Minolta Hi-Matic F and G vs. Minolta Hi-Matic 7s...opinions?

Discussion in 'Rangefinder Forum' started by LowriderS10, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Ever since I got my first Ansco Anscoset I've been falling in love with rangefinders.

    I missed a stunning deal ($10!!!) on a mint Hi-Matic 7s the other day (thanks to thinking my ex g/f got some sense in her and we could make things work haha...shouldn't have wasted my time haha), and I've been looking at them since then...

    I love, love, love the way the 7s looks, but they're generally pretty pricey...however, the Gs and the Fs are pretty cheap...are they garbage? Should I just save my money for a 7s or are they still good stuff?

    Thanks,
    Tamas :smile:
     
  2. loman

    loman Subscriber

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    I'm sending my hi-matic E off to Mark Hama tomorrow for a complete overhaul. I simply love the camera. It's auto everything, but it's very easy to adjust exposure since the asa ring is in front of the focusing ring, So intended over/underexposure is a breeze. The lens on the E is simply stunning. But then again so are most minolta lenses. The auto parralax correcting framelines in the finder is a nice touch as well.
    I had a 7s for a short period of time until it self destructed on me. The 7s is a lot bigger (and heavier) than the later hi-matic series, but it's still a very nice camera.
    I would go for one that's already been CLA'd, since the finders generally tend to be quite hazy at this point.
    Happy Hunting!!

    Kind Regards

    Mads
     
  3. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    The G has no rangefinder, which seems like it might be a dealbreaker.

    The F, from what I've read (I've never had one, so this is hearsay), only does shutter-priority exposure and maybe full-auto---no manual override; and of course the lens is slower and less highly corrected. I guess it comes down to whether those limitations are OK with you given how you intend to use the camera. People who have them seem to like them.

    The 7s is a VERY functional camera and the lens is sharp enough to cut yourself on. They sometimes slip through on eBay without attracting much attention since so many people want the 7sII---I think I paid US$10 for my first one (the second was US$30 at a thrift shop). I think if I were you I'd wait around for the next good deal on one, while perhaps picking up one of the lower-end versions if it seems like the basic limitations are things you can deal with.

    -NT
     
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for the replies...yes, full manual control is an absolute must!!!

    Yeah, I'm bummed out about that camera...went for $10, no shipping, since it was a local ebayer I've dealt with before...sigh...really wanted that camera.

    What's an average going rate for the 7s?
     
  5. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

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    Minolta Hi Matic F

    Hi Tamas,

    I can give you some insight on the Hi Matic F, as I have a nice, functional one that I use occasionally.

    First off, it is a totally auto camera. Point, focus and shoot. This camera doesn't even have info in the viewfinder that tells you what the exposure is. A light comes on to tell you if the exposure is out of the camera's range. That being said, it is really hard to screw up a picture - it is uncannily accurate.

    With an appropriate small flash (I use a Minolta 20) the camera senses that the flash is mounted (small lever in the hot shoe) so all you have to to is set the guide number of the flash and the camera adjusts the aperture according to the distance that you focus to. Works surprisingly well.

    A big issue with this camera is its total reliance on batteries - no battery, no pictures. It uses two of the unavailable 640 style mercury type. The best way around this, I've found, is The Yashica Guy's adapter, which upgrades the camera to a single lithium, commonly available cell. BTW, this is a great fix for the Hi Matic E, also. These cameras are very prone to internal corrosion from having had the original batteries left in them for too long - although they are very cheap to purchase at auction, it is very difficult to find one that works. Took me three tries to get a functional one.

    The camera is all-metal and quite sturdy. It has a sharp little lens. I think it's an attractive-looking outfit and that it makes a nice jacket-pocket street camera.

    Best regards,

    Mike
     
  6. Galah

    Galah Member

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    I have had several Minolta RFs, including the 7s and an AL (both of which I still have).

    They are built like tanks and can produce great images -if in working order. :sad:

    The 7s, especially, is prone to shutter issues (mid-lens leaf shutter) and it may be difficult to find anyone willing to undertake repairs (which -even if you can find someone willing to do it- of themselves may cost several times what you paid for the camera itself).

    Also, they are designed to take the discontinued Mercury battery.:tongue:

    So, buyer beware.:D
     
  7. karthik

    karthik Member

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    But the 7s can be used without a battery in manual mode. It has markings in EV, so if you can estimate your exposure it is actually very easy to use without batteries.
     
  8. karthik

    karthik Member

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    I paid $25 a year ago (from Craigslist).
     
  9. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks very much for all the info!! Doesn't sound like the F would be my kind of camera, I like to play around with settings :smile:

    As for batteries...I'm hoping it's the same as whatever the Canonet 28 takes...ordered a new Wein battery for that, but it looks like the light meter is dead in that one...so I have one kicking around :smile: I'm really liking the way the 7s looks, though, I think that'll be my next purchase :smile:
     
  10. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    (7s)

    I have a 1.5V alkaline battery in mine, with a little spring as a spacer, and I get terrific behaviour out of the metering system (as confirmed by both comparisons against known-good meters and results on film). I'm pretty sure the circuit is designed to compensate for small voltage variations.

    -NT
     
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Nathan: sweet! Which 1.5V battery are you using?
     
  12. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    625A, and I misremembered about the spring---that must have been on a different camera.

    I haven't done tightly controlled testing or anything, but I sanity-checked it against a known-good meter, then shot a bunch of slide film with it.

    -NT
     
  13. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    Also consider the Minolta Hi-Matic 9.
     
  14. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    I second the Hi-Matic 9, an absolutely rock-solid rangefinder. And with so many people enamored with the 7s, the 9 can be an overlooked bargain. I use the 1.4 zinc-air hearing aid batteries in mine, with a small piece of aluminum foil on the underside of the battery cover to ensure contact, and it meters perfectly.

    Whichever Hi-Matic you buy, be sure to invest in a lens hood for those sunny days.
     
  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for the tips...why Hi-Matic 9? As far as I can tell there isn't much difference, aside from an ever so slightly faster lens...or am I missing something? :smile:
     
  16. upnorthcyclist

    upnorthcyclist Member

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    The Hi-Matic 9 is functionally just about identical to the 7s, with the addition of an "Easy Flash" feature. As elcabezagrande (heh) points out, they seem to to get overlooked and sell for less than the 7s on that popular internet auction site. Dunno why.
    Mike
     
  17. stevco

    stevco Member

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  18. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks...interestingly enough, I haven't been able to find any 9s, where as the 7ss are a dime a dozen...I missed out on one going for $10 a few weeks ago :'(

    What's the difference between the 7s and the 7sII? How can I tell them apart? Thanks :smile:
     
  19. stevco

    stevco Member

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    The main and most important difference between 7s and 7sII seems to be the dimensions (size and weight). Other diferences are 7sII has 1.7 lens while 7s has 1.8.

    7sII even it's a small camera, it is not that light as it looks, and it feels very solid in hands. I suppose 7s not to be light at all and to feel more solid since it is larger and heavier.

    7sII is definetely better than 7s, and if you can find it in good working condition - go for it. Otherwise, if the size doesn't bother you that much get a 7s which would be prety cheaper than 7sII.
     
  20. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Thanks for the info!

    Actually...weird as it is, I prefer larger, heavier cameras. As much as I love my AE-1Ps, for example, I prefer to handle the T90. My digital body is a 30D with a grip...Rebels and such just feel too small and flimsy in my hands.
     
  21. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Member

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    Is $30 a decent deal for one in physically beautiful and what appears to be mechanically sound condition?
     
  22. stevco

    stevco Member

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    Well, I like it more the larger weight of the Minolta srt 101, feels more solid in hands and I can handle slower shutter speed with it.
    But the design of the later modern slr bodies have better ergonomics rather than earlier cubic bodies like Srt's, Canon A's, Nikon F series etc.
     
  23. elcabezagrande

    elcabezagrande Subscriber

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    Lowrider, I just listed a nice, fully working Hi-Matic 9 in the classifieds here. In your case, I will ship it to Canada, if I can figure out how much it would cost to do so.
     
  24. Zuikopath

    Zuikopath Member

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    I would go with the 9 - a fantastic rangefinder :smile: