Odds and Ends

Over the last few weeks, my posting has been sporadic because I was dealing with business matters that demanded my attention. Blessedly, those came to a very satisfactory conclusion, and I have time to devote to EarthSunFilm again. I plan my posts to follow a specific schedule, and my business activities disrupted that schedule. So, here is a collection of odds and ends to fill the gap until the planned posts resume on May 10th. 

Minolta ER
This seems like a good time to bring up an oddity, the Minolta ER. It is odd because it is an SLR with a fixed lens. Yes, you read that correctly. If you have never heard of the Minolta ER, don’t feel bad; neither had I. From what I have learned, the Minolta ER was produced for only a couple of years, starting in 1963. Spec-wise, it has a built-in selenium meter and shutter priority exposure. The aperture is controlled by the meter. It has a rangefinder lens, the 45mm f2.8 found in the Hi-Matic rangefinders. The max shutter speed is 1/500.  

Unfortunately, my copy has a stuck shutter and film advance. Of course, when I found it on eBay, the seller insisted the camera was in perfect working order. I wrote to him before buying the camera and was reassured, the camera worked perfectly. Cosmetically, the camera is beautiful. I requested a refund, the seller agreed, and I never heard from him again. Next, I asked eBay for a refund. After a week or so, eBay provided a shipping label, I returned the camera, and eBay issued a refund. So, you are probably asking, how is it that I have the camera. Well, a month later, the package came back to me. It was delivered to the seller’s address, and no one took it in for a month, so the postal worker took it back. 

Now, I am torn. It would be nice to have a working copy, but the cost of getting a leaf shutter camera repaired seems to be much more than I care to spend. Perhaps one of these days, when I am flush with cash, I’ll try to have it fixed. Until then, it has an honored place on a shelf.

Podcast
Kevin Lane of Uncle Jonesy’s Cameras podcast contacted me a couple of weeks ago about doing an interview. Initially, I was reluctant (I’m not used to doing interviews), but gentle encouragement from my wife convinced me to do the interview. I’m glad I did—talking Minolta is always a pleasant way to pass the time.  We talked about my garden (the reason I got into photography), why I chose Minolta, my goals for EarthSunFilm, and more. If you are a Minolta lover and into film photography, then you should check out Uncle Jonesy’s Cameras podcast.

Repairs
I have been very fortunate in buying for the VMLP. Easily, 95% of my purchases have been working gear with few defects. The other 5% require some attention. Deciding what to repair involves balancing value with emotional attachment. In this case, two cameras and a lens need repair. The first is an XE-7 with an erratic meter. It works fine in manual mode. The second is an SR-T 101 with a sticky door release. The final item, a Minolta MC Rokkor 85mm f1.7, is one I never thought I would own—I certainly did not go looking for it. The way it came into my possession is a textbook example of something falling into one’s lap. Cosmetically and optically, it is pristine. However, the aperture is stuck open. I shot an image with it, and it renders beautifully. I have been considering trying one of the repair services listed on the site, and now I have a few good reasons to do so. Of course, I will relate my experiences in getting these items repaired in future posts. 

Well, that’s everything of note that has happened in the last few weeks that didn’t make it into any other post. After this, it’s back to the regularly scheduled programming.  

6 Comments


  1. That Minolta ER is fascinating! A mash up of fixed lens rangefinder and single lens reflex.

    I’ve seen a couple other “fixed-lens SLRs” but they all were from the 70s. It looks like it was Minolta’s way to get auto exposure into single lens reflex. And the leaf shutter (when it works) means that the flash can sync at any speed.

    1. No doubt it would be fun to shoot, which is why I jumped at the chance to buy it. Sadly, I’ve yet to hear of one that still works.

  2. I really appreciate your blog. I just found it. I also listen to UJC podcast. And, I am also a Minolta junkie. I too have a Minolta ER w with a stuck shutter. Must have been common. All that aside, thanks for the blog.

    1. Welcome to EarthSunFilm, glad to have you!
      It’s always nice to hear from a Minolta lover. I mentioned the stuck shutter to a few others, and they say it is a common problem with cameras with similar designs. I like the cyborg look of the camera…maybe one of these days.

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