The Minolta A was launched by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō in April 1955 as the first of their new series of rangefinder cameras. It has an optical viewfinder with superimposed coupled rangefinder, a shutter speed thumb wheel on top of the camera and a rapid wind advance lever. The first version has a two-blade Konan Flicker shutter with speeds B and 1/2 to 1/200 second. The second version has an Optiper MX shutter with B and 1 - 1/300 second, and the third version, released in 1956, has a Citizen MX shutter with B and 1 to 1/300 second. All were M and X flash-synchronized. Its coupled 45mm f/3.5-22 'Chiyoko Rokkor' lens, with 4 elements in 3 groups, was the first in a Japanese camera to use an equally-spaced linear aperture scale.
It was an entry level camera for advanced 35mm photography that was ahead of more expensive popular American rangefinder camera models. The Minolta 'A' series was developed through the model A-2, A-3, A-5, and then into the AL series that were marketed alongside the Hi-Matics.
|Plump body shape|
image by Voxphoto (Image rights)
|First Minolta 'A' version has horizontal|
grooves on rewind knob
image by zuikou (Image rights)
|image by wolf4max (Image rights)|
|Column in the October 1955 special issue of Photo Art.|
Scan by rebollo_fr (Image rights)
- JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p194.
- Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code numbers 3431, 3432, 3433.
- JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p91.