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Minolta X-700
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Minolta X-700 Reply with quote

I had a very nice surprise this morning when the postman knocked. I'd been waiting ages for a rare Minolta long-nose ER case for my beloved X-500, so I can keep the MD 3.5/35-70 zoom mounted on it. One at last appeared on eBay last week, and it had an X-700 inside. I wasn't really interested in the camera and I didn't expect much, as the seller had listed it for spares and repairs. I put a low bid on and luckily enough I won it, for just 16.99! Shocked

Both the case and the camera turned out to be in absolutely beautiful, mint condition. I put a new battery in and it functions perfectly. I really don't think it's ever been used.

The X-700 is almost identical, appearance and spec-wise, to the X-500, apart from having Program mode (which doesn't interest me). But the X-500, which was introduced later, has one significant improvement - in metered manual mode you can see both the selected shutter speed and the preferred metered speed in the viewfinder at the same time. The X-700 only shows the metered speed, so you have to remember the knob setting. I'm not sure yet whether I want to keep the camera, I'll try a film first. The case is a keeper though. Smile

Very quick shots with the 1.4/50 and the zoom up front.




PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Almost new!!!!

Good purchase.

A two good tips with Minolta X series, have a batteries replacement in your pocket and one capacitor 16 v. 220 mF to change at home.

I like the XG9 and X 500.

Rino


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and I take it came with the 50/1.4 as well Shocked


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesssssss Nesster!!!!!!!

I didn't see it.

Well done!!!!!!!!!!

Where did he come from? The time tunnel? Wink

Rino


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
...and I take it came with the 50/1.4 as well Shocked

No, I had the 1.4 already. The camera came with just a body cap.

The 1.4 is a super lens but it seems quite prone to sun flare. I normally keep a rubber shade on it, I removed it for this pic. The zoom is just as sharp.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The X-700 is a nice camera with a fairly quiet shutter/mirror noise.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excalibur wrote:
The X-700 is a nice camera with a fairly quiet shutter/mirror noise.

And a pleasure to use . Too bad that mine doesn't indicate any mor the aperture chosen in the viewfinder . But it works Ok I'll get it out one of these days ,you gave me the idea.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yinyangbt wrote:
Excalibur wrote:
The X-700 is a nice camera with a fairly quiet shutter/mirror noise.

And a pleasure to use . Too bad that mine doesn't indicate any mor the aperture chosen in the viewfinder . But it works Ok I'll get it out one of these days ,you gave me the idea.


With the 360px flash gun it's a great combo...a useful feature is you can adjust the flash to 1/16 of full power power (saves putting white handkerchiefs over the gun Wink )


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats, Peter!
The cam looks really pretty...

Regards.
Jes.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yinyangbt wrote:
Excalibur wrote:
The X-700 is a nice camera with a fairly quiet shutter/mirror noise.

And a pleasure to use . Too bad that mine doesn't indicate any mor the aperture chosen in the viewfinder . But it works Ok I'll get it out one of these days ,you gave me the idea.

Teo, my XG-M was like that when it arrived. The problem happens when a tiny mirror just inside the "window" under the MINOLTA name, becomes dislodged. The mirror is probably still inside waiting to be refixed.

If you're handy with tools you can repair this easily. Just remove the two screws holding the MINOLTA nameplate and carefully remove it. You might see the mirror straight away, it's very small. If not, try turning the camera upside down and gently shaking and it might fall out. I couldn't find mine, so I cut a tiny piece from the mirror of an old SLR and stuck it back in with UHU general adhesive. It might need slight adjustment by bending the springy metal pieces.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesito wrote:
Congrats, Peter!
The cam looks really pretty...

Regards.
Jes.

Thankyou Jes. I can't get over how lucky I am. I really am a Minolfan now! Smile I just inspected the light seals and buffer - they're like new too. This must have been one of the very last off the line I would imagine. Production stopped 10 years ago. The S/N is 2609459 but I can't find any details on dates. I'll post the first pictures back here when they're ready.

Excal, I'd forgotten about the 360PX flash! Smile I already have one I bought for the X-500 and I use it with the Canon 400D too. It has more functions on the X-700 in P mode I believe - I'll need to read the manual through again.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the X700 is a great camera! I got an SR-T101 a few years ago for nostalgia -- it was my first SLR -- and wound up with an X700 in the bargain. It's fantastic! These were taken with a Rexatar 135mm and a Rexatar 80-200mm -- really well-built lenses.




PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

****I think the X700 is a great camera****

As this thread grows and catches my attention I'm trying to think of what I dislike about the camera and all I can think of is:- I wish the on/ off switch was just on/off and not a choice for also a "beeping sound" Pointless for me anyway as my hearing is not very good. Wink


PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done a closer comparison with the X-500 now and there's a couple of things worth mentioning. The X-500 was introduced later than the X-700, and they must have ironed out a couple of wrinkles.

1 In manual mode the LEDs in the viewfinder of the X-700 show only the shutter speed preferred by the meter (it changes with the aperture setting like Av mode). There is no indication of the actual speed set by the knob, so you either have to remember it or take your eye away from the viewfinder to check. On the X-500 the preferred speed is a steady LED and the set speed is shown by a blinking LED so you can adjust the aperture to make both LEDs coincide if you wish.

2 The on-off switch on the X-700 is a rotary switch under the shutter speed/mode dial. Off is in the centre, turn the switch CW for basic ON, or CCW for ON+beeps. The X-500 has a sliding switch on the other side of the prism. You slide it forward to the first click to switch on and another click to activate the beeps.

3 The metering and eletronic shutter operates differently. The X-700 uses the "MPS" system, which meters the light after the mirror goes up and the aperture blades close but before the shutter is released. This is almost momentary, but there is a noticeable delay and two distinct clicks. This seems very similar to the way the earlier XD7/11 operates. The X-500 is much more immediate and there is only click (except on slow times).

4 The X-700 has an exposure compensation setting in half stops between -2 and +2. This was omitted on the X-500.

5 The X-700 has Program mode, where the shutter speed and aperture setting are both selected by the camera. This was omitted on the X-500 and I haven't tried it yet. I'm a little puzzled why Minolta thought this would be desirable on their most professional model as it can only be useful to photographers who aren't interested in settings. I wish it had shutter priority mode instead, as on the XD7/11, which would be much more useful for fast action shots.

I miss the exp compensation on the X-500, but how often do I need it? At least the ASA setting is adjustable, which is better than the Pentax P range with auto ASA setting. On the whole, the X-500 suits my needs best, and I much prefer its snappy shutter to the clunk-click of the X-700. I don't think the fancy extra functionality of TTL flash metering in P mode is going to sway me.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
yinyangbt wrote:
Excalibur wrote:
The X-700 is a nice camera with a fairly quiet shutter/mirror noise.

And a pleasure to use . Too bad that mine doesn't indicate any mor the aperture chosen in the viewfinder . But it works Ok I'll get it out one of these days ,you gave me the idea.

Teo, my XG-M was like that when it arrived. The problem happens when a tiny mirror just inside the "window" under the MINOLTA name, becomes dislodged. The mirror is probably still inside waiting to be refixed.

If you're handy with tools you can repair this easily. Just remove the two screws holding the MINOLTA nameplate and carefully remove it. You might see the mirror straight away, it's very small. If not, try turning the camera upside down and gently shaking and it might fall out. I couldn't find mine, so I cut a tiny piece from the mirror of an old SLR and stuck it back in with UHU general adhesive. It might need slight adjustment by bending the springy metal pieces.

Wow !
Great news , Peter ! Thank you so much ! at least I know it's something that can be fixed ,maybe I'll try to do it myself one day


PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
I've done a closer comparison with the X-500 now and there's a couple of things worth mentioning. The X-500 was introduced later than the X-700, and they must have ironed out a couple of wrinkles.

6. On the X-500 you can use dedicated flash at speeds slower than the normal 1/60th sync speed, to balance subject and background automatically, by simply pressing the AE lock button. As far as we know this is a feature not found in any other Minolta X models!


PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankyou! I wasn't aware of that. I haven't seriously explored using flash with either of these cameras yet. Another reason to prefer the X-500 Smile


PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the Could Have Beens in my life (obviously still very much on my mind, even after 25+ years Rolling Eyes ): the day I went to 47th St Camera in NYC to buy an OM-2s the guy at the counter tried to suggest the Minolta X-570 instead. It was cheaper, had a much better view finder... but it was a Minolta not an Olympus, and didn't do Program mode! Shocked What was I thinking?

Well, I was upgrading from the Olympus Pen FT I'd been shooting with for the past 13 years, and had Full Frame Anxiety. The OM mount was just like the Pen mount, only bigger, so it was less stressful at the time... and of course there was the Olympus love carrying over from the Pen. For Program mode, my thought was I wanted something the wife could shoot in p&s mode (though with focusing of course). And I thought the OM still did manual exposure in a nicer way than the Minolta. And, I admit it, I was persuaded by the marketing: Spot Meter! Program Mode!

In retrospect, an OM2n or the X-570 would have been better choices.

p.s. the earliest onset of LBA occurred at this time. I got the camera home with the standard 50/1.7... and felt ennui. My wife, god bless her, encouraged me to go back for a zoom: the 35-80 CF SP Adaptall-2 Tamron 01a. Very Happy


PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.....and an advantage Minolta has over Olympus (and Nikon) is that it has no problems using M42 lenses with a cheap adapter.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
but it was a Minolta not an Olympus, and didn't do Program mode! Shocked What was I thinking?

You're forgiven Jussi! I've never been struck with Olympus, but not for the reason you expect. I once shelled out hundreds on a fancy Olympus desk-mounted dictating machine and a transcriber for the office. It used micro-cassettes, remember them? After not a lot of use the recording function packed in and I actually went out and bought an Olympus hand-held dictator so I could keep using the same cassettes. Then the transcriber went phut too, and I ended up buying a complete new Philips kit with larger mini-cassette, whcih lasted for years and years. In fact I still have it now. That was my final brush with Olympus.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i also have one. But there's one problem, lookslike the on-off switch is always turned on even i already set in off. So i must replace the batteries every 3 weeks. (rarely i use this camera)

Finally, i always take the batteries out after using it.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

br.sigit wrote:
i also have one. But there's one problem, lookslike the on-off switch is always turned on even i already set in off. So i must replace the batteries every 3 weeks. (rarely i use this camera)

Finally, i always take the batteries out after using it.

That's a shame. It's unlikely to be a problem with the switch itself, unless the camera operates normally with the switch in the OFF position, but even in this case the power shouldn't drain unless the shutter release button is pressed continually, which operates the meter and charges the capacitors. If the camera doesn't work with the switch OFF, then there's a power drain somewhere, could be a short circuit in the power lead from the battery (i.e. between the battery and the power switch.)


PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peterqd wrote:
The X-700 has Program mode, where the shutter speed and aperture setting are both selected by the camera. This was omitted on the X-500 and I haven't tried it yet. I'm a little puzzled why Minolta thought this would be desirable on their most professional model as it can only be useful to photographers who aren't interested in settings. I wish it had shutter priority mode instead, as on the XD7/11, which would be much more useful for fast action shots.


I'm a bit late seeing this . . . The X700 was never really seen by Minolta as being aimed at the professional market. Rather it was directed the upper-end of the amateur market at a time when competitor companies were also including "program mode". The amateur-oriented advertising implied that professionals might chose the X700, but this was part of the ploy of association and never a statement of fact. Professionals simply didn't buy Minolta.

And, strange to relate, shutter speed priority was never a major selling point or stated customer preference. The only big selling speed priority camera was the Canon AE1, but of those a large proprtion went out mail order through the "catalogue companies" who featured it prominently.

From memory, the X500 was the least popular of the X300/500/700 trio - the X300 out-sold both the others by a large proportion. When buyers were looking to spend more than the price of an X300 they tended to shift brands. Olympus, Canon and Nikon were perceived as being "better" by the public, which was skillfully guided and advised by slick advertising and enthusiastic magazine reviews which were - I still believe - heavily influenced by advertising revenues, product placements and lots of lavish entertainment. Even when Minolta set up its own UK operation, the brand promotion was focused on retailers through trade-price discounting which offered the dealer the chance to make a higher margin of profit. I had an X300 with a few lenses and thought was a great camera.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankyou Stephen, that all makes very good sense. I'm sure mo will agree with you about the X-300! Wink

I don't know what the relative retail prices were for the three models, but I would guess the reason for the 300's popularity was because it was cheaper and aimed at a wider mass market. And the 700 grabbed a larger share of the more expensive market by being released earlier than the 500. I still think the 500 is the best of the three.

I understand what you say about professionals and their choice of brands. Minolta did try to capture a professional following with the XK but it never got close to Canon and Nikon, and in that sense Minolta are similar to Pentax and their LX. I was always a Pentax man after I bought the ME Super in the early 80s, but I wish I'd discovered Minolta earlier. The quality is at least equal to Pentax, and actually became a lot better when Pentax went "downmarket" after the M range.


PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen, I would agree with you about the relative status of the brands at the time - add Pentax to the Minolta bucket too Wink

The other marketing thing is this - and this is still in operation, both in new cameras and the used market: it is very difficult to be one-model-down from the 'best' at the time. Most people are price sensitive - so they tend to buy the low price model such as the X-300. Then there's those of us who are subject to feature-creep, peer pressure, and features marketing: we tend to go for and recommend the top models in any era as the 'only one worth it'. Thus we pay for features or capabilities that we won't use, or that have no significant advantage in real-life photography.

Luckily, we at mflenses are mostly immune to this, aren't we? ...aren't we? Embarassed Laughing