Minox 35 GT

This capable compact was the smallest full-frame 35mm camera.

cute and compact

Minox 35GT
Camera: £34.99
Postage: £3.99
Total: £38.98

Not content with the smallest SLR, the Pentax 110, I bought the Minox 35 GT on the same day – it was the smallest full-frame 35mm camera at the time it was released.  Andy Warhol called it a “James Bond” camera when he saw it and wanted one immediately.  The GT is the 1981 version of a range that started in 1976 and would have cost you £120 – nearly £500 today.  I paid a little more than normal to secure a working model, as I’d heard they were delicate little things.  I could have probably saved a bit, without batteries the shutter won’t fire and so it won’t wind on more than once, leading many people to assume it’s broken and sell it as spares, the batteries aren’t around anymore either, but 4 button cells taped together work just fine!

Capable and cool

The lens retracts into the body when you close the flap, which you can use as a makeshift sunshade if you hold the camera upside-down.  It has an automatic shutter, but manual focus and aperture – film speed is set on the base in 1/3rd increments and there’s a ‘backlit’ button which doubles exposure times.  The GT model added a self-timer, which coupled with a tripod enables you to do a bit of night shooting as by setting the film speed really slow the shutter will stay open for up to 30 seconds.  All that adds up to a really versatile camera if you know how to adjust it so that the automatic shutter is doing what you want it to do.  It also has a really great lens!

Practical and portable

The biggest appeal about this camera is the compact size, like the Olympus XA2 from last time when closed it easily slides safely into a pocket, with the lens hidden away.  One compromise with the size is that the whole back has to come off to load the film, but that’s not a big issue.  Mine came with a nice display case, and it’s smaller than a lot of my cameras even inside it.

Pretty pics

Fuji 800
Cost: £3.05
Postage: £0.75
Expired: New film
ISO: 800
Format/Type: Colour negative
Exposures: 24
Processing: £2.06
Full Total: £5.81
Cost per shot: £0.24
My Rating: 8

A really nice range of pics here – some nice sharp detail, a bit of grain that you would expect from a pretty fast film, along with the great, bright colours that you expect from a Fuji film.

I like that there are quite a few different styles and effects going on, even though this was a single roll of film – that semi-random element is what I enjoy most about film photography.

Of course I’m going to try this camera again, it’s another one in the favourites bag, particularly as it consumes hardly any space in that bag.  I’ll try some black and white shooting, perhaps something at a slower speed.  The lens is really sharp and clear, so to do it justice a film-grained film and a tripod might be in order.

Another good thing about film photography is that there always seems to be something to learn – you can try different things until you find a camera or a film that you think would work well in a certain situation, then you can optimise the setup so that it is using the best combination and really let them do their thing.

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