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Minox Riga
France Version française
Photos by AS text by AS. Last update 2013-04-15 par Francois Landais.

Manufactured or assembled in Lettonie from 1938 to 0.
Index of rarity in France: Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 1991

See the complete technical specifications
Chronology of cameras Minox 

Traduction de Manuel M

Minox is an camera of precision which one can dissimulate without problem by tightening the fist. It is the mythical camera of espionage, wrongly or rightly.
Created by Walter Zapp, the production started in 1938 in Riga in Latvia. Occupied by the Russians in spring 1940, then by the Germans in 1941. The production will begin again in Wetzlar after the war.

The first specimens “Riga” are particularized by a stainless steel hull, which will be replaced by aluminum for the following generations.
As of the beginning, a whole system was proposed, with many accessories, a developing tank, an enlarger, etc

Minox uses film 9.5 mm not perforated in cassette of 50 exposures.

A cam ensures the regular spacing of the exposures, on condition that well giving the exposure counter to zero, if not the images can strongly overlap.

The lens has no without diaphragm.

This specimen, numbered 15,811 never was not finished and has being left one does not know where during the fall of the Berlin Wall to come to Bièvres…

- Picture 1 - Minox Riga, with the lens in on its packing paper of origin…

- Picture 2 - Engraving VEF - Minox - Riga.

- Picture 3 - The film was delivered in small box containing two cassettes of 50 exposures each one.


- Picture 4 - Photo taken by Michel Simon of one of his friends who holds the case of his Minox. Print with the enlarger Minox Riga having belonged to Michel Simon.


- Picture 5 - Enlarger with fixed ratio, giving a photograph 6 x 9 cm starting from the Minox film 8 x 11 mm, with feeder and integrated red lighting. Totally out of bakelite, low lamp voltage supplied with a specific transformer. (This enlarger was that of Michel Simon.)

The first Minox tanks made it possible to develop films of 50 exposures. A bakelite ring made it possible to develop of the 36 exposures with the minimum of developer.

- Pictures 6 - 7 - The Minox tanks are loaded in full day, starting from the cassette; the film is rolled up on the hub of the tank, which is drawn to use a minimum of developer. For the modern tank, a plastic ring limits also this volume during the developing of a film of 36 exposures, the cassettes of 50 exposures having been abandoned.


Minox Riga
Minox Riga, avec l'objectif sur son papier d'emballage d'origine...

Minox Riga
Gravure VEF - Minox - Riga.
Minox Riga
Le film était livré dans une petite boîte contenant deux cassettes de 50 vues chacune.
Minox Riga
Photo prise par Michel Simon d'un de ses amis tenant l'étui de son Minox. Tirage avec l'agrandisseur Minox Riga ayant appartenu à Michel Simon.
Minox Riga
Les cuves Minox se chargent en plein jour, à partir de la cassette ; le film s'enroule sur le moyeu de la cuve, qui est dessinée pour utiliser un minimum de produit. Pour la cuve moderne, une bague en plastique limite aussi ce volume lors du développement d'un film de 36 vues, les cassettes de 50 vues ayant été abandonnées.