Up-counter and down-counter

Discussion in 'Minox' started by mtc photography, Dec 22, 1998.

  1. Minox I,II,III,IIIs,B has up counter, counting from 0 to 50.<p>
    When Minox introduced shorter length film of 36exp, 15 exp; a problem
    arose= how can the user remember what length of film he loaded into his camera ? If he thinks he had loaded a 36 exp load, but actually it was a 15 exp film, he wasted time in taking pictures with no film after 15th frame.<p>
    From Minox C onward, the counter was changed to count down from 36 to 0, with a red marker at 15 exp.<p>
    When user loads film, he set the counter at 36 or 15 depending on the film he use, and when the counter reaches 0, he knows the film ends, even by the time he comes to it, he may have forgotten what length of film he loaded.<p>
    Down counter hence solved the problem of end of film problem. Down counter is a counter with memory, it memorizes the length of film loaded.<p>
    One problem of Minox A and B is that every time you open the camera, even if decide that the picture is not worth taking and close the camera, the film will advance on frame, regardless of whether you press the shutter release button or not.<p> From Minox C onward, the film counter has a "freewheeling" mechanism, such that if the shutter is not released, the film advance
    mechanisim is disengaged, and the film will not advance.<p>
    Minox EC/ECX has a manual resetable counter.
  2. People used to today's auto camera don't realize what a pain to remember film length in those old cameras. <p>
    Some user write the film number on a piece of paper and put into pocket, some tear down a piece of film cartoon with film description; I have a made in 80s Contax SLR<p>

    which even has a "film cartoon top" reminder built into the back of the camera ! I always tear down a piece of film cartoon and put it into the 'reminder'.<p>

    Many Minox A user even write down the film exp number with pencil on the back of camera as a reminder<p>

    Then someone invented the long and narrow winder at camera back, that solves the "how may frames left" problem.<p>

    You know, for 35mm camera, film end detection is never a problem, becuase you can advance you film until the film advance level can not move further; becuase 35mm film is hooked tight to the spool. <p> It is rather "How many picture left" problem, which you usually must consider in planning your shots ahead of time, such that at the next stop, you know you have enough frames available; you don't want to change film
    when you are at an exciting scenic spot when every ine is clicking away, but you are opening the back of camera, taking out used cassette, take out a new film box, tear open the box, take out the film, pull out the leader.... to change film !<P> Even with film cartoon window, if you load your own 35m film on those black metal caseette, you have hard time write tiny letters in narrow strip of paper to stick on the
    film cartridge; you are back to square one: "Uh, now my counter is a 20, do I have 4 more pictures to go or 16 more ??". There is no film cartoon reminder to help.
  3. Considering all the trouble in answering the question "How many unused frames left "
    the down counter is indeed an ingenious invention ! With exactly the same amount of gears
    ratchet, with a simple change of numbering sequence, in the other direction, the problem is solved !
    Down counter invented by Zeiss Ikon to use on its Contessa, Contaflex and other cameras.
    Down counter has one mre advantage over upcounter. Your read the frame remaining directly off the dial, for instance if the counter is pointing a 15 in Minox TLX or C, you know you have 15 more unused frames.
    Ifit is a Minox B, then uhmm, "now I am at 14, uh, do I have only one more frame to go ? many be I had put a 36 exp film, then how many frames left... 36 mius 14,, where is my calculator ?". I am kidding, but you do need to do a subtraction in your head.
    A down counter is much simpler.
  4. Minox EC counter is a down counter with manual set/reset. You can set the
    counter to 36,15 or any other number by manually turning a thumb switch when the camera is fully open, without any push-pull action line Minox A/B/C/LX/TLX.
    Of all 811 Minoxes, Minox EC/ECX counter is easiest to use.

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