1985 Minolta X-700

1985 Minolta X-700
single lens reflex
135 (ISO 25 – 1600)
Minolta SR/MC/MD mount
1/1000 – 1 , Bulb
2 x LR44/A76/AG13 (alkaline) or 2 x 357/303/EPX76/SR44 (silver oxide) or 1 x CR1/3N (lithium)
$150 (equal to $365 in 2021)
8H (received) / 7G (current)

I picked up this camera at a flea market because I am a big fan of Minolta cameras, and because it was listed for $15 with a Minolta 50mm ƒ/1.7 lens, a roll of exposed film, an off-brand flash, and a camera bag. Not that I need any more off-brand flashes or camera bags, but neither did the vendor. The problem was that the advance lever was broken off, making it impossible to perform a function test. The front of the lens also had a large dent, so the camera probably took a pretty serious fall at some point. Knowing that it was abused and not having a way to test it made purchasing this X-700 a risk, but for $15 I thought I’d give it a chance.

I brought the X-700 home, thoroughly cleaned it, and began the repairs. I found that the rewind knob wasn’t broken, just the screw that holds it in place was. Fortunately, I was able to remove the part of the bolt that was broken off in the camera. And, all of the other pieces were stashed in a film canister hidden inside the camera bag I tried to not bring home. I had a screw with the correct threading, so I paired that with a small washer and was able to hastily re-attache the film advance lever. I had an old 1/3N battery on hand, so I was able to test it out. It passed all function checks and was ready to be film tested. So far I have only put one roll of film through the camera, but it seems to work well. I like the way this camera feels in hand, and the shutter sounds exactly how I think a shutter should sound.

According to a contemporary advertisement

Combining utter simplicity with unbelievable sophistication.

The X-700 is Minolta’s fully-programmed, micro-copmuterized Automatic Exposure 35mm SLR. It’s a simple-to-operate Automatic Exposure camera, selecting both aperture and shutter speed in Programmed Automatic Exposure mode (P mode). So all you have to do is focus-and-shoot. The X-700 also offers Aperture-Priority Automatic Exposure control (A mode) and a full-metered manual exposure control (M mode), in addition to many other features that make photography more fun and enjoyable than ever before.

The X-700’x P mode:
Even in varying light conditions, it delivers well-balanced exposures while you just focus-and-shoot.

You can’t find much more difficult shooting conditions than white-water board-sailing. Bright, outdoor light. Dark, strong shadows. Water reflection. High-speed action. What exposure to use? What shutter speed?

The X-700’s Programmed Automatic Exposure mode automatically solves these problems for you by selecting the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed in response to subject brightness.

A faster-speed priority program minimizes blur and allows handholding even in low light situations.

Set the camera’s mode selector to the green P position. Set your MD lens to its green minimum aperture, and lock it. Focus and shoot! Easy, isn’t it?

Photos from this X-700

Sounds from this X-700

Shutter release

External Resources