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Minolta Autocord 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 1955 until (After) 1958.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 11530

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Minolta Autocord

Traduction de PYP

The Minolta Autocord is a Twin-Lens Reflex (TLR). Just another TLR? No! this one is different from Rolleiflex, Rolleicord, Yashica Mat…

First of all, the focusing system consists of a bronze helicoid: this system is better than the other TLR’s since it is impossible to misadjust! The focusing is therefore made using a focusing knob located below the lenses (not on one side of the camera, unlike most of the TLRs). Focusing is very smooth and easy… that is, if the tip of the focusing knob doesn’t break! It is made of cheap Zamak, and it is definitely a weak point of this camera – always check it before buying an Autocord!
However, this is the only weak point of the Autocord: the overall quality of construction can compete with pretty much any TLR, including Rolleiflex!

The other very interesting feature of the Autocord is the film transportation. Unlike all the other TLRs, the film is placed in the upper part of the camera and the empty spool in the lower part. As a consequence, the film is bent after being exposed, and not before! The film flatness is therefore excellent, better than in any other TLR.

The taking lens is a Minolta Rokkor (Chiyoko Rokkor on the earlier versions) 75mm 1:3.5, and the viewing lens is a slightly brighter 75mm 1:3.2. The quality of this lens is astonishing, some say it matches Xenar, Planar and even Xenotar lenses. The truth is that the difference is hard to tell, especially on small prints, but it’s definitely good value for money!

The Autocord has features-a-plenty: accessory shoe, flash sync, tripod socket, shutter release lock, self-timer, sport-finder, double exposure capability… The shutter can be an Optiper, a Seiko or a Citizen. The earliest Optipers have a maximum speed of 1/400th, all the other shutters fire up to 1/500th.

The Autocord can receive many accessories, including Bay. 1 filters and hoods, Minolta Autopole (dedicated polarizing filter), Minolta Paradjuster (for correcting parallax).

There has been many variations of the Minolta Autocord, the latest versions have a built-in CdS meter and can accept 220 rollfilm. The Autocord feature on this page is a RG 2nd version, from 1962 (no light meter, no 220 film).

To sum up, Autocords are excellent TLRs that give outstanding results for a very fair price. They are also sought-after collectibles!

Minolta Autocord