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  1. #1
    denmark.yuzon's Avatar
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    Minolta Hi-Matic 7s

    Hi,

    Any comments on this camera? there are tons of reviews over the net, but pro advices will help me more..

    my uncle, upon knowing im into photography, he sent me a working Minolta Hi-Matic 7s which will arrive a couple of days from today.. im excited as well as anxious if this rangefinder is any good.. i know the rokkor are pretty sharp.. but how about the overall performace of this camera? any of you guys had or still using this camera?
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  2. #2
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    They are wonderful cameras. Meter is dead on, lens is crazy sharp, you can take it off automatic, it's quiet. Anything else you need to know LOL. I had one for years and took a lot of wonderful pics with it.
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by denmark.yuzon View Post
    Hi,

    Any comments on this camera? there are tons of reviews over the net, but pro advices will help me more..

    my uncle, upon knowing im into photography, he sent me a working Minolta Hi-Matic 7s which will arrive a couple of days from today.. im excited as well as anxious if this rangefinder is any good.. i know the rokkor are pretty sharp.. but how about the overall performace of this camera? any of you guys had or still using this camera?

    I'm no professional, but I do have one of these cameras and -from time to time- you can spot one in "junk shops" in non-working condition.

    Well, first the good: It is a quality product built by a "name" company. It will take up to 400 ISO film and give excellently sharp results (Providing you don't forget to focus or to remove the lens cap! ). The metering is excellent and it works in fully auto as well as in aperture preferred semi auto and fully manual modes (though fiddly). It uses the "exposure value" system for metering (the meter readings are in "ev" units) which means that, once you have determined one suitable aperture/shutter speed combination, you can easily permutate your aperture/shutter combinations as any that result in the same e.v. will give an equivalent exposure.[are you still with me?]

    OK, the bad: In my experience, the Minolta lenses (in general) and the Hi-Matic in particular, tend to develop "sticky" apertures. With the Hi-Matic, this results in a "stuck" shutter. This is no "big deal" as any competent repairman can fix it for you for a modest price (in my case Aus$60-00), and it should continue to work for several years without trouble. This is a very common problem with Hi-Matics found in second-hand shops, but a good bargaining point ("You want what, and it doesn't even work?"). Another "bad" point is that -should you want to use a lens-hood, it will protrude into the field of view of the viewfinder which is likely to be somewhat dimmed by an accumulation of crud (also common to most rangefinders of any vintage).

    Other than that, lots of fun, and I'm quite fond of mine!
    Last edited by Galah; 04-20-2009 at 11:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #4
    denmark.yuzon's Avatar
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    thanks for all your comments! im excited to get it already.. but i have to wait for a couple more days.. i hope it is in excellent condition as what my uncle had said to me.. he said, he used it a month ago and is working perfectly.. i hope it still works when it gets to me.. hehehe
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  5. #5

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    I visited your website: nice shots!

    I too use quite a lot of Fuji Superia (both 200 & 400 ISO)

  6. #6
    denmark.yuzon's Avatar
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    Thank you Galah! Superia is really cheap here, as well as neopans.. but i stopped using neopans because pro labs are very far from where i live.. so im investing on some c41 black and whites until i get my own chemicals and developing tanks.. and the know-how for developing my own black and whites..

    also, this will be my very first Rangefinder... i never used one before.. ive held one russian RF, but never got to use it.. im planning to invest on a good RF, i have my eyes on the voigtlander since its more affordable than the Leica ones.. but this one is free.. hehehe.. i cant wait to use this camera.. i just hope everything is in good working condition.. can you post some shots you've taken with the hi-matic 7s?
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by denmark.yuzon View Post
    ... can you post some shots you've taken with the hi-matic 7s?
    I would love to post some of my shots, but I don't have any of the hardware/software required to do so. Sorry

    (When I said I'm no pro, I meant it. My photography stops at taking the shots and playing around with various cameras: all my developing and printing is done by the commercial processors and generally limited to 6"x4"s)

  8. #8
    denmark.yuzon's Avatar
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    oh.. ok.. thanks Galah.. im sure i will be fond of it as much as you are with yours.. i cant wait.. what batteries do you use with yours? they say, hearing aid batteries works best as the 1.4V is close to the 1.35V from mercury batteries..
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  9. #9

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    I don't know...I have NOT had good luck with this camera at all.

    I bought one on eBay after reading a lot of praise about it...how sharp it is, the fact that you can use it either in automatic or completely manual mode, etc. Well, I haven't had a chance to use it yet. The shutter only fires half the time. I have to press the release button sometimes 2 or 3 times just to get the shutter to fire. The shutter speed dial is jammed and won't go beyond 1/125. You might say that I just took a gamble buying it on eBay. Well, the thing is that I bought almost all my cameras on eBay, and I have never had a problem. It also looked to be in great condition and had a very detailed description. The seller had 100 percent positive feedback. And I can't even really blame the seller, because the shutter is so finnicky that it literally will work fine one minute, then stop working the next. It'll snap fine 3 or 4 times, and then suddenly just stop working. I don't dare waste a roll of film on this camera.

    I also saw another Minolta Hi-Matic 7s at a swap meet. It looked like it was in good condition, not abused or anything. And guess what?? I just picked it up to test it, and it had the exact same problems. The shutter was extremely unreliable and finnicky, and I could already feel the aperture dial starting to get stiff.

    I've thought about getting mine fixed, but I honestly don't even know if it's worth the cost and hassle. I've asked some people on Photo.net about this camera, and even the people who like it do admit that it does tend to have shutter problems and needs to be serviced periodically. No thanks. I really think the Argus C-3, C-4, and C-44 were much better rangefinder cameras. I mean, yeah the Argus C-3 might be heavy, boxy, and kind of awkward to use...but it's built like a tank. I have NEVER seen an Argus C-3 that wasn't working. I have two of them, I bought them both on eBay. I cocked the shutter and it fired the first time, no problems. I've seen dozens of them at antique shops and thrift shops...every single time I have ever picked up an Argus C-3, it worked.

    I really hope you have better luck with your Minolta Hi-Matic. And I hope you enjoy it and have a lot of fun with it. But I'm just totally turned off from them if there's a 50\50 chance that the shutter won't work.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by denmark.yuzon View Post
    .. what batteries do you use with yours? they say, hearing aid batteries works best as the 1.4V is close to the 1.35V from mercury batteries..

    Well, believe it or not, I'm still using the Mercury battery I installed in it when I got it (second-hand) a very long time ago: it still works

    However, I'll be checking it out tonight to make sure everything is still OK.

    The camera has an on-off facility: it is part of the ISO setting arrangement (a small lever underneath the lens) I leave mine on "Off" when not in use.

    The camera has a delayed-release arrangement (the "V" position). I have heard that it is often best not to mess with this. It is a clockwork mechanism and, if it jams (through age/lack of lubrication) you are stuck as the shutter will not operate until this is cleared. (A common problem with vintage cameras).

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