In this first Episode of ‘Coffee with Jefferson Davis’, I discuss the Minolta SR-7, Yashica MG-1, Zeiss Ikon Contessa, and different black and white films. I talked about the cost of film and different options available to us currently. My favorite is Kentmere 100 and 400. They are just as good as Ilford’s FP4 and HP5, but that is just my opinion. I hope to see Kodak or someone in the states come out with a competitive film. Arista Edu Ultra films are merely rebranded Fomapan films. They do work, and I have got some great results from them, yet they are prone to curling and scratches. The base on the Arista Edu films is very thin and easily scratched. I will have a review of the Contessa up by the end of next week.
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This beautiful camera was thrust onto the world stage in 1962, the decade of space exploration and scientific briefs that would set the world on fire. This beaut set the world on fire in its own way, it was the first 35mm SLR camera to have a built in Cds light meter. Up until this point, light meters were a required accessory to ensure the photographer was getting the best exposure for a scene or portrait. Light meters were in abundance. You could pick one up, along with your film, at your local pharmacist.
The Minolta SR-7, the Pentax Spotmatic, and Canon and Nikon variants killed the light meter for the mass market. Sekonic was the only real contender that survived, though that is a debatable subject. They are still highly sought after for professional photographs like myself and amateurs.
When this beautiful Minolta came into my possession, it was dirty, grimy, and not working. I cleaned the camera exterior, interior dried up grease, and cleaned the battery contacts. That is all it took to get it working again. After about thirty minutes of fiddling, I was ready to take it out for a test run.
The Minolta 58mm Rokkor-PF f/1.4 lens came on the camera. That was my main reason for purchasing it. It is such a sharp lens at f/1.4. It competes with new lenses. It may not have the anti flare coatings, but it is probably sharper due to not having all of those extra coatings that we may not need all the time. There is a gallery below with photographs from that first test roll of kentmere 100.
I took it downtown Easley near where I live. It is a different experience, looking down at the exposure meter before doing a final composition check and taking the shot. It slowed me down and made me think before taking the shot. It was enjoyable and everyone that passed me, enquired as to what kind of camera it is. It looks a bit alien, as it should being from the early 60’s. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting with this camera! If you have the time to go out and shoot, trying new angles and perspectives, pick up one of these on ebay or etsy and give it a try. You will not regret it, I haven’t. After all, it is historically important and should be appreciated and used.