Minolta Vectis Weathermatic Zoom
|image by Uwe Kulick (Image rights)|
On the one hand it belongs to Minolta's renowned Vectis camera series for the Advanced Photo System. On the other hand it belongs to the popular Minolta Weathermatic series of modern yellow water-proof viewfinder cameras for amateur aquanauts. Concerning its plastic design it's a masterpiece of precision work because it is impermeable to water (max. diving depth 10m) despite its many functional windows, controls, and the doors of film and battery chamber.
Like its 35mm film predecessor the Vectis Weathermatic is a modern fully automatic camera, with infrared autofocus, automatic film transport, automatic exposure and flash. It has a 7-element 30-50mm 1:4-1:6.4 zoom lens, visible behind the big window in the middle of the camera front, and a corresponding optical zoom viewfinder. It has APS functions: choice between postcard, large and panorama print format, and PQI exposure information storage. It can take APS film with speeds 25 to 3200 ASA (In better times 100 to 1600 ASA were available, nowadays only 200 and 400 since APS camera production seems to have been finished worldwide).
The camera has two control levers in the back, one near the finder ocular for choice of print format, the other to control the zoom. Intead of an on/off switch the camera has a function selection wheel with settings OFF, fully automatic mode, anti-red-eye flash mode, everset flash mode, flash-off mode, night portrait mode, and forced film rewind.
Special functions are the self-timer with a very bright warning light in the camera front, and the date imprinting (not APS magnetic date storage: date and time are exposed onto the film). A small LCD window in the camera top shows the exposure counter or serves as date setting control. The camera uses a CR2 battery.