sure they are tiny but do they work?

LIFE article
summer 1949

Toronto. For a time there was a sub category of camera collecting – collecting sub-miniatures. In practical terms, only the Minox was well engineered. But it, like all the others, suffered a fatal flaw: tiny negatives. Negative material (a.k.a. film) was just too grainy and low definition to compete with larger cameras. The Minox was seen at camera shows and camera retail stores and occasionally in spy movies, often being used in a way that defied the science of the day.

I owned two Minox cameras –  a used model IIIs which was lost in the mail; and a new model B that I used to snap an in-concert photo of a young Bob Dylan when he played Montreal. I eventually traded the model B plus a Minox enlarger and developing tank for a Leica IIIf. In our 2015 Show and Tell, John Linsky brought along his Petal camera and a full kit that accompanied the tiny marvel.

Clicking on the above icon shows a LIFE magazine article dating back to its June 20th 1949 issue. Like the magazine, the tiny cameras have disappeared in the mists of history. Modern day smartphones offer sharper images in full colour at resolutions impossible with tiny film negatives – and the camera comes free with the phone!

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