5mm begat 9.5mm still" never happened.
    <p> 35mm begat Minox 9.4mm
  12. I found a a Minox spec sheet with Minox film width = 9.2mm !
    Minox Film Slitter Film Width =9.2mm
    It is interesting to note, the "9.2mm" was given only in the English version of the "Owner's Manual"-- because "Minox 9.5mm" was used only in English language literature.
  13. A list of film formats<p>
  14. I suspect that the first production Minox films were probably slit from master rolls of the then-popular "vest pocket" width. It is likely for these reasons:

    at the time, such master rolls would have been readily available, since the vest pocket films were extremely popular;

    "vest pocket" film is what we call 127 roll film, and the film width is 46mm;

    if you split a 46.0mm web into five strands of equal width, each will be exactly 9.2mm wide;

    the only published film width figure anyone has ever found which originated from Minox is the English-language slitter instructions Martin found, which states 9.2mm.

    I'd vote for 9.2mm film split five-out of 46mm master rolls.

    David Foy
  15. Identify Minox 8x11 film with the once popular French Pathe Baby 9.5mm movie film is a common mistake. Bob Shell in his Photo Technique article 25 Best Cameras of All Time made the same mistake
  16. Early VEF Minox factory brochure and an advertisement in Switzerland ca 1938, stated that the film used was 9.5 mm unperforate film. <p> That was where all this "9.5mm" film started--- by VEF Minox in Riga<p>
    By 1939, the statement "9.5mm" had disappeared from VEF Minox advertisment, only "8x11" format was stated.
  17. I measured a piece of Copex film slitted from Minox slitter.
    To prevent film bulging under the pressure of micrometer, I folded
    the film strip back to back in a loup; the width of the film is
    362 mil<p>

    0.362 x 25.4 = 9.1948 mm = 9.2 mm
  18. I took this approach. I opened a can of film “Valsts Elektrotechniska Fabrika Riga-Latvia” with the date “SEP 1942” “Filmas VEF Minox Riga” the yellow tin can. “2 FILMAS 100 EXP”, 10 DIN. Took the original cassette wrapped in black paper out and pulled out a length of film to make a loop and placed a heavy white weight into the loop to hold the film flat on the glass of my high quality flat bed scanner. Scanned a four inch section of the film emulsion to the glass. Tried several scans at different places and alignments to the direction of the scanner, at several different dpi’s 400 dpi 1000 dpi and 2,000 dpi and at several percents 100 %, 400 percent, 800 %. All this to confirm my test results. In PhotoShop I determined the drop off of the edge of the film at several places on the section of the scan pixel by pixel white edge to white edge. PhotoShop gave me the size of the image in mm. The film sized up at an average of 9.35 mm. 9.33 mm to 9.37 mm were the ranges of my test roll most being 9.35 mm – this is only a pixel by pixel different . With an expiration date of 1942 this roll was produced ( 1939-1940 ???) …How many years prior to the date? In the mid-point of Minox production. The film may have (aged) changed in size over the years, this is where it is now. 9.35mm. I have some rolls from post war 1947 dated round tins and paper boxes. I’ll test some of those too - - these may show the German influence. Gene
  19. Gene, thank you for great experiment !

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