Name is Julian. Romania, Eastern Europe, sometime during the crazy ’60s. Intelligence professional, with a classic cameras and photography twist. Your next door sort of bloke, easy going and with a healthy dose of self-mockery.
I started the photography hobby in the early 80’s, at the photo lab in my high school in Bacau. The only camera I had at that time was a worn and beatten down Smena 8. Man, that was an annoying camera! Next, my parents bought me a plastic russkie, an 6×9 Etiud. and later on, I got from an uncle a Pouva Start. I still have the Etiud, but the Pouva Start had a short life: I used it as a donor for a home made enlarger. Never shot a single frame with that camera. The Minox came much later in my life, in 1998. Good God, never owned a Leica though…
Please note that I am talking about a certain time in Romania’s sad past when I could not even see a Leica, not mentioning buying one). It was a time when one could buy nothing but USSR or Czechoslovakian-made photographic equipment. Even the equipment made in DDR (Democrat Republic of Germany) was extremelly hard to get. OK, there was a Romanian camera, Orizont Amator, produced by the IOR (Romanian Optical Institute) in Bucharest. It was a simple camera, with no pretences whatsoever. I got one, God knows where from, and is a part of my collection now. I’m rather proud of it actually.
The films available on the Romanian market were all of USSR stock (Svema, Tazma, in both color and BW versions, all crappy as hell), the DDR-made Orwo, or the ubiquitos Azomures (produced under license by the Azomures factory – I believe it was under DDR’s Orwo or Agfa Werke (not Leverkusen) license, I may be wrong on this one).
So anyways…this blog is about my experience with subminiature and other formats, be those 16mm, 110, 120, 35mm. Alas, some of the cameras and accessories depicted here are not with me anymore. I do not publish or write about anything of which I do not own/owned or used in the past.
I do indeed prefer to primarily use Minox format for most of my photography, although I am no stranger to 16mm, 35mm and 120 medium format, not necessarily in this order. I do not own a dark room, since I have no place for it. All my negatives are processed and scanned by me and I do not print any negatives, unless is something which gets the eye of my daughter :-), and only if she likes that frame. She is my main critique, and believe you me, she does her job in a merciless manner.
I am not a collector, not as such. The cameras have gathered in my cabinets mainly in the first years of this hobby. It was a time when I was more actively chasing good or serviceable cameras or accessories. Alas, not anymore, I do not have the time or will to do this now. I am no expert in cameras or art of photography. I like very much classic photography, BW film, using those old cameras, being always intrigued by the intricacies of the old mechanisms, inventions which moved forward the camera and accessories production and bettering of models and way they worked. Therefore, do not take anything on this blog as an expertize or anything like that. Just see my blog as a hobby of an amateur photographer, with its minuses and pluses.
Just a word here about my other hobby, which is fountain pen collecting. I can always see the beauty in the craftmanship of a good vintage fountain pen. You can see my pens here, if you are interested or curious: http://www.stilouri.blog .
Anyways, back to Minox; if you wish to contact me in relation with this blog, you may do so using the contact page here. If I can help, I will gladly do so.
Please do note I do not sell cameras or accessories or manuals. I do however sell fresh 9.2mm and 16mm film cassette reloads. And I do process and scan these film formats, for anyone needing this kind of thing. I do consider the above as valuable services to the subminiature community out there. These communities are shrinking by day, any help keeping them alive should be greatly appreciated, if you ask me!
Hope you’ll enjoy. A few samples of my past work here. See you around!
Eerie rapids – Romania – Minox AIIIs
Catholic cathedral – Minox IIIs
Athens, Greece – Minox LX / Kodak Ultra 100
Guesthouse courtyard in Romania- Minox IIIs