- Produced 1966 Minolta Camera Co., Japan
- Film type 135 (35mm)
- Picture size 24mm x 36mm
- Weight 26.4oz (748.4g)
- Lens Rokkor 45mm 1:1.7-22 (6 elements in 5 groups)
- Filter size 55mm screw-in, 57mm slip-on
- Focal range 3′ to infinity
- Shutter Seiko-LA
- Shutter speeds B, 1/4-1/500 manual or automatic
- Viewfinder coupled rangefinder with auto parallax correction
- Exposure meter lens mounted CdS CLC with viewfinder needle (EV)
- EV range 5.5 to 17 @ ASA 100
- ASA 25-800
- Battery originally PX625 1.35v mercury
- Easy-Flash system; set GN on lens barrel for AE
- Hotshoe, PC sync (syncs at all speeds on X setting)
- Slow-action wind lever (gotcha! see below)
This is essentially an upgrade to the Hi-Matic 7s, with a slightly improved lens (1.7 vs 1.8, better coating to reduce flare), and an ‘Easy-Flash’ system that allows you to set the Guide Number of your flash on the lens barrel for proper AE. My thinking is that of the two, this is probably the one to get if you’re looking for a well-rounded user. (No offense to the 7s, which is a brilliant bargain and easier to find in good condition!)
On this camera as on the 7s your aperture/shutter speed selection on the barrel results in an EV number appearing in a little window so you can judge exposure manually by EV if you know it. (And if you don’t, here’s a primer.) The needle indicator in the viewfinder reads in EV numbers not shutter speeds. This and the 7s may have the widest aperture range of all these classics – 1.8 to 22.
This one came to me with a stuck shutter and loose lens barrel. As of now the shutter is fixed but the barrel is still loose, and the focusing is way off.
Tips & Tricks
Ugh, the longest wind stroke of any of these cameras (with a wind lever, that is!), beating out the previous recordholder the TL-Super. Wait, or was it the Yashica Electro? Here the stroke goes all the way around to the front! Officially it’s 220°. Egad. Luckily you can (and should) do multiple short strokes — it does thankfully swing smoothly and spring back quickly. Seriously, though, in use this is more minor than I originally thought. You get quickly used to pumping the lever quickly and then don’t even think about it.
As on the Canonet QL19, this is pre- wind-lever-door-release, meaning there is a little tab you pull to get the back door to open, in this case on the left hand side near the top (looking from the back). It’s not obvious. Until you try to lift up the rewind knob, that is, cuz it don’t.
Replacements for obsolete batteries such as the once-common PX625 (this one) and PX675, can be got at www.photobattery.com. Not that it’s essential in this case. Your choices are near-equivalent alkaline (eg 1.5v vs 1.35v) or zinc air type and its drawbacks (drilling a small hole in the battery cover to give the battery the air it needs, short battery life). Wein Cell equivalents can be purchased at Micro-Tools.