Japanese subminiature on cine film (edit)
8mm film Camera "A" | Camera-Lite | Echo 8 | Kaitenkei
9.5mm film Doryu 1 | Fujica 8×11mm SLR | Yashica Atoron
16mm film Albert | Beauty 16 | Bell 16 | Bell Kamra | Binoca | Camera "B" | CM-16 | Cyclops | Dan 16 | Darling-16 | Doryu 2-16 | Fujica 16mm SLR | Gemmy | Glico Pistol | Konan-16 Automat | Mamiya 16 Automatic | Mica Automat | Micta | Minolta-16 | Minolta-16 EE | Minolta-16 MG | Minolta-16 MG-S | Minolta-16 P | Minolta-16 Ps | Minolta 16 QT | Mycro Super 16 | Mykro Fine Color 16 | Nice | Nikon 16 | Poppy | Ramera | Ricoh 16 | Ricoreo 16 | Rubina | Rubix | Seiki 16 | Seiki 16 (pistol) | Shaty 16 | Sonocon 16 | Spy 16 | Steky | Golden Steky | Teleca | Viscawide-16 | Yashica Y16 | Yashica 16 EE | Zany | Zuman Super 16 | Zunow Z16
unknown Matchbox camera
roll film and other film see Japanese roll film subminiature
110 film see Japanese 110 film

The Spy 16 (スパイ16) and Beauty 16 (ビューティ16) are Japanese subminiature cameras made by Taiyōdō in the late 1940s and early 1950s.


The camera takes twenty 10×14mm exposures on 16mm film.[1] The design is similar to the 35mm viewfinder cameras of the time, albeit much smaller. The main body is similar to that of the Meteor, Vestkam or Beauty 14 subminiature taking 17.5mm film made by Taiyōdō at the same period. The back is hinged to the left, as seen by the photographer. The film is probably loaded in some sort of cassette, but the exact system used is unknown.

The tubular viewfinder protrudes at the middle of the top plate. The film advance knob is at the left end. It automatically stops at each exposure,[2] and is certainly unlocked by the small button visible on the viewfinder's right. There is a frame counter at the right end, which is certainly manually reset by turning the small knob visible in the middle.

The shutter unit, similar to that of the Beauty 14, gives B, 25, 50, 100 speeds selected by turning the rim. It is cocked by a lever on the left and tripped by another lever on the right (as seen by the photographer). The Talent f/3.5 lens has a fixed focus and aperture.

Variations and commercial life[]

The camera was announced as the Spy or Spy 16 in Japanese magazines dated 1949.[3] The December 1949 issue of Photo Art quotes the price as "less than ¥2,500". It shows a picture of the camera, with the name Spy engraved under the viewfinder window and a back latch consisting of a sliding button.[4] The lens is engraved Talent 1:3.5 F=20mm (but the article mentions a 25/3.5 lens). The shutter speeds are engraved in the order B, 25, 50, 100. The shutter plate is black, with a five-pointed star at the top, metal stripes on each side and the company name T.K.K at the bottom (presumably for Taiyōdō Kōki). No actual example of the Spy 16 has yet been observed.

The camera was renamed Beauty 16 at some time. It seems that this name does not appear in the Japanese magazines of the time,[5] and the new version was perhaps made for export only, in very limited quantities. The only surviving example observed so far is pictured in this page at It is identified by the name Beauty 16 engraved under the viewfinder window. Compared with the Spy 16, there is a newer back latch consisting of a sliding bar, the lens engraving is C.Talent 1:3.5 F=25mm (certainly indicated a coated lens), the shutter speeds seem to be engraved in the order 25, 50, 100, B, and the shutter plate is silver with a circular black line.


  1. Column in Photo Art December 1949, p.35.
  2. Column in Photo Art December 1949, p.35.
  3. Kokusan kamera no rekishi, p.353.
  4. Column in Photo Art December 1949, p.35.
  5. The Beauty 16 is not listed in Kokusan kamera no rekishi.


These cameras are not listed in Sugiyama.


In English: