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Photography Question 
Leah M. Vanderpohl

Minolta x-370n release

I just recently had my Canon digital camera stolen, and my friend has just given me a manual Minolta x-370 35mm. I'm in love with it, and I'm lookg forward to learning more about manual cameras, but I don't have a clue about them thus far. (I'm too used to the Canon.)

Anywho, my dilemma lies in the fact that the release is busted on the Minolta, and I need to know where I can acquire a new one (or used, just working, whatever.)

I know the Minolta company shut down so it's hard to come by older parts (this camera's from the late eighties, I assume) but even if it's expensive I'd be willing to purchase it for the camera's sake. My mom swears by her Minolta, so I'm hoping that I can find the part and swear by mine too.

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9/30/2008 9:49:25 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Sony took over Minolta's camera business, including their servicing. You can check with Sony Customer Service for a authorized repair center, but since it is a long out of production manual camera, you might do as well to search out a local camera repair shop.

If you feel do-it-yourselfy, or as a help for your local camera fix-it guy/gal, a downloadable pdf file of the service manual for the X-370 is available at this link:

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10/1/2008 6:12:17 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  P.S. It might just as economical to simply buy another manual camera (that is in working order). A professional repair of your current camera could cost as much or more.

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10/1/2008 6:16:31 AM

Alan N. Marcus   Hi Leah,

About manual film cameras:

We loved our wonderful, precision made 35mm film cameras. Polished chrome and black – all metal bodies – they were breathtaking to look at. Now when it came to use, they required study, we pored over the manual and bought books and magazines and attended lectures. Some of us became good at it, others just expressed adoration like they were jewels.

Once, long ago, seems like yesterday, my son and I squabbled over cars. He wanted a sports model, 5 on the floor, 0-60 in 5 seconds flat, red, convertible. Further he wanted dad to buy it for him. I tried to explain, the manual transmission is old technology, born out of necessity in the early years of automotive design. I explained that a modern automatic was better in every way, it did no good, he had to have a Spider.

Now Leah, I am telling you, the Minolta and its brothers are wonderful. If you are serious about photography and intend to become a pro or advanced armature, then a manual film camera would be nice. However, this is 2008 and we have moved on. Digital is ticket to the future. My prediction is, film cameras, film, and the apparatus needed to develop and print will soon be on display right next to the Civil War medical instruments.

The bottom line is: Don’t get too hung-up over old technology. Buy a modern digital with both auto and manual. Take a look at the Canon S5 or its brothers.

Alan Marcus (older and wiser maybe)

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10/1/2008 7:15:42 AM

  Hi Leah,

Whin Konica made the first buyout of Minolta, they opted to discontinue the manual cameras. There were only two on the assembly lines at that time. These were the Minolta X370n and the X700. Parts are no longer available for either model. If you really want it fixed, you are going to have to find a repair shop with a boneyard. You may want to try ebay. Ebay usually has several listings for these cameras.

On a lighter note, I still use an old Minolta SRT-201 and an X700. I have a Sony Alpha A100 that I use for digital, but I really enjoy the Minoltas. Call me old school.

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10/1/2008 8:42:48 PM

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