Using the Minox EC with a tripod...

It's always been easy to use older Minox cameras with a tripod, thanks to the neat adapter which Minox supply. Unfortunately the EC can't be used in this way due to its different construction. However, it's not hard to make an adapter for yourself.

Here's how...

EC on a tripod This is how mine turned out.

To begin with, you'll need some materials:

To finish the job, you'll also need some matt black spray paint and some black beize or felt. The dimensions and layout of the component parts are shown in Figure 1 below.

Parts schematic

First of all, cut out the two brass pieces I and II, flatten and remove sharp edges & burrs with the file. Mark the folds as shown. Carefully clean and tin with solder the tab marked C in item I as well as the opposite end A (on the other side.) Now fold I so as to make an open rectangular box. Solder the tab C to section A and leave to cool.

Mark and drill a 2.5 mm hole as shown on item II. Clean the surface and lightly tin around the hole together with the ends on the opposite face. Clean and lightly tin the middle of the long outer faces of I. Now fold II into the U shaped form shown and offer up to item I. You can now solder the two ends of II to the outer faces of I to give the basic shape of the adapter. Use a paperclip on each soldered joint to hold it together whilst you make one of the others. Next, clean the small bottom section of II, tin lightly together with one face of the 1/4" nut and then solder the latter to the complete assembly.

Finally, attach the fixing nut for the cable release or timer. Most releases have a tapered, threaded end making the exact thread in the nut uncritical - I used a 6 B.A. nut (because I had some brass ones) but any brass nut of similar size & thread will do. The 6 B.A. thread (a british standard now being phased out in favour of metrication) gives a screw diameter of about 2.5 mm. Clean and tin one face of the nut then pass a steel screw through it, through the 2.5 mm hole in the tripod assembly, and lightly hold in place with a steel nut on the inside. Apply just enough heat to solder the nut to the adapter. When cool, remove the screw - steel doesn't take solder well, so won't bind in the thread.

When all is cool, remove surplus solder with the file, clean and polish with emery and steel wool. Basically that's it !

To finish the job, spray with two coats of matt black paint. When dry, attach the beize or felt to the inner surfaces so as to prevent scratching of the camera when inserted into the adapter. This is easily done with some contact adhesive or less messy, use double sided adhesive film.

The finished job

The finished job should look something like the illustration. Mine has been around a few years now so the it's hardly in pristine condition any more, but you'll get the idea.

Adapter on Minox tripod

I've also made another one to suit my LX, constructed on very similar lines - you will see the resemblance.

LX Adapter  LX Adapter & 		Camera

You'll see that it's a little longer to accomodate the greater length of the LX. The shutter release requires an indent in one side as well. For additional stability, another reinforcement was placed around the adapter as you can see. For dimensions, I have placed them here. Construction is performed very much in the same way as for the EC tripod adapter, and it works equally well.

So much for theory, how does it work in practice ? Below are some pictures taken at night or under poor light conditions, just to show you that it is possible. I don't make any claims to virtue, technical, artistic or otherwise, for the pictures - just to show that the little EC can be used with a tripod. Obviously it doesn't have to be the Minox one, but for pocketability, it's hard to better.

Fortress The Old Fortress at Tossa de Mar, Spain

A cafe scene at night by available light. Cafe Scene

The pictures above were taken using Jessop's R50 cut from roll film and rated at 100 ASA.They were developed in ID11 (1:1). R50 is one of a proprietary range marketed by Jessops in the UK but I believe is similar to the now unavailable Efke stock, made in Croatia under licence by Du Pont. Update as of 2003, this film has now been discontinued which, I think, is rather a pity. Ilford Delta 100 (developed in Microphen & 1:1 dilution) seems to make quite a good substitute.

The Harbour at Puerto Pollenca The Harbour at Puerto Pollenca, Mallorca

This image was taken on Agfa Optima 100 with standard C41 development and scanned using a Jenoptik JS21film scanner at 2400 dpi. This is not perhaps the most ideal film for night work - Minocolour has slightly better grain and sharpness, but it shows what can be done. The harbour lights did intrude a little but there is still plenty of detail to be seen.

I hope you found this useful and interesting. Comments ? Let me know !


Updated March, 2006

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