Miniature Photography intended as the images taken with the famous spy-cameras (or with even smaller models) is a trend that knew a great success during the evolution of photography also driven, at least in collective imagination, by modern detective-stories literature and filmography. In any case, the aspiration to achieve ever smaller camera bodies which can be carried in pockets without any effort, or even easily camouflaged in everyday objects such as books or ashtray, it’s something that has accompanied the imagination and creativity of the builders since the first years after the onset of the daguerreotype: just think of the prototype built by Steinheil in 1840 and capable of producing images of size 11 x 8 mm. Unfortunately diffusion was limited by the availability of the sole contact print technique, which penalized so much small negatives.
At the turn of ‘900, however, complicit in the availability of flexible film on the basis of celluloid and advances in image magnification, we are witnessing the massive spread of the phenomenon of camouflage the cameras (in books , lighters, ashtrays, clocks, etc.). accompanied by a new impulse toward miniaturization. The real explosion then happened in the mid-30s with the birth of Minox and in the 60s with the spread of Minolta 16; parallel, the appearance and the market penetration of the 110 Pocket format provided further impetus to the sector of miniature photography. In recent times, cameras and films of this type occupy a instead quite small niche but, that includes several enthusiasts and regular users and for this reason on the world of Italian Film Photography subminiature photography certainly will not be overlooked!
Resources on the Italian Film Photography website:
The website is hosting the following resources related in whole or in part in the world of miniature photography:
Article Miniature Photography – part 1
Article Miniature Photography – Part 2
Review Minolta 16 II
Tutorial Reload the cartridge 110
The resources available online are largely made up of personal pages or Minox 16mm camera users, while today there are not many sites / communities that deal with the matter. The most important to refer to are the following: