The original Minolta 16mm camera was designed by the Konan Institute and used the original Konan cassette. This cassette will not fit in any of the Minolta cameras -- or at least cameras with the Minolta name, since Minolta ended up making many cameras with the Konan name.
Basically, Minolta bought-out Konan. When Minolta took over, they redesigned the cassette using black felt for the light trap. There were actually several versions, nearly identical. The first was metal, but this was soon replaced with the more standard plastic type -- of which there were several versions. Minolta made two plastic models, identical except that on the second version a notch or indentation was cut into the cassette bridge to make it easier to break off the film take-up lobe for processing purposes. (If you have the newer version it's a good idea to fill in the notch with a little epoxy to make it last longer.) To complicate matters even more, similar cassettes were made by other companies, such as Yashica (which sold a camera that used the Minolta cassette), a company called FR (which sold the film and offered processing), and others. The Minolta cassettes are fairly easy to find today, and will fit in all of the cameras on this list. They will NOT fit in Mica and Konan.cameras. For more information about these cassettes see the MINOLTA, KIEV, FR, YASHICA, VEGA 16mm CASSETTES page.
To top it all off, there are even bogus Minolta cassettes being sold. For more information check out the NEWSTAND.
(1955) -- 25mm (f3.5-11); B, 1/50-1/200. This was the first Konan-type camera with the Minolta name, although it was not the first Konan-type camera made by Minolta. The biggest difference in this model with the earlier Konan-type cameras made by Minolta was that Minolta added a mini-exposure guide to the top of the camera. It was etched into the metal, next to the shutter speed and aperture wheels. It indicated f3.5 for rainy, f5.6 for hazy, etc. This was the first model to use the newly redesigned Minolta cassette.
(1960) -- 22mm (f2.8-16); B, 1/30-1/500. This updated version of the Minolta 16 that had several improvements. First, the shutter speed range was increased substantially. It now had a B setting for long exposures, and all speeds from 1/30 through 1/500. In addition, the f-stop range was increased at both the high and low ends. With the increased aperture, the lens was changed from a three-element to a four-element optic. Finally, a "distance" lens, actually a slight negative diopter lens, was added to the list of accessory lenses to allow infinity focus at all apertures. This meant sharper pictures of distant scenes at any aperture. Overall, these refinements make the camera more useful in more situations. William White considers the lens on this model to be one of the top ten performers in submini history. The camera was available in six colors -- chrome, black, gold/yellow, blue, red, and green. Filters (18x18mm -- are not interchangeable with the filters for the 16I): 1A, UV, 80A, Y48(Yellow), 81B. Auxilliary lenses: #0 (for focusing at infinity with the lens at wide apertures), Closeup #1, #2. Accessories: bracket to hold electronic flash and tripod socket. Although the lens was fixed-focus at about 9 feet (6 feet closer than the 16I), it's depth-of-field was adequate and controllable with the aperture and auxilliary lens selection. Actually two versions of this camera exist. The first says ‘Chiyoda Kogaku Minolta-16 (II)’ and the second ‘Minolta Minolta-16 II.’ This is due to Chiyoko becoming The Minolta Camera Company in 1962.
(1960-1965) -- 25mm (f3.5-16). A simplified model that sold very well since it was inexpensive and easy to use. There were several features (or lack thereof) that made the camera inexpensive. First, it had just one shutter speed (1/100) -- exposure is completely controlled by the aperture. The camera did come with a clever, manual exposure system, however. To use, the film speed was dialed in (ASA 10 - 160). Then the photographer rotated the f-stop dial to match up the appropriate idiot-weather symbol (or f-stop). A mini-exposure guide was etched on the back of the camera for quick reference. The second design feature to reduce cost was that the body was rigid and did not collapse. As a result, it was larger than the previous models -- the push-pull film advance feature was replaced with a thumb wheel. Fortunately, the three element lens was good quality. It's a great camera for scenics and group shots, and much sharper than you would expect -- when used in this capacity. Built-in PC contact and tripod socket. Combination flash bracket/tripod adapter was available. Although the lens was fixed-focus at 16 feet , it's depth-of-field was adequate and controllable with the aperture and auxilliary lens selection. Two close-up lenses were made. The #1 was for focusing at about 4 feet, while the #2 was aimed at 2.5 feet. Filters included a UV, Y48 (yellow), 80A, 81B, ND (4x) and 1A. The filters used a bayonet system and were rotated, or twisted, into place.
(1962-1964) -- 25mm (f2.8-16); 1/30-1/400. This model was quite a change for the 16mm Minolta series. For the first time, Minolta offered a 16mm camera with a built-in meter -- AND automatic exposure (shutter-preferred). The size and weight of this model was increased substantially, since it had a meter (selenium) and several other new features. The camera used a "manual-programmed/shutter preferred" exposure method. First, the camera is loaded with film and the film speed is dialed in (ISO 25 to 400). Setting the film speed also sets the shutter speed, as follows: with 25 film, 1/30 second was set, with 50 film, 1/60 second was set, with 100 film, 1/125 second was set, with 200 film, 1/250 second was set, with 400 film, 1/400 second was set. Then a dial on the back of the camera is set to "AUTO". The camera's meter set the correct f-stop (f2.8-16). A green "LED" in the upper right-hand corner of the viewfinder will indicate if there is enough light for the exposure. It worked; quite a convenience feature back then. No manual settings -- unfortunately. For flash, the film speed dial was set at 25 or 50 (which set the shutter speed). Then a dial on the back of the camera was set to "flash", which set the aperture to f11.0. The guide number of the flash would be used to determine the correct distance to the subject. The lens provides for zone focusing (near or far). The lens had two focus settings -- 7 feet (for close-ups) or 16 feet (for distance shots). Closeup lenses were also available. The #1 focuses to 4 feet, while the #2 moves in to 2.3 feet -- with the primary lens set to the 7 foot position. Tripod socket, cable release socket and PC contact built in. Case, wrist strap and tripod/flash shoe adapter available. Comes with built-in, removeable UV filter. Also available were 1A, 81A and 80A. Filters are interchangeable with 16EE II and 16 CDS models. To change filters, the built-in filter frame is pushed upward with the thumb and the bottom automatically pops out. Then the filter is switched.
Just one year after coming out with the revolutionary 16EE, Minolta produced an updated version in 1963 -- the EE2. It is typically listed as just a 16EE with a Cds meter (instead of the original selenium meter), but there were more changes than just the meter. Sure, it had the same body styling, and even the same lens (25mm f2.8), but on this model, the shutter speed was not pre-selected by dialing in the film speed. After dialing in the film speed (25 - 320), the photographer manually selects the shutter speed, either H (High -- 1/200) or L (Low -- 1/50). In the high speed setting, a green "LED" in the upper right-hand corner of the viewfinder will indicate if there is enough light for the exposure. If not, just switch to the low speed. The meter then automatically sets the correct aperture setting from f2.8 to f11. There is no manual setting of the f-stop, but there is a third shutter speed setting -- F (1/30) -- for flash use. Selecting this setting sets the f-stop at f11 and is not variable. Like the EE, the camera is substatially larger and heavier than the Minolta 16, but offers easy exposure controls. The lens provides for zone focusing (near or far). The near setting is 7 feet, while the far setting is 16 feet. Closeup lenses were also available. The #1 focuses to 4 feet, while the #2 moves in to 2.3 feet. A PC terminal, tripod socket and cable release socket were all built-in and the camera came with a UV filter. Also available were 1A, 81A and 80A filters that are interchangeable with the 16EE and 16 CDS models. To change the filters, the built-in filter frame is pushed upward with the thumb and the bottom automatically pops out. Then the filter is switched. A case, wrist strap and tripod/flash shoe adapter were available. The camera produced 10mmx14mm images on 16mm film (double-perforated, single-perforated or unperforated film can be used). Uses one 625 battery.
(1963-1965) -- Same as Minolta 16 EE2, but sold with different name.
(1965) -- 25mm (f3.5-11); 1/30;1/100. Nearly identical to the Minolta P, it is often mistaken for the P since the Ps just says "P" on it, without the "s". The main difference is that a 1/30 shutter speed is added -- primarily for flash use. A lever was added to the front of the camera to select the shutter speed. The slower speed is usable even when a flash is not attached -- making the camera much more flexible than the original P. The camera comes with the same clever, exposure system of the P. First, the film speed was dialed in. The film speed range of the Ps is slightly different from the P. (One version of the Ps has settings from 20 -160, another has settings of 12 - 200.) Then the photographer rotated the f-stop dial to match up the appropriate idiot-weather symbol (or f-stop). A mini-exposure guide was etched on the back of the camera for quick reference. The weather/exposure system was not designed to work with the 1/30 shutter speed, but you can use the f-stops if you remmber to adjust the setting from the 1/100 reading -- that is, stop-down two f-stops from what the exposure system recommends. For example, if the exposure system recommends f8 with the 1/100 shutter speed setting, use f16 with the 1/30 shutter speed. Built-in PC contact and tripod socket. Combination flash bracket/tripod adapter was available. Although the lens was fixed-focus at 16 feet, it's depth-of-field was adequate and controllable with the aperture and auxilliary lens selection. It's a great camera for scenics and group shots as a result, and much sharper than you would expect -- when used in this capacity. Two close-up lenses were made. The #1 was for focusing at about 4 feet, while the #2 was aimed at 2.5 feet. Filters included a UV, Y48 (yellow), 80A, 81B, ND (4x) and 1A. The filters used a bayonet system and were rotated, or twisted, into place. Most models were chrome, but a gold version was also made.
(1968) -- Now this camera was REALLY a big change from the previous models. It had a 30-120mm (f3.5-16) zoom lens. You read it right -- a 4X 30-120mm ZOOM. That's like a 50-200mm zoom on a full-frame 35mm camera. The Electro-Zoom-X was a large, white, bizarre-looking single lens reflex. You read it right -- an SLR. It resembles many of the "bridge" cameras of the 1990's, such as the Canon Photura. It had both manual and automatic exposure modes. In auto-mode the shutter is set by the built-in TTL CDS meter from 2 seconds to1/500. Manual shutter speed settings of 30, X (125), and B. Film format was 12X18mm in regular Minolta 16mm cassettes. Film speeds from 25 - 400. The viewfinder was a control-center with indicators for the shutter speed, aperture, under- and over-exposure warnings and micro-prism focusing screen. Unfortunately only three were known to be made. It was displayed at the 1968 Photokina for those lucky enough to be in attendance, but was never marketed. Without a doubt, this camera is the ultimate in 16mm still cameras. We'll have to leave it to our imaginations what accessories there would have been, what happened to the three that were made, why it was never put into production, etc.
(1970-1974) -- This camera was yet another big change from the previous models. Although it was the same size as the MG, looked like the MG, and used the same film cassette, the images were substantially better because they were bigger! The film format size was increased to 12x17mm -- nearly 50% bigger than the 10x14mm image of the previous models. This was accomplished by using single perforated film instead of double perforated film. The Minolta cassette stayed the same, and the size of the camera did not increase -- quite an accomplishment. The lens was a 4 element, 3 group 23mm (f2.8-16) fixed-focus optic. The focus was set at about 13 feet; the depth-of-field was variable with various close-up lenses (one-built-in) and the f-stop. Shutter speeds of 1/30-1/500. Shutter-preferred automatic and manual exposure modes. For auto exposure, the shutter speed was dialed in and the CDS meter chose the correct f-stop automatically -- very handy for clandestine work. A needle on the top of the camera indicates the recommended f-stop. A red flag, not red,white and blue like the American flag, on the bottom of the viewfinder pops up when light levels are too low for the meter. For manual exposure, the aperture can also be selected. Film speeds from 25 to 400. This was designed as a "system" camera and has many accessories available. Chrome or black models. Filters: 1A, 80A, Yellow. Closeup Lenses: 80cm, 40cm, 25cm. Accessories & features: Copy stand, spy finder, closeup measuring chains, case, wrist strap, built in closeup lens, built in lens cover, tripod socket, attache case, flash bulb adapter, flash cube adapter, electronic flash adapter. Uses one 675 battery.
General Minolta 16mm
for many of the above cameras. Many of these items are useable with any 16mm
Minolta Mini 16 slide projector came with a single slide changer and a 40mm 2.5 lens that would fill a screen at 10 feet! An auto slide changer was available as an accessory. It held 36 slides but was really not automatic, since it used a push-pull mechanism.
Minolta Slide 16 Projector with 45mm 2.8 lens.
Minolta Mini 16 Enlarger. Also called the 3-in-1 enlarger and the 3-in-1 mini enlarger, it has carriers for 35mm, 16mm, and 9.5mm negatives. This enlarger was marketed with either the 30mm 4.5 E Rokkor lens or the 25mm 3.5 E Rokkor lens.
Minolta ENLA Unit with 30mm 2.8 lens. Unit attaches to standard enlarger lens stage and incluses negative carriers for 10x14mm and 12x17mm negatives. The lens is designed for B&W work.
Minolta E Rokkor E 25mm 3.5. An enlarging lens for black and white use, it came with the Minolta Mini 16 enlarger.
Minolta E Rokkor E 30mm 4.5. An enlarging lens for black and white use, it came with the Minolta Mini 16 enlarger.
Minolta CE Rokkor 30mm 2.8 lens. A coated, six-element enlarging lens of superb quality for B&W and color enlarging. It is optimized for magnifications of 26X! It sports a standard Leica thread, click-stop override, and illuminated f-stops. Unfortunately, its mount is fairly wide and it will not fit on some recessed lensboards which are needed on some enlargers. This is NOT the same lens that comes with the Minolta ENLA unit.
Minolta 16mm Developing tank. This tank is a daylight developing tank and will handle two rolls of Minolta 16mm film in daylight from start to finish. Unfortunately, to use it as a daylight tank, you need to break the Minolta cassette -- something you would never want to do.
Baby Flash. This is a compact, folding #5 flash that will attach to any Minolta 16 that has a flash accessory shoe and PC contact.
Baby BC III Flashgun. This is a compact, folding AG1/AG1B flash that will attach to any Minolta 16 that has a flash accessory shoe and PC contact.
To return to the main index for the Sub Club click here.
COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 by Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.