Saturday, 1 December 2012

Minolta XE-7. My new favorite film camera.


I don't remember when I was last time so excited about used film camera.   
Couple days ago I came across Minolta XE-7 (aka XE-1 in Europe) in excellent cosmetic and working condition. I have never seen one before and had no idea what this camera is about. But I was so impressed with top notch design, high quality materials and excellent workmanship that I bought it on the spot.


Later that day I found the explanation why this camera looks, feels and operates so well. According to Wikipedia: “It was developed in collaboration with Leica Camera and has many similarities to the Leica R3. The XE uses a Leitz-Copal electronic, vertically-traveling, metal blade focal plane shutter supporting exposure times of 1/1000 of a second to four seconds. In aperture priority auto-exposure mode, the shutter speed is varied steplessly; in manual mode, the shutter speeds are selected in whole stop increments. The camera has a very short shutter lag of about 38ms, among the best for a SLRs regardless of manufacturer." Camerapedia also confirms that and provides some additional technical details.  

TTL needle, shutter speed and aperture values. That's all I need to see in viewfinder.

Film advance, shutter release and every other knob/dial feels so right and in place. It is really difficult to explain the tactical feeling when you handle camera that is built solid, precise and tight. All clicks are very crisp. Modern camera makers should learn from it. Even my high end Fujifilm X-Pro1 feels loose and flimsy in comparison. Although I have excellent Minolta XD-11, XE-7 now IS the body for my remarkable rokkor lenses!

Leading the pack:)

I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who likes film photography. You can find camera user guide (XE1=XE7)  at phenomenal M. Butkus site.
One more time, this camera is MARVELOUS!

Thanks for dropping by,
vkphoto




2 comments:

  1. Just out of curiosity, ever had Konica-Minolta 7D in your hands? :)

    Otherwise I agree on XE-7, pretty amazing camera and their lens are pretty amazing even today (usable on various cams, dSLR included via bit of surgery).

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    1. Thanks,
      Actually I seriously considered Minolta 7D about five or six years ago. As I remember it was very well designed and pure pleasure to handle.
      But personally I feel like most camera makers lost something in design when they started to produce more “bubblier” (with huge grips and lots of plastic) cameras in early 90’s. I fully appreciate modern metering, AF, image stabilization, etc. but still prefer the simplicity of a traditional rangefinder / SLR / view camera.

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