Minolta A

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The Minolta A was launched by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō in April 1955[1] 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 to 1/300 second, and the third version, released in 1956, has a Citizen MX shutter with B and 1 to 1/300 second.[2] All were M and X flash-synchronized. The camera's 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[3].

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.


  1. JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p194.
  2. Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code numbers 3431, 3432, 3433.
  3. JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p91.


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