I’m now shooting a Minolta Riva Zoom 110 point & shoot film camera – I want to tell you the story of how I came to choose this camera, and how well it has worked out for me.
About 6 Months ago I decided I would photograph my daughters first year on earth. At first, I imagined black and white, 35mm equivalent field of view and medium format. So I bought the Mamiya M645 and a 55mm f/2.8. But that wasn’t right for the project. Quickly after birth I understood I need something quick and snappy that can devour any light situation and is fast. So of course, I chose a point and shoot.
By that time, I had a mju-I which I used to shoot the birth. I got 2 amazing shots, a lot of focus misses and the flash wasn’t strong enough. And so I went to out to look for better optics and a point and shoot that wouldn’t miss on focus.
I saw a Yashica T3 at a great price. This is one big camera – especially when compared to the mju-i. Its Big and heavier, it wouldn’t fit in my pocket. That was a big need of mine. Going to the doctor with a baby, a baby bag and a photo bag was not an option.
Around that time I dug deep into Ren Hang. I was looking for that snappy point and shoot strong flash and quick work. After some research I found out that Hang used an Minolta Riva Zoom 110 point & shoot zoom camera. The 110 Had the strongest flash of them all and different lens.
After two months of shooting with both the Yashica T3 and the Minolta Riva Zoom 110 I found out that the Minolta is the keeper. I did some shots to compare the two and the Minolta had the upper hand. Compared to the Yashica T3, it Never misses focus. The flash Is stronger, the lens is sharper (though slower) and colors are amazing too! And ? No Hype, and great prices. I now already have two of them.
Here are two comparisons between the Yashica (first image) and the Minolta (second image)
The Minolta Riva Zoom 110
So let’s talk about the Minolta. From the start, it’s obvious that the Minolta Riva Zoom 110 is a camera from the ‘future’. It’s silver, it’s slim, it has AF eye beam (yeah the red one – just like your dslr or ttl flash). The viewfinder is a ‘real image’ finder, and when you zoom in or out it moves and has a closeup correction frame too.
The Minolta Riva Zoom 110 has a 38mm-110mm zoom lens, 4 Groups and 4 Elements with a minimum focus range is 70 cm. At the wide end it starts at f/5.4 (YEAH!) and on the 110mm end is limited to f/10.5. I agree these aperture numbers are slow, but when using a 400 ISO film with flash indoors or on a sunny day you get images which are crisp and rich with good tones and colors. This camera isn’t super-fast – it takes it’s time between shots, but boy does she get it right everytime.
Some Sample images from the Minolta Riva Zoom 110 On Kodak Ultramax 400: (some might ask ‘Hey new dad, where is all the baby pictures? Well they aren’t being published online. But good Question.)
I was looking for a very specific camera. I wanted it to be snappy, small, precise, have good optics and have a strong flash – and I have found it in the Minolta Riva Zoom 110! It’s a true gem, and is exactly what I needed.
Thank you for reading!