Joseph D. Cooper was a prolific writer of subminiature photography
and guides. One of his most popular, and most useful guides was
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,
broad plastic spiral binding allow the book to be quickly opened
perfectly flat on a table or bench for easy reading. Measuring 3.5"
inches, and 3/8" thick, this book was obviously intended to
carried in a shirt pocket to the field for ready reference.
The book is abundantly illustrated, but not with photographs:
drawn and exquisitely detailed line drawings clearly show cameras,
markings, accessories, and sample photographic situations for everything
from flash, sports, portrait styles and more...even rudimentary
The Minox Pocket Companion is stuffed full of tables, charts and
reference material; much of this is dated, with references to films
longer exist for example. This is to be expected as the book was
a time when the Model IIIs and B (both extensively covered) were
two Minox cameras in existence.
However, the vast bulk of this book is
devoted to details of technique, of which almost nothing has changed.
short, a new user armed with this guide is well prepared to understand
extract the most out of these tiny precision cameras. More to the
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
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
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.