History of VEF Minox Accessories
This information may not be complete or fully accurate, I hope we can expand on it and fill in some of the pieces over time. Please send me your input under firstname.lastname@example.org
· The Development tank. A true classic, it was produced in virtually identical form by Minox GmbH for decades. Its design allowed the film to enter the development tank in daylight. At least two versions have been made which came in a nice sale box and user manual. One was painted inside with white and has a metal clip. It also features in white letters “Made in Latvia” on the bottom
Status Today: Cameras very largely sold with the Riga camera but over the decades the tank usually got lost. It is considered rare. Luckily any cheap modern day tank can be used by the Riga user.
· The Negative wallet. Again a classic, adopted in near identical form by Minox GmbH. The wallet is out of thin cardboard and inside you find a hard plastic foil to hold 5 strips of 10 negatives each
Status Today: They are surprisingly frequent which may be due to the fact that a large stash of them survived in Riga and were sold in the 1990s
· The Negative viewer. To select a decent negative for enlargement you may choose to use an enlarging lens sucg as this 10X magnifier. A very optional item, which you may never need. The negative viewer was adapted in near identical form by Minox GmbH later on.
Status Today: As it is not a very necessary item, it was not made in great numbers and is rarely traded and then for large sums of money. If you need one, there are plenty modern day ones available.
· The enlarger. Three enlargers were made. The fixed focal length enlarger was made in large numbers and was frequently sold as a kit together with the development tank. Again over the decades, the little enlarger disappeared from peoples houses while the little camera was saved. There was an add-on for the fixed focal length enlarger, the postcard easel. A second enlarger with a variable focal length was sold at the same time. There is a 3rd enlarger which looks very similarto the 2nd VEF Minox enlarger but its enlarger head looks very much like the later Minox GmbH enlarger. The patent for this enlarger was granted in 1940 but little is known if this enlarger remained a VEF prototype or was distributed in 1940-1943.
The 1st enlarger (commonly sold)
The 2st and much rarer enlarger
& the 3rd (last VEF enlarger, patented 1940)
Status Today: The fixed focal length enlarger is rare but can sometimes be found. The variable focal length enlarger is super rare and I only have seen one surviving example so far but many more may have been sold in Latvia. There is also at least one surviving prototype enlarger. According to Duncan only 5 have been made, one of which passed through his hands and is now in Switzerland. The Riga user can easily use a modern day Minox enlarger
· The photo album. A VEF Minox photo album may have been sold which allowed you to store the small photos produced by the fixed focal length enlarger. However I can not verify this and it maybe just an example of a self-made photo book.
Status Today: I have only ever seen one example (see above)