Local classifieds of last Sunday gave me the opportunity to acquire a Minox BL. The person selling it had no general interest in cameras, and in Minox in particular. All he wanted was 50,00.

The camera was sold in its case and chain (well, half of the case anyway, the leather upper part being missing). The chain is a BL regular and while a bit twisted, is a good user. Serial is 12045949, making it a production of 1974-76 batches.

This camera, a metric BL, is in very good shape: only a few blemishes, no dings or dents. Viewfinder clear and frame lines perfectly visible. Shutter speeds sun like spot-on (not tested however), chassis not bent or misaligned, distance thumb wheel rotation very smooth, release button not sticky or blocked. By the look and sound of it, the shutter blades are working smooth and fine.

This is the part where I declare that my interest in BL’s weaned after buying the 3rd one. All 3 had broken or very low-reading meters, so I decided I will not waste any more cash on any BL, with all the chances to add another door-stopper to my collection.

With that resolution in mind, guess what did I do? I have bought the 4th BL, of course. However, this time I draw the winning ticket:

Upon receiving the camera, I opened it and went straight to the battery compartment. It had (obviously) a spent battery inside, an AG12. Why this type, beats me; this camera takes Wein Cells. Took it out, cleaned the contacts (some green goo was on blades) and insert a new cell in: THE METER CAME ALIVE ! Eureka, I have a BL with a working meter.

The meter is extremely sensitive, it even reacted to my tablet screen, some 2 meters away. It’s dark outside now, s I guess I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to check it against my spot-on, old Weston Master III (repaired and light cell changed last year).

Glad my quest for a BL with a working meter came to an end. Time to save some cash now…


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