MISCELLANEOUS SUBMINIATURE CAMERAS
This list is inaccurate and incomplete. Much of the information about any particular camera, especially rare cameras, is virtually impossible to find. Sometimes all that is available is very limited information or a photograph of the camera. As a result, details about the camera may be incorrect. To complicate matters, many cameras were available in different styles with different features. If you are able to provide more accurate information than is listed here, please contact us.
see Steineck ABC Wristwatch camera
(1934) French subminiature cameras with various nameplates. 1/25 shutter speed. The Aiglon has the same cast body as the Bobby and Maniga while the Aiglon is finished in bright nickel plating and the others are painted black. It has a wire slideout viewfinder like the Mamiya 16. See Maniga and Bobby.
see Aiglon and Maniga.
(1891) Camera hidden in old-style opera glass. 30mm (f3.5) lens. Two models were produced, one with a 1" round negative, and the other with a 3/4" square negative. Very rare and pricey.
20mm (f2.8) lens produces exposures on 47mm film disc. Shutter 1/25-1/100. Various models.
(1911) Produced 1" diameter images.
Similar in shape to the Brin's Patent Camera and Steinheil's 8x11mm Daguerrotype camera, and perhaps from the same era. It is shaped like a cannon about 6 inches long, that swivels on a single upright adjustable stand, it has a single simple glass lens in the barrel. A 16mm (approximately) cutfilm holder with a frosted glass plate sits at the filmplane and is removed when sighting the object to photograph. The filmholder fits into a slot in the optical system and the top half round cover provides a light tight chamber for the film. The lens cover is the shutter as was common in those days.
(1938) A boxy "HIT"-type camera. It has shutter speeds of B and I and a fixed focus lens. Film format of 20x20mm.
(1883) A camera that looks almost exactly like a revolver. Took 16x16mm pictures.
(1938) A Merlin camera inside a case that vaguely resembles a revolver. Like the Merlin, it took 20x20mm pictures. Single speed shutter with f16 lens. The Erac Pistol Camera consists of a moulded black Bakelite body in two halves that are held together by a bolt with a Merlin inside.
(1948) Very similar to the octagonal Sakura Petal. Fixed-focus 13mm (f6.3) lens. Speeds of B and 1/25. Produced six 5mm circular images on a 24mm film disc in a special cassette -- it's the same cassette as the Petal. Slightly larger than the Petal. Much more unusual than either Petal model.
See 16mm cameras.
Before World War II, there were several cast-metal subminis from different European countries that created 20x20mm images, such as the Fotonette, Ulca and Photolet. The Italian firm, GPM, tried to resurrect this format after the War but with little success. Their version was bakelite instead of metal, but created the same 20x20mm negative. It was a simple camera with a simple viewfinder on the top, a fixed-focus 31mm (f8.8) lens and a B and I (1/50) shutter. Not to be confused with the Fotonette from Czechoslovakia.
(1932) A simple camera from France which produced 20x20mm images through a fixed-focus 31mm (f8) lens. Pop-up sport-type finder. Also sold as the Photolet. Similar to the Ulca and Fotonette.
A bakelite, art-deco camera shaped like a cosmetics case. It took 8x11mm images but did not use Minox film nor Minox cassettes. It used 9.5mm Pathe Rurale movie film in special cassettes. It has a pop-up viewfinder on the top and apparently came in different colors although the most commonly seen is black.
see Earth K.K. Guzzi
(1902) A matchbox shaped camera that produced 18x18mm images.
see Mast Development Co. Lucky Strike camera
(1894) Watch camera producing 12x12mm images.
(1950) Camera built into a Lucky Strike package. Only two were made -- for the OSS. If you want to play James Bond, it's a LOT cheaper to buy a pack of Lucky's, throw out most of the cigarettes and slip in a Minolta 16 instead.
see United Merlin
see ERAC Mercury I Pistol Camera
This micro camera is only a half an ounce in weight, about the size of the first segment of a thumb. It uses an ultra small micro cassette, about 1/10 the size of a Minox cassette, with 36 exposures of 2.8 x 4 mm size frames. Enlargement: up to 6x8". Micro Cassette: 2.2 x 0.8 x 0.5 cm The film is 3mm wide. ASA 12,25,100,400 Minox style push/pull film advance. Four element 7mm (f3.5) lens. Fixed focus, sharp from 1 meter to infinity. Meter: CdS. Dimension: 4.0 x 1.5 x 1.0 cm. Controls are similar to the Minox EC. I bet you need tweezers to reload those cassettes!
See Uyeda Moment
(1950) It seems someone couldn't resist putting a Petal camera into a cigarette lighter. Although it looks like a Echo 8 the lens comes out the side of the lighter, not the edge like the Echo 8. Fixed-focus 13mm (f6.3) lens -- same as the Evarax. Speeds of B and I. Produced six 6mm circular images on a 25mm film disc in a special cassette -- same as the Petal.
A very early, very simple, small, round camera. It was less that three inches across and used a small slice of 12mm roll film to make eight images.
see Krohnke Photo-Oda camera
(1932) A simple camera from France which produced 20x20mm images through a fixed-focus 31mm (f8) lens. Pop-up sport-type finder. Also sold as the Fraphot. Similar to the Ulca and Photonette.
see Photographie Vulgarisatrice Photolet
see Magic Photoret Watch Camera
see Enjalbert Photo Revolver de Poche
(1948) The octagonal body of the Evarax A with the slower lens of the original Petal. Fixed-focus, 12mm (f5.6) lens. Speeds of I and 1/25. Marked SAKURA PETAL on face plate. Slightly larger than the original Petal. Produced six 6mm circular images on a 24mm film disc in a special cassette -- it's the same cassette as the original Petal.
This is actually an espionage camera from France during the 1940s. Since it was not designed for the consumer market, it does not have a name. It is typically referred to as simply SFOM, the manufacturer, or "the French Spy Camera". Some sources report that it used Minox film, but more than likely it used Pathe Rurale which is 9.5mm -- a French movie film that was slightly wider than Minox film.
(1949) Looks like a large wristwatch. Came with a 12.5mm (f2.5) fixed-focus lens. Single shutter speed. Eight round exposures with a 5.5 mm diameter are produced on a round disk of film 24mm in diameter. Disks can be cut from standard 35mm film. A cassette, with its own exposure counter, is used to hold the film. To load the camera, the cassette is pressed lightly into place in the opening in the back of the camera, and the knurled rim of the cassette is turned firmly to the right until it stops and the red dots on the camera body and cassette are aligned. Film advance is automatic -- the film is readied for the next frame immediately after an exposure is made. The lens is a 12.5m f/2.5, made by Steinheil. It is fixed-focus so that everything from 4.25 ft. to infinity is sharp. The lens has a two-point aperture setting: one for bright light (red dot), the other for dim light (blue dot), set by a control knob on the face of the camera. The metal focal-plane shutter has only one speed, 1/125 sec. In making an exposure, the camera is held between the index finger and thumb, the shutter release being depressed by the thumb while the index finger serves to steady the camera by exerting a counter pressure. No separate action is required to advance the film or cock the shutter; as soon as the exposure has been made, the camera is ready to take the next picture. The A-B-C has two parallax-corrected finders: an optical hollow mirror viewfinder, which permits sighting from above when the camera, worn on the wrist, is held in picture-taking position. The other, a direct-vision viewfinder, is used at eye level, requiring that the camera be removed from the wrist. When the direct-vision finder is used, you sight through the hole in the back (cassette) with the camera close to the eye; the camera is held by the straps, both thumbs steadying the body, and the shutter release is operated by the index finger. The original accessories included filters, close-up lenses, and even a special enlarger. Steineck planned an M-sync flash for a future A-B-C, as well as a built-in filter carousel (to be put in front of the aperture control), and even a tripod-mount accessory that fits through the eye-level finder!
-- (1905) German version of the Ticka
(1948) This was a postwar resurrection of the Guzzi. It had the same 20x20mm format. Not to be confused with the 17.5mm Top camera of 1965 from Maruso Trading Company.
(1930's) Cameras with this name were made in several countries and sold in many more. They all look much the same, no matter what country they come from, and vary only slightly in style. Most produced 20x20mm images, but some apparently created 24x24mm images. The cameras are all a simple cast-metal design with a viewfinder on top and a single shutter speed.
-- a.copy of the EXPO watch camera. It came out in about 1910 and produced 15x22mm images. It had a fixed-focus lens and speeds of B and I.
see Magnacam Wristmatic Model 30
Who knows who manufactured this one, because it was built for covert police work, but several have shown up for sale. It comes with a case full of accessories, such as special equipment to develop the tiny film. On the exterior, it appears like a digital wristwatch, but has a tiny lens on the front plate.
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