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Created 28 June 2009 ... Updated 28 June 2009

Minolta AL-F

Minolta AL-F Minolta was once, during the 1960s and 1970s where range finders were the main camera type, well known for their small range finders. The AL-F is one of these range finders. The 38 mm lens is a non-typical lens for such cameras as most range finders of that era had lenses in the 45 to 50 mm range so this one was exceptionally wide. Rokor lenses have always been famous for their good quality and this one is also plenty sharp.

One of the main selling points was the Easy Flash System where the photographer had to set the dial according to the flash guide number of the connected flash, set the shutter speed ring for "Flash" and the aperture was set automatically. This feature was indeed pretty neat and it even is today. The flash guide numbers could be anywhere between 10 and 56 (steps: 10, 14, 20, 28, 40 and 56) so that it would work for most flashes of the day, well still today. The flash gun may be connected through the hot shoe on top of the camera or the pc sync connector on the left hand side of the body.

Because of the shutter priority automatic exposure, where the aperture is set to fully open (i.e. 2.7) when no battery is inserted, the camera may still be used today, even without battery. OF course you'll have to choose a very slow film when shooting in full sun but with some overcast and 100 speed film, you may set the shutter speed to 500 and get away with it. Of course using the camera indoors using flash will work fine too. When you have a battery, there's of course no issue with the automatic aperture setting at all :o)

Before you use this camera, make sure the light traps are fine. Cameras made during the 1960s and partly 1970s often used foam for sealing and this foam is mostly shot by now. You may buy new generic seals and reseal the camera before use.

Manufacturor  :  Minolta
Model  :  Minolta AL-F
Type  :  Range finder
Produced  :  1968
K.D. Müller Reference  :  K:99900
Film  :  35 mm, type 135
Picture size  :  24 x 36 mm
Made in  :  Japan
Quantity Made  : 
Original List Price  : 
Material  :  metal
Lens  :  Minolta Rokkor 1:2.7 f=38 mm
4 elements in 3 groups, angle of view: 61°
Filter size  :  46 mm
Focusing  :  Manual focussing
Focus range  :  0.8 m - infinity / 2.8 ft - infinity
Viewfinder  :  Very bright range finder.
Aperture with exposure meter needle blended in
Shutter  :  Seiko shutter, 1/30 - 1/500
Aperture  :  2.7 - 22
Self timer  :  no
Exposure  :  Automatic with shutter priority
Exposure meter  :  Built in CdS meter
Film speed setting 25 - 500 ASA / 15 - 28 DIN
Battery  :  Mercury Type PX-625 button cell
Witrhout battery the camra speed may still be set and the aperture remains set to minimum, i.e. won't close down upon making the exposure.
Flash  :  This camera uses Minoltas Easy Flash system for automatic flash exposure when using electronic flash with a guide number between 10 - 56 meters / 32 - 180 feet. The easy flash system will automatically set the correct aperture once the control ring is set to the flash' guide number and the shutter speed control ring is set to flash (the lightning symbol).
Flash Contact  :  PC Sync contact on the body left hand side and hot shoe on top.
Film Advance  :  manual, single stroke lever on top
Other  : 
Dimensions  :  130 x 60 x 90 mm (l x w x h)
Weight  :  530 gramms
Body serial number  :  167795 engraved in hot shoe
Collection status  : 
Minolta AL-F

links Minolta AL-F weblinks
links Instruction manual at Butkus
links Instruction manual at Butkus.

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2009

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