Is the C or B a better option

Discussion in 'Minox' started by reportsfromluke, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. I am looking to buy a Minox and load the cassettes, but I'm torn between buying
    a Minox B or C. I understand that the curved film gate on the B can scratch up
    loaded cassettes, but I like the all manual nature of the machine and the
    smaller size. With the C, you have electronics that may be difficult to have
    repaired, and it is a bit bigger. What can you experienced users tell me? Thanks
  2. BL is the size of B, also operates like B, but has the freewheeling
    mechanism of B, imo, it is better than B or C.
  3. I agree with Martin, the BL is my favorite Minox. But they weren't in production for as long and are consequently hard to find and expensive compared to the B/C.

    Personally I haven't noticed that much difference in scratches between my IIIs (complan lens) and BL/LX. Scratches are a problem with any of them if there's any dust at all, and you need to be equally careful with all of them.

    Other advantages of the BL/C are that they have a film advance shutter release lock, so if you open and close the camera without taking a shot you won't waste a frame (though this is also a disadvantage when loading/unloading films and forwarding the counter). The BL, and I believe the C, had film counters that ran from 36 instead of 50, which is more useful for currently available films.

    Advantages of the B over the BL include not needing a battery, and having two filters (YG and ND or YG and Orange depending on age). Also they are slightly smaller. (I don't know if the C had one filter or two).

  4. The Riga, Minox A and Minox B will advance the film every time you open teh camera to frame a shot whether you take a photograph or not. They also have counters for 50 frames.

    The C, BL, LX, TLX, EC, ECX only advance a frame when you have taken the photograph.

    The BL requires no battery but uses a cell to power the coupled Cds meter. The C needs a battery for shutter release. The B and BL can set shutter speeds between two marked settings. The C can do the same but only in automatic mode. In manual mode the shutter is fixed to the marked settings.

    For black and white the best lens is the complan (AIII/AIIIs/B). for color the better lens is the Minox lens (late B, C, BL, LX).

    The C is bigger but a well serviced C can not be beaten in results time after time. Several users, use carry more than one Minox have reported that the best results are always with the C, even is used manually. It could be partly to do with being a bigger camera so more stable when the photograph is taken but I think it is due to the best manufacturing standard at the peak of the Minox factories' history.

    I have had more factory new BL fail than any other camera model. Most of these where repaired and got to work, but now your chances of finding one where the battery has not leaked is getting smaller. The C is also know for battery leak problems, but some of these can be cleaned up by the new owner and do not need an internal clean.

    The AX is a BL without a meter shoe horned into an LX body with added parts to mode the shutter release. It is also the hardest camera to grip and near impossible to open with gloves. With low numbers (222 only on one variation) these remain expensive.

    If you want a good user camera get a full service on it. Someone like DAG or the technicians at Minox will do thorough job and make the camera fit for another 30 odd years.

    All the metal Minox 8x11 camera move the film gate when advancing the film. There is likely to be no more damage due to dust in the complan lens version than in the flat plane of the Minox lens.

    On repairs I have had BL meters replaced from a donor camera. These are rare to find as it is the meter that goes. In B the meter is often off and sometimes non-functional. This needs a donor camera and there are many variations meaning that it is not always so easy to fit in a meter. The typical fix is to swap the meter end with shell. This in itself is a fitting problem but also the shading on the shell is different and it will grow on you as a grey camera with a white bit and be for every "odd". Some are not so extreme and even factory assembled units would differ in shade. I have had several cameras like this and I do not like them, others never bother to notice.

    The C may need a new circuit board. These can not be found and the white bulb ones (particularly with the complan lens) are hard to find in a donar camera. A red LED circuit board can be fitted and the white bulb lamp can be replaced with a red LED. Both of these fixes require a lot of work and only worth it if you end up with a top quality collectable and user camera. Thanks to the late Steve Uhrig and the work of Andrew Britton I had this done with a complan lens C. Well worth the effort.

    LX cameras are coming down in value and even black ones are seen for well under $300. The LX will give 1/2000th and with the new Vario color film at ISO 200 or at ISO 160 you are more likely to need it than at the old Minocolor ISO 100 speed.

    As to filters the A and B have two filters for b/w with the later version having one as a neutral density filter. The C, BL and LX series only have a ND filter. For the A, B, BL and C you can use the six clip on filters supplied for the A and B cameras. For the B and C you can use the Minox C set of three filters which are also less expensive.

    Which is better? This could end up as being a personal choice. I think in starting out you will be happier with the results from working with a Minox C. Then, when you know more about how to handle the camera, try a B or an AIIIs or got for the more expensive BL. If you are careful in your purchase you could resell what you don't need after a short while for no loss in value. Either way you should be set up to start for well under $90.


Share This Page