Inside Minox – Repair your Minox

DIY Minox repair

If you bought a Minox in the 8×11 negative format, you should check it first. Maybe you’re lucky and everything works. But often there are smaller or larger problems. Here you will find detailed instructions on how to fix these problems yourself and do your own Minox repair. The check and repair of Minox A, Minox B, Minox BL, Minox LX and Minox EC cameras is presented.

Minox A Minox B Minox BL Minox LX at
Minox A IIIs, Minox B, Minox BL, Minox LX

My Minox adventure

Last year I bought my first Minox and then 13 Minox (A, B, BL, LX, EC) followed which I checked and repaired. I successfully exposed at least 1 film with each camera. It was an exciting, complex but sometimes frustrating adventure.

It was particularly difficult at the beginning because I was struggling with many problems at the same time. In addition, there are very few sources of information worldwide on Minox 8×11 repair. You will find a lot of information for Minox collectors, i.e. descriptions of the individual models, versions and prices. There are also quite a few sales offers.

Does your Minox work?

However, if you want to take photos with the cameras, completely different rules apply. Then the cameras have to work and it gets really difficult. Most offers are made via internet platforms and therefore you have no opportunity to check the cameras before purchasing. Most Minox cameras offered are offered as “unverified” or “untested”. But even if items are described as “functional”, there is no guarantee that you can take photos with them. Then there is talk of “plausible” shutter speeds or that the shutter triggers.

In any case, it is very useful and reassuring to be able to repair your new camera yourself if necessary. Of course, you can also have your Minox repaired by a professional. Theoretically. According to my research, there are only a handful of professionals worldwide who can and offer this. How long they will continue to do this is uncertain. I had a Minox A repaired and can only report good things. Of course, you have to be aware that such a repair can easily exceed the purchase price and that it can take a long time, at least if you live outside the USA.

Dare to know

A look inside a mechanical Minox

Sapere Aude – what Immanuel Kant has been demanding of us for 240 years now applies even more if we want to take photos with a Minox. We should know how it works. First of all, because otherwise we cannot appreciate the ingenious design. Secondly, because we may no longer find anyone to repair the camera for us. So you are on the safe side if you can repair your Minox yourself. For me it was and is also a fascinating journey into the construction of this tiny mechanical camera.

As already mentioned, there is hardly any literature on repairing Minox. In fact, I only found two documents that deal with repairing the Minox (B), namely:
Oleson, Rick: How it works – The Minox Shutter
The Camera Craftsman, Vol 23 No 6 1977: The Minox B
Both texts are only a few pages long, but provide many useful information.

What can you expect?

On this website I would like to share all the experiences I have had with my Minox repairs. I try to explain everything about how to repair a Minox A or B as structured and comprehensively as possible, preferably with lots of pictures. It is important to me not only to pass on recipes, but also to give a deeper understanding of how a mechanical Minox works. I think this can also be useful when taking photos, it definitely makes it more fun. Even if you don’t plan to repair your Minox yourself, you will learn some interesting facts about how a classic Minox works.

Please note that my descriptions primarily refer to the Minox A, but they also apply to the Minox B, which is practically identical in its mechanical construction. The explanations for repairing the shutter also apply to the Minox LX, whose shutter I also repaired in this way.
The Minox EC has a typical electrical problem, which I will also show you how to fix. Since the EC is not bigger than the Minox A, but is a real point-and-shoot camera that delivers excellent image quality, it had to be represented in my collection and I actually take photos with it often.
Since I don’t own a Minox C I can’t give any repair tips. But there is a very nice and detailed repair manual for the Minox C from Tristan da Cunha.

Before you start repairing, it is advisable to test the camera first. This is therefore the first chapter. Even if the Minox works, you can’t take photos with it. The film is missing. You can buy new film in 8×11 format, but the supply is very limited and expensive. Therefore, at the end you will find tips on how you can make your own film from 35 mm standard film.

Instruction articles

Rolling a Minox shutter blade on a granite base
Rolling a Minox shutter blade

Like many other brilliant designs, the Minox is not easy to understand. I therefore try to make my explanations more clear with lots of photos and some videos. I think we photographers are visual types and in fact, especially in the technical field, a picture is worth a thousand words. With the repair instructions, the pictures hopefully also help you to assess whether you can commit to the repair and what to expect.

The following instructions will be added upon completion. Follow the existing links.

  1. Checking a Minox (A, B, BL, LX, EC)
  2. Checking the shutter speeds
  3. Preparations, tools, consumables, spare parts
  4. Open the housing
  5. How the Minox shutter works
  6. How the Minox escapement works
  7. How shutter speeds are passed on
  8. Inaccurate Shutter speeds
  9. Defective shutter blades
  10. Incorrect film feeding
  11. Incorrect distance setting
  12. Image counter does not work
  13. Viewfinder cloudy
  14. Film pressure plate dirty
  15. Calibrate the lightmeter (Minox B)
  16. Minox EC electrical problems
  17. Make your own 8×11 mm film
  18. Convert 8×11 film negatives to digital

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