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Minolta HI-Matic E

The Minolta HI-Matic E is a mechanical rangefinder camera from 1971, with sharp light lens Rokkor 40/1.7 metallic body and automatic exposure which is perfect for traveling and reportage.

image from mrmartinweb

If i am thinking about which camera from my collection is really similarto LOMO and the Lomography philosophy, it would have to be the Minolta HI-Matic E.

It’s a manual rangefinder camera with electronically controlled exposure. Perfect for quick snapshots – best for lomographers loving rules ‘be fast’ and ’don’t think’. A metallic aluminum body is not light, but you will be sure you won’t break this camera easily. It is perfect for traveling, and also for extreme hard conditions.

The Minolta HI-Matic series started in 1962. This camera is similar to Yashica Electro or Konica C35. It is fitted with a beautiful sharp lens ROKKOR 40mm/ f 1.7. This is a fully automatic camera, you set the film speed and focus. The camera sets the aperture and shutter speed. Its easy making a exposure corrections by changing film speed setting.

Really interesting is the ‘Easy Flash’ system that apparently adjusts the aperture as you focus, based on a guide number you set with an under-lens lever according to a table on the back of the camera .

Hi-matic uses classic 35mm film. The counter is placed on the top of camera and on the corner is also mechanical window which indicate if film is placed inside the camera. The camera does not have a window where you can see ISO of film you are using – this is a thing which mind me sometimes. Also problematic can be using rangefinder, if you are wearing glasses, or in the dark. But you can really good set the distance on the ring of lens. I used this for quick snapshots every time.

Exposure and shutter was powered by 2 batteries PX640. They are not available now. You can replace it by PX640A or cheaper LR9 with some small metallic reduction. Battery condition is indicated on the top of camera by red control.

I bought this camera in 2000 in Prague bazaar for 700 crowns / 40USD/. This time i traveled few times to Indonesia and i looked for alternative for my heavy Minolta reflex camera. I looked for a camera that I can take on the beach, which has no problem with high humidity, sand, and shaking. I used Fujichrome slide film and the result was perfect every time. It offers sharp and clear pictures without reflexes or color mistakes. If you want to have reliable, quick, cheap, silent camera with a sharp lens which will be here longer than you just try to buy this model.

written by drumfire


  1. lazara


    great sharpness in deed!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  2. mattcharnock


    great gallery - love shot 2!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  3. hanspan


    oooooh pretty :)

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  4. dogma


    Cool it has same atomic symbol as yashica does :)

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  5. stouf


    Wonderful gallery ! N°1 is perfect !

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  6. plyshbel


    Nice camera, photos and review!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  7. mattydk


    awesome gallery

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  8. d_i_hunter


    Another cool review and gallery of a sweet little camera that still has lots to offer!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  9. adi_totp


    in Indonesia? shot # 12

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  10. panelomo


    now i want this camera! - gah!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  11. superlighter


    great images! mmm...I should use my Hi-Mat more often!

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  12. drumfire


    yes its indonesia / java / bali

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  13. falsedigital


    I have this camera too! I used it along side my digital during the inauguration to get more candid shots of the crowd. :P

    over 5 years ago · report as spam
  14. obungen


    this is awesome. i just scored one of these and its companion flash off of eBay (for quite a bit more than what you paid) but i think its well worth the money. just waiting for my batteries to arrive..

    great review!

    about 5 years ago · report as spam
  15. lageos


    Great review and great fotos, especially number 13 and 9 are awesome!

    over 4 years ago · report as spam
  16. brunomcp


    I recently bought a Minolta Hi-Matic G, which is quite similar to that camera, and I as wondering if you or anyone else could give me some tips on how to use it, what can I do with it, regarding lomography…
    I guess I can do double exposure by rewinding it manually, but that's it.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  17. brunomcp


    Plus, the inside focus ring keeps getting stuck and I don't even know if it's supposed to or not...

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  18. saeen


    My dad bought this camera back in 1976 from Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Had a lot of childhood photos of my elder siblings with this camera. I still have this with me but it's not working. http://www.flickr.com/photos/saeen/7576425622 http://www.flickr.com/photos/saeen/7576426158
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