Minolta x-700 with MD 50mm f/1.7

The Whole Roll – 24 exp. HP5+, Minolta x-700, Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 – By Robert Kapp

I desided to write an “Whole Roll” Post. Why? Because my wife allowed it. She’s almost on every roll of film I shoot so I of course need her permission to publish those photos. I often load my camera (this time the x-700) at the breakfast table and I reserve the first few frames for my daughter and wife, although I often struggle with their resistance.

So, in the Summer of 21 I bought my first SLR. A Minolta x-300 with a MD 50mm f/1.7. Despite being not a Rokkor Version it is awesome. Finding focus is easy with this lens. Somewhat later I added a Minolta x-700  to the collection. I found it on ebay for 30€ aaaaand I couldn’t resist. The camera was in pretty neat condition and was basically ready to go. Even the light seals looked fairly nice. A Tokina 28mm – 70mm Zoom lens was included… all in all it was quite a steal.

The Camera – Minolta x-700

I will just tell you some key facts about this camera. The Minolta x-700 is an aperture priority, lightweight camera made of plastic. Nevertheless, it feels of high quality. The camera fits comfortably in your hand. Reasons for that are the “leather” or “leatherette” which feels quite nice. There’s a grip on the front and a grip on the backdoor where your thump will automatically find its place. Shutter speeds go from Bulb and 1/1 up to 1/1000 of a second. You can set the ISO up to 1600 and may choose -2 to +2 stops exposure compensation. For example set the ISO to 1600 and set exposure compensation to -1 to reach an effective ISO of 3200.

Though you have a on/off switch the light metering will only start if you place your finger on the shutter release button. You don’t have to half press it. Just lay down your trigger finger gently on the button. Alternatively you can press the exposure lock button to see the recommended shutter speed.

Another great thing with the x-700 and also the x-300 is the AE-Lock Button. It’s perfectly placed on the front of the camera as a “vertical” switch/button combination. If  you pull it up (switch), you activate the self timer. If you push it down (button), you activate AE-Lock. You intuitively use your middle finger to do that.

Short Detour

What i don’t understand is why Minolta did the following: On the x-300, in auto mode, the suggested shutter speed is indicated by a continuously glowing LED in the viewfinder. If you now switch to Manual Mode by turning the wheel to let’s say 125th of a second, this shutter speed is indicated with a blinking LED in the viewfinder. So the suggested speed is glowing and your chosen speed is blinking. Nice thing this is! The x-700 does not have this feature. if you look thru your viewfinder you will see the suggested Shutter speed. No matter what manual shutter speed you choose. At least there is a glowing “M”, telling you, you’re in Manual Mode. So you always have to take the camera from your eyes and check the shutter speed. That’s a bit silly, but not a problem… I think?

The Lens

I’m using  MD-III Version of the lens. I’m totally satisfied with the results. I have two fifty-ish Minolta Lenses. The MC 58mm f/1.4, which I’m more likely to use when I need a super nice and dreamy bokeh and soft colors (See some Photos on 35mmc here) and the MD 50mm f/1.7 which gives me some more saturated colors and more contrast. This is just my opinion.

If you want some detailed information of the lens and more of a experts view, you are welcome to visit: http://www.artaphot.ch/minolta-sr/objektive/156-minolta-50mm-f17 (note: this is an ‘not secure’ website, so your browser might not like it)

The Subject

We went to our favourite shoe store for kids because my daughter needed some new kicks. In the neighbourhood, theres the ecumenical church “Maria Magdalena” build in the “brutalist architecture style”. In this style of architecture there are a lot of sharp edges, geometric shapes and non painted concrete. Together with a lot of glass this church got a clean and modern look which I absolutely adore.

The Photos

This Roll does not feature any photos of the church itself but of some details. But I will add some older shots that I made, so you can make up your own mind about the look of the building.

My wife in our home
My wife in our home
Some flowers standing behind a window
Those flowers made a perfect contrast to the concrete, glass and monochrome color palette of the building. This works also in B&W.
A Tennis ball laying in front of a bench
I liked the reflection of this tennis ball in the steel surface of the bench. Tourned out boring :D.
Door in concrete wall looking like a whole
The doors are hiding inside of this openings in the wall. Quite secretive.
Door in concrete wall looking like a whole
Lower Angle of the door. I wanted it to look bigger and more “mysterious” I think
Some plant climbs over a pergola
My Wife standing on a Bench
My wife standing on a wall.
Big Window on the church
Part of the very big glass front of the church. I like this shot.
Wall of glass
This building is actually a sports hall overgrown with grass besides of the church. I liked the glass
windows on the wall of a church
I don’t like the angle of this photo. a ladder would have been helpful
another picutre of windows
another try. same thing. Maybe I should have focused more on a single window.
An edge of the wall
I walked close to the building to take a photo steeply upwards.
Wall of the church with some windows
Same technique. I quite like the results.
Wall of the church with some windows
Then again with a slightly changed composition. I like this one. The depth of field is maybe too shollow.
A whole in the concrete
This kind of gradient looks pretty cool but is actually a camera fault i think. Eventually there is something wrong with the shutter curtain.
Another door in the wall.
Another shot of a door recessed into the wall.
circles on the ground
Some weirdly good looking circles on the ground in front of the church.
circles on the ground
Another shot of the circles. I like this one.
Some stairs. The Photo didn’t work out as planned 
The rolling grill of a store. I like this one.
A lamp in a bakery
I like how the light casts this pattern. But i have to practice “on the angle”.
sports equipment outside
There was a kind of a trim trail in the park besides the church. Out of focus.
Another fitness device.
Another fitness device. It was a disc that you hold on to and then have to turn it 360 degrees. Just like yourself to do this :).
For me one of the better shots of the roll. I love the tones, the drops on the steel and the motive.
My daughter holding a balloon
My daughter with a balloon she received from the shoe shop as a thank you for the purchase. Nice Photo.

Additional Shots

Another Roll of HP5 shot in last summer.

Exterior view of the church
Exterior view of the church.
Exterior view of the church with the big glass front
Exterior view of the church with the big glass front, letting in a lot of light.
A Cross on the church
A Large Cross
Entrance of the church. In front of it is a chair with the word "Welcome" written on it.
Entrance of the church.

I have to say that buying a 24 exposure roll was an oversight, but the number of images was quite enough, in fact it was pleasantly sufficient.

Thanks for reading guys! If you want to see more of my pictures, please visit my instagram at finding_the_view

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14 thoughts on “The Whole Roll – 24 exp. HP5+, Minolta x-700, Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 – By Robert Kapp”

  1. Dear Robert, I am glad you are enjoying your X-700. I also have one given to me and my brother as a gift in 1985 by an uncle passionate about photography. While less prestigious than other cameras of the same age, it is a good and easy to use camera.
    The reason it does not have the double indication of suggested (steady led light) and selected (blinking led light) in manual mode is that the X-700 is an older camera preceding the X-300 by a few years. The circuitry of the X-700 is still semi-digital and includes some analog components (e.g. potentiometers). With the successive X-500 and the following cameras (the X-300 is a simplified version of the X-500) Minolta went fully digital which I think made simpler to implement some more complex functions. In fact a limited number of X-600 were made which are essentially a derivative of the X-500/X-300 with focus assist confirmation in the viewfinder via arrows that indicated the direction to turn the manually focused lens and a green light that indicated the reaching of the sharpest focus. For this task the X-600 was equipped with a Honeywell (if I correctly remember) phase-detect focus system essentially similar to the one later used in the groundbreaking Minolta 7000 AF camera. So, under their hood, the X-500 and X-300 pioneered some of the digital circuitry technology required for the development of AF SRLs.
    Have a nice light. Marco

    1. Hi Marco!
      Thank you so much for your detailed comment! I wish someone in my family still had an old camera somewhere for me :). Unfortunately, they’re all gone. In fact, I thought the x-700 was the younger model. Especially because it is more “hyped” on the internet. Maybe I should take a look at the x-500 etc.. This “autofocus predecessor” system sounds very interesting!
      But for now, I’ll dedicate myself to my just serviced SrT 303b :). Good light all the time for you too! Rob

      1. The reason why the X-700 is so hyped on the internet is because it offers full program mode, which many new photographers find useful, in addition to aperture-priority and full manual shooting.

        Personally, I went with the X-500 because I think it offers the best balance of features I want among this generation of Minolta SLRs. Basically this means there’s no program mode, which I would not use anyway. The display shows you both the shutter speed you have chosen along with the metered shutter speed, an improvement over the X-700 if you ask me.

        These 1980s manual focus Minolta SLRs do pack quite a punch and the lineup of SR mount lenses for them is quite extensive and high-quality.

  2. The shot of your daughter is absolutely precious–those little teeth! Really worth the work of a whole roll just to get one like that, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing! The whole-roll experience is always enlightening.

    1. Hey Justin!
      Thank you so much for your compliment! Yes it is absolutely worth it. Indeed i want to print that photo. And suddenly film no longer seems so very expensive. When you end up holding a printed photo in your hands that you find very beautiful, it was worth it.

  3. Nice work! ‘In the day’ when I was shooting available light music clubs- hand held 85mm f2 at 1/60-2475 Recording Film I was quite happy to get 5 good ones out of 36

  4. Minolta hat nur gut durchdachte und immer praxisgerechte Spiegelreflexkameras gebaut.
    So auch die X-700.
    Diese Touch – Down – Auslöser hatte kein anderer Hersteller. Der Strom fließt nur dann, wenn man den Auslöser berührt und schaltet sich nach einigen Sekunden wieder von alleine ab.
    Vom Design her war die X-700 viel moderner und chicer als die XD-Kameras. Jedenfalls für meinen Geschmack.
    Wenn ich mal statt der SR-T eine schnelle Kamera brauche oder eine Blitzautomatik, dann nehme ich die X-500 oder die X-700.
    Das Rokkor 50mm f1.7 nehme ich auch gerne auf der X-700. Sehr zuverlässiges Objektiv. Liefert immer gute Ergebnisse, sogar bei offener Blende

    1. Hi Jens,
      danke für deinen Kommentar!
      Dem kann ich nur zustimmen. Meine XD-5 habe ich recht schnell wieder verkauft. Klingt blöd aber ich glaube das Geräusch des Verschlusses hat mich irgendwie gestört.
      Auf der anderen Seite hatte sie auch ziemlich nützliche Features wie das wechseln zwischen Blendenautomatik oder Zeitautomatik. Kann man natürlich auch manuell machen…
      Ich bin zwar nicht so der Messsucher Typ aber irgendwann eine Minolta CLE wäre schon nett :D.
      Bis dann und Grüße! Rob

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