The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Devoted to film use, whether using the older manual Minolta system or AF/Dynax/Maxxum system from 1985 on
David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6248
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:36 pm

The 25th Anniversary of the Alpha system is marked by the 2010 No 1 edition of Photoworld.

Image

It appears 25 years to the month after the original launch of the Minolta 7000AF, in a system which was known and labelled as Alpha from the very start - a name changed for 'foreign' markets to Maxxum or Dynax, but always Alpha in Japan.

Image

You can grab a high-res copy of the logo we have created for the 25th anniversary:

Image

http://photoclubalpha.com/25logo.pdf

- David

narayanasharma
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:07 pm

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby narayanasharma » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:37 pm

Hi hiccup! Thanks for the information. I have a 7000 and am proud to own one.

regards

Narayana SHarma

R B Janes
Acolyte
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:36 pm

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby R B Janes » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:02 pm

Nice logo! Do you have the exact date of the alpha system release David?

(worth noting that the original 7000 had neither mirror lock-up or depth of field preview..)

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6248
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:39 pm

Only January 1985. I have found my old b/w neg sheet showing the first shots of the 7000 with a bunch of lenses, and those must have been taken at Minolta UK as they show office chairs like a private meeting room. The picture is in the early part of Jan-Mar 1985 files. Trees are bare on other shots on the roll, there is some frosted grass.

I would guess the system as I was first shown it would have been in late Jan or early February. The camera was not sent to be tested until May 1985. Shirley was sitting an OU examination in Lincoln the day it came, so I drove her in, and then went for a long walk with the 35-70mm during her exam. It's sunny in the pix and the leaves on the trees indicate May.

David

User avatar
Birma
Tower of Babel
Posts: 6679
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby Birma » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:45 pm

Happy 25th anniversary Alpha. Is this the ideal opportunity for Sony to release more silver lenses :D ?

Welcome to the forum R B and narayanasharma. How about some Alpha pictures from 25 years ago?

R B Janes wrote:(worth noting that the original 7000 had neither mirror lock-up or depth of field preview..)
Hehe :D
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

bechisbest
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:02 am

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby bechisbest » Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:14 pm

I found the original comprehensive brochure,with the details of the three launch A.F. cameras yesterday, and started to wonder why Minolta didn't hang in.I know ALL the details of why they retired from the camera battle,but it still hurts.By the way are Minolta really making the lenses in J.V.C. camcorders or is this more badge engineering?

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6248
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:38 pm

Welcome to the forums! I believe KM does make the video lenses, and also makes photocopier and CCTV lenses. It's possible that they now get the work done by Tamron, which is the largest maker of video camera lenses (only you never see their name on them). Sure, it's branding, because almost any lens you can find could be given another name.

David

bechisbest
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:02 am

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby bechisbest » Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:11 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Welcome to the forums! I believe KM does make the video lenses, and also makes photocopier and CCTV lenses. It's possible that they now get the work done by Tamron, which is the largest maker of video camera lenses (only you never see their name on them). Sure, it's branding, because almost any lens you can find could be given another name.

David

Thanks for the welcome, I believe I will enjoy this forum. I have just seen a Minolta XM with 35-70 lens (ex plus plus ) £69,how are the mighty fallen !!

David Kilpatrick
Site Admin
Posts: 6248
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:14 pm
Location: Kelso, Scotland
Contact:

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:55 pm

I now have a page on the main website:

http://wp.me/P8sth-ur

David

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3566
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:23 pm

Very interesting read, my jaw dropped a few times reading through it..but this is not unusual for a DK article :mrgreen:

User avatar
RubberDials
Heirophant
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:16 am

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby RubberDials » Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:58 pm

David I greatly enjoyed your sprint through the last 25 years. Very nostalgic reading as I remember the great excitement at the 7000 launch - I was 20 years old - and desperate to get hold of one and ditch my ME Super. Interesting that you say Minolta was never forgiven by the other Japanese Camera manufacturers - this seems very likely! Whenever I hear journalists casually asserting the dominance of Nikon and Canon (and the insignificance of Sony) I always think of the silence that followed in the wake of the 7000 and the eventual appearance of Canon's first AF monstrosity (T80 was it?). One website in particular could do with teaching it's journalists a bit about the history of Minolta (as well as Pentax and Zeiss etc.)

It's hard to get across to users today the feeling of technical brilliance and innovation that surrounded the company back then - but you capture some of it in your article. Nikon seemed desperately un-technological as I remember, with a concentration on mechanical camera functions and a very retarded flash system and even Canon's built in lens motors were perceived as an inelegant and expensive solution to Minolta's in-body motor. Your lines on the expansion card system bring back many memories of dismissive articles in the photo press which on reflection were probably written by journalists who'd never even seen the cards, let alone used them.

I was lucky to get a 7000 in the end, and I owned a 9000 too as well as a couple of the other bodies. My 9xi is still with me and I concur with everything you say about that great camera.

It's a shame that Sony will presumably not be honoring the 25th Anniversary of the mount, for the confusion it would no doubt create, but it would be also be a good opportunity to 'remind' people of the lineage of Alpha products. It never did Zeiss and hasselblad and Leitz any harm.

alphaomega
Viceroy
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:20 pm

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby alphaomega » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:36 pm

A great article. Thank you very much. I owned an SRT101 - still in the house - and several XD-7 and X700. Never went AF until my first A700. I belong to those who regret first the Minolta retreat in the latter part of the film era and then their slow entry into digital DSLR. With what they had in the latter eighties I still believe they could have become No. 1 also in professional equipment, if they had played their cards right. I still use their Dimage Scan Elite 5400 II and it is a great scanner. Let's hope that Sony do not forget the more advanced photographers in their pursuit of P&S upgraders.

User avatar
bfitzgerald
Subsuming Vortex of Brilliance
Posts: 3566
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2008 10:48 pm

Re: The 25th anniversary of the Alpha system

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:56 pm

Just to add a few thoughts. In the article is seemed to suggest the Km5d was a bit basic, but I find most 7d users thought the 5d was "too close" in spec to the 7d, you only really lost handling and buttons (which is a notable difference), bar the VF and buffer, the specs were very close..maybe too close for comfort in the market place. When the 5d dropped to sub £400, it was really an obvious choice v the 7d. You lost little, but gained better metering, zoom on raw, and b&w mode etc, back in the days a company was not scared to "improve" lower end models.

Onto the expansion cards, again I never liked them, simply because it was not simply used to add some nice advanced features; on the Dynax 5000i, you were robbed of A/S modes..only available with a card, and considering that model was not that cheap, it was obvious crippling, even back then! So in that context the cards were a "bad" thing. If they were there to add some nice tasty high end features, and that alone, fair enough..but they were not. Glad they got the chop, but amazed Sony has not picked up on it.
Agree on the film 5 v the film 60, almost every post I've read says the 5 is better, well it is in a few spec areas, but the 60 is a whole nicer camera to operate and use. It's also annoying how people suggest the Km5d uses the 60's AF system, the two are really nothing alike, maybe we need to start a myth-busters thread ;-)

Things like power zoom, were other silly ideas. Why drain you battery when just moving the zoom with your hand works! This proves one point, making everything electronic is not always a good idea.


Here is a chart showing the cards, and which ones can be used on which models, this shows the other problem here, there are limitations on the use of some cards on some bodies, some cannot be used. This system might have worked, "if" it were thought out better.

http://www.cameracentre.com/minoltacards.html


Return to “Film SLR systems”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron