While the SLR market dozed a little, the Minolta X-700 went out in 1981. This was the last manual focusing camera of the Japanese firm before producing the first autofocus camera ever in 1985. The last representative of manual Minolta cameras was a huge success. The careful balance between performance and ease of use made it a very popular camera to beginners and amateurs, as well as many clubs.
Lightweight and reliable, the Minolta X-700 derives its appeal from three exposure modes: fully automatic (“MPS” or “Minolta Programming System”), aperture priority and fully manual. The MPS mode greatly contributed to the success of this device as it allows the photographer to concentrate on the image leaving the unit to cope with the settings. The light metering is center weighted
The Minolta X-700 has other advantages such as exposure compensation to plus or minus 2 EV, a TTL flash, an exposure lock, a timer, a depth-of-field tester and a good indicator of film loading. Compatibility with lenses and accessories from previous cameras placed it in the center of a vast system. Many accessories were also designed specifically for it: motor, multi-function back, electronic cords for the TTL flash, remote control…
Light and well finished, the Minolta X-700 is very pleasant to use. The Japanese firm has achieved a true ergonomic breakthrough with this unit. Controls fall naturally under the fingers and are intuitive. The trigger is very sweet. The viewfinder, pretty clear, recalls all essential parameters of the image: exposure time, aperture, exposure mode, correction. The cell is accurate and three exposure modes can let you take pictures without worrying about settings or, otherwise, give you control on every details.
So to recap: it is a 24×36mm camera that accepts all lenses and accessories with MC and MD mount. Program mode is only available with the MD lenses. The shutter allows speeds from 1/1000s to 4s (1s in manual mode) plus B pose, with stepless speed and aperture in automatic mode. It offers three exposure modes: manual, aperture priority with center-weighted light metering and program. The weight of the camera alone is 510gr and 700gr with the 50mm f/1.7 lens.
I have two devices with the following lenses and accessories:
- 2 x MD Minolta 50mm f/1.7
- 1 x MD Tokura 35-70mm f/2.8-3.8
- 1 x MD Tokina 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
- 1 x MD Sigma 75-250mm f/4-5
- 1 x Minolta Auto 280 PX flash
- 1 x Mecablitz 34 BCT 1 flash
Finally, here are some interesting links:
- X-700 user manual
- X-700 Rokkor page
- A very complete page about the X-700
- Minolta 280 PX flash user manual
written by chtiman on 2012-11-06