Classic camerasMinolta Minoltina-S

Photograph of a Minolta Minoltina-SPhotograph of a Minolta Minoltina-S light meter windowPhotograph of a Minolta Minoltina-S top plate

After concentrating on Pentax and Olympus cameras for a long time, I seems to be on a bit of a Minolta roll just now! This little beauty is a compact rangefinder from 1964 called the Minolta Minoltina-S (or Minoltina AL-S in some markets). This camera was launched 3 years after my other Minolta compact rangefinder, the Minolta AL.

The Minoltina-S and AL share many features: they both have all manual exposure and cross-coupled selenium cell light-meters (yay! no impossible to replace mercury batteries!). They also both have fast lenses, though the Minoltina's lens is a little wider (40mm vs. 45mm) and a little faster (f/1.8 vs. f/2.0). Both lenses are fitted with leaf shutters, though here the older AL beats the newer Minoltina-S with an unusually fast top shutter speed of 1/1000th sec.

But despite the similarities a lot had changed in the 3 years between these cameras. In particular cameras had got smaller and more convenient. The AL weighs in at a porky 765 grams, while the Minoltina (which was marketed as the worlds smallest camera with a rangefinder and built-in light-meter) weighs in at a comparatively svelte 515 grams.

This example is in very nice condition, but unfortunately the film advance mechanism isn’t working (see photos below!) But I still thing this is one hell of a good looking camera!

Photographs taken with the Minolta Minoltina-S