Minolta 16mm "Spy" Camera

Back in late 2012 I received a Minolta-16 as a gift. It's a small metal camera that was originally produced in 1960. Sometimes this type of camera is called a "Subminiature" or "Spy" camera, but it wasn't actually designed for secret agents. It was marketed as a pocket camera for kids and families. It took small cartridges of 16mm film produced by Minolta (similar to 110 film cartridges). It's a fixed focus camera but you can adjust the shutter speed and aperture which makes it very handy for a variety of shooting conditions. It's super handy as it fits in your pocket so you can take it almost anywhere. And the negatives are so cute!

Thanks to the magic of the internet I was able to purchase a cartridge loaded with fresh film and a developing tank which can hold smaller rolls of film. 16mm film was primarily used in movie cameras and is still produced today. In an effort to save money I purchased an older 50 foot roll of 16mm Tri-X 7278 (which is different from today's Kodak Tri-X film) for loading into the cartridge. I was completely lost when it came to developing. I have a bottle of Ilfotec DDX and I had no idea if it would work with these films, or how long to develop them for. I arbitrarily chose 6.5 minutes and, for some reason, it worked.


The first three photos are from the fresh roll of film that came in the cartridge. The last one is from the old Tri-X 7278 film. I'm very pleased with the resulting pictures and I am looking forward to shooting the next 48 feet of film.

♥ Jessica


  1. I love the one of the card catalog and the footprints in the snow!