Minolta cameras

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by anyte, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. anyte

    anyte Member

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    There don't seem to be a lot of Minolta users - from board to board it seems everyone uses Canon or Nikon. I bought a Minolta in April - my first ever SLR. It's easy to use and has the full manual operations. I've only bought one other lens for it so far. Before I invest a lot of money in a 400mm or 600mm lens I'd like to know if there's some significant difference in photographic quality that more people do not use Minoltas.

    Why did I choose the Minolta? Price, for one. When looking at Nikons it seemed really confusing as to which lenses worked with which bodies. I shopped for bodies and lenses long before I made a purchase, as I wanted to make sure I could find what I needed and could afford what I needed.

    Any way - if anyone has an opinion on why Minoltas are not very popular I would appreciate it.
     
  2. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Anecdotally, I use two when I was in LA shooting for the Franciscans. They were the top of the line Minoltas (35mm)at the time 1987. I used a number of lenses. I was building a slide library of people interacting kind of stuff. I had the opportunity to go over some slides done by my predecessor who shot with a Leica.

    I was blown away at the difference. The Minoltas were nowhere near as sharp. Ever. I convinced them to get rid of them and buy Nikons and they were better but still not as good as the Leica slides.

    I was used to Hasselblad at the time and the sharpness of the negatives and had little experience with 35mm. But if found the difference between the Leicas and everyone else was quite amazing.


    Michael McBlane
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Minolta has had a history of introducing "pro" systems & then not supporting them. Using Nikon or Canon certainly broadens the field when your'e looking for used equipment Additionally, if your'e looking for long lenses, most rental houses will deal only with Nikon/Canon in 35mm
     
  4. anyte

    anyte Member

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    Thank you for the input. I'll have to look into the Leica's.
     
  5. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I too have been looking at Leica. Specifically the M6 TTL with a Tri-Elmar-M 28-35-50 lens.

    When I get the nearly THREE THOUSAND UK Pounds together to purchase body and lens, I'll go for it.

    In the meantime I'll stick to my dirt cheap Praktica!

    Andy.
     
  6. Annemarieke

    Annemarieke Member

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    Comparing Minolta to Leica is like comparing cameras to diamonds!
    Leica is the TOP 35 mm camera, as far as I know, and dreadfully expensive. You might as well go for medium format if you want good quality.

    I've done a lot of photography with Minolta (an X-700) since I was 16 years old, and recently somebody asked me whether the images were made with a medium format camera. I think it makes a big difference which lenses you use. The original Rokkor lenses (very heavy glass lenses) are quite good, but of course not comparable to Leica.

    Since I have gone a step up to a medium format camera, I do see the difference in sharpness, but it is not really fair to compare a 35mm to a MF negative.
     
  7. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    I'm a little confused. (Be kind, I'm the father of a teenager...)

    When talking about the Minoltas, and their sharpness, were you speaking to the quality of their lenses or the camera bodies?

    I've got two older cameras, an X700 and a 3xi. The X700 came with a 50mm, that I only used once or twice. I immediately put an Ozunon 35-75 onto it. Although not a stellar lens, it has been a faithful servant for years. I bought the 3xi in the 80s from a fast talking salesman (fodder for another tread) with a Sigma zoom. Again, not stellar, but has never failed.

    When discussing the cameras, I'd say that the Minoltas a very trustworthy and generally easy to use. I was disappointed by the 3xi's limited manual capabilities, but I put the blame on me for buying the cheaper model of the line. I use it in place of a point and shoot. Both have been to the beach three to four times per year, family weddings, soccer and basketball games and worked tirelessly for me.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not brand loyal to say the least. But once finding these two solid cameras, I've found it difficult to justify going to a different brand. This would require buying new lenses and filters for something I've already got in the bag.

    I know this is sounding an aweful lot like, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." but its been my VERY amaturish experience.

    Although the newer autos look very interesting, their construction causes me a good deal of concern. I know, plastic doesn't rust. But sheesh, they feel an aweful lot like a disposable camera on steroids....

    I hate gettin old.......er.
     
  8. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Sorry, I wan't suggesting that she should buy a Leica. As I said, as an anecdote, I was amazed at the difference in the sharpness of the images with the Leica.

    As for what to buy, great photographs can be taken with any camera. If you have a Minolta and like it, great. The reason most people like say Nikon and Canon over most others, is due to their systems. All the lenses accessories etc that are available for them. The top of the line ones, usually considered "pro" cameras is possibly due to the more rugged nature of their parts. Not sure but that would be something that an amateur probably doesn't need to worry about.

    The other consideration is that with Nikon and Canon you will probably find it easier to rent lenses at rental outlets. Speaking of rentals, buying long lenses like 300 and up is often not necessary when you can rent them for a weekend for pretty good prices. Unless all you shoot is birds or nature, or fashion, then buying may make more sense.

    Michael
     
  9. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Sorry Michael, I wasn't trying to flame you. I really do intend one day owning an M6 TTL with Tri Elmar.

    If only I could grow a few extra kidneys! :wink:

    Regarding the topic, I think it all boils down to what you're used to and what you're happiest with. I use the Praktica because I have a comprehensive set of lenses for it, a good set of filters for those lenses, and (to my eye at least) achieve some good results with it. Also spares and accessories are readily available at knock down prices on ebay and in camera shops.

    If you have a Minolta, are happy with the results and like using it, then stick with it. As Michael said, you can take great photos with any camera.

    Andy.
     
  10. rjs003

    rjs003 Member

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    I have a couple of Minolta 35s, they have been reliable cameras. I recently went back to MF and yes the difference between the two is very pronounced. I still have the Minoltas and will keep them until they or I die, which ever occurs first. I recently purchased a used Voigtlander 35mm range finder and it out performs the Minoltas for sharpness; convience is another story. Price is a big factor when selecting equipment; I for one do not fool myself into thinking that I will be anything more then a avid novice so the lower price equipment does me just fine.
     
  11. anyte

    anyte Member

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    Thank you everyone for the input. You've given me a lot to consider.

    Just to clarify - I want to buy the longer lenses because I shoot primarily birds and nature.

    I like the Minolta but I don't really have anything to compare it to as the only other cameras I've owned have been point and shoots.

    It all boils down to whether it's worth the expense to buy the 400mm and 600mm lens for the Minolta if in a year or even 6 months I find out that there's a significant difference in quality from Minolta to other brands. My photography budget is really tight so I want to weigh out the advantages and disadvantages now. As I said before, Minolta users seem to be few and far between. It just occured to me that there might be something about the Minolta's that I wasn't aware of.