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  1. #1
    LowriderS10's Avatar
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    Minolta Hi-Matic F and G vs. Minolta Hi-Matic 7s...opinions?

    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

  2. #2
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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. #3

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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
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #4
    LowriderS10's Avatar
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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. #5

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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. #6

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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.

    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.

    So, buyer beware.

  7. #7

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    Also, they are designed to take the discontinued Mercury battery.
    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. #8

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    What's an average going rate for the 7s?
    I paid $25 a year ago (from Craigslist).

  9. #9
    LowriderS10's Avatar
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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

    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 I'm really liking the way the 7s looks, though, I think that'll be my next purchase

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galah View Post
    Also, they are designed to take the discontinued Mercury battery.

    So, buyer beware.
    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
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

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