Minolta Film Cameras

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Oldschool92', Jul 30, 2010.

  1. Oldschool92'

    Oldschool92' TPF Noob!

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    Alright guys, I want to get a Minolta film camera but I'm not sure as to what specific one I should get. This is mainly for people that have used Minolta cameras before, but anyone can throw in their two cents. :D

    I know that every thread I start asks for help and I still haven't given anything back. But I'm still very knew to this and I don't have a lot of knowledge with photography to give advice or comments for that matter. :er:

    As always your opinions are greatly appreciated! Thanks! :mrgreen:
     
  2. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    Why Minolta over Canon, Nikon, Pentax, et al?

    I have an SRT-202 because somebody gave it to me, and while it's a solid camera, I'd personally go for a Nikon F series.
     
  3. Oldschool92'

    Oldschool92' TPF Noob!

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    That is a very good point. My main reason is because I found quite a few more minolta cameras that were cheaper then some of the nikon ones.
     
  4. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok. You note that price is your reason for picking Minolta, so let's talk price. Forget about the glamor associated with one name or another.

    When you begin to explore 35mm rigs, you usually end up realizing that they are 'systems' consisting of bodies and lenses. The lenses must fit the bodies. Various brands [Minolta, Nikon, Canon, Konica and Pentax come readily to mind] have their own mount systems. Konica lenses don't 'fit' Canon bodies and vice versa. [nb: The quotes 'round 'fit' are there to indicate that sometimes there are adapters available. I've found them to be something of a hassle.]

    So what has this to do with price? Well, if you're willing and able to deal with a manual camera [You'll want to add a decent exposure meter to your gadget bag. I recommend the Luna Pro.] you can keep the price of a body and lenses [That's right, lenses -- plural. You'll probably want a 50mm and a 135mm lens for starters, and possibly a zoom.] to a minimum if you choose the right 'system'.

    Now, Minolta's lens mount system wasn't adapted by other manufacturers*. If you start with Minolta, you'll end with Minolta components or those manufactured by 'generic' lens manufacturers such as Tamron and Vivitar. However, the Pentax mounts, especially the screw mount system, was widely adopted by both body and lens manufacturers. So you can get an 'off-brand' manual body [A Chinon with Chinon f1.7/50mm lens went for $13 on eBay last night] and add decent Pentax or other screw mount lenses as you wish. By the bye, the Chinon lens isn't exactly Holga quality, either. You would have had a good starter rig for $13 + $8 shipping. There are also Pentax screw mount bodies with light metering functions available if you wish to go that route.

    To sum up: pick up a Pentax screw mount body and add lenses as your needs indicate. Cost will be a minimum with a wide range of choices available.

    M42 screw mount camera reference: http://anusf.anu.edu.au/~aab900/photography/cameras/cameras.htm

    * Yeah, yeah. I know about the eventual Minolta/Konica merge. It isn't germane to the thrust of the argument presented.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  5. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    I see no particular reason to choose a Minolta over any other brand of Japanese film camera. Are you thinking SRT-series?
     
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  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Minolta's are fine cameras, go ahead. Though I'd stick with either the SRTs or the last ones if you want auto focus.
     
  7. Idahophoto

    Idahophoto TPF Noob!

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    Actually Sony now uses them so any newer sony will work for Minolta. I loved my Minolta 7xi and have plans on buying a new one soon. They can be found online for around 70 bucks now.

    Keep in mind that you are buying into a system. Canon and Nikon both have a large line of cheap reliable cameras that will serve your photography needs very easily. This is not so with Minolta who left the business. Sony has picked up the line but there products have not been up to par and there selection is small. I would highly suggest you stay away from them.

    On the up side there are a ton a great Minolta products you can get used that though may be a few years old can more than compete with the lenses out now for the newer stuff. Minolta made some of the best stuff in the game in my opinion and even though I had switched to Nikon before they left I was sad to see it happen.

    The 9xi was the pro version of the 7xi so you may want to look at it if you really wanting to focus on Minolta gear. I never owned this model, but I have no doubts it would be a great deal if bought today. Perhaps I will need to check it out myself at some point. Good luck
     
  8. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    More accurately the Minolta AF mount... previous mount design was discontinued. Minolta AF glass may be a little slower to focus but still optically good...


    In regards to the M42 screwmount option suggested... Keep in mind that you are now getting into fairly dated optics and coatings (many don't have any). Also many of the camera bodies are at the age that a CLA or repair is also a must. Cloth shutters do deteriorate with age even when not in use. Many of the Selenium light meters also stop working wiht age... battery driven meters are sensitive to voltages for accuracy with many designed to be used with mercury batteries which are banned here in the US. My point is... do research.. In the end, many will find the hassle not worth it... while a few (like me) understand and simply shoot with this vintage equipment because it is interesting/different/fun.

    Oh btw.. Pentax branding was actually "Takumar" during that time. The cameras -> Asahi/Honeywell/etc. They all originated from the Asahi Optical Corp of Japan. The M42 screwmount wasn't started by pentax but Praktica.



    As for Minolta, there are lots of AF bodies to choose from and any lenses you get for it will work with the newer Sony DSLRs. The 7xi as mentioned is a good example. My first SLR was my fathers Maxxum 7000 which was the first successfully marketed in-body 35mm AF camera. It was reliable for years but for some reason the plastics are starting to degrade on it... so it sits in my cabinet.
     
  9. Oldschool92'

    Oldschool92' TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone for your opinions. Torus would the m42 lens work on the k mount cameras?
     
  10. Oldschool92'

    Oldschool92' TPF Noob!

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  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes.. with the appropriate adapter. You'll have to meter by stopping down the lens manually.
     
  12. Cork

    Cork TPF Noob!

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    Well, this message finally got me to register. First of all, let me say that I'm a fan of Pentax and have a healthy respect for their K-mount lenses and several of their camera bodies.

    However, I am and have been a Minolta user for decades for the simple reason that I like many of their cameras and I love their lens philosophy, at least up to the early 90's.

    You are interested in manual focus, so I will concentrate on the MF Minoltas. Starting with the newest, the X-700 and X-570 have good metering, are reasonably inexpensive, and are durable. The MD Rokkor and MD lenses are excellent and are widely available for fairly low prices.

    I use the XD-11/XD-7 as my MF body of choice; it lacks the Program mode of the X-700 and the TTL/OTF flash metering of the X-700/X-570, but has a quieter, better shutter and metal construction. Though not as advanced as the X-700 in some ways, the XD-11/XD-7 is regarded by most to be the finest MF camera ever made by Minolta, as is the equal to similar systems by any manufacturer. It is, perhaps, the best SLR for photojournalism ever made; sort of a reflex version of a Leica rangefinder.

    Prior to the XD-11 was the XE-7, a larger, heavier camera that has its own support as the best Minolta. Another superb shutter, somewhat less automation, but a fine instrument.

    The mechanical MF Minoltas (as opposed to the electronic XE, XD, and X series) reached their apex with the SRT-102 and SRT-202. Similar in size to the XE-7, these are outstanding cameras but need some workarounds for batteries as they were designed for mercury cells.

    Minolta cameras from the above list are simply superb. I'd recommend either the X-700 or X-570 to anyone looking for a great camera. The Minolta lenses (made by Minolta) are superior, plentiful, and mostly inexpensive. Let me know if you wish additional information.
     

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