Minox vs Mini Digital cams

Discussion in 'Minox' started by b_n_f, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. -- This is not really a digital vs film question! --

    I have another opportunity to purchase a new Minox at a very decent
    price. The same things that have prevented me in the past are still
    here (film processing, film choices, quality etc). I think that I
    would use a tiny camera quite often. To that end I have considered a
    mini digital camera for as long as I have been thinking about a Minox.

    Does the film based Minox have any clear advantage over a c.1mg-2mg
    mini-digi? Vice versa?

    On a related note: Can Minox 8x11 survive?


    R Fred
  2. Minox lens can resolve 150 line pair( one black and one white line) on Kodak Technical Pan, that is 300 pixel per mm. 300 x 8 x 300 x 11 = 7.9 mega pixel.<p>

    Small digital camera is in the range of 2- 4 meg, not yet approaching
    Minox 8x11 camera resolving power.<p> There is no 4-5 meg digital camera as small as Minox IIIs yet.<p>
  3. Another consideration is economy<p>
    On a trip I usually carry 30 rolls of 36 exposure B&W 8x11 film.
    I slit the film from bulk, cost me about 50 cents canadian per roll
    for a total of only C$15 in film cost for more than one thousand frames.<p> Assuming you want the same capacity with a 5 meg digital camera, how many memory cards you need , and what cost ? In addition to the memory cards, you probably need 6 to 10 extra batteries.<p>
    One battery for my digital Minox M3 2.1 MP cost me C$15, gives me
    only 150 pictures.<p>
  4. Minox has already digital cameras:
    Minox digital cameas
    Minox is currently designing a high quality digital camera about the size of Minox TLX
  5. Don't hold your breath for a digital camera from Minox to resemble the LX or A. The nearest to that approach is the 2Mp Sony U30 and it is only Sony, Casio or Aiptek that may ever make such a device.

    With the ECX at 65GBP, the EC Excluive at 135GBP, TLX at 415GBP and the Classics at 95GBP it is a good time to own a new 8x11 camera. There are also more film choice for 8x11 than in previous years and this continues to expand. You can always slit your own film, from 35mm films. However factory loaded, quality controlled, film at a reasonable price, should always be part of anyone's stock.

    A number of sellers have stocks of CD70, CD112 and othes and these are going for a fraction of their former retail price. (1GBP=1.65USD=1.4EUR)

    Film still has one great advantage - you only need an optical device to view the image. With digital you have to back up and perhaps convert from one system to another. As most storage formats become un-readable because the hardware changes and no longer supports it, it is very likely that a collection of photo CDs will be un-readable in a few years. I have CD-ROMS from 1988 that are not readable with a modern PC as well as quarter inch tape and 8" floppies for which I no longer have the hardware or O/S that could read the data.

    With 8x11, high resolution film and a digital film scanner of 4000dpi or better, you can scan all existing negatives and use for 8x11 and 35mm in the future.

    Minox do have a range of digital cameras. The 'fun' to use and ultra expensive DD1 and Leica M3 digital (1.3 and 2.1MP/3.0Mp) and a growning range of cameras the size of a normal compact 35mm.

    There is a lot of competition in digital equipment and few offer the photographer feaures of high quality lens and useful images in a full range of available light. Instead only those with the most extreme high resolution have these features. For 6x4"/5x7" sharp images it might be better to look for the outdate models of previous years as the most recent camera with the same pixel resolution are cheaper for a reason; electronics is cheap and gets cheaper, but good optics is totally different.
  6. Gerald.

    Nothing against you, but I am amazed that people still present the argument of longevity of CD's and the need for a computer as compelling reasons to stick with film. The truth of the matter is that at least 99% of people never even look at their negatives, let alone can even find them after the first print (many actually through them away). Anyone that cares enough to store their negatives can (with the same level of care) back up their data, and periodically update to new storage every couple of years. But for most consumers this is a non-issue.

    The argument of needing a computer for digital is also completely useless for the average consumer. I can take my digital camera into my local camera store and have them print out directly form the memory card on the same printer to the same Fuji crystal archive paper they would use with film.

    Film only makes sense to me for two applications:

    Lots of enlargement (in which case you need a bigger negative) and traditional B&W processing. Now I admit that a 35mm provia slide is still superior to a 6mp DSLR, but not by as much as people let on. There is a reason that most professional, and armature, 35mm film users are moving to digital.
  7. Martin.

    Any details on the TLX digital?
  8. Yeah, I just bought a Minox B and it's engineering is superlative. Will the new tiny
    Minox digital be some plastic POS or will it be solit enough to go 50 years without
    lookin a day old?

    People ask me all the time if my Minox is a Digital Camera.
  9. Minox camera has longevity. My Minox IIIs was 1954 vintage, still works perfectly. That is almost have a century camera<p>
    I doublt any digital camera has any use after fifteen years, computer change, software change will make them useless
  10. Martin and Co.,

    Do you think that "modern" Minox's will have the same longevity? (The TLX, LX et al)

    R Fred
  11. I don't think electronic shutter Minox can outlast mechanical Minox
    , however, judging from the large number ofelectronic shutter Minox C(made in 1969-78) still working today, they will certainly outlast today's digital cameras
  12. Martin.
    I agree with you that there's no way for a digital camera to last more than 15 years but who cares. The fact of the matter is that within 5 years you will be able to get a digital camera about the size of a Minox that will simply blow the minox out of the water as far as image quality goes. Now don't go thinking I view the world this way because I have a thing for digital since I still shoot 90% of my non P&S photos with slide or B&W. It's just that I see the writting on the wall. The current key to a successful digital camera is to make a camera that will be reliable, error free for about 5 years based on it's intended usage, but no better. That's why the only high quality digitals are professional press type SLR's.

    Here is my question to everyone. Would you want to buy a 5mp minox digital camera (current practical limit) that will last for 50 years (and pay out the nose for it), when it will become totally obsolete by an 11-14mp camera the same size with 2-4x the battery life in no more than 3-5 years?

    The best we would hope for is for minox to make a high quality case standard with completly updatable internals (lens and all) for the fetish type.
  13. I disagree that all current digital cameras will be useless in 15 years. As long as we
    don't have a huge EMP burst or something to that effect, most electronic gadgets will
    be fine. My Apple II still works perfectly, and it's 25 years old! There's already free
    software to do the trick with a large number of digital cameras. USB and Firewire are
    likely to be around as a 'legacy' port into the foreseeable future (look at how many
    computers still come with serial and parallel ports!) so I don't know why one would
    assume that digital cameras will all be nonfunctional heaps by then. Or is there an
    implication that we'll all somehow have cufflink-sized 5.4 Gigapixel cufflink-sized
    digicams with a 3-28000 mm f/.65 lenses, which only cost $5 at Wal-mart?
  14. Jamie and Andrew, apparently you guys are still using the big Motorola cellular phone !!
  15. "I agree with you that there's no way for a digital camera to last more than 15 years but who cares"<p>
    That is the point. A 15 year digital camera is worthless junk, a 50 year Minox keeps its value.
  16. "within 5 years you will be able to get a digital camera about the size of a Minox that will simply blow the minox out of the water as far as image quality goes"<p>

    Wrong ! The key to picture quality in small camera is the lens. No one else has yet make a lens as small and as sharp as Minox lens. <p>

    The atrraction of Minox is precisely in its extremely sharp lens in a
    small camera<p>

    A good parallel to the question of "Minox vs Mini digital" is
    Rolex vs digital watch, when digital watch first came out,
    peole asked " Will Rolex survive " ? <p>
    No doubt, Seiko quartz watch is more accurate then Rolex<p>
    Yet people willing to pay thousands for Rolex<p>
    In the same way, people willing to pay big buck for Minox<p>
    Just recently, a 1956 vintage black Minox A was auctioned for four thousand EUR in Vienna. <p>
    Minox is the Rolex of camera, that simple
  17. martin.

    Are you even reading my comments. I never mentioned lens.. and since we are supposedly talking about digital MINOX then all the lenes would essentailly be the same.

    And what's with the big motorolla cellular phone comment. and for that matter, what's with Andrew's comment. I never said digital would break down.. just that no one would want it. My point is that digital changes so much that you will want to keep getting the new stuff... and if you are constantly upgrading why would anyone pay for something to last for 50 years when it will only be usefull for 5.

    Also Martin, we are talking about using digital cameras here... not camera value for a collector. When that Minox B sized digital camera with 11mp comes out I wouldn't want to use a 8x11 no matter what it's value.

    Please read before you comment.
  18. Digital media still has a long way to go before it can catch up with
    the resolving power of film.<p>
    In the above discusion, I use a figure of on film resolution of 150 lpmm for Minox, that was based on using Kodak Technical film, which
    has a resolution of 320 lpmm<p>320 lpmm = 640 pixel/mm.<p>
    A frame size of 8x11mm require a sensor of 640x8x640x8 = 36megapixel
    In otherwords, until a sensor of 8x11mm size has 36 MP, it cannot match the resolving power of Minox using Kodak Technical Pan film<p>
    And there are various film which has a resolving power of 600 lpmm
    to 800 lpmm(Fuji Super HR)<p> For a digital to match Minox with
    Fuji Super HR you need a sensor of 1600 x 1600 x 8 x 11 = 230 MP.
    Clearly it is a long way off.
  19. I've been wrestling with the digital question and I know all the technical arguments. My Minox B has been with me for 33 years now and I'm coming to the conclusion that the real pleasure is in owning and handling a masterpiece of engineering.
  20. Martin, I don't use call phones. I think they're tacky and irritating. I have one in the
    car because I often go so far into the backcountry that I don't see other folks.

    On another note, finer prints can be made with (pro-level) digital cameras than with
    most films nowadays. Absolute resolution may be a hair lower, but final print quality
    is much better because of lack of grain.
  21. Related thread http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=006e1u
  22. The sharpness of Minox lens blows away any digital camera
    In the following 3.5x 5" enlargement from Minox negative, there is a street sign (circled)
    Enlarge this part 200 x, you can see the words 'ONE' clearly:
    This is the size of a dot '.' on the original frame: [​IMG]
    Show me a digital camera that has similar performance, any digital camera, show me a digital picture and a 200x enlargment
  23. Don't get me wrong, the Minox is great. It's a camera that's so small and well-built
    that I never have an excuse to be without a camera. The lens is perhaps one of the
    finest normal lenses ever put in a camera.

    I don't often shoot surveillance photos, though, so absolute extinction is less
    important than smooth tonal gradients. The ultimate destination for my best digital
    images is photo paper. I would challenge you to find a scene, photograph it, and then
    enlarge to 16x20. If you try the same thing with a modern, high quality digital
    camera, you'll get a much MUCH better print. Unless chunky grain is your thing in
    fine prints (I doubt it) you'd be hard pressed to beat the digital at even 5x7. Especially
    in low lighting conditions (ever shot 3200p or even TMAX 400 pushed to 650 or 800
    in the Minox? UGH!!!).
  24. 16x 20 is less then 50x, no big deal.
    <p> I have already show you what is
    capbable of 200x, that is 68" x 94"<p>

    Andrew, don't be shy,
    show me a small portion of your digial picture from 68" x 94" print !
  25. Martin, maybe you need to read my post again. Minox prints, especially above 5x7,
    are grainy. Really, really grainy. They can show more detail (thus my use of the word
    extinction) but at the same time any smooth tonality is lost. I'm aware that my 10D
    only has 3000x2000 possible 'spots' of information, and the minox has far more.
    That's not my point. My point is that a large, fine print is much more within reason
    from a fine digital camera than from a minox, simply because of the smoother tonal

    Also, I have been experimenting with creating stitched virtual higher-resolution
    photos recently with my 10D. With this technique, which wouldn't be impossible, but
    certainly tedious, difficult, and expensive with the Minox, people have been making
    terapixel images. Can the Minox produce an image to rival a terapixel image?
    Admittedly, my largest stitched image was 5x5 photos, or 25 x 6.4 MP = 160
    megapixel images. It only takes a few more minutes than the usual 1 shot landscapes
    or studies that I do.

    See http://www.tawbaware.com/maxlyons/index.html for some stunning revelations
    about what stitched pans are capable of.
  26. "Martin, maybe you need to read my post again. Minox prints, especially above 5x7, are grainy. Really, really grainy"<p>

    You simply used haven't use the right film<p>

    Technical Pan developed in Agfa Rodinal Special is virtually grainless
    to 16x20" from Minox<p>

    Talking about grain, you have being fooled<p>
    Take a 20 loup and look at your digital prints, you can see pixels
    and pixels of color dye--- digital grains, full of them.
  27. A 15 foot Cincinnati sky line mural was made from four Minox 8x11mm negatives by Minox master photographer Joe J. Marx of Sarasota, Florida
  28. "I have been experimenting with creating stitched virtual higher-resolution photos recently with my 10D"<P>

    You are not creating any higher resolution photo, you just stitched
    up several photo to make one photo with exactly same resolution<p>

    Resolution is measured in s DPI, pixel PER inch, not MP<P>

    Your stitched result has exactly the same DPI, as one photo no matter how many pictures you stiched together, 10, 20, all the same.<p>
  29. " No matter what anyone says, in the next five years digital will replace film in just about every application since it will simply beat the pants off of everything else out there on two points. "<p>

    As long as Hollywood still use film for motion picture, that will
    never happen.<p>

    I bet this will not happen in next five years.
  30. I have seen 4000 DPI scans of Minox film, and here's a question - if 35mm and even
    MF (at least above ISO 100) have a hard time making grain-free enlargements at that
    size, how could the Minox? That's awesome that some artist likes enlarging his Minox
    negs to 13 feet wide, but I might not like it if I saw it. I know I don't like 8x10 inch
    prints from it.

    I'm sure a very satisfying print can be made with the Minox, for what it is. Don't try to
    convince me that 16x20 or larger, grain-free prints are possible like with a decent
    digital camera. I'd have to see it to believe it, as the evidence I have seen weighs
    against it. As soon as I get myself some more canisters I'll order some Tech Pan from
    the goat place and try it myself. In Rodinal.
  31. "I'll order some Tech Pan from the goat place and try it myself. In Rodinal."<p>
    You haven't even used Technica Pan, and dare to talk about grains<p>

    Rodinal is a grainly developer, again, you use the wrong developer,
    use Kodak Technidol or Rodinal Special, not Rodinal<p>
  32. Bluefire Police film can be enlarged 67 x without visible grains
    Bluefire Police film
    At 250x, still no visible grain
    67x from Minox bluefire negative gives grainless 21" x 29" enlargement.
    250x from Bluefire Minox negative gives 80" x 110" grainless enlargement
  33. 33x enlargement. Notice the hairs on the legs of the spider. The legs is about 1mm
    across. The hairs are mode like 1/80th mm across.
  34. Andrew, nice macro pix<p>
    However, the enlargement does not reveal any feature hidden in the
    full frame pix<p>

    The following picture in this thread<p>
    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=006e1u<P>is a better illustration of the resolution
    of digital camera<p>


    You can count about ten pairs of black and white lines at the bottom of 0.5 mm section of frame, that yields 20 lpmm ( very low by
    any 35mm films standard.)<p>
    In my illustration, 0.1mm film contains three characters, that is at least 30 alphabets in 1mm of film area
  35. Martin, you're looking at the spikes on the leg that jut out. If you look closely, you
    can also see fine hairs that run parallel to the leg.
  36. Well, this has become a Minox film vs digital discussion, and a very stupid one too. I mean, who wants to shoot Techpan 25 or Bluefire? Not me, and at a guess, neither would Fred. He is considering a digital camera, so he is considering color. With 200 or 400 color film, those 300 pixel/mm will become a whole lot less, and the Minox advantage would become negligible, I suppose (and would be overkill for me and Fred anyway). Add the rather steep cost per pic when you let a lab do the processing, or the hassle of scanning 8x11 negatives, and digital rapidly becomes the more attractive proposition. I just like to take pics, not to wrench the last ounce of resolution from a camera.

    But the Minox is a wonderful camera, and it is with at least some regret that I am now looking for a 1.3M/2M tinycam. I would feel tempted too by a new Minox at very decent price, but Minox 8x11 is just too expensive for a color snapshooter like me. At least, so it would seem.


  37. James
    >but I am amazed that people still present the argument of longevity of CD's

    'cause it is still a fact.

    >as compelling reasons to stick with film
    Never said it was a compelling reason at all to stick with film but the single concern if part of your photographs are to pass down in the family. As people have protected, store correctly and looked after the negatives by simple puting in a dry place away from extremes in temperature.

    >The truth of the matter is that at least 99% of people never even look at their negatives

    But 99% of people keep their negatives. I have been looking though a pile of 70 year old negatives trying to see what prints are now missing. All I need is a light source - daylight.

    >Anyone that cares enough to store their negatives can (with the same level of care) back up their data,

    The people who took the photographs are long since gone (40 years ago) and after 40 years who would even concider the need to back-up and convert computer stored data? Some of the first video recordings have no working machine to play them on to now make a transfer. I am down to the last working VCC2000 deck. When you need particular hardware to view the media there is always this problem and only in a few years.

    The results of prints taken from prints is very poor - at least commerically. So the digital camera user who 'dumps' to a unique set of prints is loosing out.

    Most professionals are either backup and preserve their megapixel images or are not concerned with the image after they have been paid for the work.

    >Do you think that "modern" Minox's will have the same longevity?
    It is doubtful, I do not believe they have been built to the same high standards. A BL or AX will continue to work and be repairable long after the C and LX have failed. As the LX came out in 1978 it is already 25 years in production so may yet prove itself.

    >there's no way for a digital camera to last more than 15 years but who cares

    For all practical purposes, very true. Although some people love to keep an Apple IIe or Pet running 30 years on I do not expect the same affection for digital equipment as for the film cameras and the collector/users who still keep them going.

    >cufflink-sized 5.4 Gigapixel cufflink-sized digicams
    There are practical limits that may make such resolution impossible. e.g. cost, that is the majority may never need more than 5,6 or perhaps 10Mp as a print much bigger than 6x9inch isn't common and that is unlikely to ever change. There must be some limit on the sensor resolution to fit behind a 5mm lens.

    It seems that Minox believe that 1.3Mp already out performs 8x11, at least in color negative. So far the best (low grain) color film available is the Minocolor 100 Pro. The cameras can resolve more as seen in the near grainless results of Copex demonstrated at www.8x11film.com.

    >In the same way, people willing to pay big buck for Minox
    only for collector items and the fake Minox A on the recent auction that raised $6000. New TLX cameras are now under half of their former cost and are not being sold any more rapidly than before. One of the main reasons for this is perhaps because of the large number available cheap second hand cameras in excellent working order.

    Andrew Robertson
    >Minox prints, especially above 5x7, are grainy
    Does that also apply to your results with Minocolor Pro?
    Comparing negatives with prints from some labs shows that they are not obtimial and if re-printed results can be significantly better. The down for for Minox 8x11 is that lab processing is more expensive than with 35mm film and far greatr care needs to be taken and for most people the hassel and cost rule out it's use.

    Karel Peijnenborg
    >I would feel tempted too by a new Minox at very decent price, but Minox 8x11 is just too expensive for a color snapshooter like me. At least, so it would seem.
    An Aiptek 1.3Mp goes for under 30EURO and has that Minox 8x11 feature of being able to take with you at all times even if other 'popular features are missing (close focus to 8", flash, 1/2000th to 10 seconds etc). What is a decent price for a new Minox? 65GBP for an ECX, 135GBP for an EC set, 415GBP for a TLX set? Or would the TLX have to be under 100USD?

  38. Hi Gerald! Now a TLX for under USD100 would be very, very tempting!! But what I really meant was that I fall in your category of 'most people' for whom 'the hassle and cost rule out its use'. It's the recurring costs that drive me away from Minox. And yes, that Aiptek cam is on my shortlist, but I haven't seen it around EUR30 anywhere near me (=The Netherlands).

    regards, Karel
  39. "Now a TLX for under USD100 would be very, very tempting"
    It is as foolish to ask for a 100 USD Rolex
    The cheapest Minox digital camera cost 229 EUR.
    Minox digital cameras prices
    I am sure you can find something at Radio Shack or Wal Mart which suits your need.
  40. Martin, I think my point was that these expensive-but-worth-it cameras would become even more expensive without added value when I would start taking pictures. That stopped me. It needn't stop others, BTW. (And I was looking more for a "user" C.)

    Regards, Karel
  41. The Aiptek camera is a piece of crap. Ante up for a read camera with removable storage and at least 3mp. Anything less will disapoint you unless you are only going to show on Web.
  42. Minox's new digital DD1 Diamond camera, seems has answered may questions <p>
    <img src="http://www.minox.de/minox2002/gifs/kundenbilder/news/minox_dd1_diamant_g.jpg"><p>
  43. Karel Peijnenborg , dec 08, 2003; 04:09 a.m.
    that Aiptek cam is on my shortlist, but I haven't seen it around EUR30 anywhere near me (=The Netherlands).

    I got one on Ebay last week for 17EURO, one was only 11.75EURO and the next 19EURO. All boxed complete and as near new. The manufacture sells reconditioned units direct at cut down prices. Walmart had the larger SD going for under $30.
  44. The diamond DD1 is dressing up what is a 2.1Mp camera hardly any different to the Aiptek range. It also lacks flash and removable storage and isn't that small. Some like the 50s UFO style, other do not. If it was in the same price league as the Aiptek range or of the quality of the Casio Exlim or Sony U40 (both of which are discounted) and CR2 batteries not not universally cheap (unlike a pair of AA batteries). This is an market with hundreds of 'me too' types as regards specification. Minox win on being a different style, but could loose on value for money.
  45. It is perhaps only right to add that I am now the owner of a Minox LX, a birthday present. I am really curious about how the pictures turn out!


  46. I'm considering buying a minox 8x11 camera. Because of the nice b/w film look and
    mobility. I saw the films cost about 6 EUR a piece, but how should I process them. I can
    scan them with my scanner but can I bring them to some local photo prossing shop? I live
    in the Netherlands.

    If processing the films after shooting isn't a real problem I defenitly would buy only.
  47. The best way to develop and enlarge Minox 8x11 B&W yourself, it is
    quite strait forward and fun using Minox daylight development tank to
    develop the film then use a Minox enlarger to enlarge the negatives<p>

    You can also simply develop the BW negative, then scan it<p>

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