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Minolta Camera Co., Ltd

Minolt AF-C

Minolta AF-C (1983)

Minolta AF-C is absolutely one of the most advanced classic compact cameras. It is small and quiet and it has a very sharp semi-wide lens as well an automatic focusing. The weak point could be the absence of a motor drive and that the camera is fully automatic and battery dependable. You only set the ISO and the camera does the rest. An advancement in 1983 but...
Minolta AF-C has a strong resemblance to Olympus XA and particularly to Cosina CX-2and Lomo LC-A or is that later vice versa? The Flash unit has a special attachment on the left side of the camera. Therefore you can not see any particular hot shoe, actually there isn't any. Film advance is done using a thumb wheel. As a conclusion I could say that the tiny Minolta AF-C was a quite decent and easy to use camera to carry with.

The Nichi-Doku Shashinki Shoten (Japan-Germany Camera Company) was established in 1928. It was the forerunner of Konica Minolta Camera Co. The corporate name was changed to Minolta Goshi Kaisha in 1931 and to Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko K.K. in 1937. Konica-Minolta announced discontinuing all film and digital camera production in 2006 thus ending a 78-year history as a camera manufacturer.
The assets were transferred to Sony Corporation so, that all production would continue under Sony's management.

Flash back

Left: On the back of the flash unit there is a scale for a maximum distance for a flash for various film speeds.
Right: Without a flash, Minolta AF-C is small and light.

Specifications :

Lens : Minolta 35 mm f/2.8 (a slide lens cover)
Rangefinder : Auto focus which can be locked
Viewfinder : Bright frame
Exposure meter : Cds-cell (ISO 25-400)
Shutter: Programmed, electronic leaf shutter.
Film transfer : Manual, with a wheel
Film rewind : Manual, with a lever
Battery : 2 x 3 v lithium CR 1/3N or 4 x 1,5 v LR44
Size/Weight : 43x68x105 mm / 220 g (without flash)

Without flash
Minolta AF Tele

Couple of years ago I stated,that I collect only manual focus cameras which are made of metal. It is still the fact. To unburden my mind I have found a loophole. I don't only collect cameras, they also accumulates around me. That's why these plasticy, grotty, useless monsters are here.



Minolta Freedom Tele/AF-Tele Super is an intelligent compact 35mm camera that offers many advanced features to simplify operation and improve picture quality:
• Dual lens selection:
• 30mm lens for group shots and scenics
• 80mm lens for portraits and candids

• Macro capability down to 2.3ft, (0.7m) without special settings
• Intelligent  multi-beam autofocus with cancelable focus hold
• Intelligent automatic metering for proper exposures
• Fast recycling, automatic switchover flash
• Large, bright viewfinder
• Automatic fill-flash capability • Fully automatic film transport
• Automatic setting of film speed
• Manual flash control for creative effects
• Optional 1,3X Tele Converter lens and other accessories


Type:  Compact autofocus 36mm camera with dual lens selection
Lenses: 38mm f/2.0 and 80mm lenses; motorized lens selection
Focusing: Infrared active-type multi-beam autofocus vrilh cancelable focus hold and coupled autoexposure lock: range: 2.3 ft. (0.7m) to infinity
Exposure system: Programmed autoexposure with automatic flash activation controlled by multi-zone metering and subject-distance data; exposure range at ISO 100: EV 6 to EV 17 (1/8 sec. at f/2.8 to 1/400 at f/18 with 38mm lens EV 8 to EV 19 (1/8 sec, at f/5,6 to 1/400 sec. at f/36) with 80mm lens
Flash system: Flash fires automatically in low light or backlit situations; flash coverage changes  automatically  according to lens setting; manual activation cancellation of flash possible; shutter locks until flash charged; flash recycling: approximately 1.8 seconds

Film-speed range: Automatic setting tor DX-coded ISO 50-3200; ISO 100 set when using films without DX coding Viewfinder: Real-image type with autofocus zone, close-framing marks, green OK lamp, green flash-ready lamp, red flash-wait lamp; magnification: 0.48X with 38mm lens, 1X with 80mm lens; image area: 85% at 3 metersFilm transport: Automatic threading, auto advance to first frame, auto winding, auto rewind and auto rewind stop; manual start of auto rewind possible
Data panel: Liquid-crystal display (LCD) indications for self-timer, low power, film loaded, and frame number
Self-timer: 10-second shutter-release delay: indicated by blinking red light on front of camera
Power: 6v lithium battery pack (2CR5) Battery   performance:  Approximately  35 rolls (Based   on   Minolta's  standard  test method, using 24-exposure film wilh flash on 50% of exposures)
Dimensions: 5-5/16[W) x 3(H) x 2-3/1E(D) in. (135.5x 75.5 x 55mm)
Weight: 12-3/16 oz. (345g) without battery

Minolta Riva Zoom

Minolta Riva Zoom 135EX / Freedom Zoom 135EX (1994)

"A loved child has many names." I don't know why so many consumer products has to have separate names in different regions? Some changes, like why Mitsubishi Pajero was sold as Montero in Spanish countries, are excusable, but....?

35mm AF leaf shutter camera with 38-135mm zoom lens. Passive type autofocus. Dimensions: 135.5 x 73.0 x 55mm
Weight: 320g without batteries (Two CR123A 3V)

Something about Auto Focusing

In a brief there are two basic methods used in Auto Focus systems

1. Active Focus: This system is is the least expensive to implement. Basically, it uses a high frequence voice (sonar) or today typically an infrared beam to measure the distance to the subject and then focuses according to the correct settings for that distance. The movement of the lenses is done by an electric motor.

2. Passive Focus System: This type of system employs mechanisms that detect contrast in the field of view. Passive focus works by the camera adjusting the lens until it detects that the highest level of contrast has been achieved. Some difficulties may appear if teh subject is not contrasty enough and there is less noticeable change from one part of a picture to the other.

Cameras with automatic focusing systems usually measure the distance to the center of a view. This method, however, is inaccurate when the object of interest is not at the center. Measuring more than one distance is an approach that may solve this problem. Then the system have to include some kind of program to determine which of the measurements are the most accurate for desired end result.

Image Based Auto-Focusing is trying to find a solution using Artificial Intelligence to determine a problem for a photographer.

In Digital Cameras Autofocusing is slightly easier to carry out because the indicators are already there in the CCD.

It is also very important to understand that, because, physically, there can only be one sharpest distance from the lens to certain points of an object the amount of the "correct" alternatives is numerous or maybe more.

©2009 Reijo Lauro