Minolta 16MG - introduction

introduction | kit (early) | camera only boxkit (middle) | kit (late) | kit (small box) | kit (small box, late) | revue 16 kb | gold | accessories

The Minolta 16 MG was introduced in 1966 and manufactured until 1971. It is a total redesign, smaller than the 16EE at 102.5 x 24  x 39.5 mm  and weighing 156g. Incredibly the selenium meter was back and a new matched needle system, with a coupled aperture-shutter arrangement. This removed the need for a battery and perhaps saved on space allowing the camera to be much smaller than a CdS metered camera would have been.

The shutter is variable from 1/30 to 1/250 s. The EV system worked from EV 8 to 16. It offers manual settings of the f-stop and shutter speed which the EEII lacked.

 The Minolta 16 MG has a 20mm four element f2.8 lens. It is significantly smaller than the 16EE, 16EEII, 16P and 16Ps cameras.

A match-needle, selenium exposure meter dials in the correct shutter speed and aperture combination at the same time. Dial in the film speed (ASA 25 - 400) and then turn the "exposure" dial until the needles match, semi-automatic, programmed exposure. The camera can be used manually, but you can't tell exactly what shutter speed is set.  The meter has a range of EV 8 - EV 16 for ASA 100 film. At EV 8 the exposure is f2.8 at 1/30 sec. Both progress uniformly until EV 13 when the shutter sticks at 1/250 sec and the aperture continues to f16.

Only two filters, UV and Y48 (yellow) where made. These are 'L' shaped and are attached by the wrist strap screw to the camera.  

The lens is a Rokkor 20mm f2.8 four elements in three groups and is wider than previous Minolta 16 models. The lens is very sharp and it has a good depth of field.

A built-in sliding close-up lens, set to 1.2m (4 feet), was added so additional close-up lenses were dropped as accessories.  A red mark appears in the viewfinder when the built-in lens cover is in place to avoid out-of-focus pictures. There is a flash switch on the back of the camera that sets the shutter at 1/30;  then the f-stop in dialled in manually,  a setup which also allows for low light, non-flash pictures.  

The camera lacks a flash shoe adapter but an accessory flashgun (using AG bulbs) was available that screwed into the tripod socket of the camera.  The flashgun had an additional tripod socket.  The camera had a PC contact on the other end of the camera so other flash units could be used with the camera as well.  The reflector on the flash bulb unit changed from a smooth finish to a chequered finish in later samples.

On the back of the camera, behind the lens is a small disc. This can be unscrewed and the shutter observed opening and closing to test operations without the need to process a film. This is also a potential source of light leaks into the camera.  The only other models where you can do the same are the 16P and 16Ps.

Not only was the MG small, but it is truly stylish and feels almost natural in your hand. It's small size, lack of battery and superlative lens makes this a popular camera.  Finished in chrome (brushed aluminium) there was also a gold version engraved "minolta 16". Revue sold a version engraved "Revue 16 KB" and "Revue KB" on the flash and filters. The box for this is unmarked.

Cameras with low serial numbers seem to be in better working condition than the late ones.

Although there appears to be no change in the design of the camera the packaging changed over the years. The early presentation box was in a yellow and gold box and included wrist chain, filters, flash and cases for these as well as the for the camera. A film cartridge may have been enclosed, although there appears of room to fit all of these items for a show display. the cases are often stored inside one another, but this is also tight fitting. Later Serial numbers came in a picture box. there was also a smaller, not as deep box that was laid out differently and there is no room for cases, even if the flash and camera where stored in their cases. The thin case and later ones have no key lock, and is the same style as found on the MG-s and QT presentation boxes. The box for the gold version of the camera has different lettering and has black velvet inside instead of the red velvet.

In 1971 the camera alone cost about 43, while the kit cost about 47. The last list price in 1971, the USA, was $79.50.


Years of production 1966-1971
Lens 20mm Rokkor 
Aperture f2.8-16 4 elements in 3 groups
Shutter Speeds 1/30-1/250
EV 8-16 (for ASA 100)
Flash sync. X Contact at 1/30 s
Film Speed ASA 25-400
Viewfinder Bright Frame with Parallax Correction Markings
Film Advance Wheel Type - 120 degrees
Film Counter Reverse Counting, automatic return
Negative Size 10x14mm
Finishes chrome, gold
Supplied case, wrist strap
Manuals English: MG-603 IE
Dimensions 102.5 (L) x 24 (H) x 39.5 mm (W) 
4"(L) x 1" (H) x 1 1/2" (W)
EV and winder made the height 27mm and it tapers from 39.5mm to 37mm
Weight 156g. 5.6oz.


Filters UV, Y48(Yellow) (2x), 
Auxiliary lenses Close-up built in 1.2m (4 ft.) only
Flashbulb unit MG Flashgun, included a tripod socket.
Enlarger 3 in 1 Enlarger with carriages for 16mm, 9.5mm and 35mm negatives.

Depth of field scale

The f/2.8 20mm Rokkor lens provides extreme depth of field. You are in sharp focus from 2' 2 3/8 " (0.67m) to infinity with close-up lens. 
Lens Opening Without Close-up Lens With built in Close-up Lens 
(3' 11 1/4" (1.2m)
F 2.8 (7'10" - 18' 4") 1.05-1.39m 
(3'5 3/8"- 4'6 3/4")
F 4 (7' - 25' 4") 1.00 - 1.50 m
(3' 3 3/8" - 4' 11")
F 8 (5'2" - infinity) 0.86 - 2.00 m
(2' 9 7/8" - 6' 6 3/4")
F 5.6 (6'1" - 55' 6") 0.94 - 1.67 m
(3' 1" - 5' 5 3/4")
F 11 (4'3" - infinity) 0.77 - 2.77 m
(2'6 1/4" - 9' 1")
F 16 (3'5" - infinity) 0.67 - 6.12 m
(2'2 3/8" - 20' 1")

Last Updated on 25th May 2005