135compact.com 16mm film ultra compact cameras Mec 16 SB
The Mec 16 was first released 1958, the model presented, a Mec
16 SB, was launched in 1960, a top range camera for perforated 16mm
film* (see below).
It was made by Feinwerktechnik GmbH of Lahr in the Schwarzwald,
Germany. It has a built-in Gossen selenium lightmeter and it is the
world's first camera with through-the-lens metering. The camera has an
extremely luminous and top quality 22 mm F/2 Rodenstock Heligon lens.
So this was a very advanced camera by its time.
16mm film is a movie film format, as was 35mm film. In the early
days it was cut from 35mm film and thus had perforations on one
side (single perforation). Please note, that the perfs and their area
of 35mm are bigger than those of modern 16mm film. As soon as 1923
Kodak introduced a set with camera, projector, tripod,
screen and splicer (or was it a slitter?) aiming at amateurs. The new format was rapidly
adopted by still camera producers to build smaller devices. The film
in a cartridge, but no standard has been established, many have 2
cassettes, one feeding and one taking. So every maker made his own
system. Some, like Minolta, even sold a choice of readily available
film cassettes. If you want to use your camera, you should at least
have one (pair of) cassette(s).
film is still made. There is double perf, single perf and unperforated
film. Check, which one suits your camera. Some need perfs to advance.
Smaller picture formats can use double perf film, bigger ones would
have the perfs (or sprockets) visible in the picture area. There is
10mm of usable space between the perfs of double perf film, 12.5mm to
the side of single perf film. Film can also be s(p)lit from other
formats like 120.
The camera's main features are:
22mm F2 Rodenstoch lens, 6 elements, F2-F16, min. focus 0.3m(!!) Focal plane shutter speeds: B, 1/30 - 1/1000, flash synchro 1/30 bulb, 1/60 electronic 10x14mm picture format, can use only single or double perf 16mm film Size 106x58x36, Weight 268 gr. 6 - 100
ISO, viewfinder, only parallax compensation marks, matched needle TTL lightmeter, PC flash socket
Camera closed, it looks a little like a sardine can.
Camera closed, seen from above.
Camera closed, seen from below. Film type reminder, slot for filter, tripod socket and film presence indicator.
Camera open, front.
Back view. Finder and shutter release with cable release socket.
from the top. Aperture control. PC flash socket. Distance setting. Coupled
matched needle selenium meter. Shutter setting and ISO control. Film
counter. Counts backwards from 24. The film advance is blocked when it
shows "0". You must reset it to push the last to images into the
cartridge before opening the film compartment. Film advance lever,
meter. You have to match the needle with the pointer quite precisely,
1mm is 1 aperture. The whole unit is moved depending on aperture. So
the needle shows at F2 at 1/3 even if the meter doesn`t work.
Camera film compartment open. The releas is only accessible, if the camera is extended to open. Mec
sold its own film in those cartridges, which are reloadable. The camera needs perforations for film advance. You
can use single perf film if the perfs are towards the bottom of the
camera, the camera opens from the bottom and lies on its top in the
You can easily load and unload the cartridges in the dark or a changing bag. Please consult this page. As the film is pushed into the receiving cartridge, not pulled, advance cautiously not to jam the film.
camera is very easy to use, pull it open and it's ready. You only have to match the needle with the pointer,
focus and frame which is easy via the big viewfinder. After taking
a picture, you have to action the advance lever for film advance and shutter
a film is easy, just pull the film across the film plane into the
winding spool, shut the camera, advance to the first frame and that's
a very good point and shoot camera
with one of the best lenses ever built for 16mm, superb picture
quality, good quality
finish in a pocketable body. When it came out, it was the most advaned
16mm camera of all. This camera feels solid. It has an extremely
luminous lens. Picture results
were good. It has 2 rare features: focussing down to 30cm without extra
lenses and a B and 1/1000s shutter.