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Experience Report: Nikon N2020

The Nikon N2020 is user-friendly and offers a classic SLR design, but most importantly, it has auto-focus.

As an avid photography enthusiast, I have a soft spot for my Minolta XD-11 and Minolta X-700 cameras. However, my less-than-ideal vision, resulting from cataract surgery in the early 2000s and multiple eye surgeries in 2019, have made manual focusing challenging. While my everyday activities are manageable, photography requires more precision. Therefore, I sought to purchase a 35mm film camera to accommodate my needs.

Here's a concise list of the features I desired:

  • Autofocus and manual capability
  • Classic design reminiscent of late 1970s and 1980s film cameras
  • Programmed auto-exposure mode
  • Aperture priority and Shutter priority modes
  • Manual ISO dial
  • Exposure compensation dial
  • Solid and durable construction

After seeking advice from Jim Grey and reading reviews online, I decided the Nikon N2020 (Nikon F-501) was the perfect fit. I scoured eBay and KEH for weeks without purchasing until one fortuitous spring morning in Princeton. While walking around with my Fuji X-T3, I "stumbled" into the New York Camera of Princeton. It鈥檚 interesting how often I stumble into New York Camera of Princeton. 馃檪

After a short conversation about my needs, the shop owner handed me a clean and functional Nikon N2020 from the display case and even replaced the batteries for me to test. The camera felt good in my hands, and the AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens provided with it seemed capable. After a brief overview of its essential features and several presses of the shutter, I couldn't contain my excitement, especially when they offered the body and lens for a reasonable price of $87.

Specification Details
Camera Type Film SLR
Film Format 35mm
Lens Mount Nikon F Mount
Shutter Type Electronically controlled focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed Range 30 seconds to 1/2000th of a second
Exposure Modes Program, Aperture Priority, Manual
ISO Range 25 - 5000
Built-in Light Meter Yes
Viewfinder Type Pentaprism Viewfinder
Autofocus Yes
Multiple Exposure Yes
Self-Timer Yes
Battery Two 3V CR1/3N or DL1/3N lithium batteries
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 146 x 91.5 x 59 mm
Weight Approx. 470 grams (body only)
Fujichrome PROVIA 400F - Expired 路 Wednesday 19 April 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

The Nikon N2020, released in 1986, was a groundbreaking camera that revolutionised photography with its autofocus technology. It made focusing quicker and more accurate, a significant advantage for capturing moving subjects and action shots. Despite the technology's limitations compared to modern cameras, the N2020's autofocus is considered quick for its time, and it helped make photography more accessible to a wider audience.

Auto Focus: Auto Focus is the main reason I wanted this camera. The N2020 utilises Nikon's first-generation autofocus module, with 96 CCDs focused on a subject in the centre of the frame. Later modules, like the AM200 used in the F4, had 200 CCDs. The autofocus uses a "screw drive" mechanism, where the camera body's motor drives the lens. Nikon labelled the initial screw drive lenses as "AF" or "AF-D." Nowadays, most autofocus lenses have motors within the lens but are powered by the camera body, resulting in less noise and vibration.

Despite being slower than modern cameras, the N2020's autofocus is still capable, particularly in well-lit conditions. It performs better in daylight than in low-light situations. The camera can achieve "focus lock" by half-depressing the shutter, allowing you to reframe while maintaining focus. However, the screw drive autofocus generates some noise during operation.

The N2020 offers "single" and "continuous" autofocus modes. In "single" mode, the shutter will not release until the subject is focused, allowing for focus lock and reframing. The "continuous" mode attempts autofocus tracking but is not very effective.

Fujichrome PROVIA 400F - Expired 路 Wednesday 19 April 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Viewfinder: My copy of the Nikon N2020 has a reasonably clear and uncluttered viewfinder, although it may be less bright than other models. The viewfinder displays LEDs for the shutter speed on the right side and focusing indicators at the bottom, providing essential information for composing shots.

By default, the camera has a "Type B" focusing screen. However, you have the option to replace it with either a proprietary "Type J" screen (matte/fresnel with a centred microprism) or a "Type E" screen (grid).

Focus Assist: The Nikon N2020 allows most manual focus Nikon lenses to utilise its autofocus sensor for "assistance." By half-pressing the shutter button, you activate the sensor, and arrows and a circle will appear at the bottom of the viewfinder. Once the centre circle turns "green," it indicates that the lens is in focus. This focus assist feature is valuable and has been incorporated into subsequent higher-end Nikon film SLRs.

Exposure Modes: The Nikon N2020 offers three program modes: aperture priority and manual operation. In program modes, only the shutter speed is shown in the viewfinder. "Program" is a fully automatic mode setting both aperture and shutter speed. "Program Hi" sets a higher shutter speed and wider aperture. "Program Dual" switches to "Program Hi" for lenses 135mm or longer; otherwise, it uses regular "Program." Aperture priority mode lets users choose the aperture, while manual allows setting both shutter speed and aperture. The camera indicates meter mismatches by blinking the shutter speed.

Fujichrome PROVIA 400F - Expired 路 Wednesday 19 April 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Auto Film Loading: With auto film loading, the Nikon N2020 streamlines the process of loading film, making it quick and efficient for photographers to start capturing their images without requiring extensive manual film threading. Push the shutter button after loading the film canister to activate this feature. There is no automatic film rewind.

Under Exposure Warning Alarm: The Nikon N2020 features an underexposure warning alarm with a switch on the top. If the selected shutter speed and aperture combination is insufficient for the lighting conditions, it produces a loud beep. However, you have the option to disable this feature if desired.

Motor Drive: The Nikon N2020 has an integrated motor drive for continuous shooting. However, the motor drive on this camera is relatively loud and lacks sound-dampening, which means it can be noticeable during operation.

The N2020 can achieve up to 2.5 frames per second in the fastest continuous shooting mode. This rate is comparable to other non-professional cameras of its time. Under normal ideal shooting conditions, the camera can sustain a continuous shooting speed of about 1.5 to 2 frames per second.

Fujichrome PROVIA 400F - Expired 路 Wednesday 19 April 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

While the continuous shooting capability is useful for capturing fast-paced action or sequences of shots, the noise produced by the motor drive might be a consideration for photographers who prefer a quieter shooting experience, especially in quiet or discreet shooting environments. However, for situations where capturing multiple frames in quick succession is essential, the Nikon N2020's motor drive provides a functional and effective tool for those needs.

Film Speed: The Nikon N2020 offers versatile film speed options for various shooting scenarios. The ISO dial has a DX setting, automatically recognising and reading the film's coded information from DX-coded film cassettes. This simplifies the shooting process, as the camera sets the appropriate ISO speed of the film automatically, ensuring accurate metering and exposure settings.

For non-DX coded film cassettes or if the photographer wants to override the DX setting, the N2020 allows manual film speed selection. Users can manually choose any film speed between 25 to 3200 ISO. This wide range of manual film speed selection ensures compatibility with various types of 35mm films, including those with non-standard or specialised ISO ratings.

DX and manual film speed options allow photographers to use a wide array of film stocks, adjust sensitivity to lighting conditions, and accommodate creative preferences. Whether shooting with standard DX-coded films or experimenting with unique film emulsions, the Nikon N2020 provides the necessary versatility to achieve optimal exposure.

Fujichrome PROVIA 400F - Expired 路 Wednesday 19 April 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

Exposure Compensation: You can override the camera's automatic metering and fine-tune the exposure for specific shooting conditions or creative effects. Located on the ASA dial, there is a dedicated wheel that enables exposure compensation adjustments ranging from -2 to +2 stops. To dial in the desired negative or positive exposure compensation value, simultaneously press an adjacent button and rotate the exposure compensation wheel.

Flounder Brewing 路 June 25, 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 路 FUJICOLOR PRO 400H

The Nikon N2020's sturdy build quality and ergonomic design make it comfortable to handle during shooting sessions. Its versatile shutter speed range of 30 seconds to 1/2000th of a second, with a bulb mode, allows for creative photography, including long-exposure shots.

The camera's ISO range from 25 to 5000 offers flexibility in adapting to various lighting conditions, and it supports both DX-coded film and manual ISO adjustments.

Flounder Brewing 路 June 25, 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 路 FUJICOLOR PRO 400H

The N2020鈥檚 compatibility with Nikon's F-mount lenses, renowned for their backward compatibility and extensive range, is a significant advantage. While the 43mm "perfect normal" focal length more closely matches the human eye鈥檚 perspective, the 50mm focal length was popularised by Leica, and it quickly became "standard." The "standard" AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lens sold with the camera is a versatile, high-quality prime lens suitable for portraits, street photography, and low-light conditions.

Specification Value
Name AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Manufacturer Nikon
Maximum Aperture f/1.8
Minimum Aperture f/16
Mount Type Nikon F
Lens Type Fixed Focal Length
Focal Length 50mm
Angle of View 46掳
Minimum Focus Distance 0.45m
Lens Construction 6 elements in 5 groups
Diaphragm Blades 7
Autofocus Yes
Filter Size 52mm
Weight 185g
Dimensions (DxL) 64.5 x 39mm
Recommended Yes

So, what鈥檚 my conclusion? The Nikon N2020 provides a user-friendly experience, featuring intuitive controls, a bright viewfinder, and a classic 1980s SLR design. Its autofocus technology, versatile features, and lens compatibility make it an excellent choice for amateur 35mm film photography enthusiasts.

Flounder Brewing
Flounder Brewing 路 June 25, 2023 路 Nikon N2020 路 AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 路 FUJICOLOR PRO 400H

I exposed three 35mm film cartridges: an expired 36-exposure roll of Fujichrome Provia 400F, a roll of ORWO Wolfen Color NC500, and a fresh 36-exposure cartridge of Fujicolor Pro 400H.

The Fujichrome Provia 400F was underexposed. I had forgotten to override the automatic DX settings that the camera read from the cartridge. The Fujichrome Provia 400F was exposed at box speed.

All the films were developed at Boutique Film Lab and scanned on my Epson Perfection V600. The Fujicolor Pro 400H and ORWO Wolfen Color NC500 negatives were converted using Negative Lab Pro.

Experience Report: Minolta XD-11

A "new to me" Minolta X-700 camera made me fall in like with 35mm film photography again. A "new to me" XD-11 made me jump for joy.

The Minolta X-700 was the pinnacle of Minolta's final manual-focus SLR camera series. Minolta made X-700s for 20 years starting in 1981. Minolta aimed the X-700 at the advanced amateur, giving it aperture priority and program autoexposure. The novice photographer twisted the lens until the viewfinder image was crisp and then pressed the shutter button. The X-700 took care of the rest.

A used Minolta X-700 camera reignited my passion for 35mm film photography. It's funny how certain cameras click with you, pun intended. My Pentax SP II and ES II were nostalgic buys, but using them felt more like a chore than a joy.

In the summer of 2020, I took my X-700 for a day trip with Bhavna down the shore, and I had an entirely exciting experience. The X-700 just felt right in my hands, and the shots I got were some of my favourites.

That experience sparked my curiosity to dig deeper into the world of Minolta cameras. It's incredible how the right camera can inspire and motivate you to explore your craft further. Now, I'm on a journey to learn all there is to know about Minolta's gems. Who knows what photographic adventures lie ahead?

While aperture priority shooting is my default for any camera, I was concerned that there would be action shots where exposure priority would be needed. Did Minolta have an exposure-priority 35mm film camera that was as fun to use as the X-700? My search discovered that Minolta had created a professional-quality modern multimode Minolta "X series" SLRs mostly made of metal- the XD-5, XDs, XD-7 and XD-11.

Minolta had some interesting naming conventions for its products, making a point to have distinct names in the Japanese, European and US markets for almost everything. The XD-7 is the European and Japanese market version of the XD-11: same camera, different badge. The XD-11 was sold in silver and black models. I found many silver-bodied XD-11s for sale online, but I prefer the black body. The black model was more expensive, and consequently, fewer were sold. Thus, the black XD-11 body is much more costly and desirable in today's used market. After several weeks of searching eBay, Etsy, KEH and anywhere else that sold film cameras, I found an XD-11 body on Facebook Marketplace. After a quick negotiation on price and an agreement that I would pay shipping instead of collecting in person, my "new-to-me" camera arrived from Pennsylvania.

The X series uses Minolta MD and MC mount lenses. Unlike MC lenses, MD lenses have an extra coupling arm for use with multimode metering. The older MC (Meter Coupled) lenses can be used on "X series" cameras but not in the exposure-priority mode.

Minolta XD-11
Minolta XD-11 路 Friday 1 January 2021 路 FujiFilm X-T2 路 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

My XD-11 camera was sold as "body-only", but this was not a problem since I already had a standard MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 and a JC Penny 80-200 Zoom that came with the Minolta X-700. The MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 is a superlens, but I prefer a field of view closer to that of the human eye for general use. A few months later, I purchased an MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2 lens, a versatile manual focus lens often hailed for its solid performance and compact design. Its 45mm focal length falls within the "normal" range, making it great for everyday photography. This became my primary lens for the XD-11.

Released in 1977, the XD11 was the world's first camera with aperture priority, shutter priority, and a fully metered manual mode.
Minolta developed the XD-11 in conjunction with Leitz, with some websites claiming that the body was the basis for the Leica R4 and, later, as the chassis for the Leica R5, R6 and R7. Leica introduced a more advanced metering system into the body (including spot metering). Still, most other camera features are evident in both bodies.

Inside the film bay, the take-up spool and rewind crank are about as vanilla as possible. Pull up on the crank when loading film, and the door opens. The take-up spool grabs the film leader with authority and pulls it around and into place without hinting at a missed load. Unlike the X-700, the XD-11 has a film load indicator, a minor but delightful feature in a few other era cameras.

The XD-11's fresnel, micro prism spot viewfinder screen is about efficiency. Metered manual mode conveniently displays your chosen aperture and shutter speed, so you don't have to look away. This keeps you immersed in the shot, helping you maintain your creative flow and ensuring accurate settings simultaneously.

Minolta XD-11
Minolta XD-11 路 Friday 1 January 2021 路 FujiFilm X-T2 路 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

The XD-11 camera features a Silicon photocell TTL centre weighted meter, which uses silicon photocells to measure light for exposure accurately. This metering system prioritises the central part of the frame when calculating exposure, striking a balance between accuracy and simplicity. This technology made the XD-11 a reliable choice for photographers.

The ASA range of the XD-11 camera typically spans from ASA 25 to ASA 1600. Remember that these are traditional film sensitivity settings, as digital cameras nowadays use ISO to indicate sensitivity. While I have exposed a 35mm roll of RPX 25, I'm not fond of grain, so I will likely never expose 35mm film at ASA higher than 400.

The Minolta XD-11 uses two 1.5v silver button (S76/SR44) batteries. It can be used without batteries but will lose automatic exposure and light meter functions. You'd need to set exposure manually using your knowledge or an external light meter. If you're comfortable with manual settings, it's feasible; otherwise, having fresh batteries would maintain the camera's automatic features.

The Depth of Field (DoF) preview button on the XD-11 camera lets you check how much of your scene will be in focus at the selected aperture. It's a helpful feature for adjusting focus and composition before capturing the shot.

The "safe-load" indicator on the XD-11 is a valuable feature that helps users load film accurately, minimising the risk of misalignment or incomplete loading. It provides a visual confirmation that the film is securely in place, assuring the overall reliability of the camera during the film-loading process.

Minolta XD-11
Minolta XD-11 with MD Rokkor-X 45mm F:2 路 Friday 1 January 2021 路 FujiFilm X-T2 路 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

The Self-timer on the XD-11 offers a delay option for hassle-free self-portraits or group shots. It's a handy feature that lets you compose your shot before the shutter clicks.

Shutter priority mode on the XD-11 lets you choose the desired shutter speed while the camera handles the aperture. It's handy for controlling motion in your shots, whether freezing action with a high speed or adding motion blur with a low one. It strikes a nice balance between manual control and convenience.

The XD-11 camera has a Seiko electronically controlled metal focal plane shutter with step-less speeds from 1/1000 to 1 second in automatic and stepped speeds, including "B" in metered manual mode. Flash sync operates at 1/100s with the "X" shutter dial setting. The XD-11 offers full mechanical operation at settings "O" (1/100 sec) and "B." In shutter priority mode, it provides electronic automatic aperture control and a final check metering system. This ensures exposure accuracy by stopping the lens down for assessment, a feature shared with the Minolta X-700. The XD-11 combines electronic innovation with mechanical reliability for precise photographic outcomes.

The Minolta XD-11 offers an exposure compensation range of around 卤2 EV in 13 EV steps. This allows you to adjust brightness by up to two stops in either direction for creative control in your film photography.

The Minolta XD-11 weighs about 620 grams (1.37 pounds) and measures around 142mm (5.6 inches) in width, 92mm (3.6 inches) in height and 48mm (1.9 inches) in depth. Minolta balanced a solid build and manageable weight for that era.

I've had experience with 35mm film SLRs, so using the XD-11 was old hat. However, I took the time to review the manual to ensure I was using it correctly. Unless mentioned otherwise, all the photos were taken using the aperture-priority mode.

Brick Farm Tavern July 4th BBQ
Brick Farm Tavern July 4th BBQ 路 Saturday 3 July 2021 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2
Beneduce Vineyards Gew眉rztraminer
Beneduce Vineyards Gew眉rztraminer 路 Saturday 14 August 2021 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
Race Street, Frenchtown
Race Street, Frenchtown 路 Sunday 19 December 2021 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD ROKKOR-X 50mm F1.7
Bhavna 路 Saturday 22 January 2022 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
Asbury Park Boardwalk
Asbury Park Boardwalk 路 Sunday 24 April 2022 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2
Asbury Park Boardwalk
Kingston Locktender's House 路 Sunday 5 March 2023 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2

Experience Report: Minolta X-700

Sharing my thoughts on a time-tested SLR with an elegant design and user-friendly interface that pays homage to Minolta's reputation as a camera manufacturer.

I purchased my first 35mm film camera, a Pentax P3, in 1987 for a college photography course. However, after buying my first digital camera in 2000, I stopped using the Pentax P3. It wasn't until the summer of 2019 that I picked it up again.

I prefer aperture priority, and I wanted to try out some unusual film stocks that don鈥檛 have DX coded. The Pentax P3 has Shutter Priority and Program Autoexposure modes only. The Pentax P3 does not have manual ISO settings. The DX coding on the film canister determines the ISO setting on the P3. These are the main reasons I purchased the Minolta X-700. At the time of [purchase in 2020], it had been nearly twenty-five years since I used a manual focus 35mm film camera.

I bought the Minolta X-700 in 2020 because the Pentax P3 lacked certain features I preferred, such as aperture priority and manual ISO settings. The Minolta X-700 offered these features and more. It was the first manual focus 35mm film camera I had used in nearly twenty-five years.

AMA Pizza e Cucina at Flounder Brewing's Beer Garden | Saturday 10 October, 2020 | Minolta X-700 | 45mm f/2 MD Rokkor-X

The Minolta X-700 was first manufactured in 1981. It quickly gained popularity and became one of Minolta鈥檚 most successful 35mm SLR cameras. The Minolta X-700 is still highly regarded for its advanced features and user-friendly design, making it a favourite among amateur and professional photographers. Its introduction marked a significant milestone in the history of Minolta cameras.

The Minolta X-700 had several competitors during its time, but one notable rival was the Canon AE-1. The Canon AE-1 was also a highly popular 35mm SLR camera introduced a few years before the Minolta X-700 in 1976. Both cameras offered advanced features and were targeted at photography enthusiasts. The Canon AE-1 gained a strong following due to its reliable performance, innovative design, and extensive system compatibility. The competition between the Minolta X-700 and the Canon AE-1 was fierce, with both cameras vying for the attention of photographers seeking a high-quality SLR camera.

Sunday 21 August 2022 路 Minolta X-700 路 MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2

The Minolta X-700 has a range of exposure modes to cater to different shooting scenarios and user preferences. In its day, the Minolta X-700 introduced a revolutionary Program mode, which allows photographers to rely on the camera's built-in exposure program. In this mode, the camera automatically selects both the aperture and the shutter speed based on the lighting conditions. I will typically use this when the lighting changes rapidly between scenes.

The Minolta X-700 has TTL metering, which measures light levels through the lens to the light meter. This technology ensures accurate exposure readings and improves the overall precision of the camera's automatic and manual exposure settings. I am not a fan of using the Sunny 16 rule. I can鈥檛 imagine using a camera without TTL metering.

The Minolta X-700 has an Aperture Priority mode, denoted by the "A" on the mode dial. In this mode, I can manually select the desired aperture value, and the camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to achieve the appropriate exposure. Aperture Priority mode provides greater control over the depth of field. Aperture Priority mode is the default setup on all of my cameras, digital or analogue. As long as the camera can maintain a usable ISO and shutter speed, I have control over what elements in the photograph are in focus. I don鈥檛 care much about shutter speed unless I do fast action or long-exposure photography.

The Minolta X-700 allows photographers to create multiple exposures on a single frame, enabling artistic and experimental image compositions. Multiple-exposure photography is something I have done a handful of times on a digital ILC1. It鈥檚 not my cup of tea.

Garfield Way 路 Monday 20 February 2023 路 Minolta X-700 路 MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm F2.8 路 ISO 400

The Minolta X-700 does not have a Shutter Priority mode. I expect to photograph slow-moving (street scenes, etc.) or stationary subjects (landscapes)鈥攖he Aperture Priority mode is good enough for most of what I intended to photograph.

The Minolta X-700 has a wide range of shutter speeds, from 1 second to 1/1000th of a second. This range allows me to capture subjects in various lighting conditions, from long exposures to freeze fast-moving action. In traditional mechanical shutters, the speed is set using discrete settings, such as 1/1000, 1500, 1250, and so on. However, the Minolta X-700's shutter operates differently. In aperture priority mode, the Minolta X-700's step-less shutter mechanism utilises an electronically controlled cloth focal-plane shutter. Instead of having fixed shutter speed settings, the camera can adjust the shutter speed continuously within a specific range.

Princeton University 路 Monday 20 February 2023 路 Minolta X-700 路 MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm F2.8 路 ISO 400

The Minolta X-700 features a Manual mode, marked by an "M" on the mode dial. In this mode, I can control the aperture and the shutter speed settings for precise exposure adjustments based on personal preferences or creative needs. Manual mode is useless in any situation (e.g. bird photography, sports, street) requiring quick adjustments to aperture and shutter speed. I rarely use this mode unless I photograph landscapes, and even then, I would default to aperture priority mode. f/16 anyone?

The Minolta X-700 has a Bulb mode, designated by a "B" on the mode dial. When the camera is set to Bulb mode, the shutter remains open as long as the shutter button is held down. This mode is ideal for long-exposure photography, such as capturing star trails or fireworks. I have not done any long-exposure photographs on a film camera.

The Minolta X-700 had a flash sync speed of 1/60th of a second. This is the standard sync speed for the camera's built-in flash and compatible external flashes, ensuring proper synchronisation between the flash burst and the camera's shutter operation.

Kingston Locktender's House 路 Minolta XD-11 路 路

The Minolta X-700 utilises the Minolta SR lens mount system, which is compatible with a vast selection of high-quality Minolta lenses. The Minolta SR lens mount system, also known as the Minolta MC/MD mount, is a widely used lens mount introduced by Minolta in the 1960s. The Minolta SR lens mount system is designed for Minolta's manual focus SLR cameras, including the Minolta X-700. It is a proprietary lens mount specific to Minolta cameras, ensuring compatibility between Minolta cameras and Minolta lenses. I have three lenses, the MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7, MD Rokkor-X 45mm f/2, and MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm f/2.8, all performing perfectly on the Minolta X-700.

The Minolta SR lens mount system gained popularity due to its adaptability. I can also mount lenses from other brands onto their Minolta cameras through adapter rings. This adaptability expands the range of lenses used with the Minolta X-700, providing me with more options. Adapters were available for various lens mounts, including popular mounts like Nikon F, Canon FD, Pentax K, M42 and more. The M42 screw mount is also a popular camera mount system with many lenses. I bought an M42 to SR mount adapter to use my SMC Takumar 55 mm f/2 lens on my Minolta X-700.

Kingston Grist Mill 路 Sunday 5 March 2023 路 Minolta XD-11 路 MD Rokkor-X 45mm F2 路 ISO 100

The Minolta X-700 has clean lines, a compact and lightweight body, and a modern appearance. The Minolta X-700 has a relatively small and lightweight body, making it easy to carry and handle. My version of the Minolta X-700 has a black body with metallic accents, including the lens mount, shutter release button, and dials. This colour scheme has a timeless and professional look. The Minolta X-700 has a well-designed grip and ergonomic layout of buttons and controls, allowing for comfortable and intuitive handling.

The Minolta X-700 has a well-designed ergonomic layout, with strategically placed controls and buttons for easy operation. The Minolta X-700 has tactile and responsive control dials and buttons. The controls are well-spaced and logically arranged. I find it intuitive to access and adjust settings quickly. The solid feel of the dials and buttons adds to the overall tactile experience of operating the camera. The Minolta X-700 has a user-friendly design, intuitively placed controls, and a straightforward, easy-to-read interface. The camera's layout is straightforward. I quickly familiarised myself with its functions and settings.

Montgomery Hills neighbourhood in the snow
Montgomery Hills 路 Tuesday 7 March 2023 路 Minolta X-700 路 MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 路 ISO 50

The Minolta X-700 has a bright, clear viewfinder, which makes for accurate composition and focus. The viewfinder is large, and the informative display, including exposure information and focusing aids, enhances functionality and aesthetics. The Minolta X-700's viewfinder comprehensively displays exposure settings, focus indicators, and battery status. This display makes quick and convenient monitoring of camera settings easy while composing.

The Minolta X-700 has a solid feel. The Minolta X-700 has a durable metal chassis and a robust outer shell, ensuring a sturdy and reliable camera body. The metal construction contributed to its overall durability and longevity.

The Minolta X-700 camera grip provides a comfortable and secure hold, allowing me to handle it for extended periods without discomfort. I think that Minolta struck a balance between being lightweight and substantial. While not the lightest camera in its class, the Minolta X-700 has a manageable weight that I can comfortably carry and use for extended periods. Its size and form factor make it portable and convenient for on-the-go photography.

Montgomery Hills neighbourhood in the snow
Montgomery Hills 路 Tuesday 7 March 2023 路 Minolta X-700 路 MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 路 ISO 50

The Minolta X-700 has a sleek, classic design aesthetic that appeals to me.
The Minolta X-700鈥檚 timeless design has stood the test of time. Its clean lines, smooth contours, and balanced proportions gave it an elegant and understated look. The camera's design exudes a sense of simplicity and sophistication, which is visually appealing. Minolta used a minimalist design, with minimal ornamentation and a focus on functionality. The camera's exterior features clean, uncluttered surfaces, highlighting the essential elements for intuitive operation.

The Minolta X-700 uses high-quality materials, including a sturdy metal chassis and a durable outer shell. The choice of materials ensures durability and adds a premium feel to the camera's design.

Montgomery Hills neighbourhood in the snow
Montgomery Hills 路 Tuesday 7 March 2023 路 Minolta X-700 路 MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 路 ISO 50

The Minolta X-700 prominently displays the iconic Minolta branding on the camera body, including the Minolta logo and model name. These brand markings further added to the camera's aesthetic appeal to me and represented Minolta鈥檚 legacy and reputation as a reputable camera manufacturer.

The design aesthetic of the Minolta X-700 successfully blends elegance, functionality, and a minimalist approach. Its timeless design, premium materials, and attention to ergonomics contributed to a visually pleasing and user-friendly camera that photographers could be proud to carry and use.


  1. ILC is an acronym for interchangeable lens camera. The key feature of an interchangeable lens camera is its ability to detach and swap lenses. This includes film cameras and digital cameras. ?