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Minolta X-700

Manuel Odabashian , Oct 06, 2010; 06:46 p.m.

First time i've posted a question on this forum. Just curious to know people's opinions on the X-700. I rather liked it after having my OM-10 stolen i was forced to upgrade let me know what you think


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Mike Gammill , Oct 06, 2010; 06:59 p.m.

Welcome to the forum. While the X-700 is more automatic than the OM-1, I don't think I'd call it an upgrade. The electronics haven't aged gracefully in some. If you want some automation consider the OM-2. If you want to try Minolta maybe an XE-7.

Jeff Adler , Oct 06, 2010; 08:48 p.m.

The X-700 has a well known problen with its capacitors. These are parts which are very inexpensive but which will eventually need to be replaced in just about every X-700. Any qualified repair facility can make this repair easily.
There have been many postings about the X-700 so I will repeat some of the things I have said about it before. Like the OM-1, the X-700 has interchangeable focusing screens. The Minolta screens are much harder to find because most people who liked changing screens had Nikon F series cameras or Canon F-1s. The X-700 is light but not flimsy. It has hybrid metal/plastic construction and is reasonably durable. You would not want to smash one against a Canon F-1 to see which camera would still work but it is decently made. The X-700 has a very bright viewfinder, TTL flash metering with the excellent 280PX, 360PX and 80PX ringlight units as well as some Sunpak and Nissin units with the correct adapters. The meter in the X-700 has a center weighted pattern. It is responsive and accurate. A motor and a winder are available for the X-700. You can use any Minolta SR mount lens. Only MD lenses will work in the Program mode. In Aperture Priority mode MC lenses work just as well. All cameras have a distinct feel. The shutter in the X-700 is a cloth horizontal type. It has a maximum speed of 1/1000 and a flahg synch speed of 1/60. These same shutter features are shared by the OM-1. I recently got my sixth X-700 and used my first one today to shoot a roll of CVS 400 speed color print film. Most of my flash pictures are taken with an X-700 using a 280PX or 360PX flash. The 360 sits high up enough that I rarely get red-eye when I mount it on the hot shoe. With the 280PX I prefer to use a bracket.
What about other Minolta anual focus SLRs? You can get an X-700 repaired more readily than an XE series camera. The X-700 had a very long production run. It was introduced in 1981 and was made until about 2000. The last few years of production were in China with Japanese parts. The OM-2N seems to be the preferred OM-2 model and has a good following. Specifications between the X-700 and OM-2N are similar in most areas.

Andy L , Oct 06, 2010; 09:43 p.m.

If I'm reading this correctly you already have an X-700 and it's working? (It's quite common to have a working one.) I like it quite a bit (though the XD remains my favorite Minolta) - it works very well, the meter is good, the focusing screen is excellent. I just received a Hasselblad in the mail and it has the screen upgraded - to one made by Minolta using the same material as the X-700 screen! And of course you get to use the excellent and now very inexpensive MD and MC glass, and the 360PX is fantastic as well.

You just have to not mind plastic. If you hate plastic, you hate the X-series. Personally my complaint is that it doesn't display all the info you need for setting your shutter in manual in the finder.

Mike Gammill , Oct 06, 2010; 10:00 p.m.

I think I misread the original question. I you do already have the X-700 I guess recommendations for other models aren't what you're after. Among my many Minoltas I do have one X-700. It currently needs a capacitor. I do like the bright screen and light weight so I probably will get it repaired eventually. Mine was purchased new in 1992. Mechanically, they're pretty sound, although the film counter has been known to fail. My biggest complaint is that the X-700 is completely battery dependent. Unlike the XD and XE series that offered a mechanical speed as backup, the X-700 is as dead as a can of Spam when the batteries poop out. But as others have said, the TTL flash metering with the PX series flashes is nice. When my family had a camera shop we sent a couple of X-700's off for that problem.
Now, should you miss the mechanical operation of the OM-1, but want to continue with Minolta, take a look at the SRT series. There are quite a few of us in this forum that use them.

Vince Passaro , Oct 07, 2010; 01:07 a.m.

OP did not say he had an OM 1; he said he had an OM10, which is a whole other story, and makes the X-700 indeed a trade up.
I love my Minoltas. The finest SLR they made in my view is the XD11 or, as a non-US poster called it, the XD (it was XD11 only in the US I believe). Heavier all metal build than the X-700 but graceful and not that heavy; not a 2 lb tank like the XE 7 or the older SRTs. After that the X-700 and the X-570.The X-700 has program mode; the X-570 is almost identical but without that mode, and it shows you what shutter speed you're at in the viewfinder, which, senselessly, the X-700 does not. I also have the X7A which is a later cheaper iteration of the X-370 which was itself a cheaper iteration of the X 570; and I have the highly plastic-y almost toylike X-9 -- Minolta's last manual focus camera -- which is actually a good camera that mounts all the great Minolta glass and can be gotten for about $15 or $20.

Stefan T. , Oct 07, 2010; 02:18 a.m.

You can't compare the X-700 with the OM-10. From the Olympus line the OM-2s would be the more apropriate partner. I had several X-500 (570 in the US.market) and found it to be the "better" 700, because it shows you the appropriate time in manual mode in the finder. Still I prefer the solution Olympus choose with the OM-2n for manual mode. It's the same display as the OM-1.
The capacitor problem has been mentioned. I would never travel with a X-700. Otherwise it's a fine camera. BTW my only MInolta now is a SRT-101b.

Manuel Odabashian , Oct 07, 2010; 07:42 a.m.

I just wanted opinions on the camera that's all. I loved it when i got it and yes something like the OM-2N is a better camera even so the rugged "feel" and the smooth lever really is something that i liked. They didn't improve the glass which was why i eventually got an 700si in fact i wrote a letter to their office in milton keynes which afterwards went to head office in Japan but i never got a reply i would have loved to have used the newer lenses on my X-700 i think that you may be able to get an adapter but it adds to the focal length

Mike Gammill , Oct 07, 2010; 08:11 a.m.

Sorry. It was OM-10. Then an X-700 is a step up.

Capital Q , Oct 07, 2010; 09:10 a.m.

Here's what I think: the x700 is ok. There are much better Minolta bodies and you have lots of choices. The Rokkor lenses it takes on its SR-mount are superb and much more plentiful/cheaper than Zuiko glass. I predict that after you get comfortable on the x700 (a good learning tool), you will want to keep the glass and move to a better Minolta body...

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