Modern Classic SLR Series
Minolta X-700 SLR camera - Part II


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The viewfinder has a clean, neat and easy to navigate LED light metering display with essential key information well positioned to aid the photographer. The aperture is located at the bottom section of the screen. The typical standard screen type came with a microprism with split image rangefinder; naturally, you can change and set your own preference with the change of the focusing screen type.
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Mode indicators
M: Metered manual
A: Aperture-priority AE
P: Programmed AE (blinks if lens not set at minimum aperture or non-MD lens in use
Over-range LED
Shutter-Speed Scale/LEDs LED indicates stepless speed set by camera in P and A modes LED indicates stepped speed recommended in M mode "60" LED blinks at 2Hz as flash-ready indicator with PX- and X-series Auto Electro flashes "60" LED blinks at 8Hz as flash-distance checker (FDC) with PX-series Auto Electro flashes

Under-range LED
Exposure-adjustment LED
Aperture setting

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Focusing screen Split-image spot, microprism band, and Acute Matte field - exchangeable with eight other screens at authorized Minolta service facilities

Credit:- Image courtesy of Mr. Chris ENGELER who operates a Ebay Store. All images appeared herein are Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Taking Care & Maintenance of your X-700

The Minolta X-700 is a high-precision instrument which was also designed to provide many years of trouble-free picture taking if used and cared for properly. As the camera is considered obsolete now and has gone way beyond the manufacturer's committed product warranty period; thus, you may not get proper product support from Minolta. It is therefore always wise to spend sometime to look into the preservation of your camera. The precautions you should follow for keeping the camera in good operating condition are given below and at various places throughout the text.

* Always keep your camera in its case with the lens capped when not in use, or with a body cap on when a lens is not attached.
* No part of the X-700 should be forced at any time. If operation is not as you think it should be, carefully restudy the applicable instructions or consult an authorized Minolta service facility.
* Never subject your camera to shock, high heat and/or humidity, water, or harmful chemicals. Be particularly careful not to leave it in the glove compartment or other places in motor vehicles where it may be subject to high temperatures.
* Never lubricate any part of the body or lens.
* Never touch the shutter curtains or the front inside part of the body with fingers or other objects or blow against them, as doing so might damage the alignment and movement of either the curtains or mirror.
* External camera and lens barrel - but not glass - surfaces should be wiped with a soft, silicone-treated cloth now and then, especially after using the camera near salt water.
* Depends on usage, It is recommended to have your camera cleaned once every two years.

Lens-care instructions are also available at other section at this Manual. If you will not be using your camera for an extended period, see the storage instructions at the back of the manual.
Caution: * Before using lenses, flashes or other accessories made by companies other than Minolta, attach them to the camera to make sure they function properly and take test photographs if necessary.

Strap and case
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The strap (provided with camera) and case (sold separately) should be attached as shown to keep your camera handy for use and to protect it from being dropped or bumped.

NOTE: The protective plastic film on the camera's base can be removed if desired.

PREPARING TO TAKE PICTURES The next four sections cover things you must do to prepare your camera for taking pictures: 1) Attach lens.2) Insert batteries and turn main switch on. 3) Set film speed

Load camera with film You must always install batteries properly and turn on the main switch before loading film; the order of other steps may vary. Instructions for rewinding and unloading film are also given in this part. We recommend reading them before starting to use your camera, so that you will be sure as what to do when you come to the end of the film roll.

MOUNTING AND CARE OF LENSES

Body and Lens Caps
CAUTIONS: Most often the lens determine the quality of a picture, so you need to take extra care of your lens as well. Always cap the rear end of the lens and the lens mount of the camera when the lens is not attached, and the front of the lens when the camera is not in use.

* To prevent damage to the control pins, never set a lens with its rear end down unless a rear lens cap is on.
* If it is necessary to set an un capped lens with its front end down, do so on a smooth surface Fisheye lenses should always be capped before being placed from end down.
* Keep lenses, properly capped front and rear, in their cases when not in use.

To attach lenses After removing the body cap and rear lens cap, align the red mounting index on the lens barrel with the red index on the camera's lens mount, insert the lens bayonet into the socket, then turn the lens clockwise until it locks into place with a click. The Minolta SLR bayonet of integrally lubricated stainless steel (54° rotating angle); coupling for full-aperture metering, finder display input, and automatic diaphragm control, providing programmed or aperture-priority auto operation with Minolta MD lenses, aperture-priority auto operation with MC and other Minolta SLR interchangeable lenses/accessories.

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To remove lenses While pushing the lens-release button, turn the lens counterclockwise as far as it will go, then lift it out of the mount.

CAUTION: Be careful not to touch anything inside the camera when attaching or removing lenses.Care of glass surfaces

*
Never touch lens or eyepiece surfaces with fingers or other objects. If necessary, remove loose matter with a blower brush. Use ONLY special photographic lens tissue (facial tissue is not delicate enough) or a soft, clean cloth to remove smudges or fingerprints with a gentle circular motion. Only if absolutely necessary, the tissue may be moistened very slightly with not more than one drop of a satisfactory quick evaporating fluid cleaner specially compounded for photographic lenses. Such fluids must never be dropped directly on the glass surface. * Never lift the mirror or touch its surface, as doing so might damage the alignment. Small smudges or fingerprints on the mirror will not affect the meter reading or image quality; if they are very annoying, have the camera cleaned at a good authorized service facility.

BATTERIES AND POWER

The X-700 is not an mechanical SLR camera and it needs battery to power its functions One classic problem when related to malfunctioning of camera usually arise from power issues and it justifies to spend sometime to check proper installation and usage of power cells with your X-700.

Batteries For operation of the X-700's circuitry and shutter, use one of the following types of batteries: Two 1.55v silver-oxide (SR44: Eveready S-76, EPX-76, or equiv.) Two 1.5v alkaline-manganese (LR44: Eveready A-76 or equiv.) One 3v lithium (CR-1/3N) CAUTIONS: * Never use 1.35v mercury batteries (MR44: Eveready EPX-675 or equiv.), which have a similar shape and size.
* To avoid battery leakage or bursting, do not mix batteries of different types, brands, or ages.
* Used batteries should not be disposed of in fire.

WARNING: Keep batteries away from young children.

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1. Unscrew counterclockwise and remove the battery-chamber cover on the camera bottom.
2. After wiping the terminals with a clean, dry cloth, hold the batteries by their edges and insert them plus (+) side out into the sleeve on the inside of the cover.

3. Replace the cover and screw it in clockwise as far as it will go.

Main Switch

For the camera's circuitry and shutter to operate, the main switch must be set at either "ON" or "ON ". The latter position should be used when you want audible beeps during self-timer operation or an audible warning whenever the shutter speed set or recommended by the camera is 1/30 sec. or slower. (For the slow-shutter-speed warning to function, the operating button must be touched or slightly pressed.). The X-700 is one of the few camera that pioneered the audible beeps and it has since been much copied on many other SLRs.

Some may find this feature irritating but some find it useful as a good hearing aid, anyway, it is a matter of personal preference (it can be turned off). The tiny opening at the pentaprism is for that audible purpose.

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To prevent accidental exposures and battery drain, move the main switch to "OFF" when you are done taking pictures. (When the switch is left on, however, battery drain occurs only if the operating button is touched, so you may want to leave it on to avoid missing unexpected shots.)

Operating Button

Touching the operating button in the center of the mode/shutter speed selector activates the camera's meter, viewfinder LED display, and exposure-control system. If proper contact is not possible (e.g., in cold weather, when fingers are excessively dry, or when wearing gloves), press the button slightly. The shutter is released when the operating button is pressed all the way down.

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For easier operation of other controls while viewing through the finder, the circuits will remain on for 15 sec. after you first touch the button. NOTE: If the operating button becomes dirty or greasy, turn off the main switch and wipe the button with a clean, dry cloth.

Automatic battery check and shutter Lock

If any LED in the viewfinder lights up when the main switch is on and the operating button is touched or slightly pressed, the batteries are inserted correctly and have sufficient power for operation of the camera. When battery power decreases to a point almost insufficient for camera operation, the LED display will no longer light up, serving as a warning to insert fresh batteries as soon as possible. When battery capacity is no longer sufficient,the shutter will not operate.
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Battery holder

Fresh spare batteries can be stored in the battery holder threaded on the camera strap. To insert batteries, form a loop as shown above then drop them in. Slide the holder off the strap to remove batteries.
NOTE * If the camera is not to be used for more than two weeks, it is advisable to remove the batteries (especially old ones).
 

Cold-Weather Operation

Since batteries tend to lose power as they become colder, always use fresh batteries and keep a spare set with you when using your camera in cold weather. For prolonged cold-weather use (approx. 0
° C or lower), silver-oxide batteries are recommended. Battery capacity will be restored as temperatures rise. NOTE * If a lithium battery is used below 0° C, the camera may not operate. * Never transfer the camera directly from low to high temperatures as condensation may form inside and prevent normal operation.

Selecting the appropriate Film and Film Speed Setting

The X-700 uses standard 35mm cartridge film. If you are not already familiar with the many types available, you may want to experiment to find one or more that give pleasing results for subjects you like to photograph or for special situations.
WARNING: IF you have wrongly set the ASA / Film speed on your camera, it will create a direct impact on your eventual exposure of your images of the ENTIRE roll of film inside as all exposure reading may be wrong. The X-700 does not provide a DX coding to auto recognize film speed and you have to set the film speed manually.

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The ISO film speed (incorporating ASA and DIN numbers) indicates the film's sensitivity to light. The first part of the ISO number (equivalent to ASA number) is marked on the X-700's film-speed ring. Each time this number doubles (e.g., from 25 to 50, 50 to 100), the required exposure is halved. Such a change is called one "stop". Though selecting a high-speed film will allow you to take pictures when there is less light, such films in general may produce a grainier image.

Setting film speed
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Lift up on the film-speed ring and turn it until the proper ASA number appears centered in the film-speed window and locks in that position when the ring is released. Marks between numbered graduations indicate speeds shown in the table at right. CAUTION Film should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place before use and exposed before the expiration date printed on the box.

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A handy ISO (DIN-ASA) table, with a surrounding memo holder for keeping the film-box end as a reminder of the film type and number of exposures, is located on the camera back.

Minolta also was the first few that pioneered a thumb rest on the standard film back; together with the very well angled contour front hand grip, they provide a firmer grip in operation.

Loading and Advancing Films

Loading film

Before opening the camera back, confirm that there is no film inside that could be damaged by light if the back is opened, by checking that:
No Red is visible in the Safe Load Signal.
Rewind crank can be freely rotated clockwise many times without pushing rewind button. Since the frame counter advances each time the shutter is cocked even if no film is inside, the camera may be empty even when the index does not point to "S".
Prior to loading film, set the film speed and turn the main switch on.

CAUTION: * Film should be handled and loaded in subdued light - at least shaded from direct sunlight by your body. * Do not touch any parts or areas shown in blue below. When loading film roll, always remember the delicate shutter curtain is directly behind the film emulsion (the danger zone is painted in RED at illustration below), to me it is always an important assignment because over the years, I have seen many deformed shutter curtain caused during film changing. By the way, which was Minolta first DX coded and auto film loading SLR ??

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1. With the case off, pull up on the back-cover release knob until the camera back springs open. Gently blow away any dust or other particles inside with a blower brush.
NOTE: When loading film in a dark place or with the lens cap on, loading will be easier if the mode selector is not set at "P" or "A".

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2. Leaving the knob pulled out, position a 35mm film cartridge as shown with the projecting spool down. Then push the knob all the way in, rotating it slightly if necessary.

NOTE: If the film-advance lever stops at the end of a full stroke during the following steps, release the shutter and continue (main switch must be on).

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3. Pull out enough film leader to just reach the take-up spool, then insert the end into a slot on the left (as shown above), making sure it does not protrude from another slot. A hole in the film should be lined up with the tooth on the take-up spool, and the sprocket teeth should be engaged with holes at the bottom of the film.

If you find it easier to hold the film leader in your right hand, insert the film as shown in the diagram above, making sure the take-up spool tooth is properly engaged with a hole.

4. With the film held against the sprocket by your left hand, slowly operate the film-advance lever until the film is wound firmly around the take-up spool, the sprocket teeth are engaged with holes on both edges of the film, and the slack in the film is taken up.

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5. After making sure the film is taut, close the camera back by pushing in until it clicks shut. A red "S" should now appear opposite the index in the frame counter.


CAUTION: * Slack should be taken up by advancing, not rewinding, the film. If you rewind the slack into the cartridge then later advance the film to "1", the first frame may have already been exposed to light.

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6. Advance film, release shutter, and advance film - until the index points to "'I". A red bar should now appear at far left in the Safe Load Signal, indicating film is loaded and advancing properly. (if it does not appear or swings far to the right, repeat steps 3 to 6.) The camera is now ready for taking the first picture, provided film speed is set.

Film-advance lover
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To allow swinging the film advance lever out from the camera body so the right thumb will fit comfortably behind it, the lever has W of unengaged movement. As the lever is moved an additional 1300, the film and frame counter advance. When it stops at the end of the full 1600 stroke, the shutter is cocked for the next exposure.

Safe Load Signal / Frame counter

As you continue taking pictures and advancing film, the red bar in the Safe Load Signal gradually moves to the right and the rewind crank rotates counterclockwise, indicating proper film advance. Never force the lever when it resists further movement at the end of the film, which may be somewhat before or after the common film lengths (12, 20, 24, 36 exposures) shown in red in the frame counter - The frame counter stops advancing after 36 exposures. The safe film loading was indeed a welcoming feature and I don't think other SLR of other makes have such equivalent feature found in any manual focus and non-DX coded SLR cameras available during that time.

Rewinding and Unloading Film

1. To rewind the film, remove the camera's case if on, then press the rewind release on the camera bottom.
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2. Unfold the rewind crank and turn it in the direction of the arrow until the red bar in the Safe Load Signal moves out of the window to the left. Near the end you will feel tension on the film increase then completely disappear, and the crank will then turn freely.

CAUTION: Never open the camera back when there is any red still visible in the Safe Load Signal.

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3. When you are certain that the exposed film is completely rewound into the cartridge, pull up on the back-cover release knob to open the back, then remove the cartridge. CAUTION: Exposed film should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place and developed as soon as possible.

Previous | NEXT | 2/6 Some Essential Basic Information relating to Photography, Aperture Priority AE and Manual Exposure Control Operations

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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.