Minolta 16 QT miniature 16mm camera

The Minolta 16 QT was the last model 16mm still camera that Minolta made in their Minolta 16 series. Like others in the series the 16QT takes a cartridge of 16mm film, but this camera produces a slightly larger negative than earlier cameras.

These pictures can also be viewed full sized here.

My Camera

I bought this camera as a direct result of buying my Minolta 16 Ps a few days before. Once I’d received the Minolta 16 I became fascinated with the design of the series and set up an eBay search for them and this one popped up. One advantage at the moment seems to be that they don’t command high prices so it’s possible to pick them up really cheaply, which I did with this unit paying only a few pounds.

When it arrived I found, much to my disappointment but with no surprise that it didn’t have a film fitted. I guess that would be the real icing in the cake if I could find a Minolta 16mm camera which had a film in.

The other required part which was missing was the 3v battery which powers the exposure meter, but I was able to solve that problem relatively easily. I had, in my box of camera bits and pieces, the battery compartment lid from an old Minolta or Yashica SLR (can’t remember the model now). That allowed me to fit 2 SR44 batteries in it and then the lid assembly just fits snuggly into the 16QT battery compartment. Once it was fitted the exposure meter started working, although I’m not sure of its accuracy.

The other issue I found with my example camera is that the 1/30th shutter speed seems a bit temperamental, sometimes leaving the shutter open, but I’m seeing if that sorts itself out – my Minolta Ps 16 has, so this model may also.

Minolta 16 QT Description

The Minolta 16QT was the last model of 16mm still camera which Minolta sold, being produced in 1972.

It is a more sophisticated model than the other miniature Minolta camera I have, the Minolta 16Ps, because the 16QT has an inbuilt exposure meter and a more informative viewfinder as well as a rudimentary focusing system.

The exposure meter is based around a light cell built into the front of the camera between the viewfinder and the lens. It measures the light reflected from the scene, and gives it’s reading in the form of two LED’s in the viewfinder which appear at the top directly above the framed scene. There is no indication of the light level, instead the LEDs light up two indicators, ‘O’ and ‘K’ which show ‘Over exposed’ and ‘Under exposed’ (ok the K doesn’t really mean Under exposed) when either LED is lit by itself, and ‘OK’ when the exposure is correct. To enable the exposure meter a switch next to the aperture control is pressed down and then the aperture itself is adjusted until OK shows. It’s an easy system to use and is probably quite efficient with battery power since the meter is turned off until the switch is held down.

The information in the viewfinder covers the exposure as just explained, the focus, and also some warning indicators for slow speed and parallax correction. The focus indicator is along the bottom of the frame and consists of a set of icons representing a landscape view, a full height person, half height person and a head/shoulder shot. Behind these icons is a red marker which is adjusted by a slider with the thumb of the right hand when the shot is being composed and again, its easy enough to use.

The frame lines have parallax correction marks, and at the top of the frame a red flag appears when the 1/30 shutter speed is selected, just as a warning.

On the back of the camera is the film advance thumbwheel, and the shutter release is on the top, next to the lever to select the two shutter speeds. Film ISO is set with a dial mounted around the light cell.

I’m hoping that I can find a 16mm Minolta film cartridge so I can try both this and the Minolta 16Ps out – fortunately the manuals for several of the models give instructions for fitting fresh film into the cartridges, and I have a 16mm position on my Patersons Developing tank so I’m all set to go once I can find that elusive cartridge.

Minolta 16 Specifications

  • Minolta 16 QT 16mm miniature still camera
  • Zone focus control with symbols visible in viewfinder
  • Exposure meter with in-viewfinder display
  • Two speed shutter – 1/250 & 1/30
  • Rokkor 23mm f/3.5 lens
  • Aperture f/3.5 to f/22 available
  • Lens cover which also locks shutter release
  • Low shutter speed warning in viewfinder
  • Minolta 16mm film cartridge
  • ISO 400 to 50 film speed
  • Bright line framing lines
  • Count down frame counter
  • Flash sync socket and Tripod bush
  • Single 3v battery for exposure meter only
  • 12mm x 17mm size negative
  • Ser No: 212875
  • Manual available here

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