Minolta’s First 6×6 Camera – 1936

We were lucky enough to acquire this lovely camera from a local collector recently. Historically it’s a significant camera in the long history of Minolta as it’s the first camera they produced to use 120 roll film in the 6×6 cm format.

It’s also a groundbreaking camera that did not use traditional leather bellows or a metal body – the body and bellows are made of Bakelite which is an early plastic. I’ve read some conflicting information about the release date (some say as early as 1935) but it seems like November 1936 is where Minolta puts its introduction. Either way, it’s the oldest camera in our collection by a couple of years and the oldest Japanese camera we own by far.

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The Crown C shutter was made by Minolta (earlier names of the company apply) and features a leaf shutter with a top speed of only 1/150th of a second. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination. Couple that to a maximum aperture of f/5.6 and you’d better be taking pictures in bright sunlight and using fast film. But wait, in 1936 fast film would be ASA 25 – so break out the tripod.

Another interesting feature is the not yet standardized aperture scale – here we have f/5.6, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18, and f/25

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The view from above shows the three Bakelite segments fully opened. In lieu of a fragile leather bellows, this seems like a great idea but obviously never caught on with Minolta or other manufacturers.

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I gave the camera a good cleaning inside and out but for the most part, it wasn’t really that dirty. The shutter sounds accurate and the aperture blades are behaving themselves – not bad for an eight-decade-old camera. It’s generally free of corrosion as the body is mostly Bakelite and the few metal pieces on the body are brass. The metal lens board is typically where some corrosion and paint loss would occur but this one is holding up well. The leatherette is starting to crack and peel but again, that’s to be expected.

We plan on shooting a roll of film with this soon. I do have to address some minor fungus filaments in the lenses but I’ve seen much worse in much newer lenses. I believe that I’ll be able to get the optics back to a good clarity with just a tad more cleaning.

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Advertisement from 1938

Notice the selling price of the f/5.6 was listed at ¥ 46.00 which in 1938 1 yen was worth about U.S. 30 cents. So this camera in USD would have been $13.80 – I used this site to see a historic yen rate chart.

By the way, a partial machine translation of the ad reads like this – “Minolta six card business roll film should also be considered as a popular version of so-called 6×6 cm camera to make a sheet of 12 6 cm square film, the machine depends on the Baby and the Vest. Made of Bakelite, which has already been tested, and fine-grained Moroccan leather, it has a fresh Western silver metal fittings, and the three-stage sliding-type rigid bellows made of stainless steel has durability for long-term use. The Corona f/5.6 and f/4.5 both offer excellent performance in landscapes and figures.” 

The Baby and Vest were two cameras that proceeded the Minolta Six. We think it’s a fantastic bit of design and engineering and we’re excited to add it to our collection.

Thanks for stopping by and remember that we’re still running a 15% off sale in our camera shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

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In the Shop – Sigma Minolta AF Zoom Telephoto Lens (digital ready)

In the shop today we’re featuring a super nice Sigma-Minolta 60-200mm AF Zoom Lens set.

Sigma-Minolta AF Zoom Lens 60-200mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto Lens

More pictures and details at http://www.ccstudio2380.com

– Minolta “A” Mount
– SN 1016845
– the lens can be adapted for use on digital cameras (Sony)
– this is a high-quality lens built well
– perfect for everyday use
*The condition is overall outstanding with the optics being
super clean.
*Some minor specs of dust. No mold, no fungus, no cleaning marks
that I can see.
*The lens functions perfectly. The aperture blades are clean
and snappy, the lens mounts securely, the focus is smooth
and spot on.
*The set includes the original Sigma leather case, lens hood,
the original Sigma 52mm front lens cap, instructions, and a Sigma rear lens cap.
It’s a one owner lens that has never been offered for sale before.

I’ll mail this wonderful lens anywhere in the US via USPS Priority Mail for a flat $10.95 – I’ll mail it almost anywhere in the world where there’s tracking to your doorstep. Just message me for a quote. Thanks, Chris

 

Sigma-Minolta AF Zoom Telephoto Lens

Sigma-Minolta AF Zoom Lens 60-200mm f/4-5.6 Telephoto Lens with the original Sigma case, lens hood, instruction sheet, and the front and rear lens caps. It's a gorgeous lens set that's been super well cared for and it shows. It covers a nice range of focal lengths from 60-200mm. It mails anywhere in the US for just $10.95 via USPS Priority Mail. Mails worldwide with a few exceptions. Please contact for a shipping quote. Chris

$22.00

SR-T MC – a little gem from Minolta

Now, this is a good looking camera with a simple straightforward design. From what I’ve been able to glean, this model was made by Minolta for sale only at J.C. Penny and K-Mart department stores in the United States and only in a pro-black finish.

It’s fitted with a Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 55mm f/1.7 lens and the original metal lens cap.

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Made from 1973 to 1975 and it differentiated from the other Minolta’s made during the same period by the lack of a self-timer and the focusing screen had a microprism for focusing. I believe that they’re rather hard to find and somewhat rare in this nearly mint condition.

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I’ll have more about this camera soon as it’s undergoing testing before I list it for sale in my shop. Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Minolta’s Gem from the 1970s

The Minolta SR-T 102 aka SR-T Super. In its day it was considered to be one of the best all-around 35mm SLRs.

1973-1975

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With proper care, these well-built cameras (and Rokkor lenses) will deliver decades of use. The shutter is mechanically timed and the battery is only needed to use the TTL light meter.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

When lens hoods “attack”!

Here’s something you don’t see every day – if ever. What happens to a rubber lens hood (lens shade) when left on for two decades? You get this…

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When I saw this lens my first impression was that it had been in a fire. I had to pry it out of the leather camera bag it was in. Not very pretty at first glance.

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Step 2 – Peeling the “melted” hood away from the lens body. What a gooey mess!

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Success! No damage to the lens and I was able to unscrew what was left of the hood.

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The lens suffered no permanent damage and after a good cleaning looks new.

I imagine that over time the “rubber” deteriorated through some chemical process with the air. Hiding out in a dark leather camera bag probably didn’t help. Lesson learned – if you own one of these monsters go check your camera bag now and toss it before it “attacks”!!!

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2018 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

Minolta Uniomat III

35mm rangefinder camera from Minolta. This one is from about 1963. Neat little camera – a bit small for my hands so it’s hard to reach the lens to focus comfortably. The rangefinder focuses well but doesn’t snap out at you although the view is bright. No film test for this one. The shutter fires and the speeds appear to be on time – the rear lens element is “ate up” (Southern term) with fungus and when I got rid of the fungus I was left with an etched lens. Maybe some polishing might bring it back. The light meter appears to be accurate too.

It’s a pretty little thing. I like the gray leatherette body and it certainly looks nice under my studio lights. We like to collect complete sets when we can and this one has its original box, leather case (black), silica-gel pack and the owners manual. It would have been extra nice had Minolta made the case gray like the camera.

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Although the box has some damage from handling it over the years, it’s still quite solid. It was covered with soot, dirt, dust, grime and I’m sure some DNA – it was so dirty that the Minolta logo was not visible! I used a new bar of ‘Mr. Clean Magic Eraser’ lightly made wet to gently ‘erase’ the dirt. It’s amazing how well it did without damaging the delicate 50+ year old paper. A new way to restore some of our older boxes in our collection.

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Nice image from inside the owners booklet.

We wish we had a chance to run a roll through it to test the f2.8 45mm Rokkor lens… but as is typical with these vintage rangefinders, the rear lens element is trashed with fungus.

Thanks for your visit. We hope you know a bit more about this unique camera.

Chris and Carol Photography ^.^