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!