Minolta XD-7 Test and Review

If you are enthusiastic about shooting on film, but don’t have a camera or come from digital photography, the question naturally arises, which camera should I get?

The usual answers are often Canon AE1-Program, Pentax K-1000, Nikon F3, FE or FM. If you come from the digital world, all three manufacturers are well-known names and perhaps that is why your inclination towards one of the manufacturers decides which model you choose.

However, you can also approach the question differently, namely when you have first-class lenses at reasonable prices at the top of your priority list.

Specs

ExposureCenter-weighted TTL exposure metering from EV 1 – EV18
ISOISO setting from 12 – 3200 + exposure compensation from -2 to +2
Shutter SpeedsShutter speeds of 1/1000s 1s and Bulb with a mechanical emergency time of 1/100s (according to rumors, the camera can also do 1/2000s in automatic mode, although this has not been officially confirmed and I cannot say anything about it due to the lack of measuring equipment)
RewindingPossibility to attach a motor winder
BatteryPowered by 2x 1.5V SR44 or LR44 batteries, which are still easily available today
TimerSelf-timer, variably adjustable up to approx. 10s
Other FeatureEasy way to multiple exposure via the rewind button
Weight560g without lens,
Dimensions51 x 86 x 136mm

History of the Minolta XD-7

In the heyday of analogue cameras in the late 1970s, in 1977 to be precise, the Minolta XD-7 appeared , which was marketed as the XD-11 in the USA and as the XD in Japan.

With the XD-7 , Minolta dared to make the leap from the classic, mechanical SLRs of the SR-T series with the cameras designed for ambitious amateurs .

The development clearly went to electronically controlled cameras. And Minolta was not able to escape this development either.

The invention of P-mode

As early as 1972, Olympus showed with the OM-1 that smaller and lighter cameras are the future. The Minolta XD-7 also slimmed down from 700g to 560g compared to the Minolta SR-T 303b.

The Minolta engineers understood their craft This is also shown by the fact that the Minolta XD-7 was the first camera to offer both aperture priority and aperture priority.

Minolta was probably unaware that the first automatic program was invented at the same time, otherwise marketing would certainly have been only too happy to take advantage of this.

Because if you set the smallest aperture, mode S and a shutter speed of 1/125s, the XD-7 uses the 1/125s time and automatically adjusts the aperture and time, depending on how the lighting conditions change.

The aperture is selected between the smallest possible (e.g. f/ 1.4) and the largest set value (e.g. f/ 16). Interestingly, the aperture range can also be limited in this way if you preselect aperture 8, for example.

Then the automatic selects an aperture between e.g. B. 1.4 and 8, and adjusts the times accordingly when it is darker or lighter. But of course the camera can also be used comfortably in the usual M, S and A modes.

Traditional values ​​– modern technology

However, the camera does not only appeal to fans of automatic exposure, but also to fans of traditional camera construction.

In contrast to its successor, the X-700, the Minolta XD-7 offers a complete metal housing and the option of being operated purely mechanically, without a battery.

You set the shutter speed dial to “O” and thus have a purely mechanical shutter speed of 1/100s. The flash synchronization time is also 1/100s, the X-700 only offers 1/60s here.

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