Minolta X-700: My Favorite 35 mm SLR


The Minolta X-700 is a compact SLR with all the features you need and a few extra ones. Probably my favorite SLR and nearly my favorite camera of all time. I first stumbled upon the Minolta X-700 in June of last year, 2011 when I was on a school trip going to World War I graves, trenches, and memorials in Belgium and France. I had with me my DSLR and my Halina Paulette. My then girlfriend had with her a black and interesting looking SLR. I asked her if I could take a few shots with it, and as soon as I held it I knew I had to get one. The grip is fantastic and the camera's layout is simple and very user-friendly.

It has a P mode which is basically an automatic mode, A (aperture priority), and then fully manual mode, so the camera allows you to have as much or as little control as you want. After I got the results from my Halina Paulette back from the lab and I was hugely disappointed that most of the images did not come out. I compared them to my girlfriend's results with her X-700 and was blown away. I started to search for one for myself but couldn't find one at a fair price.

Around seven months later, I finally found one £50 with three lenses, the 50 mm 1.7, 28 mm 2.8 and a third party zoom. I was so excited I didn't talk about anything else for the three days it took to arrive, and to me and my girlfriend's relief, the camera arrived. I ripped open the parcel and inside found my beloved X-700. Upon closer inspection, I was hugely disappointed; the three lenses each had severe fungus. I started to search for more lenses but found another X-700 body with three lenses for £30. I snapped it up, and luckily these lenses didn't have fungus, so I now had two bodies and six lenses. I sold the body and the three fungus-filled lenses and managed to get £60. I was very happy with my purchase but I still needed a standard 50 mm lens. I started searching on eBay, I then found a broken Minolta XE and I know they came with the highly regarded Minolta 50 mm 1.4 lenses. So I contacted the seller and I managed to get the lens for £6! I then sold my three remaining lenses for £25, so I had, in effect, got a Minolta X-700 and Minolta 50 mm 1.4 lens for £1.

We continued up the hill to find some highland cattle, here is a shot of one of them. This was in January so it was rather cold, but I really like shooting in winter.

Now, on to the review. As usual, when I get a camera, I check the battery to see if it's working. I go out and shoot regardless of the weather. I loaded my X-700 with Lucky SHD 100 and set off on a walk with my girlfriend. I live in Hellifield, a village in North West England, so my main subjects are animals, flowers, landscapes, or friends I am with.

The camera handles perfectly. It's made of plastic on a metal chassis so it's just the right weight and combined with the 50 mm f/1.4 lens, the camera is a pleasure to use. I normally shoot in aperture priority. We walked up a hill to a ram shackled farm, where we found some goats and two very friendly cats. we watched them for around 15 minutes and here are some of the results. I developed the film in caffenol and scanned with Epson Perfection 4870.

Later on in the day, we went on a walk to a nearby forest, which is like a wonderland with a lake in the middle, here are some shots from there.

The X-700 has a fantastic metering system and works well in any light especially when used with a bright lens like the 50 mm f/1.4.

Recently, I picked up a small job lot of expired film off eBay. One of the films was Ilford SFX, a black-and-white film with infrared capabilities. I also picked up a roll of Kodak HIE but I'm waiting for summer to shoot that marvelous film. I purchased an R72 filter to exploit the infrared of the Ilford SFX, and I took it with me on a visit to my girlfriend's house. We went on a walk to a lovely wooded area. I shot at f/16 in bulb mode and used the camera metering but added another five stops to compensate for the filter. Every single shot came out. Here are some of my favorites.

To conclude my review, the Minolta X-700 is my favorite camera and has been since I set my hands on one. I can highly recommend one to anybody as they are quite cheap and have a fantastic array of accessories and lenses. They accept both MD and MC mount lenses. I try to use mine as much as possible and it fits in a large coat pocket just about but I usually use a strap. If you are new to SLR photography then it's a great choice as it has an auto mode. Also, if you're looking for something that gives you more control, this is also a great option.

This is a review submitted by Community Member brandkow93.

written by brandkow93 on 2012-03-30 #gear #people #review #slr #manual #lomography #automatic #film-camera #minolta-x-700 #user-review #the-best


  1. kiri-girl
    kiri-girl ·

    Love! I got a Minolta Xd7 and it's my first and one of my favorite slrs to use :)

  2. laurasulilly
    laurasulilly ·

    Yay, I love my Minolta x-700 as well!

  3. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Being a Minolta Maxxum 600si user I find your pictures outstanding!

  4. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Thanks for the pointers on IR film I am looking forward to receive mine too!

  5. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    Thank you very much :)
    you are very welcome, if you have got actual IR film not black and white with heighten red sensitivety and your shooting it in a more modern slr then check if the camera uses Infared to cheeck the film spacing, if it does then it will ruin your film. Have fun shooting it, its a much different experience but a great one, and i cant wait to see your results.

  6. vandal
    vandal ·


  7. pkirsche
    pkirsche ·

    Nice pictures! Amazing camera you've got, congratulations! I'll try to purchase one soon, I still don't have a SLR.

  8. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    @pkirsche thanks alot :) it really is lovely and the minolta 50 1.4 lens is amazing. Cool i hope you get one, if you can not find a x-700 then look out for other Minolta X series cameras (XG series, XE series, XD series, or the sibling of this camera X-300 and X-500, every photographer has to have a SLR lol.

  9. katecd
    katecd ·

    Minolta X-700 is also my favourite camera, I'm glad I accidentally introduced you to it :)

  10. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    hehehe i know it is, and thank you for accidentily introducing it to me

  11. katecd
    katecd ·

    It's quite alright hehee

  12. pkirsche
    pkirsche ·

    @brandkow93 You're right, I really need one... =/ I'm afraid these Minolta cameras are hard to find here in Brazil, for they were never made here... At least I still couldn't find them.

  13. thelonelycyclist
    thelonelycyclist ·

    What a lovely story I have have had 3 of these cameras since 1986 and still have 2 together with 8 lenses and really love it,and have no desire to go digital.

  14. rbruce63
    rbruce63 ·

    Hi, @brandkow93 I managed to ruin a perfect roll of EIR, despite exposing in a Yashica Electro 35 GSN, however, the pictures are very strange indeed despite the lab damaging the film during processing. Do you still have the X-700? Do you own other lenses?

  15. cyclekarl
    cyclekarl ·

    Thanks for your review and lovely photo's,by the way what film did you use?Well I have been using these cameras since 1986 and have 2 of them.

  16. javid
    javid ·

    My congratulations!!! Well done creative compositions, gorgeous lighting and amazing history about this camera. I have from Minolta XG-9 it is also my favorite camera and i have huegly collections of SLR cameras made from Japan, USSR and Germany. I love my SLR and I never use DSLR cameras. :-)

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