Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by praktica, Mar 9, 2008.
Is it the Pentax MX?
Are you asking about SLR's? There are plenty of 35mm cameras much smaller than the MX; Minox EL/GL series, Olympus XA series, Rollei 35 series, and many others.
If you mean 35mm full-frame, interchangeable lens, SLR perhaps. But there are much smaller 35's around of various flavors. For non-SLR's, the Rollei 35 or Minox 35's are good candidates. For interchangeable-lens SLR's I doubt that here are any smaller than an Olypus Pen F, but they are half-frame cameras.
I love my 2 MX's but without the winder I find them a bit TO small.
In addition to the other cameras mentioned, the Tenax is a very tiny 35mm camera, as is the Tessina. The East German Taxona also was small.
The Ducati is a tiny half-frame camera.
Many of the early folding Retinas were small. The folding Ikonta 35/Contina 35 and Contina II were small, when collapsed. And the Contessa S 310/S 312 also were small cameras -- just slightly larger than the Rollei 35.
The original post is vague, and it's possible that it refers to full-frame SLRs. The Pentax MX (and ME) probably was the smallest of the downsizing craze that began in the early 1970s with the Olympus OM-1 and continued to some extent with the Nikon FE/FM (they were smaller than the Nikon EL/EL2, the Nikkormat FT/FT2/FT3 and the Nikon F/F2), the Minolta XD series and the Canon A series. All of these were smaller than the models that preceded them and smaller than most of the subsequent models.
my me super is pretty small, smaller than my pen ft ..
but the olympus stylus + yashica t4 were even smaller.
The smallest/lightest fully-functional, full-frame 35mm I have used ...and kept... is the Olympus XA.
There are smaller ones, of course.
You need to qualify the question further. As many folks have pointed out, there are some very small rangefinders and P&S's. Even there you have details of body size vs. with or without lens, etc.
The smallest full frame, fully featured 35mm SLR bodies are generally considered to be the OM 1 & 2. I've never handled the Pentax MX, but judging by a picture it doesn't look any smaller than the OM's. And if that shoe isn't removable, it would be much less "pocketable". What about the Pentax lenses? Are they as small as the Zuikos? The 40mm f2 pancake lens on an OM 1 or 2 is about the smallest package in this class that you're going to find. If you look at half frame, the smallest fully featured 35mm SLR's have got to be the Pen F's. Because there is no prism housing and with the 38mm F2.8 pancake lens mounted, it is hands down the most pocketable.
For rangefinders and P&S's, the Rollei 35 probably has the smallest body, but it has a sizeable lens sticking out. The 35 RC is just slightly larger. The XA's and Stylus's mentioned above close up fully in their own sliding case, making them easily the most convenient overall for carrying.
So is this just an academic question wondering about the practical limits of engineering a camera given the constraints of 35mm film? Or are you looking for a camera to carry around and use? If it is the latter, then image quality should be a consideration as well. That makes the XA or Stylus the overall best choice. With the XA you get some manual control, with the Stylus it's auto-everything.
The smallest 35mm I've seen is a Pintoid camera. I'm making one today as a matter of fact.
If this camera isn't the smallest 35mm, it's certainly the lightest!
My homemade 35mm matchbox pinhole camera.
Olympus XA is a good 35mm rangefinder, that is also cheap. Minolta TC-1 might have been the smallest, but very expensive. The problem with these tiny 35mm cameras is that they use Telephoto wide angle lenses that hit the edges of the film at an extreme angle, so they vignette even stopped down. but they are very sharp.
I haven't had a Tessina in my hand in a good 25 years but IIRC, they aren't full frame. I think the Minox 35 I had was smaller than my XA but half the camera. Then, of course, there was the Leica CL/Minolta CLE, the hands down winner as the smallest interchangeable lens 35mm.
The spring-wound Tessina is the smallest production 35mm camera. It makes the Pocket Instamatic look big.
The Tessina is front-left.
For a full frame 35mm SLR- the Zenit-C is considerably smaller than a Pentax MX.
smaller than olympus om-1?
The Pentax MX is smaller than the Olympus OM1/2.
According to Wikipedia, the Tessina "takes 14x21 mm pictures on standard 35 mm film (loaded into a special cassette)". Given the "special cassette" and since half frame (single frame) is 18mmx24mm, it doesn't seem that this qualifies as a 35mm camera.
It would be interesting if someone can post a picture of the Zenit, next to a Pentax MX, and OM-1.
If it uses 135 film, it is a "35mm" camera.
Seems like we need a better definition of a 35mm camera. For example, putting 135 film cart. in a Holga that is made for 120 film, does NOT make it a 135 camera. Or, does it?
The film it was designed to use defines the format.
Small 35mm Cameras
One of my smallest and lightest 35mm SLR cameras is the Konica TCX. It isn't much smaller than the original TC but it's lighter. With a 40/1.8 Hexanon you get a nice small and light package. I have three Vivitar V4000S cameras. These are probably somewhat larger than the Konica TCX but are very light. The Minolta X-700 and Nikon FE are both fairly small. I think the FE is heavier. I also have three Olympus OM-10 cameras. They weigh very little.
If I don't need an SLR camera and will not be shooting very close up I like the Rollei 35. I have an original 1966 model and a later Singapore f/3.5 model. These are small but not light. If I need to get closer then I would consider a Konica C35, Konica Auto S3, Olympus 35RC, Olympus 35RD or Minolta Hi-matic 7SII. The 35RC is the smallest of these and the 7SII might be my favorite. The Olympus XA cameras and the Stylus Epic are small and light but do not feel as sturdy to me as the other small cameras I mentioned.
There might be smaller, but my Rollie 35 is really small if heavy for it's size. There is no rangefinder, so you really need to be pretty good at zone focusing to use it well. The metering isn't too bad though, and the f3/5 on my Singapore model is first rate. It's does invite comments from the occasional passerby, and it is just so darned cute!
I's not as small as the ME Super but The Canon EOS Rebel XS is way lighter. Even with a small zoom it seems a bit lighter than the ME Super body only. I don't have an MX but I think the Me/Me Super/Super Program are all the same size as the MX. The TINY button to unlock the mode dial drives me nuts and is part of why a Chinon CP5s will be my backup K mount and the Me Super and the Super Prog will get sold. The Chinon is compact,but not quite as small.
Was the Spotmatic the smallest Screw mount? I recall hearing that Fujica had a real compact M42 mount body.
I forgot to mention that the Ihagee Exa probably is one of the smallest full-frame SLRs.
A comment on lightweight cameras: I think cameras that are too light in weight work against the photographer by not providing a stable platform, especially when using a longer lens.
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