Christopher
Stoll

1966 Minolta Hi-Matic 7s

1966 Minolta Hi-Matic 7s

Year
c.1966
Make
Minolta
Model
Hi-Matic 7s
Type
rangefinder
Film
135 (ISO 25 – 800)
Lens
Minolta Rokkor-PF 45mm ƒ/1.8
Apertures
ƒ/1.8 – ƒ/22
Speeds
1/500 – 1/4 , Bulb
Meter
CdS
Filter
55mm
Battery
PX-13 (MRB625)
Price
$95 (equal to $760 in 2020)
Owned
2020 – present
Condition
7F (received) / 7F (current)

My Hi-Matic 7s

I was looking for a Yashica Electro 35 when I came across a lot of cameras that had what I was looking for. This camera was in that lot. I quickly decided that I liked this camera more than the Electro 35 GS that I originally wanted. The Hi-Matic 7s had program (automatic), aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual modes. The lens mounted selectors made switching modes easy. There was a meter in the viewfinder, and the viewfinder contained a coupled rangefinder – though I later found it it does needs some adjusting. The light meter was inside of the filter ring which made using filters easier, and the camera turns off when the lens cap is fitted. Eventually I came across a cheap Hi-Matic 9 which replaced this one as my everyday 135 camera, which is basically the exact same camera with ever so slightly better specs.

According to a contemporary advertisement

this would be the world’s only camera with 3-way exposure control

if it weren’t for these

Only three cameras let you take pictures automatically, semi-automatically and manually. They’re all made by Minolta. On automatic, you just point, focus and shoot. A great Rokkor lens and sensitive electric eye automatically give you perfectly exposed, exquisitely sharp prints. If you’re a bit of a do-it-yourselfer, use the semi-automatic setting. A needle in the viewfinder tells you how to set the lens after you’ve picked a shutter speed. And when deep in your heart you think you’re a pro (and maybe you are), you can set any of these three cameras manually.

Hi-matic 9: Besides 3-way operation, this advanced “35” will automatically set correct lens openings for flash shots once you set the flash guide number on the lens barrel. Rokkor f/1.7 lens, speeds from 1 to 1/500th. Under $110, plus case.

Hi-matic 7s: Almost identical to above, except that you figure flash apertures. Rokkor f/1.8 lens; shutter speeds from 1/4 to 1/500th. Under $95, plus case.

Autopak 700: Combines 3-way exposure control with instant 126 cartridge loading. Easily the most versatile instant-loader you can buy. Under $70, plus case.

The Viewfinder

Parallax corrected frame lines with a bright range finder patch
Parallax corrected frame lines with a bright range finder patch – iPhone 8

External Resources

Images from this Hi-Matic 7s