Minolt Maxxum

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by BeBu Lamar, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. is there any one like the Minolta Maxxum? I have a number of them and thinking of selling them but I think they are not worth much. The only one I would rather use is the Maxxum 7 and I just found that it's dead last weekend.
    The remaining all working fine are Maxxum 9xi, 800si, Maxxum 70, QTsi.
  2. True. Most models of Maxxum don't command much in the way of high prices. The Maxxum 9 seems to do okay in used sales, but still a mere fraction of their new value. My favorite of the ones I have is the 8000i followed by the 9xi. I gave away a Maxxum 4 to a college student last year. Of course, if you go the digital way many Maxxum lenses will work with the Sony Alpha SLR's. Of course, I'm talking about the top end Maxxum glass (like the 300mm f 2.8, etc.) rather than the typical kit lenses.
    So use and enjoy the Maxxums or maybe give one to an aspiring film photographer.
  3. My wife had a Maxxum 7000, the original one, and though its AF was pretty much out of the race with anything but the fastest prime lenses, it was otherwise a pretty nice camera. It's essentially worthless, the Sony compatible lenses the main source of any value. The best Minolta lenses were always quite good. A lot of people seem to have disliked the completely dial-less controls on the Maxxum but they were pretty well laid out and easy to use quickly once you were used to them. The early ones had an unreliable "aperture base plate," whatever that is, which renders them essentially unrepairable, so it's possible that if you have a good one some Maxxum shooter might still like it, but I don't know where such a creature can now be found.
  4. The original 7000 was amazing if you had a fast prime and plenty of light, but even the fast lenses often "hunted" focus if there were not enough lines in the subject for the single sensor to lock on to. Huge improvement with the 7000i and 8000i with their three sensors and ability to select the central sensor only. The less advanced 5000i and 3000i had single sensors. The xi series models (7xi and 9xi) were even better, but the bottom feeder 2xi did have one surprising feature: spot metering. I don't think the angle of metering for the spot was as fine as some more sophisticated cameras, but it worked.
    Some Maxxum lenses that are worth having (IMHO): 300mm f 2.8, 600mm f 4, 500mm f 8 (mirror lens), 85mm f 1.4, 35mm (either f 2 or f 1.4), 100mm f 2, 100mm f 2.8 macro, 135mm f 2.8, 28mm f 2, and 50mm f 2.8 macro. Some of this glass is still expensive, but some of them can be had at reasonable prices. For budget primes either the f 1.7 or f 1.4 perform well (about middle of the pack among fast normal lenses). Avoid the kit lenses (like 35-80). The original zooms: 70-210 f 4 (the beer can) is a well made good performing zoom. The first generation 28-85 is good for a wide to short tele.
    Some of the later Maxxums (XTSI, 4, 5, etc. suffered from some separation in the viewfinder as they aged, but still focus accurately and provide correct exposures.
  5. I have the Maxxum XTsi that somehow found its way into my Nikon infested world. It has the kit lens but honestly seems to work reasonably well. I keep thinking I'll make it one that I leave in the car but it's too hot now for that nonsense. I wish I could find a couple of primes for it at a reasonable cost.

    Rick H.
  6. Because you can use the lens on Sony cameras including the mirrorless. I found the bodies are nightmare to use. Even the Maxxum 7 isn't easy to use.
  7. The early Maxxums were innovative and ground-breaking for their time. (e.g., LINK)

    Times have passed on, of course.
  8. Nikon and Canon would make advances then Minolta would follow and also Pentax. Olympus and Yashica never were really serious AF competitors although the trap focus mode on the Yashica 230 AF was innovative. Olympus had the pop up flash available in one of the grips for the OM 77 AF, but no AF in interchangeable lens film SLR after that. I did like their fixed zoom AF SLRs though. Although I mainly use manual focus film gear, my favorite AF gear includes: Pentax ZX-5 and ZX-7, Olympus IS-30, Maxxum 8000i, and Maxxum XTSI.
  9. I have a 7000i that I bought new, and it is the easiest SLR to use that I've ever encountered. Boring, but easy.
  10. davecaz- Have you ever tried the expansion cards made for the "i" series Maxxums? The Custom Function Card (which I have) allows you to program the camera to leave leader out when rewinding, to change shutter speeds in 1/2 stop increments, and to change from automatic rewind to rewind signal. More functions, I think but useful. Portrait cards, bracketing cards, and several others, now at really low prices. One great feature the 7000i and 8000i have that is absent on some later models is the near-infrared focusing aid. You can literally focus on a blank wall in complete darkness with it.
  11. My first AF camera was a 500si. It did exactly what it said on the box - slowly and noisily. Trying to photograph my sons playing rugby was a nightmare. I changed it for a used 7xi - what a revelation. Much faster and more responsive, although it was a previous generation camera. The minimalist user interface was criticised at the time but I soon found the way the buttons interacted with the LCD to be easy to use and intuitive. You just had to ignore all the clever gadgets like auto standby zoom, which worked with the power zoom xi lenses. And tape over the contact strip in the handgrip to disable the annoying eyestart feature. The later 700si was a very similar camera but with more dedicated controls, but I'm not sure it was any better than the 7xi. They were very much praised for the 14 segment exposure metering. It's a shame these superb cameras are worth practically nothing nowadays.
  12. The xi power zooms never had the impact Minolta hoped for. By the time the xi series had been replaced by the next up, the power zooms had disappeared. Pentax tried something similar with the additional feature on the top model of a feature called zoom clip where the user could store a favorite focal length and the camera would return the lens to that setting. Like Minolta, Pentax abandoned the power zooms in favor of manual zooms. Optically, both companies improved their lenses optically somewhat after dropping the power zoom function. Maxxum 24-85 and 24-105 lenses were good performing zooms for example. The power zoom kit lenses were just acceptable, according to many testers. However, if stopped down, even the kit 35-80 could deliver sharp results. We sold the kits in our family camera shop and the typical buyer would get a 3xi or 5xi with that lens and just leave the camera in program mode, which forced the lens to operate wide open often, and almost exclusively with the built in flash. Customers who followed our advice and used aperture priority mode to select f 8 or f 11 got much sharper photos.
  13. I used to have the auto-bracketing and auto-flash bracketing cards. I used the auto-bracketing card a lot. Probably more than necessary, really, considering how well the camera metered. You may actually have my old card(s), since I sold them awhile ago for "very low prices". I couldn't, and still can't, give away the camera, but the cards sold pretty quickly, though for a pathetically small amount of money.

    It's kind of weird but, when I bought the 7000i, I loved it. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. And it was and is a very good camera. But, I have ZERO interest in using it, these days. I'd rather use one of the 7000s I've accumulated for the sake of the lenses attached to them, which I use on my Minolta 7D digital. The 7D is still my favorite design, ergonomically. I just wish I could upgrade the sensor. It would be killer!
  14. davecaz- Actually, all my cards were remaining stock from the family camera shop. I had a few that I didn't need that I thought about selling, but they're worth very little on the used market. The 70 was the last Maxxum, but in some ways was less advanced than the Maxxum 5. The 70 IMHO handled better than the 5. As I recall, the metering on the 70 was quite good.
  15. Among the bunch I like the 7 best but it's dead. The 70 was bought new and so it's like new as it has seen very little use. I think may be I keep the 70 to use the lenses I have. I don't have any good lens to get a Sony digital to use them.
    My Minolta lenses are
    50mm f/1.7
    2 Sigma 70-300
    1 Tamron 70-210
    Nothing good.

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