As some of you may know, I regularly peruse my local Salvation Army for vintage cameras (I currently have 11). And while I love, love, love my Diana F+, I like to use a variety of different cameras so that I don’t grow complacent.
I never leave the house with at least one of them (I almost always have two cameras in my bag). So when I saw a vintage Minolta Maxxum 7000 (1986), I almost passed it by because it was too modern. It’s a fully-automated monstrosity that looks way too much like a Nikon or Canon for my own personal tastes, but it had an enormous zoom lens which I thought might come in useful. It came in an old battered camera bag and hidden within its crusty folds were two more lenses and a surprisingly nice flash. I asked the lady how much they wanted for it and she said $10.
“You mean $10 for just the lens?” I asked.
The seller answered, “No, $10 for all of it.”
I almost passed out.
The zoom lens alone was worth way more than that I figured, so I hastily paid for the bag and all its contents and ran out of there like I just robbed it. I could probably just sell it online and raise some much-needed funds for a much desired La Sardina, so I beelined it for home and fired up the laptop. I had no idea what I had uncovered.
I googled Minolta Maxxum 7000 and discovered that the Maxxum came out in 1985 and it sparked a revolution in camera design with integrated autofocus and auto film advance. It was the first of its kind and was instantly many photographers’ wet dream. To this day, it is still a sought-after camera as it launched a revolution and sparked a semi-cold war between camera companies. It is literally the yardstick for everything that came afterward. It’s not just a dusty old camera. It’s a piece of history.
And while I’m typically an “all-manual” kind of guy, I have to admit I was curious to try it out. I soon discovered that the shutter was screwed up and the battery contact points were corroded, but armed with some nail polish remover to clean the contact points and a quick trip to my local camera shop, it was soon fixed. Since this camera has auto film advance, you can crank off a roll faster than you can load it! I shot my first roll in under 30 seconds. 24 shots in 30 seconds. It was an expensive 30 seconds and I mused as I waited for the film to be developed. I need to learn restraint.
I decided I would sell it on eBay to finance a much lusted after a new camera and maybe some film but I found myself reloading it over and over again. I’ve shot five rolls this week! Typically, I carry my Olympus PEN E-PL1 (DSLR) for most shots and a film camera or two for when I find something good, but in the last week, all my cameras sit collecting dust as I go on adventures with my new lover. How quickly does the heart become attached! I am afraid this dusty old camera shall stay in my camera bag for a long time to come…
In the event that you are intrigued, I recommend searching Ebay for a Maxxum too, or any vintage camera that sparks your interest! There are so many cameras out there that need to be rescued and given a good home, and if you’re like me, there’s always room for one more! Remember; the more cameras you shoot with, the more you’ll learn about the craft in general! So get out there and start shooting!
This is a review submitted by Community Member aroninvt.
written by aroninvt on 2011-08-05 #gear #people #review #adventures-in-babysitting-with-a-minolta-maxxum-7000