The Mycro Subminiture Camera

These were shot with a Mycro III A, a subminiature camera from Japan, from the 1950s. These cameras where a bit of a craze and/or tourist trap back then. They’re generally referred to as “HIT-style cameras”, after one of the first models. The Mycro I have is one of the last models, and one of the most luxurious ones – a lens with two pieces of glass, aperture control from 4.5 to 11, speed control from 1/25s to 1/100s, plus bulb mode. All the speeds are actually 1/60s on mine but hey – they tried.

It’s relatively well made, all metal construction – not on the level of a watch or something but certainly on the level of bigger cameras. Just smaller. It looks and feels pretty nice in real life. Pictures don’t really capture all that well just how tiny it is.

The original film was paper-backed unperforated roll film in 17.5mm, on which it takes ten 14x14mm pictures per roll. I don’t have any original film for it. Instead I 3D-printed my own spools, and cut my own film from medium format film and backing paper. That sort of worked, though I’m only getting about 8 frames on a roll. I think medium format film is just that little bit thicker (and/or my spools are worse than the original ones).

I’m still working on a contraption that allows me to cut the film a bit easier and quicker. I’ve already designed and printed two different ones and they both turned out less than ideal. The complication is that it all must happen in total darkness. And I’ve almost cut off a finger while making that spool used here. But once I have something good I’ll put it on Thingiverse and will try to kick-start the Great 17.5 mm Revival of 2022. These things are a lot of fun.

Ilford Delta 100, cut to 17.5mm (badly), scanned negatives.

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