Review: The STEKY 16mm subminature camera


ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,013
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#1
Photos will follow this evening ..... if you're too itchy, please google to see other pics of the camera

The Steky is a 16mm subminiature spy camera that was was made in Japan during the 1940s. It was the FIRST Japanese camera to use 16mm roll film

Because of its tiny tiny size, it was a popular spy and private-eye camera. Weighing just under 180grams it measures just 6.35cm HIGH, 4.44cm WIDE and 4cm DEEP ....... INCLUDING THE LENS.

A specimen in good condition sells for between US$300-600 today ....... if you can find one.

The Steky was first introduced in 1947. There were about 7 different variations of this brick-shaped camera produced by the Asahi Musen Company from Tokyo, Japan. Other information on the Net indicates the Steky being made by Riken (present day Ricoh)

Its a simple camera and anyone familiar with a regular film camera will find it easy and simple to operate.

The camera comes with a 3-element f3.5 Stekinar Anastigmat lens and f-stops go down to f-11.

DoF Table:

f-5.6, subjects from 5 feet to infinity will be in focus
f-8, subjects from 4 feet to infinity will be in focus
f-11 subjects from 3.5 feet to nifity will be in focus

Its viewfinder uses plain uncoated optical glass.

One needs to be careful when shooting because there is no double exposure prevention mechanism. Advancing film to the next frame, the user needs to wind a large knob on the bottom of the camera AFTER pushing down a little button/knob (this changes the film numbering dial located below the winding knob)

Nice little things on this camera..... a complete set comes with a very cute little leather case (ha ha) and a Yellow filter too which actually fits flush onto the round extension below the viewfinder.... the model that we're reviewing did not have that extension.... for an idea please go to this page below

http://www.submin.com/16mm/collection/steky/index.htm

These are extraordinarily lasting and sturdy cameras partly because the mechanisms (shutter, aperture and winding ) were kept very simple.

I activated the shutter a few times ...... no stickiness, clean and clear firing 'clicks'

Other facts about the STEKY

- exposes 10 x 14mm negatives
- (Yup !!) Interchangeable lens mount that is same in size and groove for lenses that were on 8mm movie cameras. So many old 8mm cine lenses (often with f-1.9 ) can be mounted onto the Steky .... (I dont know about the new CCTV lenses though but worth a try)
- top shutter speed 1/100sec


ok, photos will accompany this evening............
 

Last edited:

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,013
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#2
ok apologies..... just got home not long ago

Lets begin with a short video clip of the camera ....

just note that the viewfinder is as clear as a glass of water .... so is the lens

[video=youtube;0P_RoStsH3U]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0P_RoStsH3U[/video]
 

Last edited:

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,013
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#3
ok just finished PP'ed the Steky images

various views from the front of the camera





the shutter trigger is the long arm
the little round window below the Stecky word with a number inside is the shutterspeed adjustment done via the lever ABOVE the engraved Stecky word
 

Last edited:

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,013
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#5
prise open the right side of the top plate .... and you get access to the innards of the Steky





the back of the camera is bare...
 

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,013
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#6
the bottom of the camera with film winding knob , the exposure counter and the film cartridge release button (red)


and lastly..... you can stand it up sideways to take portaits
 

Last edited:

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,013
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#7
If you're curious what the innards of the Steky looks like please go to this link below .... its a Steky repair and maintenance page with images of a stripped down Steky

http://www.submin.com/16mm/collection/steky/index.htm go to the BOTTOM of that page and click on the Link that points to Steky Repair

Quote (below)

"DOING YOUR OWN REPAIR WORK

Repairing the Steky III

The Steky III is a really neat little camera. It is incredibly simple to disassemble, work on and reassemble. There are no unseen pitfalls or other hazards. Once you get past the fact that you have to peel off the paper fake leather covering, you are half way there.

All you need to know about the Steky family of cameras is to be found in various places in the Subclub. Go to the following addresses:

Info on the cameras -- http://www.subclub.org/shop/steky.htm

Info on reloading the cameras -- http://www.subclub.org/darkroom/rollstek.htm

These sites tell you all about the various models and how to reload the cassettes. It is easier to do in fact than to read about it. I was successful the first time I tried. All the various sub-assemblies are "units" and parts don't go flying about when you remove the different assemblies from the camera. One interesting thing I found was that there is a 3/8 inch hole in the back, in line with the lens. On my camera there was a ½ inch thin brass circle glued over the hole. This leads to two possible conclusions. One, maybe there was somewhere in the dark past a version that used paper backed and numbered film like the HIT cameras and there was a red window there. Or two, it was a hole through which to check shutter time. My personal belief is number one, because the shutter could have been more easily tested when the shutter assembly was out of the camera, before assembly.

Taking the Steky apart:

1. Unscrew the lens from its mounting ring (CCW or anti-clockwise for our British friends).

2. Peel off the fake leather, which is glued in place. Most likely it is so brittle it will need to be replaced. More on that later.

3. Remove the 4 tiny (1.5mm) screws holding the lens ring in place. Keep these screws with the ring with a piece of tape.

4. Remove the 2 screws holding the side plate with the winder knob (1 each end).

5. Pull off the winder knob side plate. It pulls straight off.

6. Remove 2 screws holding the film plane pressure plate. One is on the end of the camera and the other is on the back of the camera about in the middle.

7. Pull out the pressure plate assembly. Note that it is in two parts. One is the housing and the other is the pressure plate itself with a leaf spring attached.

8. Remove the 2 chrome-plated screws from the front of the camera on the shutter speed window. This will release the shutter speed window part from the camera body. Slide it toward the top of the camera to remove.

9. Remove the screw from the shutter trip lever and carefully remove the lever. Put the screw back on ASAP after step 10, so the TINY shaft doesn't fall through and out the back of the shutter assembly. Mine never tried to do that, but I think it would be a safe precaution.

10. Remove the other 2 plated screws from the front of the camera. This will release the shutter assembly and light box (for want of a better name) from the frame. Slide it out sideways.

That's it. You now have your Steky apart and ready for a good clean-up and whatever else you were wanting to do before you started this disassembly.


END Quote
 

Last edited:
Oct 17, 2008
389
0
16
Sembawang
#8
pretty little thing...
think pre-digital, the engineering of equipment come with more finesse
 

Oct 17, 2008
389
0
16
Sembawang
#10
Mmmm....Ed, it's like u reviewing retro spy gadgets!
imagine ww2 till cold war espionage.....
 

Top Bottom