A cheap rangefinder for amateurs: Minolta Hi-Matic 7SII Review

At the end of the decade of the 70’s, Minolta joined together with other brands such as Canon and Olympus, to the ship of the cheapest rangefinder cameras that supplied a demand that was brewing at that time.

Cameras like the Canon Canonet, or the Olympus Trip 35 (or the incredible Pen-F), including the Yashica Electro 35, were the cameras that at that time gave rise to the growth of amateur photography.

All agreed somewhat in their physical qualities, metallic body, reduced size with more or less manual functionalities, but with an emphasis on portability and easy handling of their functionalities.

The Hi-Matic 7SII comes in both silver and black colors.

Minolta Hi-Matic 7SII Specs

Now lets see the specifications that the Minolta Hi-Matic 7SII has with the following table.

Year Release1977
ISO25 – 800
Shutter Speed1/8th of a second to 1/500th
Shutter Typemechanical shutter
Shutter Lno shutter lock
Lens40mm f/1.7
Lens Typefixed-lens rangefinder
MeteringCDS metering cell capable of EV 4.5 to EV 17
Batterymercury battery 1.35v, zinc air batteries
CompetitorsCanonet QL17 GIII, Olympus Pen-F, Yashica Electro 35

Hi-Matic 7sii Lens

The Minolta Hi-Matic7SII is equipped with a 40mm f / 1.7 rangefinder lens attached to its body, a Minolta Rokkor 40mm F / 1.7 to be precise.

The focus and aperture dials are accessible on the base of the lens. And has a 49mm filter thread. The minimum focus distance is approximately 36 inches or 1 mt.

A 40mm F / 1.7 is probably one of the most versatile lenses you can find on a camera. Since they offer extraordinary performance mounted in a small body.

Hi-Matic 7sii Viewfinder

The small viewfinder is positioned inwards approximately 3/4 ″ from the left side of the body, this to facilitate that its coverage is as close to that perceived by the lens.

The Hi-Matic 7SII is equipped with a very tight-fitting viewfinder that requires getting used to it to master. As we said at the beginning, one of the outstanding qualities of the Hi-Matic 7SII is its portability, so we cannot expect the viewfinder to be on par with larger rangefinder cameras such as the Yashica Electro 35.

A good use of this camera in action situations, such as street photography, is to apply a per-focus to increase its performance. And once again, it takes a little love to learn to get used to it and deal with its limitations.

Hi-Matic’s Battery

The Hi-Matic 7SII was originally designed to be used with a 1.35v mercury battery which of course is no longer found today. The alternative to this type of batteries are 1.4v Zinc-Air batteries or the well-known “Wein cell” that can be easily found on the internet.

Conclusions

The Hi-Matic is a camera for amateurs, and as such it should be treated, that is, it has great advantages in terms of its size and this is great to make use of it in various situations.

If you know how to take advantage of each of its qualities, you will get magnificent results from it. It is intended for casual use (portraits, landscapes and whatever) or for experimenting with street photography.

Hi-Matic 7sii Sample Photos

VIDEO

Maximilian Heinrich has also done his own review that is worth watching.


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