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!

Keep or Sell: Keep until I run out of film.

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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.

Minolta Capios 75 (riva zoom 75W)

A while ago I tried the Minolta 25 and loved it. So when I saw the 75 I thought wow, it must be the really updated version…there are a whole 50 points between the two numbers, I know my math! But no, this version has just 5mm focal points of difference, 5!! I know my math, that is 10x less than I was expecting?!

Well, pfft…here is my example. Behold the 28-75mm instead of 28-70mm!

This camera came out in 1997, so basically it took two years to add 5mm of zoom. Though I am sure there are other differences, you can’t tell by looking at it.

But did this example work?

Yeap, just like the 25 version, it is just a little package of awesomeness. Super sharp and perfect exposure and best of all…wisteria season!!

Keep or sell: Come on, I get a whole 5mm extra length here. So keep, for now, seeing as I just gave away my mju.

Minolta Vectis GX-1 aps

I had seen this camera on various forums and thought it looked really cool. It looked like an aps genba and I love a good genba.

Look, I got one of those mini lightbox thingies. Not bad for $10, better than my couch and a flash anyway. Back to the camera…The viewfinder is massive and bright for such a small camera. Though they are now superfluous, it has very clear markings for all the different formats.

The camera looks rugged and waterproof, but in actuality, it is just splash proof. The clip on the back was for a self-contained tripod. Of course, on this example, it is missing. You can see a photo of it here and you can read more technical details here. There is surprisingly little about this camera on the net, apart from eBay listings. I can tell you it is from the late 1990s.

This really is a basic point and shoot, no zoom, keep in your bag, use in the rain, don’t worry about it camera. If you are into aps, I think there are better cameras about such as the Minolta s series. But if this is the only one you have then it works fine.

Here is my test roll on expired film, taken around Tokyo and Ibaraki.

On a bright, sunny day the camera coped very well. Surprisingly for a splashproof, rugged camera, it didn’t work quite so well on a cloudy day. The flash was also quite weak with a short range. It still looks cool though.

Keep or sell: I have plenty of point and shoots, plenty of APS cameras…..sold.

 

 

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