… something blue.
The something borrowed was a Minolta X-300 with a Hoya 28-85mm f4 lens. The something blue was a roll of Fomapan 100, OK the packaging is blue, a film I normally only use in 5×4 sheets and rarely, if ever, in 35mm.
Jim (@Gravmadboris on Twitter) recently offered me the loan of his Minolta X-300, a well-respected 35mm SLR film camera which was produced between 1984 and 1990. The X-300 was also marketed as the X-370 in the U.S. and Canada so anyone looking for more information online needs to keep this additional model number in mind.
It’s a very simple camera to use but nevertheless still a very pleasurable experience I found. In fact it’s probably the ease of use that makes it a joy to use. I set the ISO on the camera, set the aperture to the desired value and just keep an eye on the shutter speed in the right hand side of the viewfinder. The view finder itself is bright and consequently easy to use.
As it was a dull, grey, dismal morning I wasn’t expecting any photographic masterpieces (not that I ever do if we are honest) but that didn’t really matter. I enjoy using cameras and was soon forgetting the conditions as I concentrated on composition and the tactile pleasures of a well considered piece of photographic machinery.
Given the conditions and the likelihood of rather low contrast images I opted for developing in Rodinal at 1+50. I normally use Fomadon Excel with Fomapan 100 but felt that this would benefit from the extra bite of Rodinal. It was a good choice and whilst there is grain clearly present it works well I think with the subjects and the conditions.
So, in conclusion this was a lovely camera to use. The Hoya zoom is a very nice lens but rather heavy to my taste, making the camera front heavy. If I decide to add a Minolta to my kit bag (and the chances are high I will) then I will definitely look for a couple of primes rather than a single zoom and from my researches there is a nice little 45mm f2 available in this mount. I reckon that this combination would fit in my winter coat pocket very easily.