Topic: Using My Old Minoltas

It started up again some eight weeks ago after reading a piece about a new to him, minolta XK. Thinking back to my first days of picture taking with my XGM I hit the Rokkor Files and I was hooked again. Out came the X-700, the working X-350, my X-7A and just for fun, a SR-7 . Actually. . . . its all fun and that old minolta glass is great. Most of my minolta gear is from 2nd hand stores bought on the cheap when everyone, years ago, just had to go with pixel power. My rangefinders are still my favorites.  but I find its nice to go with the old SLR's. How about you?   Red

Last edited by RED (2014-07-08 15:37:46)

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Well I've never switched over to digital......but for a digital user it can be a fun and a hobby to use a film camera now and again and all should try it.

Nikon FM, F90x, EM, F90x, Canon AV1, A1, T70 & T90, Minolta X-700, SRT101b and AFZ, Pentax S3, Fuji STX-2, Practica MTL3, TL5b, BC1, Chinon Chinon CE,  Konica Autoreflex TC, FS-1 & C35, Yashica T5D, Olympus OM2, Contax139, Ricoh KR-10,  Bronica Etrs, Mamiya RB67 pro AND drum roll:- a Sony DSC-P92
.........past gear Tele Rollieflex and Rollei SL66.

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

The most important is not to use a camera but to get a picture. So the brand is not that important. Take RED's post, replace Minolta by Pentax or Konica (for instance) and it is still valid.

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Zarathustra wrote:

The most important is not to use a camera but to get a picture. So the brand is not that important. Take RED's post, replace Minolta by Pentax or Konica (for instance) and it is still valid.

And sometimes I do replace the Minolta with a Pentax, or a Canon. perhaps a Nikkormat or maybe  a Praktica. The point with me is that most brands do have subtle differences . Those differences add to my enjoyment of the hobby. The handling changes from brand to brand, and most certainly the glass just adds another dimension to the mix. Back in the day when this equipment was new I might have been able to afford only 1 outfit . Getting the picture is important I am only an average user of film. Even though the end product, the picture, may have much room for improvement, my enjoyment of the process adds to my bliss. My renderings may never bring me a sou, but the process is for me, priceless.

Last edited by RED (2014-07-08 15:48:38)

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

More than brands, films do have subtle (and sometimes less subtle!) differences and it is these differences which have a visible impact on the picture. I doubt anyone would point out a difference between a Rokkor and a Nikkor 50mm on any given print...

Now, you are free to enjoy using these cameras but I am more thrilled by the final result (the print) than by the tool (the camera / lens combo).

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

RED wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:

The most important is not to use a camera but to get a picture. So the brand is not that important. Take RED's post, replace Minolta by Pentax or Konica (for instance) and it is still valid.

And sometimes I do replace the Minolta with a Pentax, or a Canon. perhaps a Nikkormat or maybe  a Praktica. The point with me is that most brands do have subtle differences . Those differences add to my enjoyment of the hobby. The handling changes from brand to brand, and most certainly the glass just adds another dimension to the mix. Back in the day when this equipment was new I might have been able to afford only 1 outfit . Getting the picture is important I am only an average user of film. Even though the end product, the picture, may have much room for improvement, my enjoyment of the process adds to my bliss. My renderings may never bring me a sou, but the process is for me, priceless.

Agree in that you can use a sophisticated camera like the Nikon F100 AF or Canon T90 OR just a simple Praktica MTL3 depending on the mood you are in or for "horses for courses use".

Nikon FM, F90x, EM, F90x, Canon AV1, A1, T70 & T90, Minolta X-700, SRT101b and AFZ, Pentax S3, Fuji STX-2, Practica MTL3, TL5b, BC1, Chinon Chinon CE,  Konica Autoreflex TC, FS-1 & C35, Yashica T5D, Olympus OM2, Contax139, Ricoh KR-10,  Bronica Etrs, Mamiya RB67 pro AND drum roll:- a Sony DSC-P92
.........past gear Tele Rollieflex and Rollei SL66.

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

For myself, I prefer the differences in style of the photo that different camera designs bring. I'd agree that most 70s/80s SLRs reached a high degree of competence in terms of film flatness, good lightmetering etc, and they all had great standard lenses as well as the specialist portrait lenses etc. But I couldn't tell a good Nikon photo from a good Minolta photo from a good Pentax photo from a good Olympus photo etc etc etc.

But the difference between a good rangefinder, or TLR, or a 6x9 folder, to an SLR is quite evident. Rangefinder lenses tend to be different designs (i.e Sonnar-types for standard fast 50s, and non-retrofocus wides) and you can see that difference; to me it's a more soulful rendering where SLR lenses (usually Double Gauss derivatives) are more technically "good", while TLRs are getting you into the larger format look, where even a simple triplet lens can look just wonderful.

Last edited by SteveFE (2014-07-08 17:36:17)

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

SteveFE wrote:

For myself, I prefer the differences in style of the photo that different camera designs bring.

This , I can understand for a given format. Different style, yes, different quality, no.  Can you tell me in what David Douglas Duncan's pictures (rangefinder) are different from Don McCullin's ones (SLR)? If there is a qualitative difference, it is certainly due to the fact they used different films, these films were developped differently and their respective printers had different tastes. Compared to that, having a Minolta or a Praktica, a rangefinder or a SLR is negligible.

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

I think photojourmalism is a field where it'd be hard to detect any real difference as they're usually shot at optimal apertures for sharpness and speed etc.

Portraiture though, I do believe that the style of pics exemplified very well in this article, about using a Jupiter-3 on an M9, show a distinct character and focus falloff that is absolutely typical of a short focal length Sonnar design and not reproducible with an SLR and a Gauss fast 50.

http://aperturepriority.co.nz/2012/10/2 … er-3-f1-5/

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

...and not forgetting some people enjoy using Plate and pinhole cameras.

Nikon FM, F90x, EM, F90x, Canon AV1, A1, T70 & T90, Minolta X-700, SRT101b and AFZ, Pentax S3, Fuji STX-2, Practica MTL3, TL5b, BC1, Chinon Chinon CE,  Konica Autoreflex TC, FS-1 & C35, Yashica T5D, Olympus OM2, Contax139, Ricoh KR-10,  Bronica Etrs, Mamiya RB67 pro AND drum roll:- a Sony DSC-P92
.........past gear Tele Rollieflex and Rollei SL66.

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

SteveFE wrote:

I think photojourmalism is a field where it'd be hard to detect any real difference as they're usually shot at optimal apertures for sharpness and speed etc.

Portraiture though, I do believe that the style of pics exemplified very well in this article, about using a Jupiter-3 on an M9, show a distinct character and focus falloff that is absolutely typical of a short focal length Sonnar design and not reproducible with an SLR and a Gauss fast 50.

http://aperturepriority.co.nz/2012/10/2 … er-3-f1-5/


Ths article shows absolutely nothing apart from the fact that one can use a Jup-3 with a M9. BTW, the Jup-3 was not designed to be used with a digital camera but it does not seem to prevent people from making assumptions...

I own a Contax IIa with its wartime Zeiss Sonnar 1.5/50 mm lens. Do I notice specific features from this lens? No. Are the prints different from those I take with my OM1 + Zuiko 50mm? I don't think so at least from the optical standpoint (once again, I believe that different lab works make a huge difference, much more than those coming from cameras and lenses).

Last edited by Zarathustra (2014-07-09 16:18:26)

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

We'll agree to disagree then! If you can't see how that author's sample pics jump out with a seriously special 3D quality I won't convince you by talking (but I'll do it anyway :-). I don't think the recording medium matters that much, and the optical signature of a particular lens design is everything, and Sonnars have it in spades for me. They have a 3-D kind of rendering that Gauss designs simply don't have. The pics from my Zorki-4 with a J-8 simply look qualitatively different from pics taken with an SLR with a fast 50. And you don't even need to shoot wide open to see the difference, better stopped down just far enough to get great subject sharpness with that separation from the background. I also see it in M42 Jupiter-9 pics taken with the SLR, still a Sonnar design and still special.

I'll admit I'm in love with Sonnars. Above all other lenses except maybe Voigtlander Heliars. They have imperfections that you can easily see (they have jittery bokeh wide open and are none too sharp wide open either) but those imperfections give them a unique character that just gets better and better a couple of stops down from wide open. I should back this up with pics!

Jupiter-8, on the Zorki. A rangefinder 50 that can't be used on an SLR due to short backfocal design:

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7378/13043298164_3f1a7e3e83.jpg
zorki031 by SteveFE, on Flickr

Jupiter-9 on an EOS 30D, M42 and SLR usable but still a Sonnar.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5099/5560525087_b5819e24d1.jpg
IMG_0577 by SteveFE, on Flickr

To me both these pics have an entirely different foreground/background rendering to any other lens design even if they're not anything special as portraits. One that I like and strive to get, using my experience with a whole crapload of vintage and modern lenses.

Last edited by SteveFE (2014-07-09 18:26:55)

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

13

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Wow!  ! Started out wanting to share my happiness using my older SLR's.  I still will continue using them, and liking it.   Not being a high paid photojournalist like Mr.  Zarathustra, I only shoot for fun. That is when I take an image and if YOU like it fine if I on the other hand like it or not well that's really  my part. Curiously images taken years ago, on reexamination, sometimes are better than I first thought.   I still enjoy my rangefinders best ,as the old screw mount lenses seem to produce the results I prefer. The Canon 50/!.8 the Jupiter 3, or my CZJ 5cm !,5 There's also a collection of other brands in 5cm 1,2. but then sometimes my collection of wides are the order of the day. Whatever fires your shutter Mr. Zarathustra is all well and good but for my part I'll just keep havin' fun. For me it's always been about the journey. .. ... not the destination.

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Where did I say I am a photojournalist???

Like you, I have fun taking picture but to me the ultimate fun is looking at a print, not playing with toys, I am too old for that.

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

The interactions between men and machines are complex , but rarely neutral . Zarathustra  does not care about the camera which he uses but most of the people  on this Forum  cares about their tools and of the  pictures they get with . I belong to the second category on every aspects : cars, aircraft , cameras ....toys when I was a child .

I am a Pentacon and kiev( MF and35 mm) user,and also :contaxII,III,IIa  ,contaflex , contarex bullseye ,voigtlander ....

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Well e.g. if you want to see the difference in lenses then just compare the swirly bokeh from e.g. Helios lenses. Also some lenses give you more chance of achieving 3d (pop) in depth.

Nikon FM, F90x, EM, F90x, Canon AV1, A1, T70 & T90, Minolta X-700, SRT101b and AFZ, Pentax S3, Fuji STX-2, Practica MTL3, TL5b, BC1, Chinon Chinon CE,  Konica Autoreflex TC, FS-1 & C35, Yashica T5D, Olympus OM2, Contax139, Ricoh KR-10,  Bronica Etrs, Mamiya RB67 pro AND drum roll:- a Sony DSC-P92
.........past gear Tele Rollieflex and Rollei SL66.

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

I would agree with Zarathrustra on films though. My personal preference based simply on a few b/w emulsions I've used, is for for slow films that really wick up the contrast and deep blacks like Pan F+ or Rollei Retro 80S shot at ISO 50. I like FP4 for its general all round usefulness and nice tones but it can't compare with either of those for contrast. HP5 I really don't like much; no matter what I do for development I can't get it to look anything other than bland grey. Tri-X is better, I like Tri-X although I've only shot it at 400 box speed and suspect it has better yet to show pulled at 320.

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Ikonpeter, yes, toys should be for children but I can read here and there some threads which have more to deal with emotionally charged camera and/or lens than any other consideration, exactly like children with toys.

Excalibur, swirling bokeh 3D effect or alleged Leica glow are lens tricks which can't save a poor shot. To me it does not raise any interest as I see the trick and not the photographer. Magician are smarter than that...

SteveFE, shooting Tri-X at ISO 400 or 320 does not change much. Try it at ISO 200 as it should, results have a chance to be better. If you know how to process it well, Tri-X is the most versatile film from ISO 50 to 1600. David Vestal did some intensive tests about it and he was darn right. Too the final result highly depends on the developer. Smooth grain with D-23 to coarse one with Rodinal, not to mention obscure and home-brew developers, it is up to you!

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

I went and looked up David Vestal, and in the course of it came across an interesting rant by Mike Johnston about pushing film (basically, having a go at film newbies who want to push every roll as hard as possible). Must admit, I prefer the results from pulling if you're going to alter anything. You get the contrast but with more gradation.

Last edited by SteveFE (2014-07-13 17:39:32)

Canon EOS30D, Sony NEX-3
Favourite M/F lenses: Nikkor 50/1.4 pre-AI, Zuiko 50/1.4, Flek 35/2.4, SP 35-80/2.8-3.8, Macro-Tak 50/4 preset *NEW* Jupiter-8 and more rangefinder lenses to come!
Favourite (and only) AF lens: Sigma 12-24

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Agreed. But you need first to set the proper process to get the right contrast to suit your needs (print size, enlarger type, personal taste, ...). From what I read, your HP5 and Tri-X negatives did not reach yet their full potential.

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Well Zarathustra of course it's the photographer that makes the shot, but you could go over to forum.mflenses.com and start a thread "There is no difference in lenses and they are all tricks" smile

Nikon FM, F90x, EM, F90x, Canon AV1, A1, T70 & T90, Minolta X-700, SRT101b and AFZ, Pentax S3, Fuji STX-2, Practica MTL3, TL5b, BC1, Chinon Chinon CE,  Konica Autoreflex TC, FS-1 & C35, Yashica T5D, Olympus OM2, Contax139, Ricoh KR-10,  Bronica Etrs, Mamiya RB67 pro AND drum roll:- a Sony DSC-P92
.........past gear Tele Rollieflex and Rollei SL66.

Re: Using My Old Minoltas

Excalibur, there are more differences between photographers than between lenses. Once you understand that, you spend more time paying attention to your praxis than chasing the silver bullet.

SteveFE, try to find "The craft of photography" written by D. Vestal. It is a rather old book (40+ year old) but most of what it written there is still valid and make sense.

"That rug really tied the room together."  The Dude