Monday, May 07, 2007

Every day in May no. 7


A tiny drawing again, this time of my little Minetta camera. My dear M gave me this a few years ago, he found it in a flea market. I thought this was just a toy camera, very small (about 6 x 3,5 cm, front view) and incredibly cute. Today, for no reason at all, I thought I´d Google it, and see if I could find any info about it. Turns out this is an actual camera, manufactured in Japan in many variants under many names, starting after WW2. This type is from about 1960.

Shooting motion pictures in those days was complicated and expensive, and someone got the idea to split the 35 mm film in half and use it as 17,5 mm film in slightly modified film cameras. A little loss in image quality, obviously, but the amount of copies of movies that could be shown in cinemas increased. With the 17,5 mm film suddenly available as a new format, someone thought "why not use it for still photography as well?", and invented these little cameras.

Photography was an expensive hobby too, and the Minetta and other cameras like it made it possible even for low income citizens to own a camera.

I think this is kind of a cool story, and now I´m wondering if the camera still works? The mechanism in it work, but it probably has light leaks all around... I don´t think there is any film available for it, either, but I am thinking of cutting an ordinary 35 mm film in half just to try it out...

The drawing is the same format as the previous few posts, Faber-Castell technical pen and watercolors on a small Moleskine Watercolor page.

3 comments:

Africantapestry said...

Lovely drawing and I love the red and white background. I am very fond of photography and wish I had the money to be able to collect vintage models...it is just amazing how far we've come with camaras and digitals and development...
Ronell

P. Howard said...

Film needs to be in complete darkness so if you cut 35mm it would ruin it, unless you cut it in the dark.

You'd also loose half of the perforations that make the film advance through in the camera.

I'd look online and see if anyone has any old viable Minetta film. I saw a TV program once that someone was using old film from WWII so it's possible someone has some.

It would be very cool to see photos from such a tiny camera.

martha said...

Fantastic! I really love the tablecloth.