The Minolta Maxxum 7D—Wonderful World of Color

“The world is a carousel of color!”

As a child, I watched Disney’s Wonderful World of Color TV show most Sunday nights. Tinker Bell would wave her wand and splash gobs of color paint on the screen, but they were shades of gray on my screen. Our first color TV was a few years in the future. Now that I’m active in photography, I prefer color for the garden and black and white for other subjects.

Color in the garden can be tricky. Yellows and reds tend to get blown out, so much so that I find few films render those colors easily—usually, some degree of exposure compensation is required. I avoid Ektar for red flowers because they appear as red blobs unless I’m meticulous. Yellow flowers cause the same issues. Even with EC, direct sunlight is a very bad idea. Lomo 400 has proven to be the best no-fuss emulsion for yellows. Portra 160 and 400 work for reds. All other colors work fine with any film.

Aside from my iPhone, I never expected to use a digital camera for any garden shots. But when initially testing the Maxxum 7D, I was surprised by the richness of the colors and that it did not blow out yellows or reds (unless in direct sunlight). I’ve shot the Maxxum 7D in the shade, on rainy days, and in late afternoon sun, and it performed wonderfully each time. It is unlikely I will ever do a user experience of the 7D—after all, this is a film blog. However, when going through old photos, I could not help but marvel at how it captures a wonderful world of color.  (No post-processing)


  1. True we are film fans first and foremost but it would be somewhat foolish not to appreciate digital. I have only two digital cameras out of my 250+. That being the Canon S95 with the older type sensor and naturally a 7D. I need the S95 to immediately post pictures of my aircraft carrier restoration work. The 7D is to bulky for a carrier so it goes along with others like a 7, 700si, an SRT, or the horror, my F2. You are correct the 7D is excellent and pretty much records exactly the way my eye sees it like it did at the old Mare Island Naval Base.

    1. Author

      I see we have similar tastes. I have a Canon s95 to complement my 7D both render beautifully.

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