Hand-me-down Heroes : No. 4

We love cameras. We love geeking out about their wiz bang specs, elaborate craftsmanship and proudly share/boast about our technical and ergonomic marvels. This series however, will open the aperture on perhaps an oft overlooked aspect of our gear: sentimentality.

Hand-me-down Heroes is a new series aiming to share the stories of the machines that started us down this rabbit hole. Bequeathed by a family member or close friend, these are the cupid cameras that pierced us with the arrow of photographic obsession. Though they may no longer be our daily workhorses, lack some luxurious features, or missing that brand image, the memories they’ve witnessed and the valuable lessons learned have no price tag.

Lauri Lind: Minolta x-700

I also happen to have a Minolta X-700 that was handed down to me by my father, my name is Lauri Lind, i am Finnish but l’ve lives in Mallorca, Spain all my life.

In Early 2017 i started looking into film photography and thought it was pretty cool, my father who was a professional photographer, for the Homicide Squad of the Oulu Police Department, used the X-700 a fair bit from 1981 when it was released to 1985 when he quit the job ( got tired of taking pictures of dead bodies ).
In the meantime, my father decided he liked working with the X-700, and bought himself one in September 1983 as a birthday present to himself. This also included the basic Minolta “Auto Winder G” automatic film winder , a Minolta 280PX Flash ,and three lenses :
A Minolta MD 50mm 2.0 , MD 35-70mm 3.5, and Tamron 103A 80-210mm 3.8-4.
It was his only camera until 1999 when he bought a more modern Canon EOS 300. So, the X-700 was relegated to sit in the closet and getting dusty. Then in 2011 my older cousin got interesed in photography, so my father gave it to her without much thought. As it turns out, she only put a couple rolls through it and never used it again.
Then in 2017 after telling my father i was interested in film photography, my father asked my aunt and cousin if we could have it back and they said no problem. I got it in April 2017, only to discover that it was in dire need of a good CLA which is not surprising for a 34 year old camera that has been sitting unused for 6 years.
So i spent some 50 or 60€ having it all serviced and put back into working order i had it all working perfectly again.
This included :
  • Full Clean inside and out.
  • New Batteries ofcourse
  • A new shutter capacitor ( common on the X-700 )
  • Shutter mechanism CLA ( it was capping )
  • And new light seals.
Then comes the funny part, The X-700 is my first SLR, i have never owned a DSLR ever, from a 21 year old this can sound strange but it’s true, before 2017 i had no real interest in photography, so i had to learn all about it being a complete noob, however i got the hang of it fairly easy and by maybe my 3rd or 4th roll i had the basics figured out, this was massively helped by my father being an experienced photographer and knowing the X-700 like the palm of his hand.
I started out with the usual cheap C41 “suspects” like Fuji C200 and Kodak ColorPlus 200, and was generally happy with what i was getting. Then i found my dad’s archive of slides which just amazed me, he used mostly Kodachrome 64 for nearly all his color photographs from around 1983 to 1991.
The vividness and how life like the slides looked just blew me away. So i knew i had to get my hands on some slide film and i did, and i’ve been hooked since, and that is all i use for shooting color, Ektachrome E100, Provia 100F, Velvia 50…
As time went on and i got more experienced i’ve bought some more lenses, a Minolta MD-1 Motor Drive which by the way improves how the X-700 feels by at least 100% , some wide angles, telephotos, macro lenses etc.
I have absolutely no plans to sell it, if anything i might get another one! but this one is never going anywhere, it has a lot of sentimental value to me.
Some pics :

Flickr : Lauri Lind
Do you want to be a part of Hand-me-down Heroes? If you’d like to share with us on Japancamerahunter.com, send us a short story of what/ how you acquired your Hand-me-down Hero and relevant photos, optimally sized 1500px across.

Oh and don’t forget your contact details (Insta, website, flickr et al). Send your Hand-me-down Heroes here.  And please make sure the shot is of good quality, you are a photographer after all.