Minolta Riva Zoom 105i

I dislike this camera, I really do. I dislike it for many reasons. I think it is one of my least favourite cameras behind the corona of course.

It’s a funny-looking thing too…

It is a fat point and shoot, so chunky that it doesn’t fit in my tiny hand very comfortably. This post wrote that it is the size of a brick, it certainly felt like it.

On my example, the LCD screen doesn’t work which didn’t help my opinion. It meant I could not turn off the flash or the “APZ” easily, well I could, I was just never sure I had. And oh, I dislike the APZ.

What is APZ?? It is an automatic zoom control or Auto Power Zoom. Basically, the camera zooms in on what it thinks is the main subject of the image you want to shoot. So each time I pointed the camera at something, it zoomed in. Usually, it zoomed in too much and I had to zoom out. It zoomed in even when I wanted to take a wide-angle shot. I read the manual and if you pressed the T and W zoom buttons together this feature would be turned off…I did it very quickly…but it resets when the camera is turned back on!!

The LCD not working also meant the film count wasn’t available, but that didn’t matter much as the camera rewound automatically when it reached the end.

It was released in the 90s and has a maximum speed of 1/500th which is a bit poor for the time. The widest aperture is f4 with the minimum being f6.7, also not great. You can read more technical details here.

I loaded mine with some FP4 and took it to Norwich, the Rhubarb Festival in Wakefield and Piece Hall in Halifax. As I was walking around with the camera, I wanted to use my hands for something so I put the camera in my pocket. It fell out and hit the ground. The viewfinder surround broke off and I had to glue it back on later. The camera still worked though and I finished the film. Just shows, this is not a regular point and shoot.

I wrote recently about issues with development, this was one of the films affected. In some of the photos, you will notice a weird effect on the shadows. I am posting some of the photos affected as one of my friends said she liked the effect. That is a lot of effects and affects for now.

Apart from the weird effect, I really like the photos I took with this camera.

After I had a couple more films with issues I finally figured out why it was happening and now I feel dumb…it was the fix. It was exhausted. I had never seen this kind of effect with other films affected by exhausted fix. Actually, I have never really experienced this as I tend to replace the fix quite often. So it didn’t occur for a while.

Anyway, once I figured it out I refixed the film and rescanned it. Here are the final results. I have never refixed negs before so that was interesting and I have learnt something new.

And after refixing, I like them even more. I would like them more if I had used a different camera. I had intended to fill the film with dogs I came across while out walking, but the camera was so annoying I stopped and switched to architecture and statues just to finish the film. Also, the flash took ages to cycle, the camera sometimes searched for the focus, and was slow to actually activate the shutter.

I am not inclined to put another film through this camera, I don’t think I could handle the stress 🙂

Not a great start to the Minolta month, but I have tried many Minolta cameras in the past as you can see on the camera list page and I know they are great. Here’s to the next Minolta camera I am going to try being much better.

9 thoughts on “Minolta Riva Zoom 105i

  1. Darrell Meekcom says:

    To be honest Peggy the photos are actually bloody good, I notice the vignetting in a couple but I kinda like that..however…it sounds to me like you had a proper punch up with this beast of a camera and also makes you realise why they were soaked up by Sony, some of the Minolta’s 80s 90s designs were straight out of a Star Wars set..when they need not have been, at least Olympus finally saw sense after a run of similar robotic gargoyles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      Thanks, the issues with processing have enhanced a few of them. And true about olympus, especially their bridge cameras.


  2. Francis.R. says:

    I am in love with the 21th photo, the giant rabbit in the plaza with the gothic spire or tower. The shadow effect of posterization makes me recall so much the old monster movies in stop motion. I understand though why you would have liked more these photos if taken with another camera, as your goal was not to do an artistic representation of reality but, well, a real one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Peggy says:

      I like the posterization on the dog photo, and the one you said. It is a happy accident. I just disliked the camera, it gave me an annoyed feeling to use it. I wouldn’t have minded the effect with another camera either…but when I look at these I just remember how annoyed I was at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Roger B. says:

    The dog photo looks as if the film had been solarized, a very cool effect. But that camera … almost as ugly and nonergonomic as the infamous Konica AiBorg.

    Liked by 1 person

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