Minox 35 and clones
Pardon the title, as i'm actually not sure Minox was the forerunner of this series of sub-mini cameras, but that's the impression i've gotten now.
I really find these cameras interesting, and to me, it seems it's the camera that has spawned most clones!
I'm trying to collect a list of these cameras, as all the websites i've found only has fractions.
Please let me know everything you know about them, or direct me if there's a thread allready, here's the list i've gathered so far:
Minox 35 AF, AL, EL, Goldknopf, GL, GSE, GT, 35 GT-E, 35 GT-X, MB, MDC, ML, PE, PL, Touring, GT-E, GT-S, GT-X
Cosina cx-1/2 cr-2/(1?)
Porst cm-135 auto
Balda CE35/C35/CA 35/ Mini 35 / Mini 35 plus
Yangtze Balda CE 35A / CS 35
Bauer scout 35
Voigtländer vito / vito c / vito CS / ce 35
Lomography LC-A / LC-A+ / LC-Wide
Revue 35 cc / fc / xe (colors!)
Olympus xa (?)
Voigländer Vito C also had two more versions, Vito CL with lightmeter and Vito CLR with lightmeter and rangefinder.
These cameras were sold with different lenses, so when you refer to one of them you may also give the lens name, like people do with Rolleiflex cameras.
My Vito CLR has a Color-Skopar 2,8/50. Some have the Lanthar 2,8/50, probably a third lens exists for this camera, some cameras were probably sold in two versions.
This page on compact cameras of the '70 might be useful for your list:
Personally, I don't think it's anywhere near a clone of the original Minox 35 series cameras, but if the variant, the Minox 35 AF can be included, the Minolta AF-C should be listed there as well, and maybe the AF-S too.
It has been posted here before, that the three smallest 35mm "full frame" cameras are the Minox 35's, Olympus XA's, and the Olympus Stylus (Mu) with the fixed 35mm lens. Since the Oly's use the sliding dust barrier and innovative lens designs, they are the same size open or closed. The Minox is a classic "clam shell" folder design (albeit in miniature and without the bellows), so it is much larger when it is opened for use.
The Minox 35GT had a great little lens and a useable light meter, but lacked a rangefinder. I found scale focusing to work in good light, but when the light was marginal and the subject was not at infinity, it got a lot harder. I actually would carry a pocket rangefinder to get a better read on the distance. But it took great shots and there wasn't anything smaller or lighter in 35. Ultimately I replaced it with a Leica CL with its 40mm/2 lens.
I'm trying hard to become a Minox 35 user so that I will always have a small, easy to use camera with me. The shutter is SO quiet.
Re the Rollei, this will be my next port of call if my latest Minox "fights back": let me explain...
I've been ignited by the purchase of a Minox at a modest price on eBay; looking for shots like I did 25 years ago! I've just returned it as it appears to have the wrong battery voltage fitted (6v rather than 5.6v) and the self-timer was eratic. To replace the GT I've "won" a GT-E at a less modest cost but with a case and lens hood.
In the past 2 weeks I've become an "instant expert" on the different models and the likely reliability of their shutters rather than progressing my learning of photography. Not what I want.
AND YET! As I have a Voightlander screw outfit there is a premium on "carry-ability" which makes me willing to try again. I suggest that if you want to try a Minox 35 you do some research too?
I've has a Minox 35GT for about twenty five years it's great for street shooting, it has a wonderful lens and is so small that if your subject takes offence and sticks it "where the sun don't shine" it's not half so painful as a Leica :D