The Minolta X-700 is a compact SLR, with all the features you need and a few extra ones. Probably my favourite SLR of all time and nearly my favourite camera of all time. I will try to explain why in this review.
I first stumbled across the Minolta X-700 in June of last year (2011). I was on a school trip going to World War I graves, trenches, and memorials in Belgium and France. I had with me my DSLR and my Halina Paulette. My then girlfriend had with her a black and interesting-looking SLR. I asked her if I could take a few shots with it, as soon as I told it I knew I had to get one, the grip is fantastic and the camera’s layout is simple and very user friendly.
It has P mode which is basically automatic mode, A (aperture priority), and then fully manual mode, so the camera allows you to have as much or as little control as you want.
After I got the results from my Halina Paulette back from the lab, I was hugely disappointed most of the images did not come out. I compared them to my girlfriend’s results with her X-700, and was blown away.
I started to search for one for myself but couldnt find one at a fair price.
Around 7 months later, I finally found one £50 with 3 lenses, the 50mm 1.7, 28mm 2.8 and a 3rd party zoom. I was so excited I didn’t talk about anything else for the 3 days it took to arrive, and to me and my girlfriends relief the camera arrived. I ripped open the parcel and inside found my beloved X-700. Upon closer inspection, I was hugely disappointed; the 3 lenses each had severe lens fungus. I started to search for more lenses, but found another x-700 body with 3 lenses for £30. I snapped it up, and luckily these lenses didn’t have fungus, so I now had 2 bodies and 6 lenses. I sold the body and the 3 fungus-filled lenses, and managed to get £60. I was very happy with my purchase but needed a standard 50mm lens. I started searchig on eBay, I then found a broken Minolta XE and I know they came with the highly regarded Minolta 50mm 1.4 lens. So I contacted the seller and I managed to get the lens for £6! I then sold my 3 remaining lenses for £25, so I had, in effect, got a Minolta X-700 and Minolta 50mm 1.4 lens for £1.
Here is an image of my beloved camera.
Now, down to the review. As usual, when I get a camera, I check the battery, to see if its working. I go out and shoot regardless of the weather.
I loaded my X-700 with Lucky SHD 100 and set off on a walk with my girlfriend. I live in Hellifield, a village in North West England, so my main subjects are animals, flowers, landscapes, or friends I am with.
The camera its self handles perfectly. It’s made of plastic on a metal chassis so it’s just the right weight and combined with the 50mm 1.4 the camera is a pleasure to use, I normally shoot in aperture priority. We walked up a hill to a ram shackled farm, where we found some goats and 2 very friendly cats; we watched them for around 15 minutes, Here are some of the results. I developed the film in cafenol and scanned with Epson Perfection 4870.
We continued up the hill to find some highland cattle, here is a shot of one of them.
This was in January so it was rather cold, but I really like shooting in winter.
Later on in the day we went on a walk to a near by forest, which is like a wonderland with a lake in the middle, here are some shots from there.
The X-700 has a fantastic metering system and works well in any light especially when used with a bright lens like the 50 1.4.
Recently, I picked up a small job lot of expired film off eBay. One of the films was Ilford SFX, a black and white film with infared capabilities. I also picked up a roll of Kodak HIE but I’m waiting for summer to shoot that marvelous film. I purchased a r72 filter to exploit the infared of the Ilford SFX, and I took it with me on a visit to my girlfriend’s house. We went on a walk to a lovely wooded area. I shot at f16 in bulb and used the camera metering but added another 5 stops to compensate for the filter. Every single shoot came out. Here are some of my favorites.
The above shots were developed in Rodinal.
To conclude my review, the Minolta X-700 is my favorite camera and has been since I set my hands on one. I can highly recommend one to anybody, as they are quite cheap and have a fantastic array of accessories and lenses. They accept both MD and MC mount lenses. I try to use mine as much as possible, and it fits in a large coat pocket just about but I usually use a strap. If you are new to SLR photography then its a great choice as it has a auto mode. Also, if you’re looking for something that gives you more control again it is great.
Thank you for taking time to read my review, I hope you found it useful. It’s my first review and I hope to write more in the future, so please feel free to comment. Thanks!