135compact.com 16mm film ultra compact cameras Minolta 16 MG
The Minolta 16 MG was first released 1966, a top class camera for 16mm Minolta cartridge film* (see below). It
has a very good, yet fixed focus lens, a choice of speeds and apertures
and a built-in selenium meter. There was some choice of accessories
16mm film is a movie film format, as was 35mm film. In the early
days it was cut from 35mm film and thus had perforations on one
side (single perforation). Please note, that the perfs and their area
of 35mm are bigger than those of modern 16mm film. As soon as 1923
Kodak introduced a set with camera, projector, tripod,
screen and splicer (or was it a slitter?) aiming at amateurs. The new format was rapidly
adopted by still camera producers to build smaller devices. The film
in a cartridge, but no standard has been established, many have 2
cassettes, one feeding and one taking. So every maker made his own
system. Some, like Minolta, even sold a choice of readily available
film cassettes. If you want to use your camera, you should at least
have one (pair of) cassette(s).
film is still made. There is double perf, single perf and unperforated
film. Check, which one suits your camera. Some need perfs to advance.
Smaller picture formats can use double perf film, bigger ones would
have the perfs (or sprockets) visible in the picture area. There is
10mm of usable space between the perfs of double perf film, 12.5mm to
the side of single perf film. Film can also be s(p)lit from other
formats like 120.
The camera's main features are:
F2.8 Rokkor lens, 4 elements in 3 groups, F2.8-F16, min. focus ~2m(!)m,
built-in close-up lens 1.2m at F2.8 down to 0.67m at F16 Shutter speeds 1/30 - 1/250 10x14mm picture format, Minolta cartridge, can use any 16mm film Size 102x39x24, Weight 160 gr. 25 - 400
ISO, viewfinder, only parallax compensation marks, matched needle coupled selenium meter, flash, some accessories
The presentation case.
with leather case, flash with pastic case, another case, initially for
for flash bulbs, metal chain and papers in presentation case.
Camera and leather case
closed, lens well protected. Shutter release is
blocked when the camera is closed.
Camera front open.
Camera open, close-up/portrait lens in place. There is a warning in the viwfinder.
The viewer only shows parrallax marks. Flash synchro select and film
compartment opening button. Do not forget to set the flash synchro back
after using flash.
from the top. Exposure meter. You have to match the pointer with the
needle. Aperture and speed are coupled and go from F2.8 at 1/30s to F16
at 1/250. The 2 points around the dial indicate approx. speed and
aperture. There is no possibitity to uncouple them except flash
setting, which sets 1/30s as speed and you can then choose the aperture
with the dial. Inside the dial is the ISO setting. You have to move the
dial to either end and then turn further to set ISO. It has
click-stops. The shutter button sits near the front. The film advance
wheel has a counter inside. It counts backwards from 20. The scale
becomes progerssively black. At film start and end you need to advance
from below. Film compartment lid. The camera has a tripod socket at its side, which also takes the chain or the flash.
Film compartment open.
The flash and its case
Seen from above.
Seen from the back.
Seen from below. Tripod socket as the flash sits in the camera's tripod socket.
compartment. To get there, just flrmly tear the metal cover off. Takes
a 15v battery, which became rare and expensive, but can be replaced
with a DIY pile of 10 ordinary button cells.
Camera and flash. Takes ordinary AG-1 bulbs, still available.
Seen from the back. The bulb ejection button sticks out, as there is a bulb in the flash.
The bulb case can contain the filters.
The filters are held via the chain screw.
camera is very easy to use, silde it open and it's ready.
It has coupled aperture/speed settings, just match the meter needle
with the pointer. You have only to frame, which is easy via the bright
framelines. The focus is fixed. After taking
a picture, you have to turn the advance wheel for film advance and shutter
cocking. Putting a film is easy as well,
you drop the film into the compartment, advance to the first frame and that's it.
a luxury point and shoot camera
with a very good lens and nice picture quality, good quality
finish in a very small pocketable body. This camera feels solid
and light. It's a pity that aperture and speed are coupled. The lens is
good, but it's focussed to about 3.5m. So sharp pictures at infinity
are only possible at very small apertures = bright light. A focussable
lens would have been much better. Obviously they opted for the ease of