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  • Digital non-SLR • Re: Sony/Panasonic in Japan October 25, 2016
    Since almost every camera sold today (other than phones) looks similar to old film cameras and for people who don't like those retro looks then I suggest forgetting about Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and Pentax. If you want something that doesn't look retro go for the Sigma Quattro dp2 or other very un-retro […]
  • Sony Alpha 100-900 • Re: Future of A mount October 25, 2016
    Bakubo, Olympus, and Pentax owners manage to hang in and patiently wait... sometimes for YEARS... for the next product.Samsung owners justifiably have a right to complain.But Sony has NEVER said they were done with the A mount. Truth be told, there really was no reason to suspect that they would not continue introducing more A […]
  • Digital non-SLR • Re: Sony/Panasonic in Japan October 25, 2016
    As far as I can see what is meant about the Leica, Nikon, Fuji, and Olympus cameras when they are called retro is the case colors, some of the lines of the case, and the color/shape of the external controls. So far I haven't seen any that have non-functional external controls, etc. that are meant […]
  • Sony Alpha 100-900 • Re: Future of A mount October 24, 2016
    CHOLLY, you post here very infrequently and from what I have seen you go to great length to hide any information about who you are, where you are, you don't post photos, etc. It is sort of good form here to post an introduction message in this forum:viewforum.php?f=19For example, here is the one I did:viewtopic.php?f=19&t=510Statistics: […]
  • Sony Alpha 100-900 • Re: Future of A mount October 24, 2016
    Dusty wrote:While I can see using similar CPUs, etc., the problem with lenses is the very short flange distance. Tamron, etc, can easily adjust for the slight variations between Sony, Canon, Nikon or Pentax, flange distance, but E-mount requires a whole new design, and many of the old designs are not readily adaptable.Of course, I'm […]

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70 years of Minolta

History Poster

IN 1998 Minolta published, for their 70th anniversary, a large poster featuring all the landmark cameras from their own museum and employee collections. Many of the cameras shown – all fairly small on the poster – were well used and worn examples. The original image-files for the poster, which we have archived, are of poor quality. They are Japanese inkset CMYK sharpened for pre-press, with very dark gamma. This page re-creates all the information from the original poster, complete with the photographs. This page has been updated so that each period now appears as a separate section – simply select the next page to move on after reading each one. Page 1 is 1928-39, Page 2 1940-1959, Page 3 1960-69, Page 4 1970-79, Page 5 1980-89, and Page 6 is the 1990s. If you know the period of the camera you want to see, go straight to the page.

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The Minolta Co. Ltd was established by Kazuo Tashima in November 1928, under the name ‘Nichi-Doku Shashinki Shoten’


1929 Nifcalette Folding Camera

Minolta’s first camera. 40 x 65mm on 127 film with scale-estimation focusing.

Nifca Sport

1930 Nifca Sport Folding Dry-Plate Camera

65 x 90mm image, with a standard tilt and shift lens.


1931 Arcadia Folding Dry-Plate Camera

Compact camera using the first ever Japanese-made shutter.

Minolta Semi

1932 Semi Minolta Folding Camera

45 x 60mm on 120 film, Minolta’s first diecast folding camera and the first use of the Minolta name.


1933 Minolta, Strut-Folding Dry-Plate Camera

65 x 90mm image, the first Minolta camera entirely manufactured in Japan.

Baby Minolta

1934 Baby Minolta Bakelite body Roll Film Camera
40 x 65mm or 40 x 30mm on 127 film, with a Bakelite body and pull-0ut lens.

Minolta Vest

1934 Minolta Vest, Strut-Folding Dry-Plate Camera

40 x 65mm or 40 x 30mm image on 127 film, the first Bakelite body collapsing camera manufactured in Japan.

Auto Minolta

1935 Auto Minolta, Strut-Folding Dry-Plate Camera

65 x 90mm image, the first press camera with a rangefinder to be manufactured in Japan.

Minolta Six

1935 Minolta Six, Collapsing Bakelite Body Camera

60 x 60mm on 120 film, collapsing Bakelite body.

Minolta Auto Press

1937 Minolta Auto Press, Strut-Folding Dry Plate Camera

65 x 90mm image, the first ever press camera with built-in flash synchronisation system manufactured in Japan. Editor’s note: at Icon, we owned and used an Auto Press during the 1990s. It was equipped with a rollfilm back as well as plate holders. The flash synchronisation worked, and the 105mm f/4.5 Anastigmat lens was sufficiently good to permit one commercial studio shot to be completed using the camera, though contrast and light transmission were both low. The camera has a folding sports finder (the wire frame) as well as an optical coupled rangefinder and an optical viewfinder. It was a copy of the German Plaubel Makina.

Auto Semi Minolta

1937 Auto Semi Minolta Folding Camera

60 x 60mm on 120 film, rangefinder and automatic film wind-on spacing (incorrectly described on the poster as ‘auto film rewind stop’). Note the spelling ‘Tiyoko’ in place of the later ‘Chiyoko’.

Minolta Flex

1937 Minolta Flex Twin Lens Reflex Camera

60 x 60mm on 120 film. Minolta’s first twin lens reflex camera.

Minolta Flex Automat

1939 Minolta Flex Automat Twin Lens Reflex Camera

60 x 60mm on 120 film, first self-cocking (shutter) twin-lens reflex to be manufactured in Japan.

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