|image by Voxphoto (Image rights)|
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 to 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. 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.
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)
- Minolta A user manual at Butkus.org
- Minolta A at Silverbased (archived)
- Minolta A repair notes at Dan Mitchell's camera site
- Minolta A on www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand