Minolta XG-1

Classic SLRs:
Minolta XG1
w/ 50mm f/1.4 MD Rokkor-X

by Karen Nakamura


Overview and Personal Comments


The Minolta XG-1 uses Minolta's famed MD bayonet mount for a wide variety of lenses. It was a strong contender at the time of its release, featuring:

  • Aperture priority metering
  • Full manual mode
  • Center-weighted metering
  • Exposure compensation
  • Battery-check
  • Electronically timed shutter
  • TTL flash auto-exposure
  • Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.



Do you see that row of three silver circles on the lens mount? The first is the button for the lens bayonet release.The bottom is the flash X-sync (1/60). The middle one is very odd. It looks like ... you could screw in a remote release cable. Well, I had high hopes that it was a mirror pre-release but instead oddly enough it's another manual shutter release. Since the top shutter is a flat disk (I suppose it's easier on your fingers, but...), Minolta put a remote release on the side and instead of making it electronic and charging us $45 for an electronic release cable (err... Canon, for example), they made it manual. Go Minolta!

The meter reads accurately against my Canon EOS 3 in center-weighted mode. The shutter speeds all look and sound accurate. The self-timer works. The LEDs in the viewfinder all light up. The mirror and finder are very clean. The focusing prism is a nice combination of a diffraction grating with center rangefinder. It's very easy to focus in dim light, unlike the microbright prisms on auto-focus cameras such as my EOS 3.

The lens pictured here is a beautiful MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.4.




The instruction manual for this camera is online, see below.



Technical Details

Camera Name XG-1 (XG1)
Manufacturer Minolta
Place of Manufacture


Date of Manufacture 1979-84
Focusing System

Single lens reflex

Lens Mount Minolta MD Mount

Rubberized horizontal focal plane curtain.
1 sec - 1/1000 sec + B (X-sync @ 1/60)

Metering System

Through the lens (TTL) aperture priority (AE) metering
Centerweighted averaging meter
Non-metered manual mode option
Flash auto-exposure with dedicated flash units


External hot-shoe and PC cable connection for X sync flash

Film type / speeds

Type 135 film (35mm standard)

ASA 25 to 1600

Battery type 1 x Eveready S-76 battery
Dimensions and weight  
  Note: Using the text or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place.


Lens 50mm f/1.4 Minolta MD Rokkor -X
Manufacturer Minolta
Place of Manufacture Japan
Date of Manufacture  
Lens Construction  
Lens Mount

Minolta MD mount

Focusing range

0.45 meters - infinity
1.5 ' - infinity
(right focusing, infinity on right)


f/1.4 ~ f/16 (0.5 stop steps)
6 aperture blades

Filter Mount

xx mm.

Dimensions and weight 25.8 oz with 50mm f/1.4
Retail price ¥


About Minolta

Minolta began making cameras in 1928 as the "Nichi-doku Shashinki Shokai" (Japanese-German Camera Factory) and in 1937 was renamed Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha or Chiyoko for short. One man was the heart of the company, Kazuo Tashima. He ran the company from 1928 to 1972. Before the war, Chiyoko made medium and large format cameras and began making 35mm cameras after the war. They started using the Minolta brand in 1937. In the post-War period, they made a series of Leica clones, the Minolta 35 rangefinder.

In 1962, Chiyoko changed its name to Minolta. They are famous for the first SLR with fully coupled metering, the SR-7 and the first model with built-in motor drive (SR-M). They also produced the first camera with integral autofocus, the Minolta Maxxum 7000 (aka Alpha 7000) in 1985. I remember when in 1986, my dad brought home his shiny new Minolta 7000 and handed me down his old Pentax Spotmatic SPII (which still have). Ironically, the Pentax still sees more use than the Alpha because of its ability to run fully manually.

In any case, Minolta continues to make great 35mm SLRs as well as an increasing array of interesting digital cameras. In 2003, Minolta announced a merger with Konica, Japan's oldest camera manufacturer. Hopefully the merged company (Konolta? Monica?) will have enough financial resources to continue to produce high-end film-based SLRs and rangefinders.

On the Net


Hi Karen,
the material is a hard plastic not foam at all. I will load file, thanks. My XG-1(N) has this gasket but I don't see it on my SRT-101.


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