There are those who say this is a spy camera. I think that's a legitimate opinion. Others say this is a novelty camera, and again, I agree. What it is, is a butane cigarette lighter disguising a subminiature camera.
This camera was sold by Nikoh Company Ltd. of Japan ca 1981. It takes 8 x 11 mm images on standard Minox film cartridges. Focus, aperture and shutter speed are fixed. It does not have synchronization for flash. It is a fairly basic camera, but then it may be all a spy might need. Fussing with camera adjustments would surely attract attention.
This front view shows the taking lens (left rectangular window) and viewfinder lens (right window). On the camera top at the far left is the wind lever. The round button to its right is the shutter release and to its right is the manual resetting frame counter. To the far right is where you push to make the lighter work.
In the middle of the camera back is the viewfinder eyepiece. Pretty simple.
If you are familiar with Minox cameras this image of the camera interior would tell you the Minimax-Lite was designed to accept standard Minox film cartridges.
This is all the great stuff I received with my Minimax-Lite camera when purchased new in the early 1980s. It consists of a genuine leather carrying case, instructions and warranty card printed only in Japanese, and a box.
If you would like to see a Suzuki Optical Company Echo 8 lighter-camera ca 1950, follow this link to the Echo 8 page.
Page created January 23, 2002; updated December 20, 2020