Minolta Hi-Matic F

This was a camera that I wanted to own very much when I was in my late teens / early twenties and one that I could not afford at the time. I was very pleased then to get this one via ebay at a very cheap price (just 27 years late!). It was fully functional and came with new batteries and a spacer spring in place of the original pair of PX640 mercury batteries that are no longer available. The set up works fine and so far the smaller batteries have not proven to be a problem.

The Hi-Matic F is a very light camera but is still well made. It has a very similar specification to the GAF Memo 35ET, Mamiya 135 and Chinon 35EE although it is fitted with a 38mm f2.7 lens and has the advantage that this will focus to 0.8m or 2.6 ft as opposed to 1m 3.3ft of the other cameras. Of course, the Chinon 35EE has a f2.7 optic as well. The viewfinder is rather spartan when compared to the similar cameras as it does not provide much in the way of exposure information, only a tell-tale light that the shutter speed will be longer than 1/30 second in low light conditions. The shutter is electronically controlled and can achieve exposures of up to 4 seconds. The only problem with this is that the photographer doesn’t know anything more that it will be longer than 1/30th and it can be quite difficult to tell when the shutter has closed at the end of the exposure when taking night scenes. This problem is even worse with some of the Minox 35 series cameras that can reach 30 seconds or more. One other feature of note is the shutter speed setting for flash operation. Firstly, the camera uses a setting of 1/20th of a second, which seems too slow to me as this can easily blur ambient light images, and secondly, it is set by a small switch in the side of the accessory shoe which is automatically tripped when you attach the flashgun – odd. I haven’t tried this camera out with the flash yet so I don’t know how this will work out in practice.


None needed so far.


Specifications Minolta Hi-Matic F Made in  Japan
Camera Type 35mm EE zone focusing camera with between-the-lens shutter
Film Format 24x36mm
Lens Rokkor 38 mm f/2.7 (4 elements, 3 groups),
Filter Size 46 mm
Focusing Range 0.8m to infinity
Shutter Speeds 4 seconds to 1/724th second. Automatic programmed aperture & speed selection
Exposure Meter Type Single CdS cell located above the lens element. Programmed aperture & speed selection
Film Speed Range ISO 25 (DIN 15) to ISO 500 (DIN 28)
Viewfinder Information Brightline frame, Parallax correction mark
Focusing System Rangefinder focusing in viewfinder
Synchronization Flash Built-in "X" synchronization @ 1/20 Second - "X" contacts in Hot Shoe and PC socket  Flashmatic system with aperture determined with the selected GN (7 - 56 in Meters) and the focusing distance. 
Loading Film Standard 35mm 135 loading
Advance Film Single-stroke, Built-in double exposure prevention
Self Timer  No
Battery Two 1.35 volt Mercury battery PX640 - Use 675ZA (1.4v Zinc Air) Two cells packed in one bay and a spring to short circuit the other bay.
Dimensions 113 X 73 X 54 mm
Weight 360g


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