Two First Rolls

posted in: Photography | 0

I recently finished shooting my first roll of film in 2 new-ish cameras.

Back at Christmas, Holly gave me a Minolta Autopak 450Ex. Then, in March, right before the pandemic hit, I ordered a Minolta X-700.

Yes, I have a thing for Minoltas and also own a Minolta XE and a Minolta Hi-Matic 11 and love them both. The XE might be my favorite film camera.

Minolta Autopak 450Ex
Minolta Autopak 450Ex
Minolta X-700
Minolta X-700

In the case of the AutoPak, I didn’t go out with it much because of winter. For the X-700, finishing a roll was delayed because of the aforementioned pandemic.

But sometime during May, I finished both rolls and am fairly pleased with the results.

The AutoPak is a 110 camera so I wasn’t expecting much from it. Because 110 photography isn’t all that popular anymore, I had limited choices for film and had limited options for getting it developed and scanned. I ordered Lomography Tiger Color 200 and Lomography Lobster Redscale 200 and first tried out the former.

Richard Photo Lab, where I often send my film, was able to develop it, but having them scan it was a bit pricey. I scanned the negatives myself but had to use my 35mm holder for my scanner which ended up putting a slight crease in some of the photos. Now that I know the camera works, I may invest in a 110 holder.

The AutoPak is an interesting 110 camera in that it actually has some settings. Most 110 cameras are true point and shoot cameras. The settings are rather simple. It has “sunny,” “cloudy,” and “flash” options, as well as 4 options for distance: 3 feet, 4 feet, 7 feet, and 33 feet.

Given my low expectations for a 110 camera, my shots were decent enough. Not particularly sharp and not a lot of contrast, but 110 cameras aren’t known for their quality. It was fun to shoot and worked which was the extent of my expectations.

Now that I know the AutoPak works, I’m looking forward to giving it another try, maybe with the Redscale, although I have since bought more rolls of the Tiger.

I also have Holly to thanks for the Minolta X-700. I forget why I got it into my head that I was interested in this camera (other than that it’s a Minolta and a classic one at that). I found one on Etsy but didn’t buy it right away. At some point, I saw it was on sale and then I realized that store (ArtProductsInc) accepted the gift certificate Holly had also gotten for me for Christmas. I had faced some disappointment as I discovered that not many shops in Etsy take the gift certificate so between it being on sale and being able to use the gift certificate, I knew I had to buy it.

I had higher expectations for this camera than the 110 and was not let down. Initially, I took it out without looking up anything about how to use it and thought later that I may have not been setting it correctly, but all the shots turned out fine (at least fine enough for the first time using it). I took 15 photos that first time and then finished the roll over a few other occasions. For that first roll, I went with Kodak Gold 200.

Because I already had my Minolta XE, I have a few lenses that fit the X-700. It came with a Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7. The X-700 is a newer camera and some of my older lenses aren’t entirely compatible. The light meter doesn’t seem to work with some of the lenses, but the they work fine with it otherwise.

I have since finished another roll with the X-700. Since my test roll turned out fine, I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the next one.

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