Tag Archives: Konica Big Mini

{Hacked} Konica Big Mini

Though I feel as if I’m cheating on my Olympus Stylus Epic by saying this: I quite like the Konica Big Mini I won from a blog giveaway some time back. It’s not perfect. I don’t like how the lens has no proper cover. And it is SO LOUD, but the lens is really good. I’ve always felt like the Big Mini has a tendency to underexpose a little. Though it has a very handy +1.5 exposure compensation, I find I need to use that exposure compensation just to get a proper exposure under normal circumstances. That means that I don’t have the option to add more exposure in backlit situations, since I’m already having to employ the exposure compensation in most usual lighting circumstances. With my most recent Big Mini roll, I decided to get a little clever: I hacked the DX code on the film I was using so the camera would think I was shooting ISO 250 instead of 400. In other words, I tried to take care of the slight underexposure tendencies the camera exhibits so I would only have to use the +1.5 compensation when I actually needed it. And you know what? I’m very glad I did that!

I spent my spring trying to relax with coffee and my favorite plaid throw in the afternoons.

Dressed up for my meeting with the soon-to-be married Jessica and Dustin. Testing the Big Mini’s mirror self-portrait abilities. 

Cup of coffee at Muddy’s Grind House when I met with Jessica and Dustin there.

Some interior shots of the Grind House – I think the camera did a great job on the “Mon Cheri” cupcake shot!

The other thing I like to do: self-portraits in reflective surfaces that aren’t actual mirrors.

I left my meeting with some minty brownies, one of my favorite Muddy’s treats! 

The general manager of the auto auction had this truck turned into a fake rat rod

Sneaky mirror self-portrait! Hey! 

Hello again. Sorry for all the pictures of myself. I’m just trying to recapture my long-held tradition of self-portraits on film.

Konica Big Mini • Kodak High Definition 400, shot at 250

I think the film with the hacked DX worked out great in the Big Mini. But isn’t that a lot of trouble to go to whenever I shoot this camera? I probably won’t cheat on my Stylus Epic too often…

Konica Big Mini {Unintentional Series}

I’ve been going through one of those spells where it feels as if all I do is go to work and run errands for work*. I think a lot of people who enjoy photography get into ruts like this from time to time. Besides my freelance photography work, I work part time with my family’s catering company. So my version of the “all I do is go to work” rut is going shopping for food and supplies, doing food prep, and doing food service. I was saying to my mom “I can have a new photo series called ‘Stuff I see in Sam’s parking lot,” because it felt like all the photography I was doing occurred in the parking lot of the Sam’s Club where we do shopping for the catering company.

I’d been carrying the Konica Big Mini in my purse for awhile so as to always have a camera on hand if a photographic opportunity presented itself. Here are the results of having that camera with me for these impromptu “Kodak Moments.”

REALLY awesome Ford Falcon station wagon in Sam’s Club parking lot. I want one!

Cigarette butt and a fallen leaf, rainy day

This may have been at Wal-Mart parking lot, as we sometimes have to shop there too. There were several discarded chicken bones on the ground. Clearly the person had bought the fried chicken in Wal-Mart, eaten it in their car, and then thrown the bones out. No judgement though…

Another day, another vintage car in Sam’s parking lot. This time, a Mustang (and with a doggy in the window!)

The other side to my “stuff I see at work” is that we have a catering gig at an auto auction. I’ve featured motorcycles I’ve photographed there in the past. This white Star motorcycle was GORGEOUS. A true piece of art.

Konica Big Mini • Kodak Gold 200

Technical information: This was also a continued testing of the Konica Big Mini. I did a review of it already, but I can say now that I really like this camera! I still think its exposure system requires the use of the +1.5 exposure compensation a little more than I’d like for it to, but I’m very pleased with the results from my most recent roll in the Big Mini. The closest focusing distance really came in handy. Specifically, when I see a cool vintage car in a parking lot, I usually have to just shoot “detail shots” of the car in order to avoid having the more modern cars in the photo (ruining the atmosphere.) Having a camera that would focus down to under 14″ was very helpful for that! 


(*but I’m going somewhere REALLY good soon, so that rut’s about to change!)

{Two Rolls In} Konica Big Mini

So the Konica Big Mini. Here’s how I came to own this camera:


Urban Hafner was giving away three Konica Big Mini cameras through his photography blog. I was so happy when I awoke to a Tweet saying that I was one of the three winners.  A couple of weeks later, I had my prize package from Germany!

Urban sent me the Konica Big Mini, a roll of film, and an awesome postcard of one of his photos

About the Konica Big Mini:

  • The Big Mini is an auto focus, auto exposure compact 35mm camera
  • 35mm f/3.5 lens
  • Automatic shutter speed range of 3.5s – 1/500s
  • Automatic aperture range of f/2.5 – f/16
  • It’s a slick little thing, with a recessed lens that zooms out when the power switch is turned on.
  • There are menu buttons on the back that allow you to select flash modes, exposure compensation, and self-timer.
  • Flash modes are: auto flash, flash on, flash off
  • When “flash off” is selected, you can also choose exposure compensation: +1.5 or  -1.5
  • Automatic slow sync flash  when “flash on” is selected in low light situations.
  • Self timer is 10 seconds long, with a red indication light on the front of the camera.
  • Automatic close-up mode, which focuses between 13.78 in. (35cm) and 23.62 in. (60 cm.)
  • Date/time imprint available (and goes all the way up to the year 2019! This camera came out in 1990…)

Roll #1 was the Rossman 400 film Urban included with the camera

Mini pumpkins, before we painted them for Halloween

My niece decorating her pumpkin

Lunch with me mum

This is a kiosk my family’s catering business owns and our clients decorated with a patriotic theme

A very rainy day

I don’t know why I always take pictures of dead birds. There’s one on this camera review post, too.

Trying to soothe a sore throat with a cup of tea one afternoon

Roll #2 was my old faithful favorite film, Kodak BW400CN. I took roll #2 before I saw the results of roll #1, so take that for what it’s worth.

I actually used +1.5 compensation for this, and it still came out quite underexposed

The angle on this looks kind of zany, but I kind of like it! (and probably a result of parallax problems)

This must have been the day I was testing out my Keystone Everflash to see if it was still working (it was)

My sister’s wall decor

After we had a bit of ice fall in Memphis

Christmas pressies under the tree


Visiting Mallory. I love photographing all the cuteness in her house.

Thoughts on the Konica Big Mini?

  1. I usually like my compact 35mm cameras to have f/2.8 maximum apertures, but the f/3.5 on the Big Mini wasn’t as problematic as I’d thought it’d be. Decently shallow dept of field was achievable at closest focusing distances!
  2. All things being equal, the lens is pretty darn sharp!
  3. The main issue I see with this camera is that the exposure system is easily fooled. I felt like the +1.5 exposure compensation was needed for a lot of the photos, even ones that weren’t really backlit.
  4. Hamish over at 35mmc.com reported problems with the focusing system in a specific situation, but I haven’t encountered that so far (since I haven’t exactly been to the beach with my Big Mini!) If I’ve had any troubles achieving correct focus, it’s probably been due to the fact that I usually push the limits of the close-up feature.
  5. I’m a bit scared of the lack of a lens cover. I predict that, even handling the camera with kid gloves and trying to store it properly, I’ll have dust in the lens.

I actually enjoyed learning to use the Big Mini and will continue to do so. When it’s good, it’s VERY good!

Big thanks to Urban for giving me this camera! Please visit his website and then maybe buy postcards of his work! (The postcards are VERY high quality and awesome!)

I’m going to try this thing where I don’t review a camera on the SWP blog until I’ve used it for two or three rolls. Because a review really can’t be all that complete if you’ve only used a piece of photographic equipment for one roll of film! And this post was the first of the “Two rolls in” series.