w/ 50mm f/1.4 MD Rokkor-X
by Karen Nakamura
- Aperture priority metering
- Full manual mode
- Center-weighted metering
- Exposure compensation
- Electronically timed shutter
- TTL flash auto-exposure
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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.
|Camera Name||XG-1 (XG1)|
|Place of Manufacture||
|Date of Manufacture||1979-84|
Single lens reflex
|Lens Mount||Minolta MD Mount|
horizontal focal plane curtain.
the lens (TTL) aperture priority (AE) metering
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|
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|Lens||50mm f/1.4 Minolta MD Rokkor -X|
|Place of Manufacture||Japan|
|Date of Manufacture|
Minolta MD mount
0.45 meters - infinity
~ f/16 (0.5 stop steps)
|Dimensions and weight||25.8 oz with 50mm f/1.4|
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.