Re: Minolta Dynax 800si / Alpha 807si

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by rick_drawbridge, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Can anyone explain just what the switch with the Japanese caption in the pic below is used for? It's not featured in my set of instructions, and doesn't seem to be a component of every example of this camera that I've come across.

  2. Hi Rick, A few years ago I was gifted an Alpha 807si along with a couple of Alpha 7's, (JDM version of Dynax / Maxxum 7) along with a swag of lenses and a couple of the sophisticated HS series flash units - HS5400 and HS5600.

    The switch you are referring to activates a mask behind the shutter to expose the film in 'panoramic' mode. That's the only way I can describe it. Open up the camera back and operate the switch. You will see a couple of blinds appear behind the shutter which masks the film to an elongated format. Why? I'm blowed if I know. From memory this mask also appears in the viewfinder. The PDF instruction manual have is for the Dynax 800si and this switch doesn't appear to be on this model.

    I am lucky in that my 807si also has the VC700 grip which allows me to power the camera with AA batteries instead of the rather expensive 2CR5 lithium battery.

    This camera reputedly has the most powerful in built flash unit of any 35mm SLR. I haven't put it to the test yet.

    The lenses I was given range from a 21-35mm Cosina, (not highly regarded), and a brace of zooms including a couple of 28-300 'Holiday' zooms which I am loathe to try. A couple of 80/100 - 400 zooms including a Tokina which may be worth a go. A Cosina 100mm macro which has terrible build quality but performs quite well. To top it off I also have a Kenko 500mm f8 Cat lens which I keep meaning to put through its paces. Should probably use a monopod with this one.

    The manuals for theses cameras and the HS flash units are huge and i haven't had the patience to fully explore. At heart I'm a Canon FD shooter in 35mm. (The T90 and 300TL manuals are simple by comparison.)

    PS I've just shown the picture to my wife, Japanese native speaker), and the captions on the switch say Panorama and Standard.
  3. It seems that Date Backs and Panorama options have always been important items for the Japanese/Asia market.

    Canon also had the "Kiss" versions of the Rebel series film cameras that included both Date backs and Panorama as standard features.

    _Kiss1.jpg _Kiss1a.jpg
  4. martinjones said:
    Thanks, Martin, problem solved. I bought the camera, in pristine condition with the VC700 grip, from a Japanese source, and it's yet to arrive. I've downloaded the instructions and noticed that the switch isn't shown, as you also observed. My favourite SLR is the Canon T90 but I use and admire the Minolta 7000i and have a few of the better Minolta lenses, so I bought the Alpha 807 rather on a whim. You're right about the manual; it's quite a head-spinner but I hope things will improve when I have the camera at hand. Many thanks.

    mike_sowsun said :
    Yes, I've noticed this phenomena over the years; we owned a photolab for a number of years and found some of the innovations and derivations to be a PITA, especially with the introduction of the APS format... Thanks for your comment.
  5. Are they not allowed scissors in Japan; to simply snip the surplus - non-"panoramic" - bits of the print away?

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