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  1. #1

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    Nikon FM3A vs Minolta XD 11, Opinions on both.

    Which one do you like better and why? I have them both, and I think they are very closely matched. Am I missing something. I know the spec differences, but I see that both are great in quality construction, lens quality, ease of use, both are really smooth, etc...
    Let me know what you think.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    I am not sure what you mean about "missing something". Is this a matter of deciding which one to get rid of? Obviously there are quite a few of years separating the two so I always keep a historical perspective when evaluating them. Otherwise, they are both excellent light tight boxes.

    As a continuation of cooperation between Leica and Minolta, the XD-11 is obviously a well designed and made product. The FM3A's hybrid shutter was unprecedented and currently unsurpassed. You can go down a long list of feature differences between the two - shutter, aperture and program mode auto exposure, batteryless manual speeds, interchangeable screens, eyepiece shutter, auto MLU, DX decoding, TTL flash, safe load indicator, multi exposure lever, etc. However for me, there is one thing the XD-11 does that always nagged at me and that is the momentary lag between pressing the shutter and it's firing. This happens even in the manual mode at 1/100 and has been observed and reported by others. Not that I've missed a shot because of it but just that it does. This seems to be unique to the XD-11 as my current preferred Minolta - it's predecessor the XE-7, doesn't do this and for that matter, none of my other Minolta MD's exhibit this trait.

  3. #3
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    I've never owned the Minolta personally, so don't really know too much with regards to the specs of that model. The old Minolta SLR's certainly had a good reputation, particularly the SRT-101. I do own Nikon FM3a bodies, and for me their biggest strength is the fact that despite offering aperture priority & manual, the camera will revert to mechanical operation in the event of battery failure and can be used at all shutter speeds. It's pretty much an FE2 and FM2 combined into one.
    Carl.

  4. #4
    CGW
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    The XD-11 is approaching relic status. I'm not happy about antiquarian chops becoming part of film photography but it's probably inevitable. Still the XD-11 rolled out in 1977, no more manual lenses, and dwindling parts/service options. I'm not romantic about old cameras, especially since none of mine hold any sentimental value. Busted ones get pitched since they came cheap and repairs aren't worth it. I've been through a couple of X-700 that suffered strokes from bum capacitors. I don't collect shelf queens.

    The FM3A is a superb camera. It's also almost new. The FM/FE variants are probably among the most durable of the MF Nikons with no baked-in problems relative to Minolta's late game MF bodies. The lens selection is far wider for Nikon.
    Service is no problem. What's not to like?

  5. #5
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Minoltas are easy to service and hold up to severe punishment. I can change out a capacitor in and MD-11 and replace the seals for less than I can on an F series. I frequently buy old Minoltas that people think are dead for dirt cheap and revive them for next to nothing and shoot them forever. The Canons and Nikons are good cameras but when you start comparing prices I can buy Minoltas and related glass for less than either of the others without any difference in quality.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  6. #6

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    No I am not getting rid of any of the two. I am just amazed on the quality of the Minolta cameras. In my opinion the Minoltas are very comparable to the best of Nikon. Even tough they are different cameras, their quality is incredible. I never expected Minolta to compete with Nikon, but they sure do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    I am not sure what you mean about "missing something". Is this a matter of deciding which one to get rid of? Obviously there are quite a few of years separating the two so I always keep a historical perspective when evaluating them. Otherwise, they are both excellent light tight boxes.

    As a continuation of cooperation between Leica and Minolta, the XD-11 is obviously a well designed and made product. The FM3A's hybrid shutter was unprecedented and currently unsurpassed. You can go down a long list of feature differences between the two - shutter, aperture and program mode auto exposure, batteryless manual speeds, interchangeable screens, eyepiece shutter, auto MLU, DX decoding, TTL flash, safe load indicator, multi exposure lever, etc. However for me, there is one thing the XD-11 does that always nagged at me and that is the momentary lag between pressing the shutter and it's firing. This happens even in the manual mode at 1/100 and has been observed and reported by others. Not that I've missed a shot because of it but just that it does. This seems to be unique to the XD-11 as my current preferred Minolta - it's predecessor the XE-7, doesn't do this and for that matter, none of my other Minolta MD's exhibit this trait.

  7. #7
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vsanzbajo View Post
    No I am not getting rid of any of the two. I am just amazed on the quality of the Minolta cameras. In my opinion the Minoltas are very comparable to the best of Nikon. Even tough they are different cameras, their quality is incredible. I never expected Minolta to compete with Nikon, but they sure do.
    So why the original post? The mechanical Minoltas were tough as nails. The electronics? Not so much.

  8. #8

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    I am no expert, I am 39 years old. I only used film when I was really young. I started film 3 months ago. I have acquired, a Minolta SRT 101, a Minolta Xd 11, and a Nikon FM3A that a friend offered. I started with Minolta because that is what my dad had when I was a kid. Like I said I am no expert I want to see what people really think. I want to see if I have a valid judgement or not. I am just starting this film adventure.
    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    So why the original post? The mechanical Minoltas were tough as nails. The electronics? Not so much.

  9. #9

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    Anyone heard of this problem with the FM3A?
    "Nikon supposedly admitted (and I confirmed with my lens and camera) that for lenses with F/1.4 aperture the metering does not work properly. When opening the lens from f2 to f1.4, the metering needle advances by 1/3 or 2/3 f-stop. The workaround is to manually overexpose by 1/3 to 2/3 f-stops when using this aperture.
    I did an experiment in the Aperture priority mode and found that the problem actually does not exist in this mode."
    Thanks

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vsanzbajo View Post
    I am no expert, I am 39 years old. I only used film when I was really young. I started film 3 months ago. I have acquired, a Minolta SRT 101, a Minolta Xd 11, and a Nikon FM3A that a friend offered. I started with Minolta because that is what my dad had when I was a kid. Like I said I am no expert I want to see what people really think. I want to see if I have a valid judgement or not. I am just starting this film adventure.

    just shoot, man. Quit worrying about what others think of your equipment.

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