Been a while since I’ve done one of these…
Last year I accidentally bought a Minolta Hi-Matic F (it came with a light meter I wanted, so that’s my excuse!) and put a roll of film through it. I wasn’t sure what to expect from it and actually forgot about the film until a couple of weeks ago, when I developed it.
Now, there’s a tangent here. I’ve been fed up with using my scanner (a canoscan 8800f) to digitize my negatives. It’s slow and I’d rarely get the quality of images I was after. My brother suggested digitizing with a copy stand and my Z6 (I also used an 18mm extension tube). I already had a light board and the 35mm negative carrier / mask from my Kaiser enlarger was just what I needed.
The copy stand was cheap, and it shows in the mount bending, with the weight of the camera. Live and learn, but at the time I wasn’t even sure if this method would give me the images I was after. Well… it did.
I left the number window on the negative carrier open, for easy reference, and along with the slight bowing caused by the bending copy stand, I felt it gave a somewhat whimsical and interesting to the photos. Therefore, I’ve decided to not crop the images from this film, and may do the same for future films.
As for the Hi-Matic F itself, I enjoyed using it and it’s my first rangefinder camera. I did however find, that it was quicker and easier to guess the focus, dial it in and quickly shoot. Trying to focus just slowed the process down.
When I bought it, I had been looking for something light and relatively wide, to try my hand at more street photography. It really has filled this niche for me and I’ll be taking it out and about more. My one caveat is that it chomps batteries and you can’t actually turn it “off”. While you can’t get the original batteries (as far as I can tell) you can double up LR44 batteries and it will work, though it may be worth taking them out when not in use.
If you can pick one up for cheap, I’d really recommend getting one. Also, I’m converted to digitizing film with my camera 🙂