5 frames with...

5 Frames with the Nikon F3HP & Minolta 55mm f/1.7 – by Simon King

December 13, 2018

After a recent disappointing outing with my Minolta XD I decided to switch from the Minolta over to a different film SLR. I didn’t want to get rid of any of my Rokkor lenses, as they are some of my favourite legacy options. After some research I decided that the Nikon F3 would be my best option, for a rugged yet compact 35mm SLR, which I would be able to adapt my Minolta lenses without compromise.

I managed to find one at a good price and after checking that the lenses focused correctly I bought it and began to shoot. I’ll be writing a longer piece specifically about using the F3 with my Rokkor lenses, but overall I’ve had very few issues at all, and actually find the F3 to have a better balance in hand, especially with some of my longer lenses. I shot the F3 first at Comic Con and then shortly afterwards on a trip to Paris.

Hope you enjoy these first images with the F3 and Minolta lenses, and hopefully it won’t be long until I’ve fully got to grips with the new setup, and will have much better images to show for it!

Nikon F3/Minolta 28mm 2.8/Ilford XP2

Nikon F3/Minolta 55mm 1.7/Ilford XP2

Nikon F3/Minolta 55mm 1.7/Ilford XP2

Nikon F3/Minolta 55mm 1.7/Fujifilm Superia 400

Nikon F3/Minolta 55mm 1.7/Fujifilm Superia 400

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Alex
    December 13, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Hello, very nice your pica.
    Plecase, let me know, what kind of adapter did You ușe?
    Thanks,
    Alex

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 13, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks Alex! It’s a generic adapter from eBay, I think K&F.

  • Reply
    Dawid
    December 13, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    What’s wrong with XD? I love my xd7…

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 13, 2018 at 9:04 pm

      I had a negative experience with the camera. I am sure that yours serves you well!

  • Reply
    Aivaras
    December 13, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    My favourite from this set was last one – with the stairs.

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 13, 2018 at 3:40 pm

      Glad you like it!

  • Reply
    Graeme
    December 13, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Agree about the last one. I initially thought it was someone on a roof! Can I ask what it was about the Minolta that didn’t click with you? i ask because I jsut acquired on this week!

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 13, 2018 at 9:03 pm

      I had a bad experience shooting the XD7 in Amsterdam, and as a result am not satisfied with the camera as a whole. I know many people use theirs daily and are more than happy with the experience.

  • Reply
    Paul Winger
    December 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Does this adapter have a glass element to allow infinity focusing?
    If so, it would seem using a different Minolta body would produce sharper images.
    While I like my XD, my favorite is probably the 570. I too am a fan of Minolta glass.
    The stair shot is also my favorite.

    • Reply
      Hamish Gill
      December 13, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      I thought this too – there must be some compromise in the adapter?

      • Reply
        Simon
        December 13, 2018 at 9:03 pm

        Not that I’ve been able to see in the majority of my images – I’ll be happy to write an update article after using the combination more extensively!

  • Reply
    Don Johnson
    December 13, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Why would anybody use a Minolta lens on a Nikon ?
    Don’t get me wrong why not wear a basecap turned
    around and ride the one way street the other side ?
    Just courious what are your reasons……

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      My reasons are that I own many Minolta lenses and zero Nikon ones. I also prefer the way that the lenses focus – Nikon are known for focusing in the reverse direction.
      I may convert my collection over time but for the moment I am happy using my current lenses on this camera.

  • Reply
    Kodachromeguy
    December 14, 2018 at 4:37 am

    Simon,
    I agree with some of the comments above. Something does not make sense. The flange focus distance is:
    Minolta/Konica Minolta/Sony A-mount 44.50 mm
    Nikon F-mount 46.50 mm
    Therefore, any adapter that lets you mount a Minolta lens on a Nikon body must have some optics to modify the focal length. The F3 was a marvelous camera, and I used one for about 20 years. But Minolta also made a bunch of excellent bodies in various price brackets.

  • Reply
    Lukas
    December 14, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Nice shots, the first and fifth especially. There is a distinct glow to the images, something that many people would refer to as ‘classical’ rendering. Did you shoot at rather wide apertures?

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      Yes, almost all of these are wide open at f/1.7. The lens is a classically soft one, and I have sharper results from my sharper lenses!

  • Reply
    Karl Valentin
    December 14, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Well strange reasons but in the end it makes sense.
    I am a sucker for old Nikkors from the pre-Ai area.
    The way they render and the awesome mechanic build
    is just a joy to use so I prefer them over any Nikon lens
    made today even at my modern digital Body’s !
    So for bothbof us the lenses matter more than the „stuff“
    behind which only keeps the film in a „box“ right ?

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 14, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      As long as the box is light-tight I’d use whatever had the best ergonomics 🙂

  • Reply
    Fernando Vázquez Santos
    December 14, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Excellent work, Simon
    This probes is the photographer and not the equipment, even mixing different brands!
    Greetings.

  • Reply
    Yul Vázquez
    December 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Great stuff man.

  • Reply
    Terry B
    December 14, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Simon, setting aside why you’re being somewhat coy in response to two enquiries what the bad experience with the XD was, it seems to me to be a very strange choice to use your Minolta lenses on a Nikon via an adapter and which by its very nature of having to include a negative lens group to counter the difference in lens flange distance must degrade the optical quality of the fine Minolta optics. Why you’d be happy with this is a little surprising.
    The Minolta XD camera is an excellent camera, I’ve owned mine since from the early 1980’s when I purchased it with the motor winder and dedicated flash. The camera was in mint condition when I got it, not generally the case today some 36 years on when intending buyers are likely, sadly, to be unaware of a camera’s history or how it’s been used or abused.

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 14, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      I’m not sure I’m being coy on the subject – I actually published an entire article on the experience on this blog a while ago!

      • Reply
        Terry B
        December 15, 2018 at 9:50 am

        Thanks, Simon. I’m genuinely interested in understanding what was your experience with the XD that it has put you off, seemingly, all Minolta bodies. I’ve tried to find your earlier article to better understand your decision, but without success. (Hamish, can you point me in the right direction, please?)

  • Reply
    Charlie
    December 14, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    I don’t quite get some of the comments – okay it might not be everyone’s idea of perfect to use Minolta lenses on a Nikon, I’d agree in so far as I love using my Nikon lenses on my F3, and wouldn’t try anything else. But then, the whole reason I use the F3 is because I enjoy using it. If you enjoy using the Minolta lenses on the F3, then that’s fine – I’m sure you’ll take better pictures with something you enjoy using, than with something that’s “technically” perfect, but not perfect for you. Likewise, I’ve gone through one or two cameras that are meant to be brilliant, but not enjoyed using them. Camera choice is really personal, so if you don’t fancy using the XD for whatever reason, then that’s your personal choice. I love the picture of the guy with the photo frame 🙂

    • Reply
      Simon
      December 14, 2018 at 11:27 pm

      Thank you Charlie! I agree, there is no objectively “right” way to perform photography, otherwise blogs like this where people share their subjective enjoyment wouldn’t exist!

  • Reply
    Shooting Minolta Lenses on a Nikon F3 in Iceland - by Simon King - 35mmc
    May 11, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    […] an adapter with an extra element, which can apparently sometimes cause issues. When I first wrote about using the combination a few 35mmc readers expressed concern regarding possible compromises in image […]

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