Minolta Question , Need Advice .

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by veritas, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. veritas

    veritas Guest

    Hi ,

    I have a Minolta Maxxum 7xi . Now , 14 yeras after I purchased it ,
    I am looking to find instruction sheets for the creative expansion cards
    that it uses. I am seriously considering skipping to the Minolta Maxxum 7D
    ( digital ) sooner rather than later . Can anyone tell me if the nice
    functions of those expansion cards on the 35mm 7xi are already built in to
    the Maxxum 7D ?

    Also , as far as the 35 mm 7xi goes I would really like to get instruction
    sheets for some of the cards I plan on purchasing from eBay(?) . Any ideas
    where I may be able to find them ?

    All I have is the Hove publication on the Maxxum 7xi -- which writes about
    the cards but not in detail ...

    Thanks in advance ..
    veritas, Oct 8, 2006
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  2. TRY:


    If anyone out there is short of cards, I have a pallet of the things new
    and packaged. Mixed. No idea exactly what, probably all outdated types.
    A few hundred of them. Since I don't think they are worth anything at
    all I have not even tried to sell any.

    Some of the cards add functions - like exposure bracketing - not present
    in the original camera. Others do clever stuff which even the Dynax 7
    called for human control to reach, like auto Depth of Field calculation.
    Some do stuff which no human can manage, like the Fantasy card which
    operates a power zoom during a short time exposure to produce a halo
    blur. But others just switch to a Sports mode or a Close-up mode, easily
    found in later cameras as a picture style function.

    The unique ones remain unique and we will probably never see anything
    like them again. I keep a 35-200mm lens, 7xi and Fantasy card just as a
    record of what they thought could be possible.

    David Kilpatrick, Oct 8, 2006
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  3. veritas

    veritas Guest

    I might be interested in the cards you have if they're OK . I am just
    familiarizing myself with the many types( after 14 years of being slack with
    my photography ) . I only have a 7xi with a Minolta AF 28-80 zoom .Is this
    enough to fully utilize their potential ? Or do I have to buy extra
    accessories ? Also , all those cards seem desirable , but as you say some
    are exceptional and unique . I like the multi-exposure and fantasy card .
    Can you think of others ?I like the artistic side of things e.g. portraits ,
    multiple exposures , child --any others (?). It would help if I had the
    instruction sheets that come with the packs that contain the cards -- since
    I really don't know how to use them offhand then I will probably miss
    important features ( the Canadian Minolta website you recommended doesn't
    have the manuals for the creative expansion cards -- I tried looking ) and
    it will take me ages to work it out and even. Can you recommend any other
    cards that will be useful ?But I definitely need the instructions .

    Do you think the Canon EOS 5D is better than the Minolta Maxxum/Dynax 7D out
    of interest ? I'm not giving up on film and will probably use both 35mm and
    digital-SLR together .
    veritas, Oct 8, 2006
  4. If you can afford the Canon 5D, it's much better, yes - and I say this
    as a Minolta user. However, you need to be able to afford the right
    lenses (the 5D is quite picky about which exact lens types you use,
    producing bad results in the corners from some zooms and wides) and
    ideally, a couple of image stabilised lenses. The cheaper 70-300mm IS
    USM really isn't up to the 5D - or any - digital standards, it was soft
    even on our 300D and is probably softer on our new 400D, will know soon.
    Bonus, however, is that the cheap Canon 50mm f1.8 and 28mm f2.8 lenses
    are both star performers of the 5D.

    To make the most the Fantasy card you must have an xi Power Zoom lens. I
    don't think any of the others need a special lens, but many are quite
    limited if you only have 28-80mm, as they can program effects or
    settings for a much wider range (20mm to 300mm).

    I have:

    Exposure Bracketing card
    Data Memory Card - this is a model 1 card, and most people want the type 2
    Auto Program Shift 2
    A-S Mode card
    Flash Bracketing card

    All are new, unused, shrink wrapped in some cases. I have LOADS of
    Bracketing cards. I'll mail one free to anyone subscribing to our
    Photoworld magazine (UK Minolta Club mag) in addition to any other offer
    we are making, on request. They hardly add anything to the weight.

    David Kilpatrick, Oct 8, 2006
  5. Veritas-

    Don't kid yourself. Once you start shooting digital, you will find
    yourself shooting less and less film, and eventually none. The film I
    shot was of the Space Shuttle Columbia's last launch, and only because
    that was the body that worked with the Minolta 500mm AF Mirror lens.

    I have the Minolta 9xi body. I think I have the "Child" card for it, but
    don't recall for sure. There were two auto-zoom cards, and I got the
    cheaper one. I have a 28-105mm power zoom lens that is required for the
    auto-zoom feature of the card to work. If your 28-80 is mechanical zoom,
    neither auto-zoom card will work with it.

    If price is important, look for a good used or new-old-stock
    Konica-Minolta 7D. If you can afford it, I suggest you go for the Sony
    Alpha 100 with its higher pixel count. I got mine when it first appeared
    at a Ritz store and have not regretted it. It works with all of my old
    Minolta lenses including the power zoom lens and the 500mm f/8 AF mirror
    lens. (I used the 500mm to shoot the most recent Shuttle launch from my
    front yard, and you can see the solid rockets separating.)

    With either body, get it with the kit lens. It is unlikely that any of
    your existing 35mm lenses will provide the wide angle coverage of the kit
    lens. Because of the digital sensor's 1.5X "crop factor", your 28-80 zoom
    lens will provide the equivalent coverage of a 42-120mm lens on a 35mm
    film body.

    The Canon EOS 5D is a fine camera. It has a full frame sensor, so there
    is no crop factor to worry about. But it is not the "end-all" camera
    body, and will likely be replaced by a newer model within the next six
    months. If you choose to get one, it means all new lenses and
    accessories, as you probably realize. The KM 7D or SA 100 will allow you
    to use most of your existing 7xi accessories, and will be a lot less
    expensive way to break into digital photography.

    Fred McKenzie, Oct 8, 2006
  6. veritas

    veritas Guest

    I presume the lens I have is an auto-zoom with a switch to go from manual
    focus to auto-focus . It writes " ZOOMXi AF 28-80/4-5.6"Is this the Power
    Zoom you mean ?

    and here

    it says "Xi Lens can use a power zoom function with a built-in motor" but
    then it has a particular lens listed as Power Zoom under the Xi category :

    AF PZ 35-80/4-5.6

    I am confused . Is the lens I have Pwer Zoom or Not ?
    veritas, Oct 9, 2006
  7. Yes, you've got an xi power zoom, you can use the Fantasy card and
    auto-zoom card.

    David Kilpatrick, Oct 9, 2006
  8. veritas

    veritas Guest

    No , the Canon EOS 5D is definitely wishful thinking at the moment . I would
    have to budget for it and save .

    But the Minolta 7D looks attractive . I am hesitant because of the potential
    lack of firmware( i.e newer than 1.10 issue )
    spare parts etc . Will Sony service it ? How can you tell that the 7D you
    purchase is free of problems( without trying it out ) ?

    Take a look here , what do you think of this ? :
    http://www.costelectronics.com/komima7d61me.html does this look OK ?

    Will the Sony lenses( you noted above ) work on the 7xi I have if I chose
    Sony ( since I like the artistic creative cards and the artistic side of
    things) ?
    Also , are the lenses built in-house by Sony ( like Minolta's were ) ?

    Regarding the A100 , will there be a newer version soon -- in which case I
    could wait a little ? Or maybe an evolved 7D ( instead of the 5D which looks
    very mush like a A100 ) ?

    Lastly you magazine looks interesting . Is it a quarterly( is it still in
    print ?) ? Are you planning on changing the name to something like
    Minolta-Sony photoworld now :) ?

    In the meantime I will buy a good used xi 100-300 AF ZOOM and other
    lenses(?) and work with my 7xi ( and the creative cards I will get ) until I
    can get the digital camera issue sorted . Its a toss-up between the 7D and
    the alpha-100.
    veritas, Oct 10, 2006
  9. veritas

    veritas Guest

    Is the AutoZoom creative expansion card called " autozoom" ? I don't see
    that on the list I have .

    What exactly does it do that the camera without it can't do ?
    veritas, Oct 10, 2006
  10. veritas

    Alan Browne Guest

    No. The cards applied to cameras of that era (xi and a few others).
    Many of the cards depended on the lens being xi with electic zoom and
    AF. (For example the "Child" card would automatically zoom to "fit" the
    subject into the frame. This actually worked reasonably well).

    One cool function was the "soft focus" card which would drive the AF
    during exposure to achieve soft focus. (I didn't have this card, but it
    was a cool effect in the brochure...) No reason it could not be
    replicated in DSLR firmware... but it isn't.

    Most of these functions were controlled with the FUNC key and changing
    the front and/or rear dial to different settings. (eg: not soft, a bit
    soft, soft and really soft = 0,1,2,3). So absent a manual you might be
    able to figure them out.

    Google away, somebody may have scanned them or may have them up for sale.

    The Maxxum 7xi manual is (was) on the Minolta site. e-mail me (without
    the Freelunch) and I will e-mail you the manual (in 3 pdf parts).

    Alan Browne, Oct 10, 2006
  11. Veritas-

    Autozoom is how the card does what it does. I believe it works with the
    power zoom lenses to keep subject size constant by zooming in when the
    focus point moves away, and zooming out when the focus point gets closer.

    As I recall, mine is the "Child" card. I think another was called a
    "sports" card, but my memory is dim. The two had different criteria for
    choosing when to zoom and/or how much. There may be other cards that use
    the power zoom lens, but I'm not familiar with them.

    Someone mentioned that your 28-80 lens may not have enough zoom range to
    give much benefit to such a card, but it still might be interesting to

    Fred McKenzie, Oct 12, 2006
  12. veritas

    veritas Guest

    Hi Fred ,
    Because I want the film camera for artistic things like
    soft focus portraits of girlfriends , wives etc ..and other creative things
    like boudoir photography,
    I will get some good used power zoom xi lenses 100-300 mm and 35-200 mm when
    I find them on eBay etc . And some other cards that I like when I find them

    But I will follow your advice ( and David's before ) and get a Sony
    alpha-100 with its lenses in kit ( or maybe I could use the used xi lenses
    there ? ) for all the
    rest of the photography -- and my "gut instinct" tells me I will be using
    film less and less as you said . But , I hope they introduce some cool
    modes in the firmware of the Sony cameras.

    On the other hand , I have seen some beautiful artistic photos taken by
    digital using 3 different exposures and averaging hem out by Photoshop ...I
    have a page
    saved somewhere of an article I read recently on the New York Times about
    this -- I was very impressed . I might post it here if I can find it .

    Best ,

    veritas, Oct 13, 2006
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