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Minox 35 - 1974
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• Smallest full-frame 35mm-cartridge camera

• $183 in 1976 ($701 in 2010 dollars)

The Minox 35 was the smallest full-frame 35mm-cartridge camera, taking that distinction away from the Rollei 35 (also in this app), which had come out eight years earlier.

The front cover comes down, like a folder. When it does, the Minox 35 isn't quite so small anymore, so it's not the smallest if you measure when shooting-ready, only if you measure folded up.

The original model was the EL; mine is a GL, which came out in 1979 with just a few improvements: backlight compensation and a film-speed dial with more gradations.

The Minox 35 is aperture preferred: You set the apeture, and the shutter speed is indicated in the viewfinder, which is big and bright. There's no rangefinder, but the 35mm lens is wide enough so that there's enough depth-of-field except for when the lens is wide open (f2.8) or nearly wide open. If you're shooting that way you have to set the distance scale accurately.

The Olympus XA, which came out when the GL did, in 1979, is a better camera. Its clamshell design is more convenient than the Minox 35's drop front, and it has a rangefinder, which you really need if you're going to shoot at f2.8. The XA was a lot cheaper, too.

But the Minox does fine, as you can tell from the two photos below that I took in August 2011.

Minox 35 GLMinox 35 GLMinox 35 GLMinox 35 GL
Minox 35 GLMinox 35 GLMinox 35 GLMinox 35 GL, Rollei 35, and Olympus XA -- all pretty much the same size
Article from Popular Science, Aug. 1976Article from Popular Science, Feb. 1980Article from Popular Science, Feb. 1980Taken with Minox 35 GL in August 2011 in Boulder Colorado
Taken with Minox 35 GL in August 2011 in Boulder Colorado

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