Once upon a time I used to use to be a “one brand man”, using just one brand of camera equipment exclusively. I got back into film photography while the prices for film cameras and equipment plummet. I am very glad I made that move, I was, (and still ), able to get premium quality equipment at low cost. I have seen a lot of Minolta equipment sold for dirt cheap, as low as $5 dollars a camera body and $10 dollars for a lens. Usually what that imply is, they must be junk, right? That is exactly what I thought, so I never looked too much into it. Somewhere down the road I acquired my first Minolta manual focus camera , I was hesitant to use it at first, and then one day I was specifically looking for a SLR with horizontal travel shutter in my closet, and the story begins.
Turns out Minolta lenses are some of the best glass I’ve ever used, so are their bodies. However they have made so many different bodies, you just have to pick out the exact one that fulfill your need. Let’s talk about 2 of my “go to” Minoltas. First one is the SRT series, they are one of the best mechanical SLR ever made. And then there is the X700, it might have a little more plastic than I wanted, but it has one of the best focusing screen I’ve ever seen, and overall an exceptional shooter. Some of the other notable models they make including the XK, the XE7 (which is a Leica ). Autofocus-wise the Minolta 7000 is the first ever popular AF SLR, it has a very unique design, very 1980s, and I love it. After that they have made so many AF SLR I really lost track, and most of them share one thing I absolutely hate, over usage of plastic. But if you can get over that fact, you can own a 600si which is fully loaded with features, and the super compact Maxxum 5 which is also fully loaded with useful features. If you want the ultimate AF Minolta, you can go look up the Maxxum 9.
Just why should you start shooting Minolta?
They are the most cost effective film cameras today!
For 1/4 of the price, you can get image quality comparable to ANY big names.
Yeap, once upon a time, I was a non believer.