Saturday, July 27, 2013

The User's Review: Minolta X-370 35 mm Film Camera

X-370, X-300 and Seagull DF-300 are the same. X-300 is all black as the one I saw; DF-300, a licensed copy from the Chinese manufacture, is in the same colors of X-370 as shown here. Other colones include Carena DF-300, Carena SX-300, Centon DF-300, Kalimar KX 5000 and 7000 (aperture setting displayed in the finder), and Vivitar V50. These colonies use cheaper materials and have slightly modified right-hand grips. Minolta also released a X-370N and X-300S with modified grip and switches of power and AEL/Timer.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The User's Review: Vivitar 2X Macro Focusing Teleconverter MC P/K-A R-P/K for both Pentax KA and Ricoh P Mounts

Fully-extended macro vs. 2X teleconverter
I do not think that Pentax have ever made such very useful device for both macro and tele shooting and for both Pentax KA and Ricoh P mounts. Among the 7 pins on its mounts, 6 in one group are for KA mount and the separate one (also safe to use on Pentax AF mount) is for Ricoh P mount. A smart design! Thanks to the old Vivitar (not today's Vivitar that owns the brand, but didn't manufacture this old and wonderful adapter).

The 7 pins on both front and rear mounts are linked with 7 springs inside. However, they are easy to fall off from the anchors close to the rear mount. This happened in my copy.  By opening the mount, I re-installed them, following the instructions at I also posted its user's manual/instructions in one of my previous blog pages.

Its internal/front barrel extends, but does not turn. Its rear glass element does not move.
Its macro ratios for a 50mm lens are marked separately for 2x tele-converter (1:1.5 to 1:20) and extended internal barrel (1:1 to 1:3).

It is bigger and heavier than other regular 2X teleconverters.

The major concern of its users is the quality of its images. Used as a 2X TC, it was mounted between my Pentax K-x body and SMC Pentax-A Macro 1:2.8 50mm lens, and compared with Kalimar and Sears 2X KA TCs. The following settings were used: the minimum distance on lens, f2.8, 1/180 sec, ASA 400, on-camera flash, room light, and hand holding. I think, the images with Vivitar 2X macro focusing TC are the best.

Images with Vivitar 2X MFTC:

Images with Kalimar 2X TC:

Images with Sears 2X TC:

Vivitar also produced a PK version (without the pin contacts), but the P/K-A R-P/K version is easier to use on Pentax DSLR and more expensive in the second-hand market.

As I noticed later, there is a various color version with macro ratios marked in green, not blue and white as in my images above.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The User's Review: Etalon Compact Exposure Meter, Released in 1958?

I found this meter in its original box, with everything including a unused strap. This meter has a shoe mount and needs no battery.

Its specs are:

- ASA 3 to 6400
- Shutter speed 10 sec. to 1/1000 sec.
- f stop 1 to 45
- High-low light baffle with 20 to 1 ratio
- LV scale
- Zero adjustment
- Two positions for mounting


Monday, July 8, 2013

The User's Review: Minolta X-700 35 mm Camera, released in 1981

It was the winner of 'Camera of the Year 1981'

It was Minolta's answer to Canon AE-1.

It is the last MF SLR body from Minolta follow by Maxxum 7000 AF.

It had been produced for 18 years.

It has a P (programmed) mode set with available fastest shutter speeds in different light conditions. However, on my X-700 with a regular film back, when the aperture locked at 22 and the shooting mode is set at P, the aperture size would not change in different situations. Why? I believe that certain accessories may be needed.

It has a unique film loading signal besides the frame counter. However, it has not a window on the film door to show what kind of film has been loaded.

It has a aperture size window, lens unlock button, shutter cable socket, DOF preview button and flash cable socket around the lens mount.

It has the self-timer and AE lock on one switch that can't trigger both of them simultaneously.

It powers by battery, no battery power, no shooting.

It has the display of shutter speed, shooting mode and aperture size in its finder.

It has may dedicated accessories, but I do not have any at this time.