This weekend I received a gift of a 1979 Minolta Hi-Matic AF camera. It was picked up for $10 at the Value Village in Leslieville, Toronto. I bought some Fuji Superia 400 film right away and started trying it out.

So far I really like it. I haven’t used a film camera in over ten years and the first thing I noticed was how I take more time before taking a picture. Its because know there are only 24 on the roll. It slows me down and I think more about each shot.

The second thing I noticed and really like is how simple it is. No ISO to worry about, no aperture, no shutter speed, no depth of field, no extras. Just look through the viewfinder and shoot. All those other factors are still in play but they are either preset (focal length, ISO) or determined by the camera (shutter speed, aperture). 

I’m saying all this of course before I actually develop the first roll. Who knows, maybe it leaks light like a sieve. We’ll see. I’ll post some of the pictures here and to the Flickr Hi-Matic group when the film is developed.

Highlights from the AF2 Manual

I have only been able to find an AF2 manual online here. I am hoping and assuming that they are relatively similar cameras.

Lens: Minolta 38mm f/2.8, 4 elements in 3 groups, 59 angle of view; filter mount: 46mm

Focusing: Auto-focus type 1m to infinity, with focus-hold function when the shutter release is slightly pressed.

Shutter: Behind the lense electronic type programmed for AE from EV 6 (1/8 sec. at f/2.8) to EV 17 (1/430 sec at f/17) X-sync. at 1/40 sec.; self-timer:approx 10 sec. delay

Exposure system: CdS type, coupled AE range EV 6 to EV 17; film-speed range ASA 25 to 400; automatic compensation when fileters used; low-light warning lamp

Viewfinder: Bright-frame type with parallax-correction marks, LED focus-zone signals for focusing and flash range, flash-monitor lamp, low-light warning lamp and Auto-focus zone marks.

Color temperature: Balanced for daylight-type color film

Film advance: Lever type with single 140 stroke after 30 unengaged movement, advancing-type film counter and Safe Load Signal that indicates film loaded and advancing condition

Size: 53.5 x 76 x 128mm (2-1/8 x 3 x 5-1/16 in.)

Weight: 335g (11-13/16 oz.) without batteries

Other: Automatic shutter lock when battery power insufficient or the flash is not fully charged, eyepiece corrector can be attached