Info On This Minolta Equipment...
Hello. This is my first post here on Better Photo. I am hobbyist photographer...I actually just got my 1st SLR in Jan.'O8 (Canon 40D) so I'm maybe an intermediate level user. I just got an old Minolta X370 that was my stepfather's. With it is also a Vivitar 2650 flash, Minolta 50mm 1.7, Sigma 28mm 2.8, and a Rokinon 35-135 3.5/4.5. I basically would just like some info on this equipment, camera's reputation, lenses good/so-so/bad, any other lense recommendations, anything else? Also...is one film brand better than the other out there? I'm not into film...yet...so I am pretty clueless as to what's out there. Thanks.
Click on this LINK for the X-370 instruction manual. Nice camera, and the Minolta 50 lens is very good. Minolta's own lenses had the Rokkor brand and would be good to seek out in used markets. Look for lenses made for Minolta's MC or MD mount. The autofocus Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha lenses cannot be used. The 3rd party Sigma 28 and Rokinon 35-135 were economical alternatives to Minolta lenses. They may not be the best available, but are certainly good enough for hobbyest use, and have more robust build than modern AF lenses. More information on the camera here: http://www.rokkorfiles.com/.
I don't have a manual handy for the Vivitar 2650 flash, but it is probably a typical auto-thyrister type. It will automatically control the flash output through the front sensor, but you have to coordinate the ISO and lens aperture settings. Set ISO on the flash to match that of the film loaded. There will be a scale/table on the back of the flash that will give the corresponding aperture to set on the lens. Set the shutter speed for 1/60. You can use longer shutter speeds with the flash, but the X-370 will not sync with the flash at shutter speeds faster than 1/60. If the 2650 is "dedicated" it may automatically set 1/60 shutter speed when the X-370 is set to AUTO.
Note that the Vivitar 2650 may not be safe to use on modern electronic cameras. The hotshoe connector on older flashes like this are not shielded and can transmit very high voltage to the camera when it fires. This is not a problem with the older manual cameras like the X370, but could destroy the electronics of modern cameras. See http://www.botzilla.com/photo/g1strobe.html for instructions on how to test the trigger voltage of a flash.
ISO 400 color print film (ie. color negative, C-41 process) is a good all-around choice. ISO 100 will give finer grain and maybe a bit more saturated color, but requires slower shutter speeds which might result in blur due to subject motion or hand-held camera shake. Slide film (aka transparency, color reversal, -chrome, E-6 process) is a good choice if you intend to do digital scans yourself, or project the images on a screen rather than having a lab make prints.
Wow...great info! Thanks a million. I'm hoping to get out this weekend.
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