MINOLTA 16mm CAMERAS


From their modest beginnings after World War Two, the Minolta subminiature format rose to become the most popular Japanese 16mm, still-picture manufacturer and helped Minolta establish itself as a major player in the photographic industry. The revolutionary Minolta cassette is the closest the subminiature market ever came to a "standard" 16mm film format and it was copied by many other camera companies, even outside of Japan. With the exception of the Minox cassette, it is the long-distance runner of the submini world; Minolta manufactured and sold its film cassettes until 1995, and replicas are still being made in the Ukraine and China (?), today. Fortunately, even the older cameras are still very useable since the Minolta cassette used 16mm film (which is still readily available), and they did not require perforations in the film to advance the film.  They are very easy to reload. Check out The Darkroom for details.

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.

To top it all off, there are even bogus Minolta cassettes being sold.  For more information check out the NEWSTAND.


General Minolta 16mm accesssories for many of the above cameras. Many of these items are useable with any 16mm camera:
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.  


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