Minolta Dynax 9 – The 24 12 months Look forward to a Digicam I had Put to the Again of my Thoughts

That is maybe a well-recognized story to photographers over the age of 40. I began taking photos within the pre-digital period. The primary digital camera that was my very own was a Canon Snappy 20* – a delight of Eighties industrial design in shiny crimson and gray plastic. I cherished that digital camera, I took it all over the place. In a while, when my mother and father determined to maneuver as much as the thrilling world of autofocus (a Pentax SFXn), their Pentax Spotmatic F got here to me. It’s not precisely the household silver, however I’ll by no means half with it.

I invested into the M42 system and put collectively a wide selection of lenses.  I used to be very proud of my arrange till spherical 1996 once I was swayed by promoting and acquired a Canon EOS 50e with “eye monitoring”, which was’t as magical because it was made out to be, however I digress.

Then in 1999 the Minolta Dynax 9 was launched and I wished one. I wished one A LOT.

There was only one small downside: It’s 1999, I’m a scholar on a LEA grant and the retail worth of £1299 is extra money that I might probably think about ever having; however that physique, these lenses and the highest shutter velocity of 1/12,000th of a second (a mechanical feat of engineering not but surpassed aside from with digital shutters) was an excessive amount of to deal with. The GAS was actual.

Amateur Photographer advert from 1999
All the cash on this planet.

I needed to put it to the again of my thoughts, and so I soldiered on with my Canon. I traded the 50e for a EOS 5, then in 2008 I traded all of it once more for an EOS 350D. I’d gone digital. I used to be all-in; no extra movie, no extra processing, no extra darkrooms… this was the longer term and it was magnificent.

Skip ahead a decade and a half and I’m again into shopping for movie cameras and on the prime of the procuring record was the Minolta I might by no means afford. In the identical manner we used to make use of the web to flee the actual world, I’m discovering time spent in the actual world much more preferable to scrolling, scrolling, scrolling on no matter app is widespread for the time being. Coming again to movie with its gradual course of and no immediate gratification has been a revelation and stress-free. 

I discovered a physique solely with a guide on eBay for £175. A lot extra affordable. Paired with the a brief zoom and a 50mm prime, I lastly had the arrange I’d wished all these years in the past and it completely doesn’t disappoint. The construct high quality is great (maybe to its detriment; after years of utilizing plastic Canon DSLRs then a Panasonic GX80 m/43 compact, this factor weights a tonne**) The load doesn’t hassle me an excessive amount of, it provides to the sense of function to the expertise. 

All the things works precisely because it ought to. The one gripe I’ve is the velocity / aperture read-out within the viewfinder is extremely dim, primarily invisible in something aside from darkness. In line with a number of boards it is a identified concern. Up till the early 2000s you would ship it in and it might be repaired, nonetheless now Minolta is naught however a reputation within the historical past books that’s now not attainable. It’s not all unhealthy information, the identical information might be learn on the LCD on the highest plate of the digital camera. It’s a little bit of a faff, however higher than nothing.

I’ve learn that the fabric the grip is fabricated from tends to degrade and switch right into a sticky mess as is the way in which with ageing plastics. Fortunately the one I’ve reveals no indicators of that but.

The primary roll I put thought it was some Kentmere 400. I used to be astounded by the velocity and accuracy of the auto-focus. I’ve by no means had this factor hunt for focus. It’s fast, it’s exact. It’s not Canon USM whisper quiet… however you possibly can’t have every part. The frames all got here out uncovered accurately. The 14 section metering does a powerful job even in awkward eventualities. I’ve but to place that most prime velocity to any significant check, however it’s good to realize it’s there, ought to the necessity come up.

A young birch sappling off centre.
Autofocus check with AF 50mm 1.7

I took it out on a day journey to Tintern Abbey, loaded with some very expired (2009) Ilford HP5+ which I pushed to ISO 1600. The exposures have been good, the processing and scanning… properly that’s debatable and that’s on me.

Tintern Abbey

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I’ve had the Dynax 9 for a couple of 12 months now and I’m very glad I lastly have one. Is it my go-to for taking all over the place? No, it’s too heavy for an each day sling it in a pocket digital camera – for that I’ve a pleasant little Yashica level and shoot I discovered in a charity store for a tenner. I’m very a lot having fun with being again with movie and the digital camera I wished.

It’s seemingly in all probability on borrowed time as this stuff weren’t designed to final this lengthy. I’m positive Minolta again in it’s heyday noticed this as a stepping stone into knowledgeable line of digital cameras which the place by no means actually realised earlier than being acquired by Sony – who apparently went on to do fairly properly for themselves. 

Thanks for studying and if you need to see extra photos, not essentially taken with the Dynax and never essentially taken on movie (I’m additionally a Fujifilm fanboy) you will discover me on Instagram @not_necessarily_analog

*I want I nonetheless had it, however it was misplaced to time.

**Truly it’s simply shy of 1Kg and not using a lens.

You could find an in depth evaluation of the Dynax 9 right here on 35mmc

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