Christopher
Stoll

1958 Minolta Autowide

1958 Minolta Autowide

Year
c.1958
Make
Minolta
Model
Auto Wide
Type
scale focus
Film
135 (ISO 10 – 1600)
Lens
Rokkor 35mm ƒ/2.8
Apertures
ƒ/2.8 – ƒ/22
Speeds
1/500 – 1s , Bulb
Meter
selenium
Filter
unknown (34mm-ish)
Battery
none
Price
$89.50 (equal to $802 in 2020)
Owned
2020 – present
Condition
5F (received) / 5F (current)

My Autowide

I found this camera for $20. Everything seemed to function properly and there were no obvious signs of damage. It even had an old roll of film in it still! After shooting a roll through it I found the problem. The film rewind mechanism is not working properly. There is a clutch on the rewind nob, it slips, so it doesn’t actually rewind. In order to rewind, the film door needs to be opened ever so slightly. Maybe friction in the mechanism needs reduced with a cleaning or maybe there is s subtle dent in the film door which is applying too much pressure. Regardless of the cause this one is back in the to-be-repaired queue. Oh, I did develop the film that was in the camera, but it was all over exposed, so there were no never before seen photos to be had.

According to a contemporary advertisement

Forget f-stops and shutter speed. Just shoot the picture!

f stops and shutter speeds set automatically – just line up the arrows

You control “automation”! Background can’t wash out or over-expose the subject.

MINOLTA AUTOWIDE $89.50 (case extra)

For ultra fast shooting there’s a single throw lever that advances the film, cocks the shutter, counts the frame, in one swift movement. Then to compose in a wink, there’s and “ultra bright” Lumi Fram to show exactly what you get in the picture. Also built-in self timer, flash synchronization for bulbs and electronic.

Wide Vission f:2.8, 6-element lens – profesional quality – perfect for color slides.

This ultra fine, wide-angle lens is usually available only as an extra accessory, on very expensive cameras. But because Minolta make their own glass — does their own grinding — you get this exceptional value. At all authorized Minolta dealers.

The Viewfinder

The Autowide has an ordinary viewfinder with nothing fancy. The frame lines are not overly bright, but clearly visible.

Just framelines, with markers for close-up shots
Just framelines, with markers for close-up shots – iPhone 8

External Resources

Images from this Auto Wide