Classic camerasMinolta X-500

Minolta launched their enormously successful X series of cameras in 1981 with the top of the range X-700. This camera feature multi-mode operation (with aperture priority, manual and programmed exposure modes), a sophisticated through-the-lens flash metering system and the ability to take the 3.5 fps Minolta Motor Drive 1. It was one of the first successful advanced cameras to feature a fully automatic programmed exposure mode.

Unfortunately the X-700 features a slightly substandard manual metering mode that display the suggested shutter speed in the viewfinder, but not the actual shutter speed. This meant you have to move your eye away from the viewfinder to transfer the suggested shutter speed to the shutter speed dial.

The X-500 (known as the X-570 in some markets), launched two years later in 1983, featured all the same specification as the X-700, except for the lack of a fully automatic programmed exposure mode. But Minolta more than compensated for this with a much better manual mode that displayed both the set and the suggested shutter speed in the viewfinder. This means that in my opinion the X-500 is the much superior camera, despite the fact that it was marketed as the X-700's junior brother.

The X series was completed in 1984 by the X-300. This was the bottom of the range camera and it missed out on several of high-tech features of the X-700 and X-500, including the sophisticated flash metering system. But it still had the superior manual metering mode from the X-500, so I think I'd still take the X-300 over the X-700!

My Minolta X-500 system

Minolta Motor Drive 1

The X-500 and X-700 cameras cold both be fitted with this very nice 3.5fps motor drive.

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f1.4 (1st version with 55mm filter ring)

Here you can see the X-500 fitted with the very nice MD 50mm f1.4 standard lens. This is the irst version of the MD 50mm f1.4 with the 55mm filter thread. The later version has a 49mm filter thread and a lock for the smallest aperture setting (used for the programmed exposure mode on the X-700 and shutter speed priority mode on the XD-7).

Minolta MD 28mm f2.8

This is the most common wide angle lens in the Minolta MD system of lenses. You can see the lock for the smallest aperture setting that indicates that indicates the later generation of MD lens.

Minolta MD 70-210mm f4.0

A very nice telephoto zoom lens from the Minolta MD lens system.