I’m more of an SLR guy, but it was inevitable that I too would have to get a taste of the rangefinder world. For me, it started with a “Revue 400 SE”.  Revue is like a private label of the german mail order company “Quelle”. It has the same features as the Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII or the Konica Auto S3. I would even say that they are pretty much the same, but I don’t want to start a debate…

Although the Camera performed really well, we just didn’t fit together. So after a short time it changed hands.

I couldn’t let go of the rangefinder thing.

So I started to do some research. Since Minolta has a firm place in my heart, I started looking for a Hi-Matics. I was mainly looking for the later smaller models without a fixed flash.

  1. Hi-Matic 7sII: Nice but way to expensive. Especially when I think of the Rangefinder Patch. It’s all right, but in this price range I would wish for something better. My Zorki 4, for example, has an incredibly high-contrast and perfectly usable rangefinder patch. Nonetheless, it is still a great camera and I’ll probably have to buy one at some point (right after the Yashica Electro 35 cc). Damn I’m doomed. GAS Syndrome kicking in.
  2. Hi-Matic G:  It only has a zone focusing system. Relying on symbols of mountains or a group of people for focusing…. is not for me.
  3. Hi-Matic E: Automatic Exposure, good looking (like all of them) and a nice f/1.7 Lens…
  4. Hi-Matic F: Same as the “E” but equipped with a f/2.8 Lens for less cash. APPROVED.

So the Hi-Matic F it shall be! It has a fixed 40 mm lens. The maximum aperture is f/2.8. The camera automatically selects aperture and shutter speed. All you have to do is insert a film and engage the ISO wheel between 25 and 500. For me, the extra stop of light of the “E” Version was not worth the extra price at that time.

The camera feels very robust. It has a solid weight and feels very pleasant in your hands. The faux leather also feels nice. I play with it all the time. It’s a real pleasure to hold. As I write this, the camera sits next to my laptop and looks at me joyfully.

What I just remembered. My first 2 rolls of film with the Minolta Hi-Matic were completely underexposed. Although I used the battery adapters designed for it.
In the meantime I use normal LR44 batteries. I bridge the empty battery compartment with 2 empty LR44 batteries. I overexpose a stop via the ISO wheel to compensate the higher voltage. Works for me.

The 5 Shots I took on Kodak T-Max 100

I went out to the CIty (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) on a Sunny Saturday morning in January. The sun was low and cast great long shadows everywhere. I had never tried street photography before but had a few ideas in my mind.

My favourite shot of the roll.

A couple walks over A pedestrian crossing.
A couple is walking over A pedestrian crossing. Beatiful long shadows.

I walked past a Korean restaurant and the neon lights inside looked great.

Neon lights in an Korean Restaurant.
Neon lights in an Korean Restaurant.

Next I tried a double exposure of an old building and a street lamp.

Double exposure of an old Building and a Street Lamp
Double exposure of an old Building and a Street Lamp.

Same building but without the streetlamp over it :).

A building upon which many shadows are cast.
A building upon which many shadows are cast.

Another attempt at “street photography” or something like that.

Someone walking by.
I waited patiently at the corner until someone would walk past. I can remember the person looking surprised at what I was photographing on the ground :D. Perhaps a portrait cut-out without the wall on the left would be better.

Okay, those were my 5 photos with the Minolta HI-Matic F. This day was an absolute joy.

As soon as I got home I developed the film in Adox FX-39 and hung it in the shower to dry. In the evening I scanned the negatives with my tripod stand, pixl-latr, some Lightsource and my Fuji X-T1. I was incredibly pleased with the results. Not having to wait for a lab and being able to shoot in the morning and see the photos in the evening… What a great day! If you maybe want some more information about my Scanning Setup, feel free to comment. Or send me a message on Instagram.

I actually sell the first photo in my Darkroom Shop. So… I actually don’t sell anything but maybe YOU want to be my first and only customer. Check it out.

If you like to see more please visit my Instagram:


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