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Minolta Hi-Matic F: The Camera That was Born on the Streets

In this review, I'll tell you about my favorite camera, the Minolta Hi-Matic F, and the benefits of rangefinder cameras.

The Minolta Hi-Matic F was first developed in 1971. My camera is from 1972 as well, so this year will be its 40th anniversary. In a nutshell, it’s a typical rangefinder camera from seventies with an exposure meter derived from the Yashica Electro 35. I got it from an old man about 1.5 years back and right away was told that it’s ideal for street photography. In fact, beacause of that camera, I loved this genre so much. So what’s so special about this camera? Let’s see:

  • Wide Rokkor 38mm f/2.7 lens with electronic shutter
  • Fast automatic exsposure metereing
  • Small dimensions including 360g weight
  • It’s looking good(people don’t fear it)
  • Fast and accurate rangefinder focusing

Lets talk about rangefinders for a bit:

For those who don’t know, it’s way of focusing by combining two images in viewfinder (you can easily find out about it in Wikipedia). Since this method does not require mirror to focus, the camera is way more compact. But you also get the parallax error because you don’t see the exact frame in the viewfinder, but eventually you’ll get used to it, so it’s not a big problem.

The camera itself is quite strong; after two or three drops, performance is still great. Some people have a problem with the batteries, but the original batteries are easily replaced by two pairs of LR44. By the way, the batteries are essential for opening the shutter and there is big red button to check the charge. It has a double flash, so it is possible to connect a flash through hot shoe, or a cable. There is also a guide number selector.

Let’s see some pictures:

I love black and white films. Some say that real street photos can only be taken with black and white film.

The only downside is the exposure meter. I don’t know about others but my camera sometimes gives out underexposed images.It’s probably becaus of element or battery but I don’t care :3

Hope you liked my review and convinced you to buy a rangefinder!

written by coolbober and translated by coolbober


  1. brandkow93


    Great review and great images and a great camera, i was going to get one but decided to go for the Konica C35, there near identical but ive heard nothing but good things about the konica's lens, and the underexposed images will be due batteries they were ment to run on the now un availale 1.3v mercury batteries if your using alkaline 1.5v the sensitivity of the exposure meter will increase this causing it to under expose.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  2. plyshbel


    Метро в ч/б очень понравилось! Обзор тоже хорошо!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  3. neanderthalis


    Fantastic little camera and great black & whites.

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  4. rbruce63


    Absolutely outstanding pictures!

    almost 3 years ago · report as spam
  5. du3ky


    Awesome! I have the Hi-Matic g-2 , great little camera :)

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  6. jaszee


    Ahhh!! Makes me want one. :(

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  7. coolbober


    you should buy one!
    they are pretty cheap on ebay

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  8. gabrielle-tiberlam


    Hi, what batteries does it use.
    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  9. coolbober


    originally 2x 640a batteries
    I used 3x lr44

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  10. maxle


    the underexposure issue is because the camera was designed for 2x1,35V istead of 2x1,5. I have not tried out mine but in deíverse forums it's said to set the ISO dail 2/3s under the actual ISO of your film. maybe that will solve that problem...

    about 1 year ago · report as spam

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The original version of this article is written in: Русский. It is also available in: ภาษาไทย, 한국어 & 中文(繁體版).