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


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AE LOCK (Auto Exposure Lock) This feature is always more accurate than using the exposure compensation scales as it requires less technical knowledge to determine the degree of exposure adjustment required for any given scenes. To obtain proper exposure in high-contrast lighting situations where your subject is on the edge of the frame or occupies only a small portion in the center, use the AE lock as follows:

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1. Shift the camera's position so the subject fills most of the frame. For small subjects, you may need to move closer.
2. With the viewfinder LED display on, press the AE lock all the way down and hold it there; you may then remove your finger from the operating button if desired.
3. Recompose your picture as desired.
4. Release the shutter while still holding the AE lock down.

NOTES:

* Suggestions on when to use the AE lock are given on other sections.
* The AE lock
cannot be used in M mode or together with the self timer.
* If you wish to change the settings of film speed, exposure adjustment, mode/shutter-speed, or aperture,
do so before pressing the AE lock.
* The AE lock does not operate if pressed while the motor drive is used at "Hi".

EXPOSURE-ADJUSTMENT CONTROL (Exposure Compensation Dial)

WARNING: ALWAYS reset the scale back to neutral value ('0') as any adjustment is like setting the film speed wrongly and it may ruin all exposures in your pictures inside the camera.

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To deliberately increase or decrease exposure from the normal metered value, turn the exposure adjustment control while pressing the lock release until the desired position is aligned with the index. Set minus (-) numbers to darken exposure and plus (+) numbers to lighten exposure, as indicated in the table.

NOTES: The control will lock at "0" and each half-stop setting, though settings between half stops can also be used.
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* When the control is not at "0", the +/ - LED in the viewfinder will blink to let you know exposure is being adjusted.
* Be sure to return the control to "0" after using exposure-adjustment settings.
* Both aperture and shutter speed are changed by exposure adjustment in P mode; in A mode, only shutter speed is adjusted

WHEN TO USE AE LOCK AND EXPOSURE-ADJUSTMENT CONTROL

The following suggestions on when to use the AE lock or exposure-adjustment control can serve as starting points for trial; individual conditions and taste will, of course, determine what exposure you choose.
* In situations where there is a great brightness difference between the subject and background and the most important area is considerably darker than the area surrounding it, use the AE lock to lock the meter reading with the camera positioned so the subject fills most of the finder, or set the exposure-adjustment control at +1/2 to +2 stops. Examples are pictures with strong backlighting and no fill-in illumination (such as photos A and B), or subjects against a background of snow or light-colored sand, unless the bright area occupies a very small part of the frame.
* If the most important subject area is much brighter than the rest of the picture, use the AE lock as above or set the exposure-adjustment control at - 1 /2 to -2 stops. Examples are subjects in a spotlight or shaft of sunlight or against a very dark background (such as photos C and D), unless the background occupies only a small area in the frame.
* When copying documents printed on white stock or on other predominantly light-colored materials, an adjustment of + 1/2 to +2 stops may be necessary. Similarly, you will probably want to make an adjustment of -1/2 to -2 stops for predominantly dark copy material, or that on a dark background.
* When using an R60 (red) filter, adjust exposure +1 stop.

picture1.jpg picture2.jpg picture3.jpg picture3.jpg
A. Without AE lock or adjustment B. Exposure increased C. Without AE lock or adjustment D. Exposure decreased


The same results can be obtained by using the AE lock while framing the face within the rectangle, then recomposing before releasing the shutter.

METERED/FULL-MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE (M mode)

Basic setting
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Set mode/shutter-speed selector at any Position from "1" to "1000". Taking a picture in M mode To use the X-700 in metered- or full-manual mode, first release the mode/shutter-speed selector from "P" or "A" and check to see that the lens is not locked at minimum aperture.

There are two ways to use metered-manual mode:

* When you wish to use a certain shutter speed, first set the selector at any click-stop setting from 1 sec. to 1/1000 sec., then turn the aperture ring until the LED next to that speed lights up. * When you wish to use a certain aperture, first set the aperture ring, then set the stepped shutter speed according to the value recommended by the LED. If two LEDs light up, adjust the aperture ring somewhat until only one lights.
Do not set the shutter-speed selector between click stops. * Number agreement can, of course, be disregarded and any shutter-speed and lens-aperture combination set for full manual operation.

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NOTE * In M mode, the slow-shutter speed warning indicates that the camera-recommended setting - NOT the actual setting - is 1/30 sec. or slower.

Viewfinder shows
:

Red "M" = Manual mode in use
Aperture you selected (equals taking aperture)
Shutter speed recommended by camera for that aperture NOT ACTUAL SPEED SET

Long Time Exposures ("B" setting) When the mode/shutter-speed selector is set at "B", the shutter will open when you press the operating button and remain open until you release it, making exposures longer than one second possible. A tripod or other firm support should generally be used. To avoid jarring the camera when pressing or releasing the operating button, use a standard cable release (preferably a lockable type for longer exposures) or a Minolta electronic remote cord). The eyepiece cap should be used to prevent stray light from affecting the exposure.

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NOTE: * The self-timer does not operate at the "B" setting. * With fresh batteries at moderate temperatures, the maximum long exposure is approx. 3 hours. At lower temperatures, exposure time may be shorter. Exposures up to 6 hours long are possible by using a fresh lithium battery. * For automatically timed long exposures, use the accessory multifunction Back.

Focusing

Focusing aid The X-700's standard focusing screen has a split-image spot surrounded by a band of microprism in the center of an Acute Matte field. To focus the camera visually with usual lenses, look through the viewfinder and turn the focusing ring of the lens until :

Upper and lower subject images in the spot are exactly aligned with no broken lines between them,
Subject image in the band does not shimmer or appear broken up, and
Subject image within the focusing aid appears clearest and seems to blend with that on the matte field surrounding it.

Though the most satisfactory focusing aid and method depend upon the conditions and your personal preference, the above method may provide the best results with medium wideangle to medium telephoto lenses. Generally speaking, however, you will probably find that focusing is easiest if:

infocus.jpg

OUTfocus.jpg

Split-image spot is used for subjects having vertical lines.
Microprism band is used for lenses from medium wideangle through medium telephoto, especially with subjects not having vertical lines.
Matte field is used for longer focal-length lenses or for macro or other work involving considerable lens extension.

NOTE: The X-700's standard focusing screen can be replaced at any authorized Minolta service facility by any of eight optional focusing screens.

Distance
Scale

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You may find that in the following situations it is easier to focus by estimating the distance to your subject, then aligning the corresponding figure on the distance scale with the index: If you are taking long exposures or flash pictures when it is too dark to focus through the lens.

Film-Plane Index
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The symbol beneath the film advance lever indicates the position occupied by the film in the camera. It can be used for measuring the distance from subject to film when taking close-ups, photomacrographs, and photomicrographs, where the exact distance is sometimes important.

Infrared Film Index
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For Proper focus when using infrared film, first focus your subject as usual with visible light, then attach a red filter and turn the focusing ring to the right to align the point of proper focus on the distance scale with the small red dot (or red "R" on MC and old type MD lenses) on the depth-of-fleld scale. Set exposure according to the film manufacturer's recommendations.

DEPTH OF FIELD ("DOF")

SUPPLEMENTARY INFO
: More information is available on this topic at another section in this PIM site.

The range behind and in front of the focused distance within which the image appears acceptably sharp is called the depth of field. It extends a greater distance behind the focused distance (usually about 1/3 in front, 2/3 behind) and is determined by three factors: the aperture, the distance at which the lens is focused, and the focal length of the lens. As illustrated by shaded trees above, depth of field increases as the lens is stopped down (e.g., f/1.7 to f/22) and becomes focused. It decreases as the lens is opened up (e.g., f/22 to f/1.7) and the closer the lens is focused.

dofillus.gif
Depth of field is greater for short-focal-length lenses than for telephotos at the same focused distance and aperture.

It is at its least for any given lens in normal mounting when the lens is at maximum aperture (as when metering and focusing normally with Minolta MD or MC lenses) and at minimum focusing distance.

Depth of Field (DOF) Preview button
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In A and M mode, depth of field at any focused distance and aperture can be checked visually by pushing the preview button all the way in. This will stop the diaphragm down to the aperture corresponding to the f-number set on the aperture ring, allowing you to see through the viewfinder how much of the subject is acceptably sharp.


NOTE: The shutter speed indicated by LED while the preview button is pressed is NOT the actual shutter speed.

Depth-of-field (DOF)
Scales When the lens is focused at a given point, the image will be in satisfactory focus from the nearer value to the farther value on the distance scale indicated by the depth-of-field marks for the aperture in use. For example, if a 50mm f/1.7 lens is focused at 3m (about 10 ft.) and the aperture is f/8, the corresponding graduations to left and right of the index indicate acceptable sharpness from about 2.4 to 4.2m (approx. 8 to 14 ft.).

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The depth-of-field scale can also be used to zone focus, i.e., set the focusing ring so that some anticipated action will take place within the limits of the depth of field.

For example, if you want any subject within a range of 2.6m (approx. 81/2 ft.) to infinity to be reasonably sharp and the lighting conditions allow you to set an aperture of f/16 in A or M mode with a 50mm f/1.7 lens, set the lens so the infinity mark is opposite the "16" on the right end of the scale.

BLUUUUUR EFFECT FROM CAMERA/SUBJECT MOVEMENT

A blurred photograph results when movement of the subject or camera during exposure causes a shift in the position of the image on film. The shutter speed required to "freeze" an object's action normally increases as the object's speed increases; however, no matter what the speed, an object moving across the viewfinder field requires a faster shutter speed than one moving at the same speed directly toward or away from the camera. Similarly, a moving object near the camera (or one appearing nearer due to use of a longer focal-length lens or a close-up accessory) requires a faster shutter speed than one farther away.

Blur from camera motion depends on such factors as the lens being used, the apparent distance of the subject when viewed through the lens, the shutter speed, and the camera-support method. Since longer-focal-length lenses and close-up accessories increase the relative size of the subject, even a slight movement of the camera will be magnified on film; the greater weight and size of such lenses and accessories may also make it difficult to hold them steady. A good rule to follow is that the slowest shutter speed that can be safely used by most people when hand-holding a lens is the reciprocal of the focal length. For example, for a 125mm lens, the speed would be 1/125 sec.; for a 300mm lens, it would be 1/500 (1 /300 raised to the next faster speed to be on the safe side). Use of a sufficiently fast shutter speed is also important when taking pictures from a moving, vibrating vehicle such as a boat, car, train, or plane (especially to prevent blurring the foreground, if any) or from a vibrating object such as a bridge. To reduce transmission of the vibrations through your body to the camera, relax your body and avoid direct contact with the object as far as possible.

CAMERA SUPPORTING AND RELEASING THE SHUTTER

In order to obtain sharp,blur-free photos, it is important to release the shutter gently while keeping the camera as still as possible. Always, regardless of shutter speed, release the shutter with a slow, steady squeeze - never a quick jab - preferably while holding your breath.

focusillus1.jpg focusillus3.jpg focusillus2.jpg
Shown some ways of holding the camera to provide adequate support at normal and fast shutter speeds. If you grasp the camera firmly with your right hand on its front and back grips, you can easily shift it back and forth for horizontal (a) and vertical (b) pictures without removing your hand from its controls.

Also, by cradling the camera in your left hand to support it, you can readily focus and set the aperture, if necessary, then shoot; another way is to use your left hand to focus, then grasp the left part of the body for support. Photo (c) shows an alternative for holding the camera vertically. You should, of course, experiment to find the way that suits you best.

Slow-Shutter-Speed Warning

When the main switch is set at "ON " and the operating button is touched or slightly pressed, a slow-shutter-speed warning will beep if the camera sets (in P or A mode) or recommends (in M mode) a shutter speed of 1/30 second or slower. Though the actual danger of blur from camera or subject movement depends on many factors, including your own ability to hold the camera steady, you may wish to use the figure "30" as a reference point to gouge the chance of blur.

When a slow shutter speed is unavoidable, use one of the following methods (given in order of increasing steadiness) to prevent blur from camera movement:

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* Hold the camera firmly against your face (in horizontal position, place your thumb between camera and face for support), brace your arm(s) against your body, and spread your feet slightly or lean against a tree, etc.

Another way is to kneel on one knee and rest your elbow on the other. * Steady the camera against a post or other firm, non-vibrating support.* Use a mini pod or similar device to prop the camera on a table, ledge, etc. * Mount the camera on a sturdy tripod.

Mounting camera on Tripod/Support For maximum sharpness when making exposures too long to permit hand-holding the camera, as well as for self-timer pictures, mount it on a tripod using the socket on the camera bottom. Release the shutter in one of the ways explained on the next page. CAUTION: Do not use excessive force when attaching the camera to a tripod with a screw that extends more than 5.4mm (1/5 in.).

Self-timer The X-700's electronic self-timer can be used to delay release of the shutter for 10 seconds. To operate it:

seltimerop.jpg
1. Mount the camera on a sturdy support, compose your picture, and focus.
2. Set the mode/shutter-speed selector at any setting other than "B", and make sure the film is advanced. 3. Pull the self-timer switch up.
4. To start the timer, press the operating button.


A visual signal and (if main switch is at "ON ") audible beeps indicate how much time is left before the self-timer releases the shutter. The self-timer LED blinks and the camera beeps as follows:

First 8 sec. twice per sec.
Next sec. eight times
Last sec. continuously


NOTES: 1) If you wish to cancel the self timer after it has been started, push the self-timer switch down or turn the main switch off. 2) Be sure to turn the self-timer off after the picture has been taken. If you do not, the next picture will also be taken after a 10-sec. delay. e When taking self-timer pictures in P or A mode, use the eyepiece cap

Other Alternative Ways of Releasing Shutter: The shutter can also be released by using one of the following: a) Minolta Remote Cord S (50cm, 20 in.) or Remote Cord L (5m, 16-1/2 ft.) b) Minolta Wireless Controller IR-1 Set c) Minolta multifunction Back. The remote cords and cable release should be screwed into the shutter release socket on the side of the lens mount.

Previous | NEXT | 4/6 Creative use of Aperture and Shutter Speeds, system accessories designed for X-700 and personal conclusion

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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.