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BOOKS - MINOX POCKET COMPANION

Minox Pocket Companion


Minox Pocket Companion

Joseph D. Cooper

1962, Universal Photo Books Inc., NY, NY

Library of Congress Catalogue # 62-14419

Softcover, pocket size, 95pp

 

Joseph D. Cooper was a prolific writer of subminiature photography books
and guides. One of his most popular, and most useful guides was the Minox
Pocket Companion, long since out of print and avidly sought by collectors
and users alike.

The Minox Pocket Companion is a small book of 95 pages; it's thick
cardboard covers are sturdy enough to stand up to a lot of use, and its
broad plastic spiral binding allow the book to be quickly opened and laid
perfectly flat on a table or bench for easy reading. Measuring 3.5" x 5.5"
inches, and 3/8" thick, this book was obviously intended to be easily
carried in a shirt pocket to the field for ready reference.

The book is abundantly illustrated, but not with photographs: expertly
drawn and exquisitely detailed line drawings clearly show cameras, control
markings, accessories, and sample photographic situations for everything
from flash, sports, portrait styles and more...even rudimentary clandestine
photography!

The Minox Pocket Companion is stuffed full of tables, charts and other
reference material; much of this is dated, with references to films that no
longer exist for example. This is to be expected as the book was written at
a time when the Model IIIs and B (both extensively covered) were the only
two Minox cameras in existence.

However, the vast bulk of this book is
devoted to details of technique, of which almost nothing has changed. In
short, a new user armed with this guide is well prepared to understand and
extract the most out of these tiny precision cameras. More to the point, a
new user of any of the Minox 8 x 11 model cameras ever built will be able to use the vast majority of information in this book to their immediate
benefit.

The narrative style of text throughout the book clearly demonstrates that it was designed to be a comprehensive field reference: sentences are short and choppy in many places. Cooper didn't waste a single word, and every word was carefully chosen to impart the maximum amount of information. Type set was smaller, allowing him to cram in more truly useful information into
these 95 pages than can be found in other books twice its size.

There is virtually nothing of any real value to the Minox user that has been left out of this delightfully pocketable guide; indeed, it is the wealth of thoughtful extras that have been included that make this book such a gem. An appendix lists 47 suggested picture topics for those who may be
running short of ideas, almost two pages of travel photographic travel
advice, a poor picture troubleshooting chart, a blank chart for you to pencil in exposures to use for special situations and film combinations based on your own personal experience, and an 18% Neutral Gray Exposure Text card with instructions on how to use it printed on the reverse side, among other things.

Comprehensive coverage of filtre kits, flash units, tripod, binocular attachment and other accessories and techniques to use with them complete this solidly useful guide. This is undoubtedly the finest and most comprehensive pocket reference to effective use of the Minox cameras ever written and is well worth the extra effort to search out a used copy.

 

 

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Last updated March 20, 2003. minox club society organization historical history museum group company association