135compact.com       35mm half format cameras       Fujica Mini

When it was first released in 1964, Fuji claimed that it was the smallest 35mm film camera built. It's said that Fuji targeted female users. The camera was designed by Masaki Nishimura, Head of Konan Camera Laboratory and Yoshio Tanaka, professor of Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, the latter had also designed the "Fuji Pet". The camera's main features are:

35mm film half-frame camera, picture size 24 x 18 mm
Fujinar K 25mm f/2.8 (3-group 3 element) lens,
fixed focus, 1.5m min. distance
Fixed Shutter speed, 1/125 sec, exposure control via selenium photo cell, matching needle type
Size 88 x 62 x 40 mm, Weight : 290 g
ISO 25-200, no flash connection

Front. Big selenium meter around the lens with rotating tab for exposure control.

Back view. Rewind wheel, finder and film counter.

Seen from above. Exposure indication window. The shorter needle has to be preset according to the film speed by turning the small silver knob under the window, ISO is symbolized by 4 "jewels". By rotating the tab on he front of the camera, you have to match the exposure needle with the preset one. Shutter button (black). Film advance wheel. If you put your forefinger on the wheel, your thumb into the groove at he bottom, and turn the camera (less than a quarter turn), the film is avanced.

Seen from below. Film compartment opening wheel, rewind unlock button.

Camera back open open. ISO setting reminder on the pressure plate.

Pressure plate open.

Camera and its original case..

The Fujica Mini is well designed, its handling is very easy. With fixed shutter speed and the absence of flash it's only for outdoor use, but pictures are sharp. Minimum distance is quite long, 1.5m. It's sturdy and quite heavy. Today's full format cameras are not bigger and they weigh less. So this is a beautiful vintage camera of limited use, but it's fun.