The Minox B is a subminiature camera produced from 1958 until 1972. The idea for a subminiature camera was conceived by Minox inventor Walter Zapp in 1922, and the first prototype was made in 1936. Walter Zapp was intrigued by the notion of a miniature or toy size camera that could be carried on your person at all times. By 1938, the first production Minox subminiature models were released to the general public. The Minox subminiature cameras never reached the popularity of 35mm cameras, but they earned a successful place in a niche market. They were considered more of a luxury item due to high manufacturing costs.
The Minox B and other subminiature models are perhaps most well known and famous for their role in espionage photography. Due to the small size and macro focusing capabilities of Minox’s subminiature cameras, they attracted the attention of intelligence agencies in the United States, Great Britain and Germany. Their portable nature and discreet size made them perfect for covert uses such as surveillance and document copying. An 18” chain was provided with most of the Minox subminiature cameras to be used as a measuring device. This allowed the shooter to properly photograph documents.
During its 14 year production, the Minox B enjoyed a successful run with approximately 384,000 units. The Minox B is small, high quality and portable camera that fits in the palm of a hand. It is the first Minox to feature an integrated coupled selenium cell exposure meter. The built-in light meter added an extra 15 mm to the length of the camera for a total length of 97 mm (approximately 3.8 inches). Some, but not all, are engraved with the letter “B” on the back of the camera. The Minox B is made of aluminum and weighs approximately 3.2 ounces. It uses an 8×11 film cassette, and has a high precision lens that allows focusing from 8 inches to infinity. A great classic spy camera!
Click HERE to view the Minox B subminiature camera on the KEH Camera website.