Minolta Love

  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.

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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.

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Yeap, once upon a time, I was a non believer.

2013 dehk

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14 thoughts on “Minolta Love

  1. I have two X-700s (both dead), plus an SR-T 101 and an XG-1. I like the SR-T but really, really like the XG-1. it’s small (for an SLR) and light, and I love the bokeh I get from the 45mm f/1.2 lens that’s attached to it. I bought the camera to use the lenses that I have with my dead X-700s but I just can’t stop shooting the lens that came with the camera.

    That said, I’m much more a Pentaxian. You just can’t go wrong with K-mount glass.

  2. Derek this is such a treat! Apart from the Minolta article (I have to look for a body and lense), the photos were fantastic. I would have split them to make 17 posts, but you give them in one go! I particularly like Hide and seek and Haircut time.

  3. You really shouldn’t do posts like this! I already have way too many cameras and there are several of the Minoltas you mention in the window of my great local used classics shop; I’ll close my eyes next time I pass it to get a C-41 developed. Fascinating post, as always.

    • Hey, just because they sell minoltas in the used shop doesnt mean you need to get one. Only get one if they are cheap, and they are supposed to be! Come on if they selling a body and lens for 10-20pounds (even though doubt they sell it as cheap in UK as here because we simply have abundance supply here (and especially in a shop)) i bet you you will get one.

      • You’re right of course (so I’ll make sure my wife doesn’t see this!). However, everything photographic is much cheaper over there than here but it’s frustrating because if it costs (with postage) more than £15 then we’re hit with 20% tax. I don’t mind that so much but then we’re ripped of by the mail who add an exorbitant sum to push a button on the computer to collect the tax.

  4. My first SLR (way back in 1970) was a Minolta SrT101 and I was a dedicated Minolta shooter, adding the XE-7 and a couple of xd-11s to my camera back before taking up digital photography. I bought a Minolta Dimage A1 and followed that up with a Konica-Minolta 7D DSLR which I loved. Eventually it got a bit wonky and by then Sony had acquired Konica-Minolta. When it was time to upgrade, the relevant Sony offering was the Alpha 700 which I didn’t care for, and I became a Nikon shooter after about 40 years with Minolta.
    But good as the Nikon quality was, and as rich the feature set I never grew to love that camera (the D300) as much as I’d loved any of my Minoltas and it was so heavy that carrying it around gave me tennis elbow. Minolta engineers are happily innovating away at Sony now and 2 years ago I bought a Nex-7 which I’m reasonably comfortable with. I look forward to owning one of their rumored upcoming FF ILC cameras if I can afford it!

    • If you ever want to sell any of your old Minolta stuff make sure you hit me up. I love those 101s, and you should get it back out from the closet and load some tri x into it.

      I do shoot Nikon digital when I shoot digital, and have a fair amount of F mount gears. However I like going to my SRT before i go to my F, F4, FE, EL, EM, FT I can keep going… LOL. There is also rumor that the SRT 101 was designed by engineers who left Nikon.

      You talking about Sony it’s actually a very funny situation for me. I am a dedicated Sony hater, anything that is Sony and I if I touch it, they will break (I used to have lots of Sony stuff but they don’t understand what Quality Control is anymore), Now Minolta is part of sony, yikes. Good thing they only make digital so I don’t need any of that crap. If one day they come out with a Maxxum 10, i will be very sad, haha.

  5. Minolta holds a special place in my heart, and my photography teacher gave me so much crap for it. Of course, what does he know? I started shooting on my mom’s XG-A back in the ’90s, and since I took up shooting film again, outstanding deals on Minoltas have just found me over the last few years. I used an SRT-MCII that I picked up super cheap as my camera in photography class. I own 5 Minolta cameras now. Maybe I should write a post about it as well…

    • Find your photography teacher and I will give him crap back! 😀
      You should write a post about Minolta as well, just don’t over do it or we will never be able to afford Minoltas again.

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