Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My (Dad's) old buddy Minolta

My dad had (has) a Minolta SLR camera which fell (has fallen) into insignificance as soon as I bought a digital camera. The reason the camera died is simple. These days no one sees the point in buying a film. There is less film variety now: if you want a film with a speed of 400, you won't find it. Also, after shooting with the film, it is a hard task to develop the film. It wasn't hard years ago, but it is hard now. No photo shop (not Photoshop) wants to turn their machine on just to develop one roll of film.

Recently, I shot with that camera again. I was impressed. My 3 year old Fujifilm digital camera gives a resolution of only 7.2 MP. The Film camera gives at least 25 MP. There is no definite way of confirming it, but that's what the researchers say.

Film is full-frame. 35 mm. It has a large sensor, very good noise performance, deep depth- all the things that are missing in a point and shoot digital camera.

The lens I used is 50 mm and is 30 years old. Still the photos look better than the ones from a point and shoot digital camera that are available today. Cool thing is that I can still mount a large 500 mm lens on the camera and spy on the next building.

The only thing I found hard is the control. A very good knowledge of photography is required to operate the camera. Almost everything in the camera should be operated manually (f-stop, shutter speed, focus). I have taken more than 30000 photos till this date, so I have some experience. I didn't find it that hard. For a novice, taking photos in an average condition would not be tough, but to capture dramatic light would be a tiresome work. 

The other problem with this camera is that it is slow. It takes a long time to perform. You may miss the running dear if you have ruined the first shot already.

Overall, I like the camera very much. It has a antique feel to it. Also, it's metallic and heavy body makes it feel like a pro camera. My Dad still longs for a Canon A1 film SLR. But he somehow knows that a Film A1 is surely not as good as a Canon 5D Mark ii or a Canon 7D. 

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