I have already tried the Minolta 7000 and wasn’t as enthralled as some people about it. But I was offered this version for free and thought I would try again, maybe the added i would change my mind. To be truthful I was reluctant to take it, but then I saw the lens that was on it. Sold. The lens was wider than anything I owned at the moment. I was very eager to try it. It needed a bit of cleaning, old batteries in the compartment and dust in various areas. Once cleaned and a 2CR5 battery inserted, it came to life.
I much prefer the look of this version to the original. It is less boxy and the buttons are smoother. Another change is the top speed, increasing from 1/2000th to 1/4000th. It was produced from the late 1980s and introduced the Minolta card system, inside mine was the A/S mode version. I didn’t receive any others, but all the cards can be duplicated with technical knowhow anyway. You can read even more technical details and another review here.
I loaded it with t-max 400 and took it along to a visit to two iconic places in the UK. The first, a relatively new entry into this category – Barnard Castle. The wide angle lens was perfect to capture the area.
The camera and lens did an amazing job in the different lighting conditions. Looking through the latticed windows, the exposure is perfect…just enough of the wall and the view isn’t blown out. The last photo really needed the 19mm focal length as the road was right behind me, I couldn’t get any further back.
Of course I didn’t know all this when I took the camera to the second place – Ilkley. I had a few shots left to finish the roll and hadn’t seen any results yet.
The shot of the cyclists going passed was a spur of the moment as I was walking the opposite direction. The lens was a little too wide for that shot, but the camera worked quite well considering it was pointed right into the sun which suddenly peeked from behind a cloud. Ilkley is well known for cycling and the song about its moor…which you can learn about here.
As for the camera, the added i does make all the difference. I like this version of the camera so much better than the first example I tried. The body can still be found very cheaply on the bay. This might be due to the dedicated minolta flash shoe and the card systems. Who knows?
The Cosina lens comes in a variety of mounts and is a great addition to a bag. With this on the camera, the auto focus was smooth and fast. The combination was a little heavy, but worth it. The price of the lens seems to be increasing, but is still quite reasonable. I am going to try it on my digital Sony A37 if the rain ever stops.