Back to the 80's with the Minolta Maxxum 7000!


I recently found a Minolta Maxxum 7000 in my local Salvation Army, why should you care? Read on to discover a pivotal moment in modern photography!

As some of you may know, I regularly peruse my local Salvation Army for vintage cameras. (I currently have 11.) And while I love, love love my Diana F+, I like to use a variety of different cameras so that I don’t grow complacent, and I never leave the house with at least one of them (I almost always have 2 in my bag). So when I saw a vintage Minolta Maxxum 7000 (1986) I almost passed it by because it was too modern, it’s a fully automated monstrosity that looks way too much like a Nikon or Canon for my own personal tastes, but it had an enormous zoom lens which I thought might come in useful. It came in an old battered camera bag and hidden within it’s crusty folds were two more lenses and a surprisingly nice flash. I asked the lady how much they wanted for it and she said $10. “You mean $10 for just the lens?” “No, $10 for all of it.”

I almost passed out.

The zoom lens alone was worth way more than that I figured so I hastily paid for the bag and all it’s contents and ran out of there like I just robbed it. I could probably just sell it online and raise some much needed funds for a much desired La Sardina, so I beelined it for home and fired up the laptop.

I had no idea what I had uncovered.

I googled Minolta Maxxum 7000 and discovered that the Maxxum came out in 1985, and sparked a revolution in camera design with integrated auto focus and auto film advance. It was the first of it’s kind and was instantly many a photographers wet dream. To this day, it is a sought after camera as it launched a revolution and sparked a semi cold war between camera companies. It is literally the yardstick for everything that came afterwards.

It’s not just a dusty old camera. It’s a piece of history.

And while I’m typically an “all manual” kind of guy, I have to admit I was curious to try it out. I soon discovered that the shutter was screwed up and the battery contact points were corroded, but armed with some nail polish remover to clean the contact points and a quick trip to my local camera shop, it was soon fixed. Since this camera has auto film advance you can crank off a roll faster than you can load it! I shot my first roll in under 30 seconds. 24 shots in 30 seconds, it was an expensive 30 seconds I mused as I waited for the film to be developed.

I need to learn restraint.

I decided I would sell it on Ebay to finance a much lusted after new camera and maybe some film, but I find myself reloading it over and over again, I’ve shot 5 rolls this week! Typically, I carry my Olympus PEN E-PL1 (DSLR) for most shots and a film camera or two for when I find something good, but in the last week all my cameras sit collecting dust as I go on adventures with my new lover. How quickly does the heart become attached! I am afraid this dusty old camera shall stay in my camera bag for a long time to come…

In the event that you are intrigued, I recommend searching Ebay for a Maxxum too, or any vintage camera that sparks your interest! There are so many cameras out there that need to be rescued and given a good home, and if you’re like me, there’s always room for one more! Remember; the more cameras you shoot with, the more you’ll learn about the craft in general! So get out there and start shooting!

Sincerely, Aroninvt.

written by aroninvt on 2011-08-05 in #people #reviews #adventures-in-babysitting-with-a-minolta-maxxum-7000


  1. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Is one of those lenses one of the 50mm/1.7 or 1.4 lenses?

  2. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Is one of those lenses one of the 50mm/1.7 or 1.4 lenses?

  3. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Is one of those lenses one of the 50mm/1.7 or 1.4 lenses?

  4. nation_of_pomation
    nation_of_pomation ·

    Well, that's unfortunate. I did not mean to comment 3 times. Sorry about that.

  5. aroninvt
    aroninvt ·

    That's okay, we've all done it! To answer your question; the two lenses are a 50mm AF 1:1.4, and 35-70 AF 1:4. All the lenses are in very good condition, the auto focus isn't really all that fast and I typically use manual focus anyway, so it's not a problem. I'm used to using old all manual cameras, so I must admit that I don't really understand all the buttons yet, I just got a new La Sardina to play with so I might not ever fully explore this camera! It's been a great experience though...

  6. shrista
    shrista ·

    I <3 my Maxxum!

  7. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    Nice camera.

  8. cfib
    cfib ·

    I've got the '5000 Model and I love it =)

  9. darryl1208
    darryl1208 ·

    Nice Article.
    I just want mention the first SLR with autofocus was the Pentax ME-F.

  10. darryl1208
    darryl1208 ·

    And I also want mention that the mentioned Olympus PEN is not a DSLR because the modern PEN cameras have no mirror. And mirror is needed to be a SLR or DSLR.

  11. aroninvt
    aroninvt ·

    Dear darryl1208, you are correct on both counts, but the Minolta Maxxum was the first camera to have autofocus and auto film advance. Or so it says in the books of camera history. Regardless, it is still a great camera, even by today's standards! In regards to the Olympus PEN E-PL1, you are correct that it is not a true DSLR, because there is no viewfinder or SLR. It is often reffered to generically as a DSLR because it shares many key features of a higher end DSLR, yet has no viewfinder, which is why it is so tiny. So it basically is a very high end point and shoot. A glorious camera to own I can assure you and a must see for any lomographer interested in making the jump to a digital. While many film buffs turn their noses up at the very mention of DSLRs, the Olympus PEN series could very well change their minds. It is very well worth checking out if you ever have the opportunity!

  12. bholloway694
    bholloway694 ·

    Hello ! I just bought the same camera. I'm taking a photography class in the spring, and I needed a 35mm film camera. I have the camera, and batteries but not the film. Can you tell me what kind of film I need, and where I could get it from?

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