When people think of a 110 SLR, they think of the Pentax Auto. However you cannot deny the fun and versatility of a zoom with macro capability.
The Minolta 110 Zoom SLR was the first true 110 SLR. What sets it apart from the few 110 SLR cameras and the later Mk II, is the shape. Rather than design it like a smaller 35mm SLR, the Minolta was squat and flat, more like the Kodak 110 Instamatics of the day, and the classic brick 110 point and shoots. Whether or not ergonomics was a deciding factor of the design, this makes it extremely easy to hold and operate, more so the more familiar 35mm SLR shape.
The Minolta is fully automatic with aperture priority autoexposure. The light meter is a dial you twist mounted next to the lens. The camera can use film speeds other than the ISO 100 and 400 (so is perfect for Lomography Tiger) and is auto selected by the camera.
The lens is a permanent 25–50 mm f/4.5-16 manual focus zoom with macro focusing capability to 280 mm. This is the equivalent of 50–100 mm zoom lens on a standard 35 mm camera.
Shutter speeds are 1/1000 second through 10 seconds, with a 1/150 second X-sync speed and bulb. The camera has a proper flash hotshoe and has a tripod screw.
This is one versatile little camera.
My favorite feature however is the Macro focusing. Twist the lens the right way and the most amazing close ups are possible. You can get truly, truly close and shoot the most amazing pictures.
In use the viewfinder is not that bright, which makes it difficult to focus in any other light than daylight. You’ll see many of the images here (mostly indoors) and focussed to the wrong point. I ended up often relying on the focus distance marks on the lens to focus.
That aside is it a wonderful toy, and it felt great to be able to bring it back to life after sitting in someones garage for so long.
When you say 110 SLR, people say Pentax Auto. The Minolta might be a rough diamond, but it’s zoom means it is definitely a hidden gem.