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Lomopedia: Minolta X-700

Introduced in 1981, the Minolta x-700 is considered as the most popular and top of the line model among Minolta's manual focus body cameras. Find out more about this impressive 35mm SLR camera in this installment of Lomopedia!

Driven by the success of the low-priced Canon AE-1, Minolta followed suit and introduced the X-700 in 1981, a mid-range 35mm SLR camera that became their top manual focus SLR model, and the last to be released prior to the introduction of the auto-focus Minolta Maxxum 7000. The X-700 had the basic metal-encased plastic body of the Minolta XG-M with electronically stepless speeds, but also fitted with full program auto-exposure (Program AE or “P”) aside from the camera’s aperture priority AE (“A”) and metered manual modes. All three modes can be used with the Minolta MD lenses, and the aperture priority and manual modes can be used with MC and other Minolta lenses. Other notable features include through-the-lens (TTL) flash metering, exposure lock, interchangeable focusing screens.

As a testament of its impressive performance, the Minolta X-700 was given the first “European Camera of the Year” award by the European Imaging and Sound Association in 1982.

Photo via Photo Club Alpha

Technical Specifications:

  • Type: Electronically governed 35mm single-lens reflex AE camera
  • Exposure-control modes: Fully programmed (“P”), aperture-priority automatic (“A”), and metered manual (“M”)
  • Lens mount: Minolta SLR bayonet of integrally lubricated stainless steel (54-degree rotating angle); coupling for full-aperture metering, finder display input, and automatic diaphragm control, providing programmed or aperture-priority auto operation with Minolta MD lenses, aperture-priority auto operation with MC and other Minolta SLR interchangeable lenses/accessories; spring-return button for depth-of-field preview or stop-down meter readings with other than MD or MC lenses (standard lenses: MD 50mm f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.7)
  • Exposure control and function: Low-voltage, low-current computer circuit incorporating quartz crystal for sequential control to 1/30,000-sec. accuracy, large scale ICs, samarium-cobalt impulse-release magnets, and linear-resistance inputs, varies both aperture and shutter speed steplessly according to special “faster-speed” program in P mode, or varies shutter speed steplessly according to aperture set in A mode, to yield proper exposure for the film speed and exposure adjustment set; auto-exposure range: EV 1 to EV 18 (e.g., 1 sec. at f/1.4 to lens; AE-lock device holds meter reading for exposure at that value regardless of subject-brightness changes
  • Shutter: Horizontal-traverse focal-plane type electronically controlled stepless speeds 1/1000 to 4 sec. set automatically with endlessly rotatable selector dial locked at “P” or “A” setting or fixed speeds 1 to 1/1000 sec. or “B” (bulb) set manually at detented dial indications; electromagnetic shutter release locks when voltage too low for proper operation
  • Metering: TTL center-weighted averaging type by silicon photocell mounted at rear of pentaprism for available light, measured full aperture for normal finder display, then at taking aperture for programmed/automatic-exposure setting/determination or stop-down display; by another SPC mounted with optic inside of mirror compartment for TTL off-film Direct Autoflash Metering at taking aperture during exposure to control burst duration of PX-series flash units
  • Film-speed range: ISO 25/15 degrees to 1600/33 degrees set by ASA dial that locks at 1/3-EV increments
  • Exposure-adjustment control: Up to +2 EV continuous adjustment of P, A, or M exposure by dial that locks at zero position and each 1/2-EV setting
  • Mirror: Triple-coated oversize instant-return slide-up type
  • Viewfinder: Eye-level fixed pentaprism type
  • Flash sync and control: Hot shoe and PC terminal for X sync; camera-control contact on hot shoe for flash-ready signaling and automatic setting of shutter at 1/60 sec. (except when mode/shutter speed selector set for sync at “B”) with PX and X flash units; other electronic units synchronize at 1/60 sec. and slower manual speeds or “B” setting; Class MF, M, and FB flashbulbs, at 1/15 sec. or slower settings; second contact on hot shoe for burst control by Direct Autoflash Metering with PX units
  • Film advance: Manual by lever with single 130-degree stroke after 30-degrees unengaged movement; motorized through built-in coupler key with accessory Motor Drive 1 or Auto Winder G; release button for rewind on camera bottom; advancing-type frame counter; Safe Load Signal indicates film loading and advancing condition
  • Power: Two 1.5V alkaline manganese (LR44: Eveready A-76 or equivalent), two 1.55V silver-oxide (SR44: Eveready S-76, EPX-76, or equivalent, or one EV lithium (CR-1/3N) cell(s) contained in camera base power both programmed/auto exposure control and manual operation
    Self-timer: Electronic for 10-sec. delay, with operation indicated by camera-front LED that blinks at 2Hz for 8 sec. then 8Hz for 1 sec., then remains on until shutter releases, plus simultaneous audible indication when main switch in appropriate position; engaged by switch on body, cycle started by pushing operating button, cancelable anytime before release
  • Other: Audible 4Hz piezoelectric warning when finder speed indication is 1/30 sec or slower whenever finger contacts “touch switch” normally or presses operating button slightly with main switch appropriately set; integral front handgrip; detachable back with integral handgrip, memo holder, and ISO (DIN-ASA) table; positive 4-slot take-up spool, remote shutter-release socket
  • Size and weight: 51.5 × 89 × 137 mm (2 × 3-1/2 × 5-3/8 in.) 505g (17-13/16 oz) without lens and/or power cells
  • Standard accessories: Carrying strap with slide-on spare battery holder and eyepiece cap
  • Optional accessories: Auto Electroflash 360PX, 280PX, 132PX, Macro 80PX Set, off-camera cables and connectors, Power Grip 2, etc.; Multi-Function Back, Quartz Data Back 1; Motor Drive 1, Auto Winder G; Wireless Controller IR-1 Set; MD, MC, and other Minolta interchangeable lenses and applicable Minolta SLR system accessories

Check out the reviews of our fellow lomographers below to learn more about this SLR camera:

The Fantastic Minolta X-700
Minolta X-700: My Favorite 35mm SLR
The Minolta X-700: A 35mm Reflex Dream

All information for this article were sourced from Camerapedia, Wikipedia, CameraManuals.org, and mir.com.my.

written by plasticpopsicle

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