Thursday, February 2, 2012

Minolta Hi-matic 7SII

So far the Minolta Hi-matic 7SII has been my best find in an antique shop.  I got it for $10 last fall.  The camera is in excellent condition and came with a case and flash in the same condition.  I didn't know much about this camera when I saw it, however its condition and obvious quality told me it was worth the $10.  A funny thing is that in the same group of cameras there was a fairly common SLR that looked like it had had its hot shoe pulled off with a pair of pliers. The asking price for that camera was $25.  All I can figure is that the dealer was pricing the cameras by size. 

The Minolta Hi-matic 7SII is a compact and light-weight rangefinder with a sharp 40mm f/1.7 Rokkor lens.  It has a very quiet mechanical copal shutter with speeds from 1/8 to 1/500 and B. The rangefinder on mine is bright and easy to see.  I started out in photography at the time when SLRs were taking over from rangefinders.  I had never actually used a rangefinder until a year or so ago.  Back in the old days my eyesight was much sharper than today and focusing an SLR was easy.  Now with my decreased eyesight I often find the rangefinder easier to focus.  

The Minolta Hi-matic 7SII uses a CdS cell that was originally powered by a 1.35v mercury battery.  Since these batteries are now banned you will have to work out a substitute like one of the Wein Cells. Without the battery the camera will still work fine in manual mode.  With the battery you have the option of using shutter priority auto-exposure.  So far I have been using the camera in manual mode and a hand-held meter, however I just got a battery and plan to test out the auto-exposure soon.  I imagine that in auto-exposure mode that this light weight quiet camera will be very good for things like street photography.  

I have been well-satisfied with the results I have had with this camera and it is definitely a keeper.  In fact it is a camera that I think I would enjoy even if it didn't work just because I like the way it looks.  The B&W photos in the gallery below are Legacy Pro 100.  Fuji 800 is the color film. 
Minolta Hi-matic 7SII Gallery