Mikroma

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The Mikroma is a tiny viewfinder camera for 16 mm film. It was made from about 1949 by Meopta in Prerov (then in Czechoslovakia; now the Czech Republic). It measures 75×43×40 mm and weighs 230 g (the Mikroma II).[1] It is based on an earlier camera the Mikronette, made when the company was still called Optikotechna, before it was nationalised.

Film with perforations on one or both edges can be used, giving exposures of 10.5×14.7 or 11.5×14.7 mm respectively.[1] The film must be loaded into a supply cassette. in the camera it is wound into another cassette on the uptake side. The supply cassette can contain up to 90 cm of film, which is sufficient for 50 exposures.

The camera has a sliding control at the back which advances the film and cocks the shutter when slid to the right, and then releases the shutter when allowed to return.[2][3]

The lens is a (fixed) 20 mm f/3.5 Mirar, a coated triplet. It focuses down to 0.6 metre. The shutter is a simple one; a single shutter blade, thrown by a variable spring tension.[2] Early cameras have only two marked speeds, 1/50 and 1/100 second, but unmarked, intermediate positions give intermediate speeds.[2] Later, the camera was made with more marked speeds: notes on the camera at Le Vieil Album describe an example with speeds 1/25 - 1/200 second, plus 'B'.[3]

An improved model, the Mikroma II from the late '50s, has a conventional shutter release button, threaded for a cable release, and more marked shutter speeds; 1/5,1/10,1/25,1/50,1/100,1/200, 1/400 second, plus 'B'. The shutter is synchronised for flash, with a PC socket on the top plate.[4]

Two stereo models of this camera, the Stereo-Mikroma and Stereo-Mikroma II, were made in the 1960s.


Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 User's manual for the Mikroma II (two files; the first is the manual proper, describing the camera controls; the second more of a guide to photography with it), at Orphan Cameras.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mikroma with combined film advance and shutter release, at Early Photography.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mikroma at Le Vieil Album.
  4. Mikroma II cameras in blue, brown and green, sold in the twentieth Westlicht Photographica Auction, on 1 November 2011. Note the green camera has a different film advance control. All three have speeds 1/5 - 1/400 second. There is also models in brown snake skin.The lot also includes a Stereo-Mikroma with close-up lens pairs for two ranges, and a Meoscop stereo viewer.


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