Minolta Hi-Matic 9

Minolta Hi-Matic 9


The Minolta Hi-Matic 9 is one of the most desirable rangefinder cameras of the mid-1960s. It is by no means a small camera - its size is comparable to a Minolta SR-T singe lens reflex camera, and its weight is about 740g. It has a fully automatic program mode (P), and a manual mode (M).

P mode: If both the aperture ring and the shutter speed ring are set to "automatic", the camera is in its program mode which starts at f1.7 and 1/15s and goes up to f22 and 1/125s.

M mode: In manual mode, all apertures (f1.7 ... f22) can be combined with any of the shutter speeds (1s ... 1/500s).

A mode: Technically it's possible to set the shutter to "A" (=automatic) while setting the aperture manually. However, I'm not sure whether the camera is actually supporting such an aperture priority mode. The user manual doesn't mention it, and Josef / Rita Scheibel in their book "Minoltas Kamera Technik" don't mention it.

S mode: Again - you can set the Aperture ring to "A" (=automatic) and choosing manually any of the shutter speeds. However I doubt that this will result in reliable results. I'll have to test those modes with a original mercury battery.

The viewfinder is rather large. It is free from distortion (something you can't take for granted), the parallax is corrected (the fram lines move, not the image), and the rangefinder spot in te center of te image is easily visibly. Focusing and framing should be rather straightforward. The Hi-Matic 9 has a built-in hot shoe (remember - in 1966 most top class SLRs didn't have a built-in shoe, let alone a "hot" one). And it has a PC flash connector for larger flashguns as well!

The shutter is a Seiko FLA which can be found in many other cameras as well (e. g. Olympus 35 SP). There's a mechanical self-timer (which runs extremely slow in my cameras), and a separate flash mode. ISO settings start at ISO 25 and got to a fairly modest ISO 800. Both the shutter and the aperture mechanism have five blades each. There's a film counter, of course, but also a "film load window" which clearly shows whether the camera is loaded with film.
With the same body as the 7s this camera looks to be pretty much the same, but there are a few noteworthy differences. The 9 has a superb f1.7 lens which is faster than that of the 7s. It is also has an improved coating and yields fantastic results, making it close rival of the Hexanon of the Auto S2. The viewfinder is extremely clear and has a brilliantly bright diamond shaped imaging area and parallax compensation

Produced: 1966 Minolta Camera Co., Japan
Film type: 135 (35mm)
Picture size: 24mm x 36mm
Weight 26.4oz (748.4g)
Lens: Rokkor 45mm 1:1.7-22 (6 elements in 5 groups)
Filter size: 55mm screw-in, 57mm slip-on
Focal range: 3′ to infinity
Shutter: Seiko-LA
Shutter speeds: B, 1/4-1/500 manual or automatic
Viewfinder: coupled rangefinder with auto parallax correction
Exposure meter: lens mounted CdS CLC with viewfinder needle (EV)
EV range: 5.5 to 17 @ ASA 100
ASA: 25-800
Battery: originally PX625 1.35v mercury
Easy-Flash system; set GN on lens barrel for AE
Hotshoe, PC sync (syncs at all speeds on X setting)

This camera is in excellent condition except for where the previous owner etched his phone number in the top and bottom plates. Otherwise this camera is in perfect working order with light meter and automatic functions working properly, fresh light seals installed, fresh battery, and case. Case is in fair condition but the flap which connects the top of the case to the bottom has come off.


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