I was recently looking for another 35mm camera and, browsing the web one lunchtime, I came across some reviews of the Minolta Maxxum 7000. A while later I found one at a local camera fair with the classic 50mm f1.7 lens. The vendor assured me that it was in working condition and although I had no batteries to test it with, I bought it. Once I’d cleaned out the battery compartment it seemed to work fine so last week I took it out with a roll of Ilford XP2 in it.
XP2, as I’m sure you don’t really need telling, is a black and white film designed to be processed as C41. Which is fine if you don’t develop at home, but I do and I’d read that XP2 can easily be stand-developed in Rodinal with minimal grain if shot at EI 200. So my objective was to put a roll through at 200, develop at home (I haven’t tried colour yet, so this was going to be pure b&w development) and see what emerged.
I work in Toronto so I decided to take the Minolta with me to work and instead of just riding the subway from the main rail station I walked a couple of subway stops taking some pictures of the early morning commuters. I finished the roll the next day during a rainy lunchtime. The camera behaved itself perfectly, all the electronics worked fine and there was no hint that anything had malfunctioned through age or misuse. The ergonomics of the camera are pretty good, mode changes are easy and focusing is quick.
I developed the film in Blazinal, which is the tradename in Canada for Rodinal. Stand developed, at 1:100 for one hour and then scanned the results on a Epson V550.
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4 thoughts on “5 Frames with the Minolta Maxxum 7000 – By Chris McPhee”
Thanks for sharing Chris. I remember the Minolta 7000 AF being the first proper autofocus camera and the photo press loved it. After years of doing B&W I also use stand development in Rodinal a lot. However, I would encourage you to try C41 processing. I recently started using a Bellini C41 kit for some colour and XP2 development. It’s great, you should definitely try it!
Malcolm, it depends upon what you mean by “proper” in the sense of the first autofocus camera. It was not the first slr (that honour goes to the Polaroid SX70 in 1978) nor point and shoot, as the 7000 was preceded by the Konica C35 AF, the first mass produced AF camera in 1977, and the Pentax ME-F was the first 35mm slr in 1981. Even Nikon beat Minolta with their F3AF in 1983. However, the accolade “first” can be applied to the 7000 in the sense that it was the first slr to house both AF sensors and drive motor in the body. However, history has shown that the preferred route is to house the motors in the lens.
Got an Instagram?
Check out my Minolta 9000/5000 shots at @nicholas.snyder.film on instagram.
The 7000 is a great 35mm.
Single point AF, but effective enough. Really like some of the lenses from this period. The 50’s are excellent, as is the 70-200 F4. Both versions of the 35-80 I’ve used have been extremely meh though.
Now that Sony has killed the Alpha mount I think prices will fall on these lenses, which is great because they were cheap already.