2other Minolta cameras in my collection

 

JapanMinolta XG-M [1981 - 1984]

 

Overview

XG-M advertisement The Minolta XG Series cameras were produced between 1977 and 1984, and their design reflected the advances in electronics and miniaturisation of the time.

Some of the key features of the XG series included; an over-sized mirror which eliminates telephoto cut-off, an electronic shutter release with touch-switch shutter button that turned on the LED metering display (i.e. at a touch of a finger), a shutter release socket which accepted both electronic release or traditional cable releases, and an electronic self-timer.

The XG-M was released in 1981 (called the X-70 in Japan), and was the top model in Minolta's XG series. The M denotes a 3.5fps motor drive mounting capability. The metering remains active when the camera is in manual mode, and there is a depth of field preview button. Shutter speed information is displayed in the viewfinder (via series of LEDs) along with an aperture-reading periscope.

The XG-M supports both aperture priority auto-exposure and full manual mode. For aperture priority shooting, the shutter speed dial is set to the A (auto) position, and can be adjusted by plus or minus 2 stops in half-stop increments via an exposure compensation dial. In manual mode, the camera's LEDs display a recommended shutter speed along with the user selected speed via the viewfinder.

According to advertisements in the July 1982 edition of Amateur Photographer, the typical selling price of an XG-M body was just over £95 (e.g. Jessops' price was £96.95). That's was the equivalent of a few days average UK pay.

 

 

Specifications

Lens mount: Minolta SR bayonet for Minolta MD and MC series lenses.

viewfinderFocus: 0.9X magnification showing 93% film-frame area. Acute Matte-Fresnel-field focusing screen with split-image focusing spot surrounded by micro-prism band. Step-less speeds indicated by 10 light-emitting diodes; LED over-/under-range indicators; LED at "60" position also blinks as flash-ready signal with Auto Electroflash 118X - 320X. DOF/stop-down switch.

Shutter: Cloth horizontal-traverse focal-plane type. Electronically controlled speeds: 1/1000 to 1 sec, step-less on automatic mode or in steps on manual mode.

Meter: Full-aperture TTL centre-weighted type using two CdS cells.

Exposure: Aperture-preferred automatic exposure (LED matching type on Manual). +/-2 EV exposure compensation dial with 1/2 stops. Pressure shutter release touch switch operating button.

Film Speed: 25 to 1600 ASA.

Flash: Standard X-synch hot shoe at 1/60. Class MF, M, FP flashbulbs synchronize at 1/15 or slower speeds.

Film Advance: Rapid advance lever; 130° setting angle; 30° standoff position. Safe load signal window indicates that film is correctly loaded and winding.

Frame Counter: Automatic count-up and reset.

Rewind: Via crank and bottom release button.

Size: 138 x 89 x 52mm (W x H x D).

Weight: 515g.

Battery: Two 1.5v LR44 type.

 

 

My Camera

I paid £11.00 for this camera body in December 2014. It seems to be one of those cameras that consistently has very little resale value.

My overall impression of this camera is that it's similar to, but perhaps not quite as good as the Yashica FX-D. It's not quite so small, has less sensitive Cds (rather than silicone) metering, and fewer viewfinder LEDs. It also lacks the smoother look of the Yashica. It has a truly lumpy, bumpy top-plate and prism housing, which betrays its faux metal - plastic construction (this profile could never be die-stamped in metal plate). So why did I buy this camera? Peer pressure: I was swayed by good reviews of the XG series (plus it's always nice to have a top of the range model).

I do however really like the touch-sensitive meter control - very nice, but for the fact the meter switches off as soon as contact is broken, and a certain dexterity is required to meter and adjust the shutter speed simultaneously ...or maybe there is something wrong with my camera? The manual says that when in manual mode the suggested shutter speed LED will blink when that speed is selected: mine doesn't do that! Otherwise, everything works as it should, but the camera needs new light seals and a replacement mirror damper (I'll get around to it). It has also required a through clean.

 

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Minolta XG-M images pending

Minolta XG-M

Minolta XG-M

Minolta XG-M

I expected it to be easy to find a Minolta MD lens for this camera: they are listed on eBay almost every day, however, the lenses have been selling for about twice the amount really I wanted to pay for a pretty ordinary prime lens. I eventually managed to pick one up for £11.20 in March 2014. It's a slightly unusual f/2 45mm Rokkor (6 elements in 5 groups), short and stubby, and looks like it's seen very little action.

Buying a single lens for a camera always presents something of a dilemma. On the one hand, it's nice to have a range of focal lengths - but on the other, I don't want to limit the use of an SLR by only having a lens with a specific application. The 45mm is nice, because it's slightly different whilst remaining relatively normal.