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Opinions on Older Minoltas.

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by John_K, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    They are getting rarer now and this sad, I never really did understand why they were never as popular as the likes of Nikon or Cannon except perhaps the build quality was not always as good.

    The Dynax 9 was every bit as good in every way as the Nikon equivalent (I guess the F100) The (9000 was inovative and also every bit as good as the LATER F4 but again let down a little by the build.

    I have always had a higher regard for Minolta lenses than either Nikon or Cannon with the F2.8 20mm AF being absolutely outstanding. I would say the manual version was even better!

    The Minolta 28-85AF was a much better lens than the Nikon 28-85 having far less distortion and sharper as well.

    I still have a couple of Manual Minoltas, an XE1 (Cloned by Leica for the R3 Reflex with additions such as spot metering) and a X700. The 3.5 constant aperture 35-70 (Also cloned by Leica but mechanically beefed up a bit)is sharp at all apertures and an absolute joy to use.

    Like a lot of things today we are getting less choice and being all shepherded into buying a narrower band of products.

    (PS if anyone has a genuine Minolta 2.8-20mm prime, non Auto-focus lens to get rid of I would bite your arm off to get it!)
     
  2. swanseadave

    swanseadave Well-Known Member

    Many years ago a work colleague went down the Minolta road with an X300 and several accessories to form an excellent kit.
    At the same time I went down the Fujica road annd also built up an extensive kit.
    The difference is that his Minolta kit is still in almost daily use whereas my Fuji is unusable due to camera faults that would cost far too much to fix.The Fuji X lenses are incompatible with anything else.
    So,guess which road I wish I`d gone down. Minolta did indeed make exceptionally good cameras.

    I`ve since adopted the Minolta A mount system and have undergone a new photographic lease of life :cool: :D
     
  3. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Must admit I'm not sure why Minolta were less prominent than Nikon or Canon but, in the days of proper metal cameras at least, I don't think it was build quality. Old mechanical Minoltas I've handled feel every bit as solid as my Nikon tanks... TBH at that time I don't think there was as much of a gap between the Japanese big 5 as there is now - Nikon may have been the SLR of choice of many pro's but at enthusiast and even happy snapper levels there appeared far less in it.

    I suspect the change came with a different approach to marketing along with the rise of automation. Here I think Canon stole a march on everyone else and marketed their products much more aggressively and at a wider range of potential customers than those who read AP and similar magazines. I would say it's this more than anything that gave Canon their present premier position in the market and it's only recently that Nikon and now Sony have started to make inroads - to a large extent by the same sort of marketing...
     
  4. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    My understanding was that Nikon and Canon managed to build a reputation for being the first ones to supply to the professional and offer support tailored to that market and I think that's where most other brands suffered. Everybody then just went where the pros went.

    I think the Minolta Dynax 9 edges over the Nikon F100. I like both though.

    I just today received my Minolta 800si which I am surprised at how good and solid it is and last week a 700si which I am thinking of selling (as I bought just because it came with a grip that fits the 800). But even that camera is good and I am beggining to have second thoughts. I have a Dynax 5 as well which in my opinion, its size and silver trim does not do justice to what it can do. Even though the 700si is meant to be superior I think the 5 is better and more responsive, AF inclusive. In fairness to the 700si, it is an older camera and I don't think it has the same updated AF as the 5, but it still is no slouch. But the 800si is a very nice camera to own and use, I can see that just for playing with it for a few hours. I loaded some Fujifilm Pro 400H and off I'll go when I have some time or when I feel a bit better (I have a wisdom tooth to pull out tomorrow, the dentist warned me I'm gonna be in a lot of pain for a while). Looking forward to do some work with it.
     
  5. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    I had a 7000 soon after they came out back in the 80s, used it for 20 years until I succumbed to digital (KM 5D) I did buy a cheap second hand 7000 and 5000i for the lenses they had fitted. Finally passed the 7000s on to a grand daughter starting a college photog course.

    I've also got a KM Z1 and A200 and recently picked up a S/H Sony A350.

    So, yes I like Minolta.
     
  6. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    You just reminded me to get my Dimage A1 back from my friend :D
     
  7. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    Well as many on here will know I'm a bit of a Minolta fan :D and have a collection going from an Autocord all the way up to the Alpha900(check my Bio), along with a collection of lenses and accessories, still after a few odds and ends, including a 24mm f/2.8 MD lens, I think as others have pointed out that Minolta missed the marketing play that Canon used and subsequently Nikon utilised and lost market share, however it will be interesting to see how Sony do, I don't see them missing many tricks marketing wise in outdoing the competition.
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Well I liked my XE-1 and XE-5 very much indeed, but I must say I prefer the R3 for the little extras. I also like my Leica CL very much, which is also a Minolta at heart.

    Minolta were market leaders with the 7000, and managed to keep ahead for several years at the beginning of the AF age - it took Nikon in particular many years to catch up with regard to AF speed. But they rather lost their way with things like expansion cards and endless sliding switches, whereas Canon came in with the EOS 1000 which had the same controls as a current camera, and was fully-featured at a bargain price. That was really the start of Canon's dominance, - that and the EOS 1 series, which had fast, accurate AF that Minolta couldn't match, and a range of lenses to match. But it was very much product, not marketing, that did it. When I was looking to buy my first AF SLR, the Minolta offering was competent, but the controls were horrible. The Nikon (F-601) was just rubbish in comparison, so I bought the Canon.
     
  9. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    I think it was lot to with Canon's Darth Vader or jelly mold look that appealed to many people :) :)
     
  10. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    ...having said that, some people think that the Minolta 9xi's look inspired a lot of Canon designs and that the Vectis inspired Olympus' E-300 series. I can definately see similarities but don't know if there is any truth in those statements.
     
  11. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Back in 1958 in Germany doing my National Service, I was able to compare the view through a Retina II or III against an early SLR. For close-ups there was no contest, so I started with a Contaflex 1 and bought a set of Zeiss Proxars. A decade later, proper interchangeable lenses were becoming available, and taking advice from my local dealer, I bought a Minolta SRT101 with the 55 f1.7. My first film simply amazed me with its sharpness out to the edges compared to what I'd been getting from the Contaflex. I stayed with Minoltas, 4 x X700 bodies at one time!, and several lenses.

    Somewhere in all of this, I saw the famous photo of Dr Kissinger's Secret Memo (at the UN?) taken with Canon's 300 f2.8 FD at full aperture, readable and shot from the gallery. Very impressive!
    Minolta went AF, and after carefully costing a new lens line-up from Minolta, I bought Eos - and I'm still buying Eos.

    If the rumours are correct, Minolta lost a lot of money in the lawsuit from Honeywell over the patents to the AF system, and they never recovered when they needed money for investment into digital.
     
  12. Mibron

    Mibron Well-Known Member

    hi I still have and use an XD7 with a 50mm f2 a28mm f2,8 a35/70mm constant 3.5 and a135mm f3.5. I also have an OM1 in beautiful condition and a OM2SP with a few knocks. But my favorite is the XD7 it is lovely to use.
    Mibron.
     
  13. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Can't quite see that, given that Canon were using that look before Minolta, as far back as the T90.

    If that's true, it just shows what a dreadful job Olympus made of it. The Vectis SLRs were quite good-looking, the E-300 one of the ugliest cameras of all time.
     
  14. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    I see, I wasn't aware that the T90 was that old. Quite a camera for 1986 I have to say.

    I like the Vectis myself, I almost got one with a battery grip last year, but developing APS is not on the cards for me. I have felt tempted, but no. I am more curious about 110 now.
     
  15. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Must say I rather like the Vectis system too, and have nearly bought one on several occasions - it was at once a very silly idea to make it a completely separate system from 35mm, and a stroke of genius - perhaps an epitaph for the last 20 years of Minolta. ;)
     
  16. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member


    For the XD7 have a look at the shape of the body compared to any of the Leica reflexes, R4 to R7. There is a remarkable similarity.
     
  17. John_K

    John_K Well-Known Member

    Just a sign as to how low prices have slumped with Minolta equipment. In a camera shop in Darlington, they have a used Minolta 9000 in cracking condition with a non-bleeding LCD for the princely sum of £24. The body is spotless and complete with the proper body cap as well not an afterthought!
     
  18. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Well, the better for us :D ! I'm keeping the 700si by the way, even though I know now I could sell it for 3 times as much as for what I bought it. Now need a vertical grip for it...that's the only problem, you by them cheap and then you want all the accessories to go with :D
     
  19. Mojo_66

    Mojo_66 Well-Known Member

    Agreed, I love my XD7, I prefer it to the XE-1 because you don't have to switch it on first, it's always ready. And it's the perfect size and weight for a camera.
     
  20. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    It's worth mentioning that Minolta still have a passionate following in Japan.
     

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