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Scale Focus 35's Though not rangefinders, scale focus 35's are 1st cousins. This forum includes such popular gems as the Rollei 35's, Petri 35's, and the Olympus XA-4.

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Minox 35ML - What a blast!
Old 07-07-2010   #1
kdemas
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Minox 35ML - What a blast!

I will finish putting my first roll of film through my new-to-me Minox 35ML tomorrow and I must say the camera is really a blast to use. I got it on a whim and I am thoroughly enjoying the handling and it's simplicity of operation.

I have had other scale focusing cameras, like the Leica O-Series, but the size and portability of the 35ML is really appealing to me. I'm anxious to see how the lens performs and this might be my little "glove compartment" camera for a while.

If you see one in nice condition for a reasonable price I highly recommend it.

Kent
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Old 07-17-2010   #2
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I hope your pictures come out after such a rav review.

It is a good idea with these little beauties to check that the shutter is actually opening/closing as expected because it will still make all the right noises when it isn't.

I love mine too so I know just what you mean.
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Old 07-18-2010   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadge View Post
I hope your pictures come out after such a rav review.

It is a good idea with these little beauties to check that the shutter is actually opening/closing as expected because it will still make all the right noises when it isn't.

I love mine too so I know just what you mean.
Excellent advice and I did check, turning the camera around and watching the shutter open.

Thanks for the tip!

Kent
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Old 10-06-2010   #4
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kent, I like your enthusiasm ver much, like yourself I am putting my frist roll through a Minox 35ML, like yourself I really this cammera, i used to have a Minox 35 GL and this has much more to offer
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Old 10-26-2010   #5
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I loved my ML and it was my favorite for several years but after the 2nd shuttr repair, I finally threw up my hands. The killer was that when I bought it, I ordered every option available and even built up a filter inventory. I gave them to a friend who also had an ML but it had not broken down as of yet. The lens is as good as a Leica and I miss it. Sadly the other cameras of the line do not have a manual mode and therefore not of as much interest.
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Old 10-26-2010   #6
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I have a GT. I'm on my second roll of HP5.. i haven't processed the first roll yet. I've been taking pictures for years, but this is my first experience with zone focusing. I'm not sure what I'm going to get.. as I'm not good at guessing the cameras DOF. Can the DOF scale on the lens be trusted?

It took 3 ebay cameras to get a working model. If the results are good I may look for a second camera. As, I'm told they are not worth repairing.. no parts.

Last edited by PKR : 11-08-2010 at 08:24.
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Old 10-26-2010   #7
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The ML used to be my favorite take-everywhere camera as well, until reliability problems with 3 different example made me fed up
It's a shame, because I tooki some of my personal favorite pics witrh the little Minox, and the lens on that thing is up there with the best (and I have also used the best).
Enjoy it!
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Old 10-27-2010   #8
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The Minox 35 concept is great; they're pocketable and have damn good quality lenses. My only reservation about them is their reliability. I've gone through an MB, and two GT-E, and each of them failed after a while. The MB had problems with the exposure/metering, one of the GT-E had trouble with focus, the other missed shots because of an unreliable shutter. All that was enough to make me give up on them, but the general idea behind them is so good, that I'm now trying to achieve the same with an Olympus XA-2. I really hope you have more luck; if they work, they're absolutely wonderful.
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Old 11-08-2010   #9
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I must be a lkucky guy because my ML has given me no problems since I bought it new in the 80's. What a great camera!
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Old 11-08-2010   #10
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I don't have a ML but I still use my EL that I bought in 1978 - it still works just fine a here's a photo from earlier this summer.

The Minox suffers from flare but I never owned or used a lenshood.

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Old 11-08-2010   #11
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I also have an EL that I bought back in 1978 for a bicycle tour. However, I hadn't used it for the last 25 years until I found it at the back of a cupboard recently. After I tracked down a battery I've started carrying it everyday and am really enjoying using it. Here's photo from the first roll:


F1000026 by seajak, on Flickr.

cheers,
clay
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Old 11-08-2010   #12
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Minox got their glass from Leica but ground it to their specs as Leica could not. Sadly, the company could not get the reliability issues resolved with the 35mm cameras until the very end of the ML production and the production of the MDC. Sadly, by that time Minox owners who were willing to stay with the Minox were too nervous about making the investment in the MDC and the dealers were unable to or did not understand the MDC was not as much a limited edition ML but its replacement with the shutter issue resolved. My local dealer clearly did not understand this or communicate it. Had he communicated it, I'd have sprung for one with no reservation as the company had a near perfect pocket film camera and the lens was as good as anything from any company I ever held.
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Old 11-08-2010   #13
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Minox 35 shutter failures might in part be attributable to dust and pocket lint infiltration.
I use the thin Minox eveready case with my 35ML camera as an added measure of protection.
For that matter I keep all my pocket cameras in some sort of case, usually a pouch.

Chris
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Old 11-09-2010   #14
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That has been suggested but not the cause. Mine was in the everready case or belt pouch 100% of the time except to change films. Minox modified the curcuit towards the end to make the shutter more reliable so there was an issue, sadly.
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Old 06-23-2011   #15
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The lens isn't Summicron standard but it is up there with a good compact camera and getting close to an old Elmar 50/3.5. I got a 35ML this week and shot a test roll (complete with drying marks and everything...I wasn't after "keepers"!).

Full frame



100% unsharpened, straight off scanner. Equivalent to a 6 feet x 4 feet print.



This was shot at about 1/500 so I wouldn't expect any camera shake. Neopan Acros in Aculux (Aculux is a fine grain developer so doesn't do anything to increase apparent sharpness, and may reduce it slightly if you believe Erwin Puts).

The extreme corners of the frame are completely unsharp but you'll rarely see that. The amazing thing is the lack of fall-off and distortion; my Ricoh compact (and most digicams) have terrible distortion which ruins any picture with a horizon that isn't exactly halfway down the frame.

Last edited by rogerzilla : 06-23-2011 at 11:16.
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Old 07-22-2011   #16
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I have just been given an ML by a man who repairs them and he passed on some useful information .

Always leave camera with the shutter cocked as then the actuating magnets are together. If you don't dirt or other foreign bodies can collect on the magnets and stop the shutter working. He did a test and left some uncocked a they all failed shortly afterwards and had to be cleaned

The bottom plate of the collapsable front makes a great lens shade in bright sun. Just turn the camera up the other way and shoot with the front flap at the top.

For street shooting set the lens to f5.6 and set the focus so that the locating screw hole in the focus ring is at the top . This gives a good hyperfocal for mid distance shooting. fold the camera up at this setting and when you see a shot you can fold down the front and all you need to do is press the shutter ,you now have a high quality point and shoot camera

Chris
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Old 07-22-2011   #17
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Thanks for the advice about keeping the shutter cocked when stored.
It is fortunate the shutter release locks when the lens door is closed.

Chris
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Old 07-31-2011   #18
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Had a GL once. Great ergonomics but terrible reliability regarding the shutter. I wouldn't trust one even as a backup. Darn shame because it's such a cool design with nice lens.
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Old 07-31-2011   #19
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I have been using a GT since about 20 years without any problems. It is always inside its camera case for extra protection from dust.
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Old 07-31-2011   #20
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I heard the stories and bought a second 35ML, but mine have never failed.
I will bring a Minox 35ML as my only camera when I visit Oklahoma
for three weeks training next month. It's a terrific travel camera.

Chris
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Old 03-26-2012   #21
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35 ML is a great camera! It's almost the best camera for the vacation, I even took it with me for the honeymoon!

hp5

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Old 03-26-2012   #22
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I started this thread about a year and half ago, fun to see it pop up again. My meter seems to be on the fritz last time I looked at the ML, I'll have to pull it out today to see what it's doing.

Still stand by the original post, fun to use when working!
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Old 03-26-2012   #23
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I love this camera!

35ml, ilford xp2

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Old 03-27-2012   #24
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Hi, i share the same thrill about the minox 35, i have one and very surprised about it.

Although scale focus i find it very easy and intuitive to use the VF is in fron of the lens and with a little practice you can glimpse the scales on the lens barrel.
No other scale focus camera has given me that "option"

The lens is very sharp but a little flary.





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