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The Minox 35 series was invented by the father of the original Minox cameras, Walter Zapp, with the help of a designer, Prof. Richard Fischer. They chose a new material for the body, fiber-reinfoced Makrolon. At its launch in 1974 it became the world's smallest 135 film camera, a title it kept until 1996 when the Minolta TC1 came out. The series ended in 2002.

Karl-Heinz Lange, a camera engineer with close ties to Balda, was involved in the development of the Minox 35, as Balda produced the shells and other parts for Minox. For some Minox models they did the assembly as well, sometime completely, sometimes partially.

When he worked for the Rollei company, owner of the Voigtländer brand since 1974, Lange had begun the development of a new camera, the Voigtländer Vito C. The new Vito C camera was also to be produced by Balda. 
So obviously the camera was inspired by the Minox 35 models already made in the Balde factory, but had a slightly different design, a hinged back, a bigger finder and an entirely automatic shutter. This shutter was introduced into the Minox series in 1982 with the PL model. The new Minox 35 ML in 1985 adopted the Vito design (except the finder and the back), but had both, aperture priority and program automatic shutter. Sometimes, when production numbers went down, Balda issued a camera under its own brand to raise profitability. So they did with the Vito C, which became also the Balda CA 35, technically the same camera with a different shell texture. Balda improved its line by adding the Vito CL features (CE 35) and they produced a Revue branded edition. Production material was then sold to China where the CE 35 was continued. So there are two cameras very similar to the Minox 35 ML, but they are no Minoxes.

Minox 35 ML was released in 1985. It has both, aperture priority and program automatic shutter. Its main features are:

38mm F2.8 Color Minotar lens, 4 elements in 3 groups, min. focus 0,9m
Electronic shutter, 1s at F2.8 to 1/500 at F16 (mine does longer times than 1s), aperture priority: F2.8-16, 1s-1/500, 1/125s when flash is inserted
Size 100x62x32,  Weight 180 gr.
25-1600 ISO, hot shoe, cable release socket, self timer, back light compensation


Box open.

Camera with box, all papers and manual. The camera was very expensive, the official price was 600 DM, around 600€ in 2023's money. This one was obviously on offer, it was sold at 349 DM.

Front closed. Very sober design.

Back view. Viewer and advance lever at the top. Between the two there is a tiny self-timer switch. If the shutter button is half-pressed, there are tiny LEDs visible towards the top: under-exposure warning to left, then P in the case of programmed shutter, or speed indication in the case of expoure priority.

Seen from above. Rewind lever, hot shoe with cover, front flap release button, battery test button, back light compensation switch, shutter release button with cable release socket and exposure counter.

Lens barrel. Distance setting towards the front. Mode choice, set to "P" it's programmed mode. Or you set an aperture and the speed will be indicated in the viewer.

Seen from below. Back opening lever, ISO setting (the black paint has worn off, set to 200), rewind unlock button, tripod socket.

Camera open, lens extended.

Camera open, seen from the front. To the left of the finder is a battery carrier. Takes a 4LR44 battery.

Camera back open.

Film compartment.

Minox ML is a very small and lightwight camera with a luminous, superb lens and a choice: either automatic shutter/aperture system or aperture priority automatic shutter. The exposure time is indicated in the viewer when set to aperture priority. The lens barrel extension and the front flap seem to be stronger than the ordinary Minox 35 mechanisms. So this is an easy camera, set to "P" and hyperfocal distance it's just point and shoot. It feels solid, but is very light.