Manual 35mm Cameras vs. My Minolta Maxxum 7000

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by ben_nauber, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. I apologize, I'm not well-versed in the world of 35mm. gods, please enlighten me.
    I have a Minolta Maxxum 7000. Produces nice photos as far as I can tell. I'm thinking of purchasing a manual camera (likely a Nikon F2 based on the general consensus), but I'd like to know what the advantages to having say something like Nikon over my Minolta. I understand that one is manual and another electronic/AF... beyond that though? Is there a big difference in quality?
    And another question... let's say I get a new lens for my Minolta. Would it fit on a Nikon F2 as well?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    I'm sorry if this has been covered ad nauseum. I searched and didn't seem to find anything.
  2. No, the lenses are not cross compatible. Not even between the Minolta manual focus and the Minolta Autofocus. However the 7000 with it's AF switch is easy to turn off and focus manually, so you could use your 7000 as a manual camera pretty easily. And Minolta has plenty of manual focus bodies too such as the XG-1 and the XD-11 which would be good rugged machines for you (not that the F2 isn't a great camera).
    Manual cameras tend to slow you down a bit more than an AF camera does. That's the only real advantage except that buying an F2 would allow you to buy and use Nikon MF lenses which are well regarded. Some might differ, but in general Minolta and Nikon had a similar level of quality. Each had better and worse lenses but I'd say they were equivalent.
  3. These days F2's are becoming, if they already aren't collectibles. That's going to drive the price up quite a bit. Do you need interchangeable prisms and finders? That's the only significant operation difference. As far as lenses go, the Minolta items will cost less and offer quality just about equal to what you'll get from Nikkors.
  4. I'll chime in here and point out that the F2 isn't the camera for you. If you are looking for a simplified 35mm SLR, then there are lots of options. If you want to keep AF, then you are restricted to the Minolta A lenses for your Maxxum 7000. Is there a reason why that camera is no longer doing the job for you, or do you just want to play around with a fully manual camera? If that's the case, go with one of the Minolta cameras such as the SRT101, XE-7. X-700, or X-570. Lenses for the MD/MC mounts for the Minolta manual focus cameras are very cheap on ebay and KEH. They are certainly as good as the glass from Nikon or Canon.
    If you are wanting to switch to an entirely different manufacturer, there are so many options. However, before you plunk down some cash, I can tell you from a lot of experience, that Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Minolta and Pentax all made some excellent cameras and lenses. Of all of them, only Pentax and Nikon's current DSLR cameras can make use of their older lenses without requiring an adapter. (I am excluding the pre-K-mount lenses of Pentax).
    For Nikon, I can recommend the FA, FM2N, F3 and FE2 as good, reliable manual cameras. For Canon, it would be hard to wrong with an FTb QL. For Olympus, the OM series (except the OM-10) are all great cameras with some fine glass. For Pentax, the K1000 is a pretty basic camera, and then there are the Pentax ME, ME super, and others. There are also a slew of cameras recently made that also take the Pentax K-mount - sold under the Vivitar and Cosina names.
    Why do I not suggest the F2? Well, the prices ARE climbing, it requires the lenses with a metering prong (non-AI, AI and AI-S), and the metering head makes this the least "pretty" of all the cameras. The flash connection also is a pain in the butt. It may have been the last hand-assembled manual focus camera, and it's a gem, but stacking it up against all my other Nikons, it falls short in many attributes.
  5. Manual focus Minoltas are very inexpensive, practically given away from my experience. Problem is the m.f. lenses won't fit the autofocus Maxxum cameras. But as cheap as they are, maybe it doesn't matter much.
  6. I can't understand why a Nikon F2 wouldn't be considered a very simple, manual 35mm SLR. Mentioned above: '...(F2) requires the lenses with a metering prong (non-AI, AI and AI-S)...' I’d like to offer some clarity to Ben. There are five metering heads for the Nikon F2: 1) F2 Photomic (DP-1 prism), 2) F2S (DP-2 prism), 3), F2SB (DP-3 prism), 4) F2A (DP-11 prism and 5) F2AS (DP-12 prism). Cameras 1, 2 and 3 require the prong and are compatible with non-AI, AI and AIS lenses. Cameras 4 and 5 are referred to as AI and AIS compatible and do not require the prong because the linkage is provided on the aperture ring. With 4 and 5, one can meter via stop-down method with non-AI lenses. All manual focus Nikkor lenses (non-AI, AI, and AIS) you'd be considering leave the factory with a prong.
    Rather than the tail wagging the dog and spelling-out all the various features of numerous cameras the interested party should list the features they are seeking / most important in a manual camera. Incidentally 'manual' has come to mean different things to different people: manual exposure and/or manual focus (and to some, even a mechanical vs. electronically controlled shutter that does not require a battery). You'll have to clarify what you're seeking.
    Among the features to consider: price, size/weight, life expectancy, flash usage (in context of frequency, TTL flash, sync speed), mirror lock-up, available shutter spds, mechanical vs. electronic shutter, compatibility of lenses going forward and using on a DSLR, etc. I doubt, at this point, you’re interested in interchangeable prisms/focus screens. I suggest a long horizon and buying into a ‘system’ so whichever lenses you acquire can also be used on a DSLR, though there may be limitations with metering, depending on the body. Shall save that conversation for another day, but in the interest of using manual lenses on a Nikon DSLR, go with AI and AIS glass, should you go the Nikon route.
    I can’t say I’ve seen appreciable movement in the prices of F2 bodies in recent years as they seem to be holding steady, perhaps a modest increase, except for the rarest of breeds: Titan, High Speed and Data. If anything I’d prefer to buy into a body that is either steady or appreciating.
    I’m not very familiar with Minolta but have several Nikon F2 bodies with various prisms (amongst several Nikons in general) and find them to be superb on many levels; simple, reliable, huge/bright finder, metering/shttr spds from 8 sec to 1/2000 and compatible with a raft of inexpensive, top-notch glass. Whatever you decide, keep it simple and get on with the enjoyment of shooting. Enjoy.
  7. I think it would help if you said something about why you want the Nikon. The mechanical, manual focus cameras have a different feel to them that some people prefer, but they don't take better pictures. Your 7000 is quite a good camera and it's hard to beat Minolta lenses in any significant way without spending quite a bit of money, but if there's something in particular you're looking for people could give you meaningful advice about that. Instead of, say, naming their favorite Nikons.
  8. I get the impression that the retro-photo bug has bit and you want to get back to basics. I mean if the F2 is falling in your lap.. don't avoid the obvious. AS you've read from the other comments you can't go too wrong with Minolta Glass and the drawbacks of the F2 are only growth, non-AI etc
    I say if the Nikon is there.. and it cheap enough ... and you want to get you're feet wet in real manual photography..then jump in man...the water's nice !
  9. While the Maxxum 7000 doesn't autofocus as fast as the later Maxxums, it does have the advantage of using AA or AAA batteries depending upon the battery holder. The older Maxxum AF glass except for the more exotic offerings are pretty reasonable in price.
    The only way to have lenses that could fit both the Nikon and the Maxxum would be to purchase Tamron Adaptall lenses with the Nikkon Adaptall mount and the (hard to find) manual Maxxum mount (which allowed Tamron Adaptall lenses to fit and be focused manually.)
    If you want AF lenses to work automatically, but still fit a manual camera you could look at some of the fim Nikon AF SLR's. A few nice AF Nikkor primes would go well with the now reasonably priced N80 and still be usuable on a Nikon F.
    I think what I would do, is just look for a used manual Nikon FM or FM-2 and a few manual Nikkor lenses to go with it if you want Nikon. The other posters have good suggestions as well for manual cameras.
  10. There's certainly nothing like a nice old metal manual SLR like the F or the F2, and I would never discourage someone who wants one from getting one. They're addictive.
    But because the Maxxum 7000 has relatively low trade in value, I'd keep a good working one as long as it stays working. What it would fetch in trade isn't likely to buy anything of equivalent quality. I think you'd be better off keeping it and looking for a manual camera on the side.
    As others have suggested, one possibility would be to stick with Minolta, even though the lenses won't interchange. Manual Minoltas and their lenses are abundant, and can often be found very cheaply.
  11. Sorry to send you all down the Nikon F2 track. I was just using that as an example of a high-quality manual camera. If what I'm hearing is right though, sounds like there isn't necessarily an inherent advantage to shooting with a manual camera. It's more about what kind of lenses are compatible with your camera body. That about right?
    Thanks much everyone!
  12. The only thing a manual camera tends to do for you is to force you to make all your own decisions which can be useful for students (and others too). When you are using a DSLR or a modern SLR you are concentrating on composition and lighting and probably letting the camera choose the exposure with guidance from you. When you're learning, you may want to concentrate on choosing shutter speed and aperture and it might be useful (and cheap) to use a MF camera. My favorite is really the Leica M's, like an M2. There's a camera that makes you make the decisions. But it's pricey. The Minolta MF cameras are very cheap as are the lenses. The Minolta AF lenses would be cheap if it weren't for Sony putting out new DSLRs with that mount (which is a good thing) but it's boosted the worth of the AF lenses. The same lenses you are using for your 7000 can be used on my Sony A350 DSLR.
    But yes, it's more about what kind of lenses work with the camera. Or it's about the lenses you already have or want and your budget.

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