Tag Archives: minolta

Vintage Fair, Bleurghhhh and Issues.

You may have noticed the change of blog theme just when I was settled on a new layout. I have been having issues lately with WordPress losing media selections from the galleries. This was happening every time I updated or edited a post. It only started to occur since the previous theme change. Hence I thought the new theme was the issue and the reason for this new change.

WordPress help was very responsive and attentive, I can’t fault them on their attempts to fix the issue. But in the end it seems to have fixed itself…for now. It was very frustrating, especially when I edited an older post and had to relink the photos.

The “bleurghhhh” in the title means I am sick, it is cold season and I have a stonker. This week I had to skip work and my volunteering duties, staying in bed watching Game of Thrones. I did manage to attend my very first vintage fair as a stall holder before being afflicted. The fair was not as well attended as in previous years, but I did manage to sell a few cameras. Strangely, I ended up being offered more cameras by visitors. Those that lived nearby went home and got them. At the end of the day I walked away with the same amount. That was interesting, just as I was saying I could not afford new cameras, here are people offering them to me to keep, borrow, or buy for next to nothing.

Here are the phrases I heard the mosts:

  • Oh, I used to have one of those
  • Do you buy cameras? I am sure I have one in a draw somewhere.
  • Can you still get film?

It was nice to chat with people as they seemed genuinely happy to see the cameras, but I would have preferred to sell more. There will be another fair at that location in October so I think I will attend again. I also realized I will never be rich as I ended up giving some film away to a couple of people for various reasons.

It was hard to choose the cameras I put up for sale and repacking them after the event, I changed my mind on a couple of them. One the changes of mind was for the Minolta Weathermatic. It is just such a good camera. I reread my own post and then up popped this one from 35MMC. And after that I checked the prices. Wow, it has gone up in price. That settled it, I am keeping it….Especially as I sold the Sea & Sea at the fair.

Lastly if you are interested in buying a film camera, here is the most comprehensive guide I have ever seen. It is a few years old, but it is a treasure trove of information.

Minolta XG2

I bought this camera for a stupid reason really. I was sorting out my father’s filing cabinet, bills and certificates and the like. And in one of the folders, I found a brochure for this camera. Neither one of us could remember ever having owned the camera.

Me being me…I could not let it go and I wanted the camera portrayed inside the pages. I bought one example on eBay which came with 3 lenses, a manual and an alternative brochure. It was an “as is” buy and nothing I did would make the batteries power up the camera. I ended up sending the body to an internet contact who needed a focusing screen from a Minolta. I kept the lenses and kept on looking. Then I found a body for sale, no lenses, no manual. Perfect. Please excuse the photos, it is cold and rainy outside and as you will read I am feeling a little lethargic.

This time the lights lit up as they should so I popped in some Street Candy 400 and since the day the camera arrived, the clouds loomed and stayed. Even today.

I dislike grey skies, dull grey skies. I don’t mind storms, fierce clouds, heavy rain, but dull and grey seems to affect my moods. If the weather can’t be bothered, then neither can I. It took me ages to get through this roll of film. In the end, I even took a couple of selfies and processed it with a couple of shots left untaken.

None of this has anything to do with this camera from 1977. I love the look of the camera, a classic look. All the lenses seemed to work. I especially liked the Rokkor 50mm f1.7. You can find all the French technical details you might ever need here. The camera is a little basic on modes. There is aperture priority or manual modes, no speed priority mode. In manual mode, the viewfinder gives no information at all, not even a suggested setting, just dullness…like the weather.

I also found the viewfinder a ‘little’ bit dull and the information on the right a ‘little’ bit hard to see. My example’s shutter release seemed a ‘little’ sensitive too. While using the camera I felt everything was ok, but maybe a ‘little’ off. I want to like it, I want to love it, but I just felt a ‘little’ underwhelmed. Then again, I also think the weather had something to do with that.

When I finally did develop the film, it also seemed a little off. I am not taking to Ilfosol 3 at all, so when I run out of it, I think I will try another kind of developer. I am also having a little trouble with hairs and dust. I think I need to move my drying space. At the moment it is next to my bedroom door. So each time I open it, dust moves around and onto the film.

Anyway here is my test roll. I suggest looking at the photos in the full screen viewer by clicking on them as the new WordPress gallery crops the images.

And there is me looking a little sad, totally posed. Even though this review is a little depressing, I most certainly am not. I am always putting photos of other people on my blog, but rarely myself. So I tried to take a selfie by first focusing on my hand then swapping the camera to my hand. Some of the photos are from the 52-week challenge, this week was to tell about me. Right now I am all about walks, listing to audiobooks in my car, and birds. You are not supposed to show your face for this challenge, but I am a little off today 🙂

In the end, I think the test film shows my personality quite well. I even managed to get a dinosaur foot in there.

Buy this camera – Minolta XG2

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details. Includes: 2 extra lenses - Orion 28mm lens, Tokina 80-200mm lens, brochures

£70.00


Minolta Vectis S-100 (APS)

I left my other Vectis S APS camera in Japan, but I had weirdly ordered lots of APS film in the UK. So now I have a plethora of film and no SLR type camera to use it with. Hello Vectis S-100, but really that is an excuse as I do have other APS cameras and I was just given even more. APS cameras…they breed you know.

Look at the size of that lens 25-150mm and it was cheap as many APS cameras are. When it arrived there was a film already inside, score.

It was produced around 1996 and apparently was a simpler version than the S-1. You can find all the technical details you might need here. Really, it is a point and shoot with a few modes. It is one of the smallest APS SLRs there is, but with this zoom lens it was hardly pocketable.

There really isn’t much more I can say than that. Pop in a film, point, shoot, done. I finished off the roll that was inside.

Here are the found shots.

Well, whoever owned this camera liked their motorbike.

Here are my photos take on the rest of the film. The first shot is me working out if the camera worked, then I realized there was a film inside. I took the rest of the photos around my garden and the local parkland.

For a film left inside, it was surprisingly good in terms of colour and noise. The camera focused quite well, it felt comfortable to hold and looks good, to me anyway.

Actually, maybe I should say more. Some of the cameras I try don’t leave an impression on me or maybe I am not in the mood to write much. Today it is a bit of both. The weather has been very drizzly recently, a bit depressing really. I have also just started working again, supply teaching. Some of the schools you see and the children you meet make you wonder about the state of the world. Then you see other children, other schools and it makes you wonder in a completely different, more inspiring way. Being a teacher is definitely a rollercoaster ride.

Anyway…the photos I took with this camera were of my local nature park and I think I miss it. I know I can go in the rain, but it is not the same as a blue sky day. Also, it is turning colder so not only are you wet but cold as well. There is also the issue of…there is never the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes. True. But being all wrapped up doesn’t make taking photos easy. Maybe I am just a warm weather photographer. It is supposed to rain tomorrow too. That’s it, I am going out rain or shine!

Buy this camera – Minolta Vectis S-100

Please check the photos and read the text, that way you know exactly what you are buying. The amount includes postage to the UK. If you live outside the UK please contact me for postage details. Included: One APS film

£25.00

Minolta 110 Zoom SLR Mark II

I sold my original Minolta 110 Zoom SLR and invested the money in this Mark II version. This 1979 version has a more traditional look compared to the first version.

You can find all the technical details and another great review on this website. I found the camera easy to use, but not exactly pocket sized. The focusing split screen was very “slight” meaning it was hard at times to see if the two images were aligned. I do like that you could lock the camera so you didn’t accidentally shoot it in your bag..not pocket. It was not as attention-grabbing, due to the more conventional shape.

Of course, I used a Lomography 110 film to test the camera as that is really all that is available. First, we went to York and I am amazed I haven’t visited the area more as it is less than a hours drive away from me. Then I took it to Lemonroyd Marina where I bumped into Emma from Heart Radio on her Coast to Coast challenge. That was a huge coincidence as I love Heart Radio, but my new/old car’s radio has just stopped working and I have been stuck listening to old cds. Damn it, I am going to install the app on my phone now. Anyway here are the test shots.

For once I didn’t get the pinhole light leaks on the 110 film and the colours are lovely. For a small negative the images are quite sharp. I do prefer this size to half frame, I just wish there was a bigger choice of film.

Keep or Sell: Already sold, I rarely if ever use 110 films so don’t need two cameras and I still have the Pentax which is much smaller. My thoughts are if you are going to use 110mm film it should really be with an actual pocket-sized camera.

Minolta 7000 AF (Maxuum 7000)

I read about this camera online somewhere. I have a feeling it was Jim Grey’s blog, I am sure it was on another one as well, but now I can’t find it now. All I know is I saw the photos of the camera and thought, “ooh pretty”. Then I saw one for sale on an eBay charity shop and a few clicks later it was mine. It was a charity case honest.

 

Why did I want this camera? Well, if you read this blog it says how this camera “rocked the entire photographic world”. It was the first true autofocus SLR. I think this blog and this blog have the best descriptions of all the features. I think it is pointless to write more when there is already so much out there. Posts like this let you know what I read and introduce you to some great blogs. Also, I love the graphic on this page that lets you know where it sits on the scale of Minolta cameras, but now I want the 9Ti.

Ok, so apparently a great camera. How did my example do? I took it for a walk in my local reclaimed colliery. I decided to take photos of as many different trees as I could find.

 

I tend to keep cameras on auto, not because I am lazy or don’t know how to work them, but I like to see what the camera chooses. I found this one seemed to underexpose a little. One of the blogs I read and linked to said the camera matches the aperture to the type of lens fitted. So a wide angle lens leads the camera to choose a small aperture for landscapes. This could be the reason for the underexposure, but as I had a zoom lens on there is no guarantee I had the lens set to 35mm. I would like to try this camera with a 50mm lens and see the difference.

Keep or sell: I wanted to try it again with a different lens, but it seems I either left or gave that lens away in Japan. Now the camera has been sold, so obviously it didn’t rock my world.

Minolta alpha 360si (Dynax 303si, Maxxum QTsi)

This is the cheap version of the Minolta Sweet that I have previously tried. It was originally released in 1999. In fact, I used the same lens on both cameras. The sweet had a yellow tint in the viewfinder, this one had the same issue to a lesser extent.

As you can see it has lots of names depending on where it was on sale. You can read all the technical details you want here and here. There are more names than functions available. There is absolutely nothing to this camera, so little that I am struggling to write anything. So this might be the shortest review I have ever given. In fact, here is my test roll.

Well, that’s not too shabby, is it? They are all perfectly exposed, the lens was great. But still, I barely did anything other than press the shutter button. Many people on this review site have written exactly what I felt about this camera, it is a big point and shoot. There are no manual functions at all, just programs. In the end, I felt the resulting photos were a step up from a regular point and shoot, but the bulk of the camera, though not the weight, made it not worth carrying around.

Keep or sell: I gave it to a friend. I kind of wish I had kept the lens, though.

Minolta 140 Riva Zoom (capios 140A)

I leave Japan in 2 days. I have a few posts in my draft folder, but for a while I will not be testing new to me cameras. I have a few samples waiting for me in England, but I think I will be tired for a while when I get back.

This is a camera I tested about a two moths ago. I haven’t got around to posting it as there were other cameras I was excited about posting first. This is just another one of those cameras with many names depending on where you buy it. A garden variety point and shoot. I think it is from the 1990s but it is difficult to pin down technical details due to the number of variation released.

This website was the best one I found for technical details. If you check it out you will find this camera was the first to have subject detection, which is now a given with digital cameras. There is a button on the top to change the area size used for the auto-focus. This website lets you know the aperture range is from f5.4-f11.7, check out those weird decimal points. The zoom also starts at 37.5mm.

The focusing seemed average in terms of speed, sometimes the orange light would flash meaning focusing was not achieved….for quite some time. It needed lots of contrast to work effectively. When it did lock onto something you could see an orange dashed box in the viewfinder around what it had chosen to focus on. If I did not rush the process the focusing was superb. It was not really suitable for fast-moving subjects or items with flat density.

The most amazing thing about this camera was or was not the sound…it was practically silent. You barely knew it was working.

I decided to use some Oriental Seagull for the test roll.

As you can see the exposure choices were great but sometimes the focusing or speed choices were poor. I also think I used the beginning of the film before as there was some overlapping, but it might be the way I loaded it…I don’t think so though.

Keep or sell: I have many point and shoots. I do like the subject detection, but sometimes it takes a bit too long. I prefer the Olympus Mjus I have, so I gave it away.

Minolta Alpha Sweet S (Dynax 404si, Maxxum STsi)

I wouldn’t say this was an accidental buy, but a curiosity based one. I bought two lenses for a Canon camera body I had, both the lenses said Canon and I didn’t look beyond that. They were clean and that was my main concern. It turned out one of the lenses didn’t fit. So now here I was with a lens and no idea which make it belonged to. Of course, I have a few camera bodies lying around and I tried it on all of them, but it didn’t fit any of them. So my last resort was looking through photos of the lens online and checking the mounts similarities. After a bit of looking, I decided it looked like a Minolta. The next time I went wombling I looked for a clean Minolta body and found the alpha sweet from 1999. And just like the glass slipper, it fit.

It was wrapped in plastic so I didn’t get a chance to look in the viewfinder. If I had I might have changed my mind about getting it, there was a serious yellow stain.

IMG_1382

That is focused on a white wall. I read on a few forums that it was probably the adhesive used for the pentaprism. As it was not on the lens I figured it probably would not affect the photos. Some forums said to leave the camera in the sun and the UV ray would probably reduce the staining. I might try that…when there is some sun.

It felt light to hold, perfectly fitted my tiny hands, very easy to use, all the settings you might need, just the yellow stain. I wasn’t too worried. If you want more technical details, look here.

This is an entry-level SLR and it is perfectly fine if you are getting into film photography. It does the job, it doesn’t wow.

Here are my test shots…no yellowing 🙂

You can see I tried out the multi-exposure function for fun. I said I would keep the Pentax MZ-30 due it having this function, but the battery lid on that camera was weak. Apart from the yellow issue, this camera is in a much better condition so I think I will keep this one and get rid of the other.