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Minolta Co.,Ltd. (Japan)

Minolta X-700

Minolta X-700 (1981- 2000) The 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 succesful 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.

©2004 Reijo Lauro