Minox 35AL: is there an optimal distance from subject?

Discussion in 'Minox' started by silvermoon, May 11, 2006.

  1. Hello. I've got a 35AL as my first Minox and taken some pics with
    it. I'm aware that it's a fixed-focus that pictures "everything
    sharp more than 5ft away", according to the instruction in
    www.submin.com , but still I'm curious:
    is there an optimal distance from subject?
  2. The rule of thumb for optimal distance for any fixed focused camera:
    multiply the closest distance by 2<p>
    For instance, if a camera is sharp from 3ft to infinity, then the optical distance (ie, sharpest distance) is 6 ft.
  3. Though Martin's answer makes a lot of sense, it still doesn't touch upon something really odd..

    The 'more than 5ft' doesn't state at which aperture (f4-f22) this is.

    If you play around with a depth of field calculator, you'll find that it just doesn't work around f4, which is the largest aperture available on the AL. The point of focus would have to be at 6ft, but the far point of sharpness would be about 8ft. Hardly infinity.

    At f22, the smallest aperture, if the point of focus is 6ft, DOF would cover 3ft to infinity.

    Neither situation matches the 5ft-infinity claim..

    Why not take a picture at the largest aperture (f4) and have it enlarged to the point where you can make out where the camera is focused?
  4. Art you may download a Minox AL manual from www.minox.de
  5. Thanks for the replies. I didn't know about the "closest distance x2" rule-- it's interesting! It does clear up some of my doubt toward these fixed-focus cameras. As Peter pointed out, however, something seems still kind of odd considering 35AL's adjustable aperture setting. I should just experiment with the shooting @f/4 idea in the next round.
    BTW, I actually have the original manual with camera, but in German only. It's disappointing that info on 35AL seems totally absent in www.minox.de. Instead, I found out just now that www.submin.com has the scanned English manual online:
  6. Art
    According to the AL instruction, you should turn the lens aperture setting to the white daylight exposure symbol as in daylight shooting aperture
    In other words, this camera has no numerical aperture setting, instead it uses symbolic aperture setting. At the white daylight setting, the camera is set to about f12.5. The camera is focused at 10 feet, ie the hyperfocal distance (the sharpest distance), the depth of field is 5 feet to infinity.
    Do not set at f4 in daylight shooting, otherwise the depth of field will be very shallow, only objects between 8' and 15' will be sharp, anything outside this range will be unsharp !
  7. I have and use a Minox 35AL and can tell you that it is a very silly (in terms of original pricing and features) camer with a VERY good lens! For travel photography where you are not shooting closeups it is great. I have some shots of a leaded glass ceiling in a train station that I shot by laying the camera on its back on the floor and shooting with the self timer that are as sharp as you could want. I find that with using the sunny symbol and asa 400 film you get excellent results. Like with all small, light cameras, you can vastly improve result by using a small tripod and the cable release or self timer. Most unsharpness comes from camera movement with these things.

    The Minox AL as well as all the Minox 35 camera in my experience are excellent picture takers. I have 4 different models and like them all.

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