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Minolta XD7 favori envoyer Print
Photos by PYP text by PYP. From the collection of PYP
France Version française

Chronology of the Minolta brand  New window

Manufactured in Japon from 1977 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Peu courant (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 11523

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Minolta XD7

Traduction de PYP

The Minolta XD-7… where should I start? This camera is revolutionary! Not only in Minolta’s line of camera, but it truly was a revolutionary camera!
It was introduced in 1977 as Minolta’s flagship, in replacement of the XE-1. And just like its predecessor, it benefits from the partnership between Leitz and Minolta: the shutter is also a Seiko vertical travel plane shutter. It gives the exact exposure with a precision up to one hundredth of second, plus two mechanical speeds: “O” (1/100th) and Bulb (both will work without a battery).

To match up with the shutter capabilities, the metering system has also been improved. Goodbye CdS, welcome Silicon! This new light meter is both more precise and more responsive than previous CdS meters. On top of that, the light meter takes a measure just after the lens steps-down and before the film is exposed. No need to say it is very precise. This approach of metering just before the picture is taken will be developed on the Minolta CLE.

On top of this new shutter and light metering system, the XD-7 is the first multimode SLR ever! Until the XD-7, all camera manufacturers offered the choice between aperture priority OR shutter speed priority, plus occasionally full-manual. The XD-7 is the first camera ever to offer BOTH aperture- and shutter priority, plus a full manual mode! This was made possible through a modification of the lens mount: the new lens mount is called MD, and is required to use the shutter-priority mode.
However, there a full compatibility with ALL the older Minolta lenses: you can use them in aperture-priority mode (MC lenses) or manual mode (earliest Rokkor lenses).

The XD-7 is a very compact SLR, even by today’s standards, and it was so well conceived than Leitz used the body for all its SLR, from the R4 (1980) to the R7, which was discontinued in… 1997!

The viewfinder of the XD-7 is just marvellous: it displays at any time the user-selected shutter speed / f-stop (respectively in shutter- / aperture- priority mode), and the camera-selected f-stop / shutter speed (respectively again, in shutter- / aperture- priority mode). It has both microprism zone and split-image rangefinder. On top of that, it features a new generation of focusing screen: the Acute Matte screens, which are now known worldwide as the best focusing screens.

Much alike the XE-1, the XD-7 offers a lot of high-end features: depth-of-field preview, hot shoe, flash synch socket, exposure compensation dial, film-load indicator, a viewfinder shutter… Most importantly, the XD-7 can receive a motor drive (up to 2images/second).

Not only is the XD-7 an outstanding performing compact body, it is also sturdy and very reliable. The most common flaw of this camera is odd (and not important – at least to me): the leatherette tends to shrink!

The XD-7 was called XD-7 in Europe, XD-11 in America and XD in Japan and Asia.
The XD-7 featured on this page is a 1979 XD-7 equipped with a 85mm 1:2 MD lens.


Picture #2 : Minolta XD-7 with macro equipment: Auto-Bellows II and 100mm 1:4 Macro Bellows lens. The camera is also fitted with the 
Angle Finder V, which has a 360° rotation capability. On the foreground, there is a Magnifier V finder, allowing a very precise focusing on the center of the focusing screen (magnification is 2.5x). Both finders can be very useful in macrophotography.

Minolta XD7