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.