Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Collection Downsizing, Minox Photos and Scanner

Happy new year ! Once again I didn't manage to post more often but I am sure that every blogger understands that this is meant to happen !

Ironically I was soon bored by the lytro modern camera and did discover  another hobby that started in 2011: Minox 8x11 cameras also known as "spy cameras". I originally bought in summer 2011 a camera from minox directly (since than they apparently stopped selling these analogue cameras but there are still new ones available at MS Hobbies and other suppliers) but I soon discovered that it was very difficult to get it processed and printed.

This because the film is very small. The only processing lab was in the U.S. so while I did finish 2 rolls I never managed to get them processed. There is now a lab in the UK doing it so I did spend part of the summer taking some photos using the minox. But...back to typewriters !  One of the first photos I have taken is of a voss typewriter. It is fairly blurry and grainy because of the film I used and, well, because of the poor lighting perhaps. 

So here is the only (for now) typewriter photo I have taken with the minox:

 Is this all ? No ! Since I am from Zürich I think that some readers might be interested in seeing a bit of the city and its famous banks so below I am sharing some of the best minox photos I have taken in the center of Zürich (Paradeplatz) at the Stock Exchange and nearby area.

Note that these are scans directly from the film and not instagram or digital effects: it is a direct scan from the tiny 8x11 analog film of the minox (so a small bit of dust might look like a big black dot!)

Other news on the typewriters front: I did manage to get some of the many many typewriters I never used in the basement. So I *did* downsize the collection in the sense that I managed to move some out ...
but I do have (yes after then downsizing) 12 (or is it more like 15? :( ) or so typewriters around the house (and one in the office).  The one I use the most are the Valentine red (of which I have a twin, the one that I bought still in the box, in my office).  My advice if you are collecting typewriters is to try to keep the collection to a reasonable size.

What is reasonable? Well is not up to me to say, much depends on your space and tastes but I would say that a good maximum should be 10 if you have a lot of space or 3-5 if you don't have a lot of space. I have been too victim of the retro beauty of typewriters - each seems to have a rich story to tell ! Yet this is not like collecting pens or even watches. Typewriters do require more space and you might end up not using them as much.

Of course the sky is the limit for the hardcore collector ;) but in that case I suggest that you avoid my mistake to buy too many too quickly.

I am awaiting a new scanner tomorrow or thursday and I will hopefully find the time and spirit to post a typecast with some further news and photos. I do have some typewriters you have never seen and for sure many pens you didn't see ;)

Also coming up: a custom made typewriter cover for the Valentine that I have ordered from easy.

Thanks again for reading this and, as always, feel free to leave a comment that is much appreciated !


  1. You must feel like a spy using the Minox.

    "A good maximum should be 10 if you have a lot of space"? Uh oh. I have medium space and am struggling to keep my collection to 270.

  2. I love those Minox photos - and I know where every single one of them was taken! You must indeed feel like James Bond in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"!

  3. Richard,
    as the collector supremo these numbers are certainly not applicable to you :D I also think that a lot of space here would be much less than in the U.S. ! your knowledge also allows you to repair/get new challengers I guess. As a simple buyer I ended up having too many !

  4. maschinengeschrieben: not really feeling like bond but it is good fun. The only difficulty is the need to post + wait to get it developed I am glad it worked out now. Just got my scanner today so I do look forward to a typecast soon and some "normal" pictures of another typewriter

  5. I thiink I have one of those somewhere. I should try to find it, if only for selling.
    nice composition on the pics. I recognize some of those places too!

  6. I have to agree with you about keeping a manageable number in one's collection (exceptions- Polt, Sommeregger, Messenger, et al). I had 17 now downsized to 13. Perhaps 12 is the ideal, for me at least.

  7. hello Ton :)
    thanks for your comment. I think 12 is a good number too (I probably have 12-13 around at the moment as I didn't count some of the kolibri!) obviously there is no perfect number and it much depends but I still feel that without limits things can get pretty wild ;) ! Thanks for reading

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