Saturday, January 19, 2019
Couldn't pass it by...
In addition to the eye-catching thrift store price tag, the Minolta Hi-Matic 7s looked nearly new, the rangefinder seemed accurate, and the shutter clicked. The camera dates to 1966; it strongly resembles the slightly earlier Yashica Lynx and is about as large and heavy. I'm not usually partial to the over-sized 35mm cameras of this era, but the 7s has some redeeming qualities.
The nicest feature for me, as was true of the Yashica Lynx 14, is that the bright frame viewfinder is auto-correcting for parallax. The CdS sensor is set inside the filter ring and exposure is fully automated while also allowing manual control of aperture and shutter speed. The 45mm f1.8 Rokkor is a six-element design. The Seiko-LA shutter has speeds from 1/8 to 1/500, plus B and Auto settings. The meter originally required a mercury battery, but a 1.55v 357 seems to work fine, even though it fits loosely in the compartment. Aside from putting in the battery, the only other thing I had to do for the camera was to clean the finger marks off the viewfinder window. I shot a roll of Tri-X to test the camera.
When I was 21 I bought a Buick like this one from a dealer in Glenns Ferry, Idaho for $500. It had leather upholstery, air conditioning and an automatic transmission -- a real luxury machine. I drove it to Mexico City and back. It was the nicest car I ever owned.
Johan Niels Kuiper has an excellent review of the Minolta Hi-Matic 7S with some good advice on how to use the EV exposure system.