I’m more of an SLR guy, but it was inevitable that I too would have to get a taste of the rangefinder world. For me, it started with a “Revue 400 SE”. Revue is like a private label of the german mail order company “Quelle”. It has the same features as the Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII or the Konica Auto S3. I would even say that they are pretty much the same, but I don’t want to start a debate…
Although the Camera performed really well, we just didn’t fit together. So after a short time it changed hands.
I couldn’t let go of the rangefinder thing.
So I started to do some research. Since Minolta has a firm place in my heart, I started looking for a Hi-Matics. I was mainly looking for the later smaller models without a fixed flash.
- Hi-Matic 7sII: Nice but way to expensive. Especially when I think of the Rangefinder Patch. It’s all right, but in this price range I would wish for something better. My Zorki 4, for example, has an incredibly high-contrast and perfectly usable rangefinder patch. Nonetheless, it is still a great camera and I’ll probably have to buy one at some point (right after the Yashica Electro 35 cc). Damn I’m doomed. GAS Syndrome kicking in.
- Hi-Matic G: It only has a zone focusing system. Relying on symbols of mountains or a group of people for focusing…. is not for me.
- Hi-Matic E: Automatic Exposure, good looking (like all of them) and a nice f/1.7 Lens…
- Hi-Matic F: Same as the “E” but equipped with a f/2.8 Lens for less cash. APPROVED.
So the Hi-Matic F it shall be! It has a fixed 40 mm lens. The maximum aperture is f/2.8. The camera automatically selects aperture and shutter speed. All you have to do is insert a film and engage the ISO wheel between 25 and 500. For me, the extra 2 stops of light of the “E” Version was not worth the extra price at that time.
The camera feels very robust. It has a solid weight and feels very pleasant in your hands. The faux leather also feels nice. I play with it all the time. It’s a real pleasure to hold. As I write this, the camera sits next to my laptop and looks at me joyfully.
What I just remembered. My first 2 rolls of film with the Minolta Hi-Matic were completely underexposed. Although I used the battery adapters designed for it.
In the meantime I use normal LR44 batteries. I bridge the empty battery compartment with 2 empty LR44 batteries. I overexpose a stop via the ISO wheel to compensate the higher voltage. Works for me.
The 5 Shots I took on Kodak T-Max 100
I went out to the CIty (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) on a Sunny Saturday morning in January. The sun was low and cast great long shadows everywhere. I had never tried street photography before but had a few ideas in my mind.
My favourite shot of the roll.
I walked past a Korean restaurant and the neon lights inside looked great.
Next I tried a double exposure of an old building and a street lamp.
Same building but without the streetlamp over it :).
Another attempt at “street photography” or something like that.
Okay, those were my 5 photos with the Minolta HI-Matic F. This day was an absolute joy.
As soon as I got home I developed the film in Adox FX-39 and hung it in the shower to dry. In the evening I scanned the negatives with my tripod stand, pixl-latr, some Lightsource and my Fuji X-T1. I was incredibly pleased with the results. Not having to wait for a lab and being able to shoot in the morning and see the photos in the evening… What a great day! If you maybe want some more information about my Scanning Setup, feel free to comment. Or send me a message on Instagram.
I actually sell the first photo in my Darkroom Shop. So… I actually don’t sell anything but maybe YOU want to be my first and only customer. Check it out.
If you like to see more please visit my Instagram:
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11 thoughts on “5 Frames of Kodak T-Max 100 with a Minolta Hi-Matic F – By Robert Kapp”
Nice series. How did you do the double exposure – and did you manage to get the registration of the frames exact?
I’ve always assumed that the dimensions of the Hi-Matic F and 7sii top-plates were the same – do you notice the similarity to the Revue top plate?
For reference the Hi-Matic E only does 25-500 ISO as well (at least my copy does)
Thank you! As with most cameras, I take a shot, press the rewind button and cock the shutter. However, I felt that the film had moved at least a little bit. Then with the developed negative I also saw that the frames didn’t overlap exactly. But for a little experimentation, the result is quite sufficient. With my Minolty SLRS (x700, x300) it works very precisely.
Yes, I think you can really say that the bodies of the 7sII, Konica Auto S3, Revue 400 SE are all very similar. The difference is often in the viewfinder/rangefinder itself. Here Konica is said to be ahead when it comes to brightness and contrast of the rangefinder. At least that’s what I gather from various videos on YouTuve :).
Exactly, the Hi-Matic F also has an ISO range of 25-500.
I know the Konica and the others are different, but, the step in the top plate of the MInolta/Revue/Vivitar (along with their production dates) seems to suggest that they might have come off the same production line.
I only asked about the double exposure thing because I know that the Konica Autoreflexes (also branded at times as Revue) have specific double exposure switches (as do some Canon cameras of the same vintage). I used this facility a few times in my youth, but have not tried it out in recent times – Maybe I need to revisit analogue superimposition…
Great results regardless…
Enjoyed the series and essay! Thanks man!!
Thank you Ibraar!
Some chatter on blogs of how a ‘new’ compact 35mm film camera should look like. Why re-invent the wheel? Good examples already exist, like your Minolta.
You had a nice photo walk and spotted some interesting things. I especially like your double exposures.
Hi Dan, thanks for your comment! You are totally right. The form factor of this camera is unbeatable. I’ve always thought it was a bit rubbish that you’re more noticeable with an SLR because of the size and the shutter noise. But in fact, the Minolta and its siblings are so small, inconspicuous and handy that you are hardly noticed when taking pictures. At least that’s how it seems to me. Happy shooting for you too, Dan!
Great results: the camera/ film/ developer/ scan protocol are clearly working very well for you. And you have an enviable eye as well 🙂
Niggling point: your logic re using model F vs E is perfectly sound but .. the model E with 1.7 lens is *2* stops (plus a fraction) faster than your 2.8 model F. 2.8 .. 2.0 .. 1.8 ..
Thanks for your nice comment David! You’re right, of course! I didn’t think about it enough. I will update the text soon 🙂
thanks for the article and the great pictures.
I have to get the little one out of the closet again. Had the 400SE with me last time in Freiburg.
thanks for the compliments!
The 400SE is still on my ebay watchlist… Maybe I should give it another try 😀 !
Freiburg is such a nice place to be, isn’t it?