Modern Classic SLR Series
Minolta X-700 SLR camera - Index Page


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Two classic Minolta SLR camera models have been picked and featured in this PIM website. Here is another classic SLR camera from the same manufacturer that I think is interesting enough and truly deserves a mention in my classic SLR camera profile.

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Joe Westerberg® from Palm Springs, CA U.S.A.. who is a collector for various photo gear, he also has an Ebay Section where occasionally trading some photo equipment. he sent me this image along with another of the Canon AE-1 Program Image(s) copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

I was first attracted to the brand name of Minolta with Minolta XD-7 of 1976, reputed to be the first automatic SLR camera that provide full multimode AE and settled the debate over aperture-preferred vs. shutter-speed-preferred automation because it gives you a choice between either mode. I think we did little justice to the Minolta classic as most people were more familiar with the Canon A-1, a virtual replica of the XD-7 in concept and design but comparatively Canon model has the edge in terms of providing a more complete solution with its huge photographic system components that built around the Canon A-Series bodies. So much for the happening in the marketing scenario faced by the multimode electronic Minolta XD-7/11, while on the other hand, another Minolta classic model, a highly innovative professional class Minolta XK/XM/X-1, has been under the shadow of the mighty Nikon F2, Olympus OM1 & OM2 which stole the limelight during that era and the Minolta has even found competition tough against the less prominent Canon F-1.

The mid price SLR market place were getting a little muddy during the first segment of the '80. Primarily the multimode automation used in SLR camera design kicked started by both Minolta and Canon was excessively being emphasized and followed by competition; many potential SLR consumers were getting a little lost and strangely, automation has not actually benefit the industry as a whole; it has also created a confusing state even for many seasoned photographers. Basically, I felt those bodies have not been designed as user friendly as previous simple-to-operate SLR cameras anymore. Many potential buyers, have in fact turned to alternative of point and shoot cameras rather than getting started to learn how to operate a complicated-to-understand fully auto SLR camera. However, in 1981 - Minolta released a midrange SLR camera which had many industry observers' eyebrows raised because the camera came with an entirely different concept and has reverted back to basic where priority set on user friendliness and ease of operation, it was an instant success.

Minolta marketed the camera under a "MPS" tag line which stands for "Minolta Program System". Commercially, it was a tremendous success for Minolta and it also signified the rebirth of another dominant force in 35mm market place as Minolta continued to spring surprises years that followed. Among them, it has provided another major leap in 35mm SLR development by introducing the world first body integrated autofocus SLR camera a few years later in 1985 with the revolutionary Minolta AF Maxxum 7000.

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On the other hand, Minolta X-700 featured here, has always been remembered as a camera that has added a new lease of life to the dull photographic hardware market during that confusing state of the early '80. It also proved to be a trend setting camera with its simple, friendly and no frills design. Most importantly, the camera has brought some fun back to photography with a simple three basic exposure control modes in Program AE ("P"), Aperture Priority AE ("A") and Manual exposure control modes. Further, TTL OTF flash exposure control was also featured when artificial illumination is required. In particular with the Minolta X-700's Minolta Program System (MPS), it provides a simple focus-and-shoot simplicity of programmed auto-exposure (AE) control: where both aperture and shutter speed are automatically set over a wide range by the camera, with continuous viewfinder LED readout of speeds being set. The program is designed to maintain fastest practicable speeds as light dims, then give audible beeps, if desired, to guard against blur from subject/camera-movement, making the X-700 ideal if you're starting out in photography or if you want full program automation for ease of use or fast-breaking action. Although Program AE has been made available in some other cameras, but it took a X-700 to realize its potential to be a decisive marketing elements in SLR cameras as compared to sheer convenience of P&S cameras.

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Personally, I was even more surprised by Minolta decision to adopt a Aperture Priority AE instead of Shutter Priority AE as virtually, among the big five camera manufacturing players in Japan, only Canon's FD and Minolta's MD lenses were able to provide Shutter Priority AE. Anyway, whatever the reasons, it was a winning marketing formula to X-700. stainless steel bayonet mount of Minolta has a 54 degree rotating angle; it couples with appropriate lenses for full-aperture metering, finder display input, and automatic diaphragm control; with the MD lenses, it provides programmed AE or aperture-priority AE, older MC lenses can only provide aperture-priority AE operation; stop-down meter readings is possible other than MC or MD lenses.

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The clever adoption of Aperture Priority AE over Shutter Priority AE to tailored for requirement of majority of users. Minolta X-700's aperture-priority AE mode lets you control the depth of field but still maintain AE control of stepless shutter speeds fine-tuned for proper exposure with light metered up to the instant of exposure. This mode is excellent for AE photography with the wide range of Minolta SLR system lenses and accessories available, including mirror lenses and close-up bellows - not possible with shutter-priority AE systems. Lastly, for full creative flexibility which may demand for absolute control over selection of aperture values and shutter speeds, the camera can be set independently in any combination in the X-700's metered/full-manual mode.

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Four lovely Xplosive images of the Minolta X-700 early model in chrome & companion Minila X-600 in black; each image sized from 200k ~ 230k Jpeg CLICK TO ENLARGED

Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Dennis Tsang® <srt100x@yahoo.com.hk> from Hong Kong. who is a collector for various Minolta photo gears. Image(s) copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Other handy features of your X-700 include: touch-switch metering that keeps the LEDs on for 15 seconds after you first touch the operating button; a convenient AE lock for holding adjusted-framing meter readings; +/- 2EV stops' exposure adjustment with LED indicator in finder; self-timer with triple-rate visual/audible indications; flash-ready and Flash Distance Checker (FDC) indications in finder; split-image microprism spot and Acute Matte focusing screen; integral front and back grips for surer holding; Safe Load Signal; and a new easy-load take-up spool. A programmed auto flash, multifunction back, and quartz data back complete the Minolta Program System; also available are a new wireless controller, a moderately high speed motor drive and a slower auto winder, and a broad range of other SLR system accessories which include many Macro/Close-up accessories readily in the system. Before using your camera for the first time, study this manual carefully all the way through - or at least all the sections covering your photographic needs. As you read, attach a lens, load batteries, turn the main switch on, and handle your X-700 to acquaint yourself with its parts and features. Then load it with film and proceed to actual picture taking. In this way you can take good photos and begin to realize the broad potential of your X-700.

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Credit: Two fabulous views (60k & 63k) contributed by: Mr. AHands <Identity withheld>, Melbourne Australia.

The Minolta X-700 was, once the longest serving manual focus program auto SLR camera which seen its service lasting close to almost TWO decades. The camera has evolved into a few simpler versions, among them the Minolta X-370, a cheaper virtual X-700 version minus the Program AUTO function was very popular in the west. The production was once shifted to my country in Malaysia during early '90 and later the assembling line was moved to China at its later years of service.

Lastly, as the development of influential Minolta MAXXUM class of AF SLR cameras were largely based on initial foundation laid by the Minolta X-700, so this site, may not be the best Minolta X-700 website available, but content has been carefully compiled to avoid replicating similar resources on the network which serves more to its true objective to serve rather than compete. Along with many other classic cameras featured in this website, this website aims to inspire current owners, support potential future users, and also take the opportunity to chronicle another manual focus photographic legend of modern times.



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Click to open a New Browser Window for a view of the Main Reference Map for Minolta X-700

CONTENTS

NAMES OF PARTS / MAIN FEATURES
TAKING CARE OF YOUR X-700 ......
Strap and case ..................
PREPARING TO TAKE PICTURES
MOUNTING AND CARE OF LENSES

Body and lens caps .... Attaching and removing lenses ..... Care of glass surfaces .....
BATTERIES AND POWER .... Batteries .... Main switch .... Operating button .... Automatic battery check and shutter lock .... Battery holder ...... Cold-weather operation .......
FILM AND
FILM SPEED .... setting film speed ....LOADING AND ADVANCING FILM .... Film-advance lever ... Safe Load Signal/Frame counter .....
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REWINDING AND UNLOADING FILM ....
TAKING PICTURES WITH YOUR X-700 ... Pre-shooting Check * .......
EXPOSURE CONTROL WITH THE X-700
Summary of modes ..... Mode/shutter-speed selector and P/A Lock release ..... Minimum-aperture lock ... Eyepiece cap ...
PROGRAMMED AUTO-EXPOSURE MODE (P mode) ..... Checklist when operating in P mode
**
FUNDAMENTALS OF EXPOSURE ..... COUPLED RANGES AND PROGRAM GRAPH .......
LENS AND MODE COMBINATIONS... .
APERTURE-PRIORITY AUTO EXPOSURE MODE (A mode) ...... checklist when operating in A mode .. METERING WITH THE X-700 ..... AE LOCK .... EXPOSURE-ADJUSTMENT CONTROL..

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As a matter of record: The X-700 SLR, with its innovative MPS "Minolta Program System" was selected as the FIRST "European Camera of the Year " award by EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) in 1981.


***
WHEN TO USE AE LOCK AND EXPOSURE-ADJUSTMENT CONTROL
METERED/FULL-MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE (M mode) ...Check list in M mode ... Long exposures ("B" setting)
FOCUSING.... Focusing aid.... Distance scale ..... Film-plane index ..... Infrared index ....
****
DEPTH OF FIELD ......Preview button.... Depth-of -field scale .....
*****
BLUR FROM CAMERA/SUBJECT MOVEMENT. ...
SUPPORTING THE CAMERA AND RELEASING THE SHUTTER... Slow-shutter-speed warning .....
Mounting camera on tripod ... Self-timer ....... Other ways of releasing shutter

****** CREATIVE CONTROL OF APERTURE AND SHUTTER SPEED
FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ......Connecting flash ...Minolta Flash Comparison Chart .....Minolta Flash Units
ACCESSORIES (
Minolta Program System) ..... Quartz Databack 1 / 2 ... Motor Drive 1..... Power Winder ...Wireless Remote Control Set ..... Interchangeable Focusing Screens
STORAGE & MAINTENANCE
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS .......
Some
Web Resource Guides

A good resource for Manuals for other Minolta SLRs/accessories - External Link
A highly recommended site on Minolta bodies, Rokkor lenses & other Minolta SLRs/accessories - External Link

****: Supplemental information on fundamentals of photography given in boxes

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Note: Many content appeared in this site based largely on a copy of the original X-700 Instruction Manual to construct. Again, a warm reminder, please DON'T mail me asking if there is a PDF copy as there is none available. The best option is to bookmark this site (or print them into hard copies via a printer or just saved those pages to your hard disk. If you seriously think you cannot live without an original user's manual, you may write to Minolta US / Japan or seeking via third party used manual outlets such as www.craigcamera.com or www.manual2go.com which might be retailing reprints, photocopies or original between USD6-00-20-00 a copy.


Previous | NEXT | 1/6 Care, Maintenance and how to setup the X-700 camera begin to use.

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Specification | Main Reference Map

Minolta XD-7/XD-11 | Minolta XK/XM/X-1 |
Minolta X-700 | Maxxum 7000 | Maxxum 7000i

| Message Board | for Minolta X-700 | Maxxum 7000 | Maxxum 7000i
| Message Board | for your Minolta optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Minolta Photographic Equipment

Other Minolta (now Konica-Minolta) resources on the web:
Free Instruction Mannuals in PDF format downloads for:
Minolta X-370 (300) (2.9 MB) | Minolta X-570 (1.9 MB) | Minolta XG-1 (1.8 MB) | Minolta XG-7 (1.5 MB) | Minolta XG-A (1.8 MB) | Minolta XG-M (1.9 MB) | Minolta SR7 (1.5 MB) | Minolta SR-T (7.0 MB) | Minolta SR-T 102 (1.8 MB) | Minolta SR-T 200/201/202 (2.8 MB) | Minolta SR-T 303 (1.7 MB) | Other models & system accessories (USA) All works courtesy of Mr. Jim, lensinc. Ltd. Thank him, as these are not my effort.

About this photographic site.

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Home - Photography in Malaysia


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Credit: Mr. LT Jack B. Nunley <jnunley@insightbb.com> for his images of the Minolta Motor Drive 1 and Power Winder G; Mr. Antony Hands Melbourne Australia <aj_sarah@bigpond.net.au>for two of his fabulous images of the Minolta X-700 and Motor Drive 1; Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, Instruction Manual(s) & brochures published by Minolta and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Minolta", "Rokkor", "X-700", "Dynax" & "Maxxum" are registered trade names of Minolta Optical Inc., Japan. A site dedicated to all Minolta fans worldwide. Site made with an Apple IMac.