Mindlessly browsing through eBay, I came across a collection of Minolta miscellany, which included a camera, a few flashes, and a fanny pack with a Minolta blue and white logo. I actually paused and looked at it. Then I immediately had one of those “at the precipice” moments—the kind where your life flashes before your eyes (well, not quite that bad, but close enough)—and I caught myself. “What I Am Thinking???!!!”
Collecting Minolta is one of those activities where it is often difficult to tell when enough is enough. Being around other collectors only makes holding onto reality more difficult. They will acknowledge the problem then encourage you to go further.
BBBB “Hey, I now have all variants of the 50mm f1.4!!!”
This should be met with, “Great, now you can enjoy shooting them all!”
However, that would be too normal. What happens instead is: “Do you have all original caps?”
On hearing this question, the realization hits that all one’s time has been focused on the lenses. Horror takes over. “No.” A half-hearted, pleading explanation follows.
BBBB“Two came without caps, so I had to buy a couple of caps from Amazon.”
Silence. A little bit of shame. Of course, if you manage to find the proper caps, someone will casually raise the matter of serial numbers.
Fact is, there is no such thing as a completed Minolta collection. Temporarily static collections, as I refer to them, are limited, in-progress collections paused by budgets and serious side-eye from significant others.
“Look at this!!!”
“Yeah, okay. It’s a lens—and???”
“It’s the MD(III) 50mm 1.4!”
“Don’t you already have three 50mm 1.4s???”
“Yeah, but not this one.”
Side-eye. Silence. Significant other leaves the room.
Yelling after significant other, “This one is really sharp!”
And that’s how an active collection becomes static.
Space, or more correctly, the lack of such, can render a collection static, but I don’t get the impression that it is as efficacious as a significant other or being broke. The lack of money works unless there are possessions that can be sold.
“Uh, what happened to your car?”
“Since the lockdown, I don’t drive much. Sold it and got a bike.”
“Is that a MC Rokkor 58mm 1.2 PG lens and a Minolta XK with all six finders?”
In collecting, no matter the objects of affection, there comes a time when all the originally desired objects are safely labeled and lovingly tucked away. A moment of bliss when the collector surveys every item, sits back, and savors the prizes. The hunt is past, the satisfaction steady, and all is right with the world. Every collector reaches this point multiple times (necessarily dismissing those prior times as clear misunderstandings of the actual goal). At this point, any further collecting should seem pointless, and any such consideration, quickly dismissed. Time to celebrate, right? Nope. The phone chimes (it’s a “newly listed” message from eBay).
Anyway, when I caught myself trying to determine if I really needed a Minolta fanny pack in my collection, I knew enough was enough.
Recently, I came across a picture of a guy with a Minolta keyring image. That keyring was beautiful; it looked almost new. Wonder where he got it?