I've seen quite a lot of professionally done Minox prints and to me they just don't hold up compared to prints from 35mm or even APS from a good camera.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Minox Photography : One Thread
I friend of mine is a Minox "nut". He goes to great lengths to coax the maximum performance from his cameras. He does his own darkroom work with some sort of special Minox enlarger and sometimes he even sends his images out (to Minox?) for commercial processing. Despite this I'm not impressed. Even at 8x10, shots from my Nikon with lenses like the 50/1.8 or my Ricoh GR-1 are much sharper, even when he has to resort to Tech Pan and I'm using Tmax100. Even APS prints look as good or better when using a decent camera like the Elph Jr, though the film choice there is a little limited right now.
I can't for the life of me understand why he bothers. You couldn't reasonably need anything smaller than an Elph and even in 35mm a GR-1 isn't exactly huge and the advantages of the wider film choice and clearly superior quality make using a Minox an excercise in futility for anyone but a masochist or someone more concerned with the equipment he uses than the images it produces.
The surprising thing about a Minox isn't that it can compete with larger cameras (which of course it can't), but that it gives tollerable 3x5 prints from such a small negative.
-- Dana Allis (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 03, 1999
Hi Dana, a great number of Minox users (Minoxers) like the smallness of Minox and the fact that it really can produce 8x10" enlargements , which look as good as 8x10" from 35mm. Mine 8x10" s do look as good as same size enlargements from Canon QL17 (35mm rangefiner with Canon 40/1.7 lens ), Konica T with Hexaon 50/1.8 lens, Zeiss Ikon Contaflex with Tessar 50/2,8; Further, my own side by side comparison of 8x10" from my Minox B vs enlargements from my Canon Elph 370z, under a loup, shows that the Minox pictures has sharper detail. In other words, my Minox B IS BETTER than Canon Elph 370z. Dana, there is a subtle difference between 'look as good as" and IS BETTER. Look as good as means to the naked eyes, IS BETTER means using a magnifying glass to scrutiny. When I said my Minox B 's 8x10" looks as good as those listed 35mm cameras, I meant looked at with naked eyes; now if I pull out a loup and examine them, 8x10" from 35mm camera IS BETTER; with nake eyes, the 8x10" from Minox B LOOKS LIKE the side by side shots from Canon Elph 370z, but check under a loup, Minox B IS BETTER. Minox cameras, even the electronics ones( except the smallest EC/ECX ) allows manuual control. Dana, my single reason for using Minox is that there is no compact 35mm nor APS can rival the range of flexibility of Minox, none, even the most exmpensive deluxe 35mm compacts like Leica Minilux nor Contax T2, Ricoh GR 1 can close focus to 8", and no compact has shutter speed of 1/2000; and Minox lens (COMPLAN or MINOX ) IS THE SHARPESS photographic lens, its intrincic resolution is over 300 lines pairs/mm, on film resolution is over 160 lpmm, better than any 35mm lenses I have, including Carl Zeiss Planar 50/1.4; last but not least, Minox still is the smallest production camera.
-- martin tai (email@example.com), January 04, 1999.
Dana, to further illustrate the point that Minox camera has unique close up capability; I relate here some of my experiences while travel to Greece in 98. I carried a Leica R5 with 28-70 Vario Elmar zoom, a Contax T2 and a Minox C. At many museums, I could put the Minox close the display cabinet, and take close up pictures of archeological artifacts, none of my Leica nor T2 could. I could close in on a flower, with Minox, but not the other two. You can copy a page of a book with Minox, even a diagram with Minox, you can never do it with any compact. I have to carry Leica R5 with 60/2.8 Macro-Elmarit to rival the flexibility of a Minox
-- martin tai (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 04, 1999.
The minox can be ALWAYS carried (in a belt case, or in pocket/handbag) and as such is a constant companion. It's size is it's strength, but it (as noted above) has some quite impressive technical specs. I use a IIIs as a constant companion (usually with b&w asa 400). I use my newer model C with ASA 25 color for vacation pictures. You are comparing Professional Minox to Professional 35's. Us Minoxers are "mainly" recreational users, who delight in having a camera "at the ready" when the 35MM users wishes they did.
-- Kenneth Edelstein (email@example.com), January 04, 1999.
>>Despite this I'm not impressed. Even at 8x10, shots from my Nikon with lenses like the 50/1.8 or my Ricoh GR-1 are much sharper, even when he has to resort to Tech Pan and I'm using Tmax100.
Sure, your Nikon produces a larger negative thus a better quality print when looking at only the quality of the negative ("grain") but what about the image itself? The Minox 8x11 takes plenty of shots that your Nikon couln't even dream of taking. Just like your Nikon can take many types of shots that, say, a 4x5 or 8x10 view camera cannot.
>>The surprising thing about a Minox isn't that it can compete with larger cameras (which of course it can't), but that it gives tollerable 3x5 prints from such a small negative.
Compete in what sense, grain alone? You're right about that, but what about in other ways? There are different tools for different jobs. A Chevy Corvette can probably get from Seattle to Portland in about half the time it takes a U-Haul Truck, but the U-Haul can take a lot more stuff with it. So which vehicle wins in a competition?
The Minox 8x11 is a great camera capable of taking shots that no other camera can take! That, among other things, is the major appeal of the camera. The fact that nobody takes the camera seriously enough means that people won't automatically strike up a purely fakey pose so that the camera gets their "best side" makes the camera a jewel to behold.
I can ride my bicycle on the sidewalk, along trails, in a yard, and even up or down a staircase. I can use my bike to snoop around in the cracks of the city and mountains. A car can't do that, not even a 4-wheel drive, and that makes my bicycle "better" than a 4-wheel drive, doesn't it? I think it's the same thing with a Minox camera.
-- Tony Rowlett (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 04, 1999.
Dana, every format has its place in photography, from Minox to 35mm, medium format and large format. many of us Minoxers, have many cameras, across many formats, so we do understand the advantage of 35mm, or APS, or LF. Do you know that Minox also makes 35mm camera ? one of the best 35mm pocket camera Minox GTE, and also several APS cameras. I my self own a lot of 35mm cameras, Leica R5, Leica RE, Contax T2, Contax 139, Rollei 35, Minox GT-E, Minxo 35ML, Olympos xa2, Zeiss Ikon Contaflex, Zeiss Ikon Contessa, one Minolta, one Nikon compact. two Elphs, the original and 370z. I have more than a dozen 24x36 or 20x30" enlargements made from 35mm negatives on my walls, my Minox ultraminature camera can never to that. But at the same time I am quite happy with the 8x10" made from my Minox B and C. What makes you think Minoxers owns only one camera ? Minox is fun. Dana, Elph is very good, be happy.
-- martin tai (email@example.com), January 05, 1999.
Well, the very best pictures I have ever seen come out of 4-by-5-inch, and larger, view cameras. If I were rich, and if I had a flunky or two to trot along behind me carrying my baggage at all times, I'd get rid of my submini and 35mm equipment tomorrow and shoot strictly from view cameras. But as it is, I gotta pay for the stuff from my meager wages, and even worse, nobody else will carry it for me. So I shoot 35mm and subminiature. Most of the time I get the pictures I want. Luckily, the lenses and films for these small formats just keep getting better and better.
-- Ernest Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 05, 1999.
Three key realizations caused me to get into subminis after years of shunning them: (1) The realization that films have gotten so much better in the last few years, especially in terms of grain/speed ratios. (2) The realization that exceedingly few of the pictures I take ever have been destined for enlargement to 11 by 14 inches, or even to 8 by 10. (3) The realization that PhotoCD, my Mac, Epson printers and Adobe Photoshop give me a kind of flexibility I've never had in a lifetime in which I've never managed to have my own darkroom.
I'm an amateur with a preference for light, easily carried cameras with the best optics I can afford. I'm not a pro, so the only time I need to carry an inordinate amount of gear is when I do macro flower shooting. Most of the time, a Minox submini and a small 35mm camera -- either a Minox or a Leica M -- is all I need. The Minox submini and 35 combination is small and light enough to go everywhere, all the time, in a small shoulder bag (usually an elderly Domke 803 Camera Satchel with an extra padded liner) along with my phone, wallet, checkbook and such stuff.
-- Ernest Murphy (email@example.com), February 18, 1999.
I've owned three APS cameras and got rid of each of them -- including a $300 Canon Elph. Why? Because the pictures were not sharp. Although I don't know if the APS format uses a pressure plate, the absence of a pressure plate might explain the very disappointing results I've obtained using these cameras. Frankly, I doubt whether anyone could tell the difference between pictures shot with my Minox 8x11 and pictures shot with any APS camera, even an expensive one. And the Minox can be carried anywhere.
-- Bob Woods (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 24, 1999.
I assume by Minox you are talking about the small format Minox cameras a nd not the 35 mm Minox cameras....
-- James Rosenzweig (email@example.com), March 23, 1999.
I found some interesting messages at list Quest search
$1000 16x20 Minox Cibachrome print
20x24" from 9.2mm Agfa Copex Rapid
-- martin tai (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 11, 1999.
This weekend I saw the new Canon Elph 2 APS camera. It is smaller then the original Elph, and has non pop up flash, even MRC (mid roll change ) function which the original Elph lacks. The Elph 2 is lighter than my Rollei 16s, a 16mm camera. APS is certainly taking over 110 and 16mm formats in terms of quality and weight. But still not possible to catch up with Minox 8x11 in weight and quality.
-- martin tai (email@example.com), July 20, 1999.
In a recent conversation between the manager of a custom photo lab here in Chicago and myself, we discussed the look of prints made from the Minox 8x11. Despite the fact that this lab specializes in large format custom work, the lab personnel were impressed with these prints, and not for being "good for a such a small camera". The appeal is based on something deeper.
The Minox appeal is not based on grain, nor focus as compared with 35mm. The simple fact of the matter is that prints shot with a Minox, in particular Black and White, do not look like prints from any other camera. The mystique of the Minox gives the artist- photographer a unique tool with which to construct a print. APS by contrast, as in all point-n-shoots, produce bland shots regardless of the level of grain or enlargeability.
Perhaps it is the fact that the Minox lens is about the same size as the human pupil, perhaps its the design of the lens itself, or perhaps there exists a zen like quality that cannot be quantified. A 35mm closed-minded Luddite must resort to the enlargeability fallacy because most often such a "photographer" is unable to proudly stand behind their own creative output regardless of format.
-- Brian Warshawsky (Brianwar@juno.com), February 28, 2000.
I have to agree with Brian Warshawsky there is something about the camera that creates its own style of imaging. I think it is simply that forcing the photog to think about what goes on the minimalist neg forces a better understanding of what should go on the neg. So if you want good shots the brain goes has to go into gear. Those who espouse larger negs, even 35mm is larger in this case, are in sense pictoralist junkies; the picture gotta look exactly like the scene - no grain, bright colors etc. Only trouble is the eye in fact doesnt see it that way; the 35mm photog, in arguing they can make bigger better 8 X 10 whatever, totally misses the point. Good minox photogs create an image which conveys the feeling and look of the object. Those who want technogly to generate a perfect grainless print miss the whole point of the Minox which is to allow the creation of a good picture when none would otherwise exist. Use your eyes, get a Minox, learn to use you Minox and enjoy. Graham
-- Graham Hk (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 07, 2001.
Graham,I quite agree with you,sir !Owning,shooting and processing Minox stuff is having your grey cells moving like a PC hard drive !!! Of course sometimes,under certain conditions and equipment,you can take better shots with a SLR,APS or whatever,BUT !you'll never be proud of that picture because in the end of the day,all you've done was pointing the flippin'thing to a tree and press a button ! Where is your PERSONAL contribution?Where's the personal touch of the picture?And ,above all,where exactly is your good feeling of a well done job?I personally,sleep a lot better after I worked hard to achieve good results in,well,anything I do(not necessarily Minox...) I mean,with all due respect and stuff,Dana,but it seems to me that shooting with a Minox is actually an art,and the p&s cameras could never ever touch the hem of 8x11 results.Best regards,Julian
-- Julian Tanase (email@example.com), February 13, 2002.
BCE Place, by Martin Tai. Minox TLX
-- martin tai (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 05, 2002.