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Kinon copy Minolta
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:21 pm    Post subject: Kinon copy Minolta Reply with quote

Have just aquired this Minolta X-370 working copy, a Kinon X-380. The camera seems well made, but the lens less so and the focus screw has dried out! I'd never previously heard of Kinon cameras, other than cheap simple plastic pocket cameras. This was from a charity shop, 15. Was I robbed?

There is a minor issue with the bayonet `catch' being weak, may need a stronger spring.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's odd it is indeed a Minolta X300... the X300 is a nice camera and can't think of anything to moan about other than on some production models they used an inferior capacitor which if the camera stops working then it's out with a soldering iron to replace.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Excalibur, yes it is a very close copy from what I can see from photos on the 'net. It seems that when Minolta shifted production from Japan to China in the early 90's there were several other brands of this X-300 series of camera, notably Seagull and Centon, among others. The camera runs very nicely although the lens is in poor condition, with fungus, scratching and dried out focus lube. I'm going to try and aquire a minolta lense for it before puting a film through it. This photo gives a beter view of this `copy'.

So it's likely I bought a Minolta X-370 for 15! If the Chinese did this to Minolta, how do British companies fare, when they `offshore' to China too? Maybe they should think again about their economy!


PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Oooops! Reply with quote

Encouraged by my being impressed with this Kinon cameras apparent qualities, (it does seem to function remarkably well) I put some effort in tidying the 1.8/50 that came with it. This suffers from apparent fungus inside the rear element and a short but severe scratch on the outside of same. Not a lot can be done about this, so without attempting disembling it at all, I gave it a good rub over the barrel and cleaned its outside glass as best I could. From what I can surmise looking through the camera, it's good enough for a useful standard lens when it's needed. But something more useful was desired for this camera and I paid a visit to my favourit `Station Cameras' in Reading, where the proprietor looked at the camera amusedly and handed me a Centon 28-80 zoom for 20! The day being overcast and wet, I went home with it without testing it. Next morning was brighter and clear, so I took the camera and lens outside for a field test. Looking forward to a similar performance to the camera, I got a shock! The lens obviously came from a different planet to the camera, it was soooooh! soft, you could see it in the viewfinder! Centon, Seagul and the Minolta might come from the same factory, but their quality control must come from a low orbit of Saturn!! I took it back to the shop where the chap compared it to another identical lens (another Centon), where he found the same defect. To ascertain that it was not the camera, he fitted a Tamron zoom to it, of course that worked well, so well that I bought that instead. But I must say that my impression of Centon in particular has left me reserved about their qualities in future. Station Cameras however, are always good to deal with. Incidentally they always carry a good stock of older S/H lenses and cameras. Google `Station Camers Reading'.

Cannon 10D Lydith 3.5/30 20 3.5 smallest file standard quality.

PS. I think the Centon version of my Kinon, was often sold with the Centon 28-80 as a de-lux alternative by Jesops, anyone?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:18 pm    Post subject: Late To This Thread Reply with quote

I know I'm several years late responding to this thread, but I'd like to see the pictures of the Kinon X-380 and they no longer show. I collect the Minolta X-300 and Minolta X-370 cameras and am trying to acquire all of the Chinese-made clones such as Seagull, Vivitar, Centon, Carena, Soligor, Revue, Kalimar, Zenit, Phoenix, Safari, Samyang and Texer. (These are just the ones I know about, there are probably more.) I had never heard of one being branded with the "Kinon" name, so I'm very interested in finding out all I can about them.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Oooops! Reply with quote

MTHall wrote:

PS. I think the Centon version of my Kinon, was often sold with the Centon 28-80 as a de-lux alternative by Jesops, anyone?

I can't confirm that, but I do have a Centon 28-70mm f/3.5 lens on my Centon DF-300. (A Minolta X-300/X-370 clone.)