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Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by bluedog, Nov 8, 2010.
Has anyone owned one of these and how would you rate it and the AF lenses?
I own a maxxum 7. IMHO, I found this to be one of the best Minolta AF cameras produced. Sure, it doesn't have the brick like qualities of the 9, but it is a slightly more modern design, which will take the latest SSM type AF lenses. As for AF lenses, Minolta made some of the best with its 'G' range, as good as anything that Canikon produced. Sony also have the Zeiss range, which are excellent as well (but quite pricey). For more lens information, you should check out the database at www.dyxum.com. There are reviews on most lenses.
As for the camera itself, I love mine.....maybe I am being biased!
9... the Dynax / Maxxum 7 is a great camera, at least if you are not afraid of buttons! I love the unique abilities of storing exposure data, the huge well illuminated status display on the back, great for night photography with long exposures. I also regularly swap out film (change B&W for color or change speed) using the film reload capabilities. Works very well, just make sure you write down the last frame number on the film roll to avoid double exposures. Also note that reloading film requires you to set the "leader left-out" option in the custom menu. In addition, if you would like to keep track of the stored exposure data, also write down the unique ID that the camera assigns to each roll when unloading a roll that needs to be reloaded. The camera will assign a new unique ID once you reload, storing the exposure data under that number, so you need to combine the data from different "virtual" rolls if/when reloading film. Can be messy at times to reconstruct if you forgot to write down the ID's on the film roll.
I do it this way:
"Last exposure number - roll ID"
e.g. a film roll may have this written on it:
12 - 0139
21 - 0142
34 - 0148
Autofocus speed may not be on par with the most modern digital bodies, but I must admit I don't own one of these modern SSM lenses. Would love to try one out once on this body for shooting action / sport photography.
I agree with the AF performance. I would rate it as adequate, not blistering, but not sluggish either. You have to remember that this camera is nearing 10 years since it was introduced and AF performance has come a long way since then! It does have 9 points, which is not bad for a camera of its age.
Re- the data capture, I just wish there was an easier way to transfer the data, then having to buy one of the readers (awfully expensive) or hand writing (which is what I do).
The other interesting feature is the STF focus function. I have heard that it works well, but I have never tried it myself!
BTW, there is still a review available online (By Gary Friedman, so he's probably a bit biased) from when it was released:
I really like the Maxxum 7. I just wish that I could use it more often. I mostly use it for serious photography. I have several other "beat around" bodies that I take out for casual use. In addition to some of the comments posted above, I really like the ergonomics of it. It really feels good in the hands. Some of the buttons/knobs are very well placed.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I have been looking for an alternative to the Canikon AF's and the Maxxum is looking pretty good. I have also been looking at the Maxxum lenses, both Minolta and non manufacturer brand. Is there a lens guide somewhere that gives a rating on the lenses? The sigma 24-70 f2.8 seems to have a couple of different models. Are the non-manufacturer brand maxxum lenses any good? Any thoughts on a zoom versus 2 or 3 primes? With my OM's I usually prefer to use my Zuiko primes. The Minolta primes are certainly cheap. Is it just because they are unfashionable?
Their lens database has lots of user reviews and is the first place I would look for user based information.
As for Minolta being unfashionable, that is probably correct to some degree. CaNikon have always been the Pro's choice, simply because they had more choice and decent Pro programs. Pentax (here at least anyway) were probably more consumer based. Minolta were some where in between.
There is one other factor that saw Minolta slip down (and their ultimate down fall), was having their butts sued by Honeywell for patent breaches
Not withstanding the Honeywell issue, with better marketing (& decent pro user programs), there would have been no reason why Minolta couldn't have made a better name. If you ever get a chance to look at a Maxxum 9, you will under stand. The 9 was probably one of the best late model SLR's ever produced.
I have the Maxxum 4. I love it and when I'm in a better financial situation I'm going to get a 7.
If you can find the black 35-70 f3.5-4.5, it is a tack sharp lens. 20 dollars at most pawn shops.
I can't think of any reason to not recommend it.
It's the most compatible of all the Minolta AF film bodies with the current Sony Alpha system. It works with the latest (full frame) lenses and the external flashes manufactured by Sony.
The camera itself is compact, yet with the VC-7 vertical grip, it's balanced with larger telephoto lenses of the 70-200 f/2.8 variety. The VC-7 also allows the camera to run on ubiquitous AA batteries.
The metering is accurate, as is the AF.
There are lots of options for excellent glass available, and it's the only game in town for Zeiss AF lenses on film. (Dynax/Maxxum 5 etc not withstanding.)
M42 lenses can be used, without an IQ-robbing glassed adapter. Infinity focus is maintained.
I don't have the 7 but have a slightly older 8000i. I don't think it supports the SSM lenses. It does have a very nice, if plastic feeling, 28-200 Tamron lens. The auto focus is quite good IMO. The lens is also very sharp for most of the range. A little soft near the 28 and 200 settings but not bad.
Yes, I wouldn't want to do without my VC-7 grip! Not only because I have a strong preference for vertical shots, but like you say, the balance of camera with heavy F2.8 lenses is just so much better. In addition, I wouldn't want to do without the capability of popping in regular AA NiMh rechargeables, just great. No hassle with expensive non-rechargeable Lithium batteries, or equally expensive brand/model specific rechargeable batteries like in modern d*****l SLR.
Like Hoffy says, your first stop should by the Dyxum reviews. I do remember one of the first models of Sigma's 24-70 F2.8 EX receiving a lesser review in a photo magazine, essentially stating something like that "they pushed the design of the really good 28-70 F2.8 EX to far" by creating the 24-70 version as spin off... However, I don't think current top line EX models including the latest 24-70 have the same issue, it was at the dawn of Sigma's rise with quality EX lenses some 10 years back.
I have no complaints about my Sigma 28-70 F2.8 EX (Early model).
I was going to get a Tamron 28-200 and read a lot of awful reviews on it dyxum. Maybe they just got bad copies? I was looking for a good walkaround for my Maxxum 4, it's my walkaround 35mm because it weighs next to nothing. I have the 18-270 hyperzoom for my Canon Digital Rebel and was impressed with it.
I haven't had any bad results with the Tamron 28-200. The "a little soft" comment comes from looking at the negs with a 25X loupe. 8x10 & 11x14 prints look fine. 16x20 prints might show a bit of the softness but I rarely enlarge 35mm to that size.
Max 7 is a Great Camera
The Max 7 is a great camera. It is everything the Max 9 should have been - in features and versatility - but wasn't. I have the Max 9 as well so I know the difference.
With regard to lenses, I mostly use the Tamron AF 28-300 zoom. I have been quite satisfied with the results at both ends of the range. If you can find it I recommend getting it.
I also use the Minolta AF 50mm 1.7 for existing light shots. It has also been good, though of course being a fixed lens I don't get the versality of the Tamron.
It is my favorite AF film body - Hands Down!
...and it works with all the Sigma HSM lenses - I got a Dynax (Maxxum) 7 one month ago and was very happy to see it cooperate perfectly with the newest Sigma 24-70/2.8 and the 70-200/2.8. With the vertical grip on, it's a wonderful AF camera, especially for the price I paid for it (170€).
I've been using this camera for a couple of months. I love it very much! It's a great camera; you can do almost everything with a knob or a wheel. You don't have to press some button while dialing a wheel to change -for instance- exposure compensation or active AF point; all of them done by using one wheel or one button. For me, Dynax 7 is the most user-friendly 35mm SLR. It has great ergonomics too. It's not so big, which dissapointed me first; because i dreamed Minolta's legendery camera bigger than this, and very comfortable in hand. Most small AF SLRs don't have good ergonomics and because of this i was thinking a great SLR must be a "bigger" body. But after using this camera i see how i was wrong with that thought.
I think that the 7 is one of the best (best?) "non professional" bodies ever made. Great ergonomics, features, and incredibly intuitive to use. Mine has been very reliable and coupled with an inexpensive 50/1.7 is capable of producing stellar images. And it's a blast to shoot with. What more can I expect of a camera?
It's a wonderful camera, been using it for years. Metering is always spot on, don't even bother carrying my handheld meter anymore. And although it packs more features than most would ever use, they are all very easy to access - no need to lug around the manual to figure out how to change a setting.
In fact it's so good I'm planning on getting another as a backup should this one ever fail.
I've found the older Maxxum zooms to be superb. The 70-210 f4 is awesome for the price, as is the 28-85 f3.5-4.5, although the Alpha users are snapping them up and inflating the price a bit.
I've no experience with primes or other brands, never felt the need to get more that the two listed above.
The only downside I've found is that most people assume it's d*****l becuase of the large LCD readout on the back...
I second everything people have said here. I own the Maxxum 7000 with a 50mm 1.7 and a Sigma 28-75mm (I think). The body is a brick, which gives a great, confident feel. Metering is spot on. Honestly, the 50mm is one of the best lenses I have used. I love the bokeh and how damn sharp and contrasty it is. It's absolutely great for color.
Actually, if you're interested, I might be willing to sell the sucker. Since I got the M7 I rarely shoot it anymore. Two bodies, two lenses and a padded bag. Just a thought ^_^
Picked up a Maxxum 7 with 50mm and 28mm lenses about 6 months ago. What a fantastic camera. My new favourite AF film camera.
I liked mine a lot untill the ruberized finish started turning to goo. I started a thread regarding this issue and found that many cameras are prone to it, but that the 7 is especially prone. The worst thing is that there is no satisfactory cure! There is a lot to like otherwise, but I won't be replacing mine since even if carefully stored (as mine was) and not exposed to body oils or any environmental chemicals it will probably be gummy in a few years.