I picked up my Minolta X-370 a few months ago in a trade for my old crossbow. I already had a Maxxum 7000 but I wanted something with more control, and the X-370 gave that to me.
I am somewhat of a novice when it comes to analogue photography. I only picked up the habit in December of last year. But it has opened my eyes to a world that I have grown to cherish. As a result, I have amassed a cache of film cameras (35mm and otherwise). My newest, and dare I say favorite of the bunch right now is my Minolta X-370.
I came into ownership of this sturdy little SLR by way of a trade. I had a crossbow, from a few years back when I used to hunt, that was just gathering dust at my buddy’s house. The opportunity arose, and I jumped at the chance to get this camera (along with all the extra goodies that came with it).
The camera itself came with the standard 50mm 1.7F lens which is super sharp. I also got two universal screw-on convertors, one wide angle and one tele as well as a macro attachment and a whopping (seriously it is heavy) 75-300mm zoom lens. To say the least, I was ecstatic. O yeah, and it came with a dozen rolls of film from 100-400 ISO.
I couldn’t wait to take this bad boy out and use it. And it just so happened that I was going to a Cleveland Indians baseball game that very weekend. It is at this point that I should have at least checked to make sure that there was film in the camera. I was told that there was and I did not want to expose it so I took their word for it; big mistake. As a result, no Cleveland Indians pictures. But I was not to be deterred. I loaded some outdated Kodak 400 Gold and went off on my next adventure, an Akron Aeros baseball game.
This camera is very versatile, especially when you have the standard 1.7F lens on it. You can take everything from full sunlight at f22 all the way to night shots. The camera is set up in an AE configuration. That means, when you set it to auto the shutter speed will be set automatically and you have to set the aperture and focus the shot. This camera, made in 1984 was one of the latter manual focus Minoltas and came in during a time of transition when the Maxxum AF line was gearing up. I have found that with a steady hand, even long exposures can come out fairly sharp even without a tripod.
The one downside that I have found to it is that, as with lost SLRs by time the 80’s rolled around, it needs batteries to run. It will not function without the 2 LR44 button batteries. This differs from earlier cameras that only needed the battery for automatic exposure (such as the Canonet line). On the bright side, LR44 batteries can be found almost anywhere (I found mine in a 99 cent pack of batteries from the flea market).
When it comes to shooting with the X-370, it couldn’t be easier. First, make sure there is film in it (a little indicator next to the shutter button). Then either set it to automatic or to manual and select your shutter speed. This model could go from B to 1/1000. Once you have that, all you have to do is focus in on your shot and start snapping.
The best part of this camera, is that it can be had for very little online (eBay, Amazon, etc.) so there is no reason not to try out this little gem.