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 the seventies with an exposure meter derived from the Yashica Electro 35. I got it from an old man about one and a half years back and I was told right away that it’s ideal for street photography. In fact, because of this camera, I loved the 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 exposure metering
- Small dimensions including 360 g weight
- It’s good looking (people don’t fear it)
- Fast and accurate rangefinder focusing
Let’s talk about rangefinders for a bit:
For those who don’t know, it’s way of focusing by combining two images in the viewfinder (you can easily find out about it in Wikipedia). Since this method does not require a 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 durable. After two or three drops, performance is still great. Some people have a problem with the batteries, but the original batteries can be easily replaced by two pairs of LR44. By the way, the batteries are essential for opening the shutter and there is a big red button to check the current 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 b&w 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 because of element or battery but I don’t care. :3
Hope you liked my review and I convinced you to buy a rangefinder!