Minolta X-600

From Camera-wiki.org
Jump to: navigation, search

The Minolta X-600 SF is a manual focus 35mm SLR, which uses the Minolta SR mount. It was released at the same time as the Minolta X-500, in April 1983. While both cameras use manual focusing, the X-600 differs from the X-500 in that it offers a focus confirmation feature. This feature was called "Speed Focus" by Minolta, hence the "SF" badge on the front of the camera.

The X-600 has a simpler shutter speed dial than the X-500: in fact, the whole winding lever/shutter speed dial/shutter release assembly is closer in look and functionality to the X-300, released in 1984.

The X-600 also has a different front grip: while all the other cameras in this series use two SR44 batteries, the X-600 uses two AAA batteries, in order to provide enough power to its internal auto focus mechanism. These AAA batteries are stored into a specific grip on the right hand-side of the camera. This grip also renders the use of the Motor Drive 1 impossible on the X-600. The X-600 will therefore only accept the Auto Winder G.

The X-600 uses the same electronic shutter than the X-500, which allows for semi-automatic operation with aperture priority ("auto" setting on the shutter speed dial, approx. 4s to 1/1000), and also semi-manual operation where the photographer can manually select both aperture and shutter speed between 1s and 1/1000 plus Bulb.

The viewfinder is very different from the X-500's: the focusing screen does not offer the split-image and microprism center dot, it is a plain focusing screen. While the camera retains the shutter speed scale on the right hand-side of the viewfinder, it does not offer an aperture window at the bottom of the viewfinder. Instead, the bottom of the viewfinder has three LEDs: a green dot-shaped LED in the center, and two red triangle-shaped LEDs on the sides. These LEDs are used in the focus confirmation feature: one of the red LED lights up as long as the focus is not correct, indicating in which direction the user should turn the focusing ring on the lens. The green LED lights up when the focus is correct.

The X-600 sold at a price of Y65,000. It was therefore almost 20% more expensive than the X-500 (Y55,000).

The X-600 was only offered in Japan, and only for a couple of years - it probably was removed from the lineup with the introduction of the full-fledged Minolta auto focus SLR system in 1985, with the Minolta 7000.

Lens compatibility

The speed focus system will work with most Minolta lenses in the SR mount, however it works best with lenses that have a specific aperture pin on the rear of the lens. This pin was added on some lenses in the MD lineup, and it is only used by the X-600. This pin serves as a maximum aperture (larger f-stop) indicator for the X-600. Without this pin, the autofocus operation can be slow or erratic, especially for lenses with a large aperture.

This picture shows the very distinctive mirror of the Minolta X-600, which is covered with a pattern used by the autofocus mechanism. The lever at the 9'o'clock position is actuated by the aperture pin.

Both Rokkor Files and Collection-Appareils.com websites feature a picture of a lens with the aperture pin.