5 frames with...

5 Frames with Minolta Dynax SPxi & expired Kodak Royal Gold 400 – by Matt Krajewski

May 20, 2020

It has been 9 months since my last “5 Frames with” post. Mainly because I’ve started a new job after graduating and it was very intensive limiting my free time a lot. That didn’t stop me from casual shooting and definitely didn’t stop me from buying more cameras – I hunt for them everyday. I buy some of them just for the sake of selling it few days later, keep the lens or finishing the film that is already in them.

The latest was the reason for getting this Minolta SPxi. There is not a lot of info about this camera online, certainly it wasn’t the most sought after camera back in 92 when it was released.

I think it is one of the smallest Dynax bodies available,  which is not bad if you are after something that won’t take entire space in your bag. It sits nicely in the hand, and if in AF, it can be easily operated with one hand almost like point and shoot. It has full PASM mode, spot metering, self timer and that’s about it; not even built-in flash – something that is a must for any entry level camera.

My SPxi had already Kodak Royal Gold 400 film inside, as it was sitting at 32 frames, you can only see 4 photos that are mine and one taken God knows when.

When I put 50mm 1.8 Minolta AF prime lens on it, I thought it looks really quite nice and was really looking forward to finish the film same day. So I took it for a walk with my wife and the dogs to the local park.

I’ve set it to aperture priority and quickly shot the remaining 4 frames with manual focus. Unfortunately there is no exposure compensation or ISO setting on the camera, so I couldn’t take a margin for the expired film and had to accept that the results won’t be satisfying.

Photo taken by previous owner.

Photos in general turned out underexposed and even with longer developing time, I couldn’t bring the negatives up nicely, so the noise is visible present. (Apparently Kodak Royal Gold 400 was quite grainy already)

I really enjoyed the simplicity of this camera when using it. It is a great camera that with a decent lens and fresh film will deliver very good quality photos. It will be a great and cheap alternative to older SLRs that now being sold for ridiculous money.


IG: pure.amateur

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  • Reply
    May 20, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    Keep shooting film and collecting vintage cameras. Thanks for the post and photos. Nice dog too.

    • Reply
      May 20, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks Rock!
      Have a massive backlog of cameras to shoot and expired film stock to last some time!

  • Reply
    Rob B
    May 21, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Glad to see you giving this Minolta some love! Minolta sold a ton of plastic fantastic cameras and were definitely out of the mainstream as far as design, but even their most basic cameras take excellent photographs. The XI series is my least favorite but that’s due mostly to Minolta’s marketing department thinking it was ok to strip features from cameras then sell them to customers on silly little data cards. Despite this, they’re still good picture takers. In the XI series, I recommend nothing below the 5xi as it retains built in shutter and aperture priority modes as well as exposure compensation.

    Anyone looking to start in film photography would do well to consider a Minolta from the 90’’s, especially the 400si. They can be had for less than $30 with a lens and have everything a photographer needs.

    • Reply
      May 21, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      Hi Rob.
      My second SLR was Dynax 500 Si Super ..and possibly it had the most of the use out of my cameras

  • Reply
    Tobias Eriksson
    May 21, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Hi! The light (and exposure) in number 3 is amazing! Great job!

    • Reply
      May 21, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks Tobias!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2020 at 3:33 am

    Stop hoarding up the old film gear especially lenses! There’s too few film cameras left for sale and too many that are come “body only “! I would love to try something besides Pentax but I shouldn’t have to buy adapters so a have something to use on a different brand body.

    • Reply
      May 22, 2020 at 7:21 am

      Simple answer to that is…. I can’t stop hoarding. Sorry
      This Minolta was actually sold with the lens.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Today’s mail brought a camera with 2 rolls of Royal Gold. Useful review and photos.

    As important where did you get, what is it called/model, the coat for your dog? Attractive

    PS hoarding is good. We have many options for playing and study during the ‘lock down’

    • Reply
      May 23, 2020 at 11:45 pm

      Thanks for the comment.
      I have recently started overexposing any expired film by at least two stops. Sometimes 2 2/3 stops. That included both colour and b&w film.
      And I must say I am pleased with the results.

      Ps. The coat is Friday Fox Wax Cotton for Whippet. I’m sure they are also making one for other breeds.

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