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Minolta Co.,Ltd. (Japan)

Minolta X-700

Minolta X-700 (1981- 2000) "European Camera of the Year " 1982-83

In the beginning of eighties the development of the SLR cameras has reached the point where an automatic exposure has begun to be a common feature. I was totally satisfied with my Pentax, but the enthusiasm to modern technics forged me to buy this Minolta X-700. In fact, this is my second one. The first was stolen in USA. (an innocent Finn in the bad,bad world ;-)

As a mainframe of the Minolta Program System (MPS) X-700 has a broad range of Minolta MD lenses and accessories. The fact, that the body could be purchased after twenty years of introducing is proofing, that it has been one of the Minolta's most successful camera models, although the range of lenses and accessories was later considerably reduced. Manufacturing of the last X-700´s took place in China

The X-700 has three operating modes, programmed auto-exposure (P mode), aperture priority auto-exposure (A mode) and metered full-manual exposure (M mode). The shutter speed and aperture are varied steplessly in the auto-exposure modes. The center-weighted averaging type metering leaves certain back light or otherwise more complicated exposure situations for the user to decide. The system has two silicon photocells, one for normal operation and one for TTL flash metering.
Minolta X-700 is an excellent camera in all respects. It's simple to operate and it has many advanced features but it still lets you be (almost) as creative as you want to be.

"Your X-700's center-weighted averaging meter system is designed so that light from all parts of the viewfield (picture area) is measured by the silicon photocell but influence from a broad central area is greatest. Thus the reading should give satisfactory exposure without adjustment as long as the main subject area occupies a major part of the center of the frame. When it does not, you may want to use the AE lock to take a close-up reading or the exposure-adjustment control to increase or decrease exposure by up to two stops
As with most metering systems, strong sources of direct light or other very bright areas may adversely influence the reading if allowed to dominate the frame.
Flash photography is just as simple with Minolta's dedicated flashes - attach flash, turn it on, and shoot. You get TTL (through-the-lens) exposure for perfect flash results every time. Perhaps the only weak points are the absence of the mirror lock and that the camera woun´t operate without battery."

Specifications: (owners manual)

Type: 35mm single-lens reflex AE camera

Exposure-control modes: Fully programmed ("P"), aperture-priority automatic ("A"), and metered manual ("M")

Lens mount: Minolta SLR bayonet of integrally lubricated stainless steel (54 degree rotating angle); coupling for full-aperture metering, finder display input, and an automatic diaphragm control, providing programmed or aperture-priority auto operation with Minolta MD lenses, aperture-priority auto operation with MC and other Minolta SLR interchangeable lenses/accessories; spring-return button for depth-of-field preview or stop-down meter readings with other than MC or MD lenses (standard lenses: MD 50mm f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.7 or f/2)

Exposure control and functions: Low-voltage, low-current computer circuit with a quartz crystal for sequential control to 1/30,000-sec. accuracy, large-scale ICs, samarium cobalt impulse-release magnets, and linear-resistance inputs) varies both aperture and shutter speed steplessly according to special "faster-speed" program in P mode, or varies shutter speed steplessly according to aperture set in A mode, to yield proper exposure for the film speed and exposure adjustment set; auto-exposure range: EV 1 to EV 18 (e.g., 1 sec. at f/1.4 to 1/1000 at f/16) at ASA/ISO 100 with f/1.4 lens; AE-lock device holds meter reading for exposure at that value regardless of subject-brightness changes

Shutter: Horizontal-travel focal-plane shutter; electronically controlled stepless speeds from 1/1000 to 4 sec. Selector dial locked at "P" or "A" setting of fixed speeds 1 to 1/1000 sec. or "B" (bulb) set manually at detented dial indications; electromagnetic shutter release locks if the voltage is too low for a proper operation. Dial

Metering: TTL center-weighted averaging type, by silicon photocell mounted at rear of pentaprism for available light, measured full aperture for normal finder display, then at taking aperture for programmed/automatic-exposure setting/determination or stop-down display; by another SPC mounted with optic in side of mirror compartment for off-the-film light at taking aperture during exposure to control dedicated flash duration.

Film-speed range: ASA/ISO 25 to 1600 set by dial with 1/3-EV increments.

Exposure-adjustment control: Up to +- 2 EV continuous adjustment of P, A, or M exposure by dial with 1/2-EV steps.

Mirror: Triple-coated oversize instant-return slide-up type mirror.

Viewfinder: Eye-level fixed pentaprism type showing 95% of 24x36mm film-frame area; magnification: 0.9X with 50mm standard lens focused at infinity; power: -1D, adjustable with accessory snap-on eyepiece lenses; Fresnel-field focusing screen having artificially regular-patterned matte field plus central split-image horizontally oriented focusing aid surrounded by microprism band, interchangeable with Type P1, P2, Pd, M, G, L, S, or H screens at authorized Minolta service stations; visible around frame: mode indication (P, A, or M), shutter-speed scale (1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 25, 500, and 1000) with LED setting indication, triangular over-/under-range LED indicators blinking at 4Hz, flash-ready signal (LED next to "60" blinking at 2Hz), FDC signal ("60" LED blinking at 8Hz of 1 sec. after correct flash exposure), mis-set lens warning (mode indication blinking at 4Hz) in P mode, battery check (by glowing of any LED when operating button touched or pressed slightly), f-number set with MD or MC lenses, and exposure-adjustment engaged indication (LED blinking at 4Hz); display and metering activated by normal finger contact or slight pressing of operating button and continue for 15 sec., except go out after shutter release.

Flash sync: PC terminal and hot shoe for X sync (disconnected when no unit installed); electronic flash ("strobe") synchronizes at 1/60 sec. and slower stepless or fixed speeds or "B" setting; Class MF, M and FP flashbulbs, at 1/15 or slower settings; additional spring-loaded contacts on hot shoe for camera/flash control and finder indication in programmed automatic operation.

Film advance: Manual: by lever with single 130 degree stroke after 30 degree unengaged movement; motorized: through the built-in coupler key with accessory Motor Drive 1 or Auto Winder G; release button for rewind on camera bottom; advancing-type frame counter; Safe Load Signal indicates film loading and advancing condition.

Power: Two 1.5v alkaline-manganese (Eveready A-76 or equiv.) or 1.55v silver-oxide (Eveready S-76, EPX-76 or equiv.) cells contained in camera base poser both programmed/auto exposure control and manual operation; three-position main switch with indication for off, on, or on with audible piezoelectric slow-speed warning and self-timer operating indication; battery check by touching or slightly pressing operating button (LEDs do not light when cells approach exhaustion); shutter will not release when voltage too low for proper operation.

Self-timer: Electronic for 10-sec. delay, with operation indicated by camera-front LED that blinks at 2Hz for 8 sec., then 8Hz for 1 sec., then remains on until shutter releases, plus simultaneous audible indication when main switch in appropriate position; engaged by switch on body, cycle started by pushing operating button, cancelable anytime before release.

Other: Audible 4Hz piezoelectric warning when finder speed indication is 1/30 sec. or slower whenever finger contacts "touch switch" normally or presses operating button slightly with main switch appropriately set; integral front handgrip; detachable back with integral handgrip, memo holder, and ISO, DIN, ASA conversion table; positive 4-slot take-up spool; remote shutter-release socket

Size and weight: 51.5 x 89 x 137 mm (2 x 3-1/2 x 5-3/8 in.), 505g (17-13/16 oz.) without a lens and power cells

Accessories: Exclusive Auto Electroflash 280PX, Multi-Function Back; Motor Drive 1, Auto Winder G, Power Grip 2, PX strobe cords, connectors, brackets, etc., Wireless Controller IR-1; MD, MC and other Minolta interchangeable lenses and applicable Minolta SLR system accessories.

Minolta Maxxum 7000

Minolta Maxxum 7000 (1985)

In 1985 Minolta SLR was again voted as the "European Camera of the Year " by EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association). Maxxum 7000 is Minolta's second SLR camera that has received such award. Minolta X-700 first snapped it back in 1981.

Minolta Maxxum 7000 (Minolta 7000 in Europe) is a successor to Minolta 700 what it comes to EISA Award but if you pass that and some similarities in the styling it is a totally different camera. For instance, Minolta, chose to change their mount completely and decided to drop support for the older MC/MD mount. The new fully electronic MA mount has no backward compatibility. Plastic composites are largely used as a body material, knobs and dials were replaced with pushbuttons and leds are changed to LCD (Liquid Crystal Displays).
The most remarkable enchancement however is an innovative and futuristic (in 1985) in-body autofocus system. As usual , many of these features got at first plenty of criticism and in some but as we know, not all but many of them are basic features today.
For the next couple of years Minolta autofocus film cameras dominated the prosumer and amateur SLR market. Minolta Maxxum
has manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, and program modes.

Specifications: (owners manual)

Type: Autofocus 35mm SLR with multi-program AE controlled by two 8-bit microcomputers on autofocus, auto multi-program, multimode, auto film transport, and LCD data panels.
Lens mount : Minolta A -type bayonet with electrical contacts for integrated lens-camera control; self-lubricating stainless-steel bayonet; accepts all Minolta AF lenses for continuous lens control by automatic electronic-mechanical dedication
Autofocus system: Minolta TTL phase-detection type with CCD sensor array and 8-bit microcomputer for direct, digital adjustment

Sensitivity range: EV 3 to 18* at ISO 100 in ambient light; using Program Flash 2800AF for low-contrast subjects in low light, AF illuminator is triggered; operates with all Minolta AF lenses (*EV 2 to 19 at ISO 100 in ambient light mentioned in the manual) Focus signals: Green LED glows and camera beeps when subject is in focus; when focusing manually, red LEDs show which way to turn lens; red LEDs in viewfinder blink when manual focusing is necessary.
Manual Focusing: By referring to focus signals (LEDs in viewfinder, or visually using Acute-Matte screen

Controls: Keys to set exposure mode, drive mode, exposure adjustment, and film speed; up/down keys to select speed, aperture and to control program shift; AE lock; program reset returns camera to P mode, S drive, and cancels exposure adjustment.
Shutter: Vertical-traverse electronically controlled focal-plane type
Auto Speeds: Stepless 1/2000 to 30 sec. with nearest half-stop setting displayed
Manual Speed: 1/2000 to 30 sec. in full-stop settings plus "bulb"
Shutter-speed range: 1/2000 to 30 sec.; stepless in P and A modes; full-stop settings in M or S modes; ''bulb'' in M mode
Film speeds: ISO 25 to 6400 in ambient light, ISO 25 to 1000 for TTL flash metering, both in 1/3-EV steps; auto film-speed setting with DX-coded films
Metering: Center-weighted averaging; silicon photocell (SPC) on pentaprism for ambient light; range: EV - 1 to 20 with ISO 100 film and 50mm f/1.4 lens (e.g., 4 sec. at f/1.4 to 1/2000 sec. at f/22); second SPC at bottom of mirror box for TTL flash metering

A first version (1985) of the autofocus 50mm prime lenses by Minolta. Version "N" was later made by Konica-Minolta but after Sony took over Minolta's photo department back in early 2006 the production was ceased. It is said to be slightly inferior compared to equivalent Canon or Nikon primes. Minolta AF 1,7/50mm

AF 50mm f/1.7

Construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
Angle of view: 47°
Minimum focus: 0,45m
Minimum f-stop: f/22
Dimensions: 65.5 x 38.5mm
Weight: 195 g

Exposure modes: Program (P): Shutter speed and aperture set according to one of three camera-selected
AE programs
: Both shutter speed and aperture set according to AE program automatically selected by camera: Wide program for focal lengths shorter than 35mm, Standard for focal lengths from 35mm to 105mm, Tele for focal lengths longer than 105mm; program changes automatically when zooming from one range to another.
Aperture-priority AE (A): Available apertures selectable in half-stops, camera sets corresponding stepless shutter speed
Shutter-priority AE (S): Speeds 1/2000 to 30 sec. selectable in full stops, camera sets aperture from available range on lens
Metered-manual (M): Manual setting of any speed and aperture; settings and correct exposure indicated in data panel and viewfinder
TTL flash metering: Operates in all flash modes with dedicated units; viewfinder LED signals flash charge and sufficient exposure

P: Automatic setting of X-sync to 1/100 sec. (11 /60 below EV 12 at ISO 100) and aperture; automatic fill-in flash with bright subjects
A: 1/100 X-sync; any available aperture usable; AE lock button enables slower X-sync speeds to balance flash with ambient lighting
M: X-sync at 1/100 or slower speeds, any available aperture usable; X-sync speed is reset to 1 /100 if 1/125 or faster speeds are set
Exposure controls: Exposure adjustment EV +4 to -4 in half-stops; AE lock holds metered AE settings; program shift for temporary selection of other programmed aperture shutter speed settings (in half-stops) for metered EV, shifted settings held as long as meter stays on.

Operating button: Touch Switch activates metering and LCD displays, which remain on for 10 sec. after finger is lifted from button; pressing halfway activates autofocusing and focus hold; pressing button all the way releases shutter
Film transport: Automatic with built-in motor drive, auto threading, auto advance to first frame, S mode for single-frame advance, C mode for continuous advance at up to 2 frames per second, power rewinding, auto rewind stop; advancing frame counter in data panel
Viewfinder: Eye-Level fixed pentaprism shows 94% of 24 x 36mm film frame; magnification 0.85X with 50mm lens at infinity; focusing screen can be changed by user; dioptric correction lenses available
Top panel LCD: Shows exposure mode, program shift, shutter speed, aperture, exposure adjustment, film speed, frame number, self-timer operation, "bulb" operation, low battery warning, over-/underexposure warning.

Viewfinder LCD: LCDs indicate exposure mode, program shift, shutter speed, aperture, exposure adjustment, film speed, low battery warning, whether light is within metering range, over-/underexposure warning; LEDs indicate focus status, if flash is charged, correct flash exposure; illuminated automatically in low light
Power: Four AAA-size 1.5v alkaline-manganese batteries power all operations; built-in lithium cell for memory backup has approx. 10-year life; automatic low-power warning; sliding main switch.
Battery Performance: With AAA-size alkalinemanganese (AM) batteries, 25 rolls of 24exposure film; using optional Battery Holder BH-70L and AA-size AM batteries, 65 rolls, AA-size Ni-Cd batteries, 20 rolls.

Audible signals: At position, camera beeps: when subject is in focus; at end of the roll; when using self-timer; as a slow shutter-speed warning in P or A mode, at speeds below: 1/30 sec. with lenses shorter than 35mm, 1/60 sec. with lenses 35mm to 105mm, and 1/125 sec. with lenses longer than 105mm
Self-timer: Electronic 10-second delay: indicated by 3-stage blinking LED on front of camera with simultaneous beeping, and countdown in data panel; cancelable by pressing drive mode key
Size and Weight: 52 x 91.5 x 138mm (2-1/16 x 3-5/8 x 5-7/16 in.), 555 g (19-9/16 oz) without lens or batteries

Minolta 7000 / Photography in Malaysia

©2009 Reijo Lauro