Minolta XD-11: The Best Camera That Nobody Wanted

I came across an article on-line regarding “High Water Marks” for various camera brands. It seems to support my statement that the XD-11 was the BEST camera that nobody wanted. Making its appearance in 1977, the XD-11 was part of the late 70’s technology boom in lens development and film quality.

XD-11

Winning Features:

  • Auto Exposure with both Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority options
  • Programmable override for Shutter Speed Priority
  • Excellent viewing screen (very bright)
  • Great ergonomics
  • Leaf Shutter

Leaf_Shutter

The quality of Minolta MD Rokker lenses is also vastly under-rated. This may have been due to mass marketing to amateurs with little attention to attracting the professional photographer. In turn, lack of professional exposure discouraged amateurs, etc, eventually killing the Brand, although their recent technology was purchased by Sony.

I experienced this ‘disdain’ when I returned to college after my Christmas break freshman year with a Minolta SRT-SCII, marked down to discount prices because of the new XD- models. One of my wealthier friends returned with a Canon AE-1, but since my photos were often much better than hers I didn’t let it phase me.

I had already upgraded to the X-700 in the late 1980’s.  Then I heard about this wonderful camera:  The XD-11. I have three XD-Series. My first XD-11 (Shown above) has been sent to the ‘parts’ box due an unfixable film advance problem.  The second one that I acquired is a Japan Market model that is labelled XD, but not Minolta. Number 3 & 4 are both XD-11’s with black bodies.

DSC_8846

Regarding the XD-model, I wondered if I had been scammed, but I took it to my local repair shop and he immediately recognized it.  Told me that for a while the Minolta Cameras left off the Japanese manufacturer’s name in hopes of improving market share.  Mine had probably been brought back to the U.S. by an American Serviceman.

Check out my recent Article in 35mmc featuring the XD-11.

Frugal Film Project Roll #6: The Yashica Electro 35 GSN

Here are some example images from my second Frugal Film camera option for 2020. The Yashica Electro 35: also has two lenses that attach to the 45 mm Normal lens:  a wide angle lens (37.7 mm) and a telephoto lens (58.4 mm).  These extend or decrease the focal length of the Normal lens to the given focal lengths.

Yashica1_Posted_Sm

So I tested all three lens set-ups.  First my Castor Bean Plant, left to right: wide angle, normal and telephoto lenses.

 

And views from Cache la Poudre, same lens arrangement as above:

Poudre_Wide
Wide Angle
Poudre_Normal
Normal
Poudre_Telephoto
Telephoto

I need to work on the focus a bit.  I still say that Mamiya has the best rangefinder focussing viewfinders.  Very large and bright.  This one, maybe second best.

So now I am waiting on the final rules and schedule for the 2020 campaign, when I become an official member………

Armistice 1918-2018: What Have We Learned?

I am Reposting this for Veteran’s Day 2019.  Didn’t quite get the response I had hoped for last year……

Over the past 4 years of the 100th Anniversary of World War I (The War to end all Wars, except that it didn’t).  I had hoped for some thoughtful reflection on the Root Cause of Conflict.  I am aware that some of this occurred Across Europe.  But nothing here in the USA.

WWI History is barely touched upon here.  I know much more than the average America due to an excellent AP European History class I took in High School.  It was taught by one of my most memorable teachers, Mr. Knab, from the perspective of the root cause of conflict and how it directly led to WWII.

An opportunity lost……..

Memorial_Day

So I am Honoring My Father’s WWII Service in a Segregated Army, in Italy.  1st Lt Vernon Johnson.  An Army He later helped to Integrate under orders from President Truman.  He worked in the Army Reserve, ‘helping’ white soldiers get used to taking orders from African America Officers. At the out break of The Korean War, he was like other WWII veterans, exempted from further service because he had a wife and child.  At least back them they did not want to make more Widows and Orphans.

Notably my Father was also a Buffalo Soldier…..And he loved the Bob Marley song.  He felt Appreciated and Respected.

 

 

My Father always talked about the Children he met in Italy………

 

 

And Training at Ft Huachuca, Arizona…….

 

 

 

We’ll end with a Photograph of my Mother.  The one that my Father carried with him through the War. I found it in his old foot locker along with many of the images above:

College_Mom3049.jpg

Mom is still with us at a Feisty 95……

Frugal Film Project Roll #5: Minolta SRT-202

I was rearranging my 35 mm storage when I found this cameraRolling out images from a more than 2 year old partially exposed roll of Ilford HP5.  I know it’s that old because I found some photo notes.

So We’ll start with three of the older images.  I love this Power Plant and always go there to test new films and new cameras. So I decided to make a photo project to capture images from everywhere the Plant is visible.  I only got this far.  But I will pick this up as a theme for Frugal Film 2020.

Frugal_PowerPlant3

 

I finished off the roll this Fall with my Zenitar Fisheye lens:

 

Minolta_SRT_202_Posted

So this camera is one of my two options for the Frugal Film Project 2020.  What do you think?

Last Recall from Holga Week 2013

Pinhole_Print1

Also at the Lafayette Library.  They used to sponsor a very nice Pinhole Day event……

Holga Week Officially Starts Today for Postings.  None of mine this year were very spectacular.  But I will share them here starting on Sunday………

 

A Blog About Film and Film Cameras. Exploring My Personal Vision through the Intersection of Life & Art.

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