The Minolta X-700: A 35mm Reflex Dream


This is the story about my love affair with the Minolta X-700; a beautiful Japanese 35mm single-lens reflex camera. But looks aren’t everything (I hear you think), thank god she can make great pictures too, with a little help from myself! Sharp, vibrant, amazing depth of field and I can go on and on and on and on…

image from thecamerasite

Two years ago I left high school and went off to college. I hear you thinking, ‘What does that have to do with this article?’. Well, it’s the beginning of my affair with the Minolta X-700. I decided to study photography and I needed an analogue camera. I didn’t know a thing about it, so when someone said they still had one somewhere in a closet and wanted to sell it to me, I went for it. At that time I didn’t know it would be this beautiful Minolta.

It was love at first sight. One problem – it wasn’t mutual. We didn’t start of very well! The shutter wouldn’t cock and I couldn’t crank it. My heart almost brook. The next day I paid a visit to a photography store and asked if they could help me – they could! My precious Minolta ended up on the counter and the examination began. I looked at the man behind the counter while he was examining it. He turned her around, opened her up and removed her heart. He went to the back and returned with a new, shiny one. He carefully placed it in her chest and closed her up again. My heart stood still. He cranked it and cocked the shutter. One time, two times, three times! Oh that lovely sound!! She was alive and kicking.

On the ride home I was happy like a little child who just got a goldfish. I decided to do some research on the Minolta, so I wouldn’t make a stupid mistake – like not changing the battery – again. I found out that this camera was introduced in 1981. It was the top model In the last manual-focus SLR series of Minolta. This meant I would have to do all the focusing myself! I didn’t mind at all!

I discovered it was possible to operate the camera fully manual or choose the aperture and the Minolta would do the rest. This camera uses TTL metering, meaning that it is capable of metering light through its lens. I usually take pictures in the aperture priority modus, that way I choose the desired aperture and control the depth of field. Thanks to the light meter I see if the kind of aperture I want is possible or not. The camera came with a nice 50 mm 2.4 lens. The sharpness is great and I love the ‘bokeh’ too.

All of this and the look of the camera made sure I never stopped loving her. This camera is perfect if you like to have more control over your images, if you don’t want to waste any film because you don’t know if the exposure is right and when you get tired of shooting from the hip all the time and want to make more thoughtful pictures. It’s still easy to find and not that expensive; a win-win situation!

(Thanks to for some of the technical facts!)

written by netsrik on 2009-11-05 #gear #review #slr #minolta #35mm-film #50mm-lens #reflex #single-lens #minolta-x-700


  1. stouf
    stouf ·

    Excellent shots and very good use of the depth of field !

  2. tracyvmoore
    tracyvmoore ·

    Great article on a great camera. I bought one in 1982 and have been wanted to get it out again to play with...and thanks to you...I'm going to go get it out tonight. ;)

  3. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    great gallery! I love Minolta lenses!

  4. netsrik
    netsrik ·

    Thanks guys!

    @ tracyvmoore, that makes me very happy, the camera is worth it ^^

  5. avariel
    avariel ·

    Great article. I have a similar model - the X-300, which my father bought for me when I took a few photography classes a few years back. Still one of my favourite cameras to date.

  6. kham2iye
    kham2iye ·

    Great article ! Can I ask you where did you buy it ?

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