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Thread: Minolta 7 or 9?

  1. #1
    winjeel's Avatar
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    Minolta 7 or 9?

    I've been into the Minolta series since I was a little grasshopper. My first being a Seagull (Minolta MD mount), and now the AF KM Alpha Sweet digital (forgive me). However, the Seagull internal light meter has given up the ghost, and no-one here is willing to repair it (and I can't figure out how to pull it apart myself).

    Now the twist, the cost of getting a handheld light meter is about the same as getting a nice second hand Minolta Alpha 7 or Alpha 9 (or Dynax / Maxum 7/9), and the price ranges are similar, too. I've had a look at the reviews of both on Photo.Net, and it seems the light metering system on the A7 looks a little more useful, but there's got to be a killer feature of the Alpha 9 (apart from that blistering shutter speed). What's the real difference? Which would you prefer?

    So in short, I am considering getting one of the readily available Alphas or hold out and wait for an affordable (and hopefully look-through) light meter. I think you can guess which way I'm tending anyway.

    Oh, also, I've got a Sony 70-300mm G, with that cyan coloured lens coating, which apparently is good for digital sensors in rendering colour. But, does this make much of a difference on film? (I'm guessing nothing really noticeable).
    Film and digital; best of both worlds. JapanesePhotos.Asia.

  2. #2

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    Go for the 9, it's killer feature is that it is the toughest minolta ever, it's unbreakable.

  3. #3
    Jeff L's Avatar
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    I use a Contax RTS III, which I love. I have to admit that when I held a (here) Maxxum 9 my knees went a little weak. The 7 is supposed to be amazing too. No matter what you choose, you can't lose. Two stunning cameras.

  4. #4
    Ralph Javins's Avatar
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    Good morning, Winjeel;

    As previously mentioned, you will probably be happy with either the Dynax 7 or the Dynax 9. For what most people are doing, either will be a good choice. I do have the Minolta Maxxum 9 (the Dynax 9 relabeled for sale in the United States) and so far I have used the 1/12,000 shutter speed only once during a lens test. Most of the time, I am using more normal shutter speeds. I have not tried the Dynax 7, so I cannot comment on it. There is something I can say about the Dynax 9, however. Try it first. I know that you have held it in your hands, but try actually using it. I have found that for my hands, the shutter release switch is actually a little bit back and out of the way for my index finger. It reminds me of my original Nikon F shutter release button; it is a little too far back. I must make a deliberate effort to get to the shutter release switch. But then, considering that it is a bit sensitive, that may be a good thing, as it prevents false shots from just having your finger on the switch.

    Regarding the rest of the camera, yes, it is a true electronic marvel. The auto loading of the film is always an amusing process to watch. Yes, it does have just about every feature that you can think about that is found also on today's digital cameras. Anyone who has a modern digital camera will feel right at home with a Dynax 9.

    I admit that I regard mine as a special purpose camera. If I need that shutter speed, it is there. If I need all of the automation, I have access to it. I still find my Minolta SR and SR-T cameras more fun to use, and the X-700 still seems to fit my hand the best. Finally, I hope that the price of the Dynax 9 is not as high for you as they are here. Currently a good sample is about $ 600 here in the US.
    Enjoy;

    Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington

    When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
    just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."

  5. #5
    winjeel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the comments.

    USD$600 is a little higher than what I can find it for, here in Japan. Actually, you reminded me that it has some features that haven't appeared on any digital camera, yet. That flash system where you can organise the strength and sequence of flashes isn't available on the new Sonys, at least yet. Hang on, that's the A7 / Dynax 7.

    The next time I'm in that store, I'll pay attention to the shutter release, thanks for that thought. But I'll also like to confirm that the Sony 70-300mm G will work on it, too.

    Since making this original post, I realised I could replace the Seagull with either the SRT-201 or SRT101 (not familiar with these, actually), especially as I love the 50mm 1.8 that I've got. If I did stay with the AF (full-frame / film) system, I'd have a gap between my 28mm prime and 70-300mm. Hmm... more food for thought.
    Film and digital; best of both worlds. JapanesePhotos.Asia.

  6. #6
    zk-cessnaguy's Avatar
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    Well, before you buy the Dynax 9, make sure it has had the SSM upgrade, otherwise it will not be able to work with your Sony 70-300G. The Dynax 7 will work out of the box with SSM lenses, support ADI flash and do wireless High Speed Synch flash.
    There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats

  7. #7
    Wade D's Avatar
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    I'm using a Maxxum 7000. Not sure if it's the same as the Dynax 7 but I really like it. It came with a Tamron 28-200 AF lens. The Sony Alpha line uses the same lens mount. $40 for the camera and lens on an ebay auction.

  8. #8
    hoffy's Avatar
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    The 7 is 20 years ahead in technology (just about). I have been looking on and off for one. When ever they come up, I never seem to have the cash.

    For the reasons that ZK mentioned, I would go the 7, purely for the SSM capabilities. This means that even the most modern of lenses will still have AF. There is still a chance of getting a 9 converted, but I believe it has to be done in Europe

  9. #9
    zk-cessnaguy's Avatar
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    Wade, this is a Dynax (Maxxum) 7 (with vertical grip).

    There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats

  10. #10
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    As you may have worked out, both cameras are stunning examples of what can be done if the engineers try hard enough!!!

    Both cameras have the brilliant 14-segment, centre-weighted and spot metering. They also have high-speed sync and a bunch of other goodies. Oh yeah, they also offer the about best control layout (in my opinion) ever available on a 35mm camera - and that also goes for the vertical grips with their unequalled design.

    Alpha 7:
    - has SSM and ADI support as standard,
    - stores 'exif' data for every frame of the last 7 rolls,
    - allows the aperture to be changed while using the DOF preview,
    - has the brilliant rear display that can show DOF range and exposure values for each meter segment and heaps more.

    Alpha 9:
    - beautiful 100% viewfinder,
    - NO SSM or ADI unless it has had the upgrade,
    - 1/300 flash sync (the 7 has 1/200) if that makes a differnece to you,
    - can be used to support a car when changing a wheel (just kidding!)

    It appears that unless the 9 you are looking at has had the SSM upgrade, you might not be able to get it done. There is a petition at Dyxum.com where they are trying to get the parts made available to have the 9 upgrades done - you might want to check it out.

    As I said, they're both awesome - only you will know which one to get after deciding what matters most to you, but it's unlikely that you will be disappointed with either one.

    Have fun,
    Gordon
    *Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
    *Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
    *A passion to capture God's awesome creation

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