Two years ago I snapped-up a beaten-up CY Sonnar 85 2.8 for nothing. With a whole box of other junk attached, of course. I got rid of the junk, kept the Sonnar, but never used it. That’s because this was at about the same time my transition to a Leica M4-P as the main camera happened, and that could not mount it. So, I used my beloved tele-elmarit 90 instead. Both on Leica and Sony A7. But, I never dared to get rid of the sonnar though: the pictures which made me chase it in a first place were still in my memory! Despite being made for an SLR it’s also a small lens, and that hits another soft spot of me.
No, it was not love at first sight. The first time I saw the Minox EC I did not fall madly in love with this small piece of black plastic from the nineties. I was charmed then with my Minox B, a slick and jewerly-like bar of matte aluminum graced with knobs, chains, 007 movies charm, and virtually unchanged since my grandpa was loosing his teeth for the first time.
Once upon the time I were shooting my first real camera, Nikon D40, and passing by a local photo shop, had seen the diminutive Sony NEX 5. I was hooked on the mirrorless miniaturization mantra of the time, and got one. The problem though was lenses: there were not many! Especially a cheap 35mm equivalent (24mm) was missing. That started my dive into the legacy lenses world, and ultimately film photography. That’s also how I met the Pentax 110 system, which by chance, included also the smallest 24mm lens I’m aware of. It’s build around the world-smallest SLR (pictured above with 70mm lens).
I stumbled upon it in a local camera shop, lying among the used gear, so small and beautiful. I just can not resist the brushed aluminium flair, even if I had no hope to actually use the camera at the time. The tiny Minox B was born in cold war era, and is often associated with the spies, however, it was actually designed by Walter Zapp for ordinary people, to be their true and faithful companion.
Inertia of mind is sometimes mind boggling. I’ve started my serious photography life with Sony nex-5 camera which replaced a briefly owned Nikon D40 for the reason of compactness, but then I’ve found out there are no e-mount lenses! Particularly, I were missing a compact 35mm equivalent lens which would not cost 1000 eur (there was native sonnar 24 1.8 at the time, but not much else). So, the quest for the legacy glass which eventually led me to full-frame and the Leica world begun.