I suppose this post title makes as much sense as my “Why I Shoot Nikon” post from two-and-a-half years ago. In that post I explained that I shoot Nikons because of Simon and Garfunkel. It is one of my longest, rambling and I hope most amusing posts on this blog. In that post, I mention in passing that my first SLR was a Minolta SRT-202. Today I shoot both Nikon and Fuji, but find myself transitioning more and more to the Fuji line of cameras, in part because of the Minolta.
A serious and comprehensive post on that topic would cover lenses, camera size and weight, and Fuji’s new sensor technology. But this post will focus solely on design. I think the Fuji cameras are damn beautiful and freely admit that this is a meaningful factor (although certainly not among the most important factors) in my decision to shoot Fuji. And, design encompasses more than just how they look. It also includes how they feel, and how they work.
Specifically, it does not hurt at all that the current Fujis remind me a LOT of my old Minolta. Look at the shot above, and then look at the Fuji below, which image was first featured here. In the specific styling they differ, but in their overall size, shape and form that are basically the same camera.
The Minolta shown here is not the one I owned in the late 1970s. That one is lost to time. I do not remember how, when or why I disposed of it. But for the past few years I have considered obtaining one, and recently found this one on eBay, with the 50mm f/1.7 lens, for $60. I am currently shooting my first roll on it. It is a great camera. Minolta made great cameras, and was quite innovative. It focuses much like a rangefinder, and metering is all manual, but handled within the camera and TTL (through-the-lens). The light meter moves an indicator which you see while looking through the viewfinder, and then you adjust both the aperture and shutter speed until another indicator lines up with the first. While the Fuji can be much more automatic, the aperture and shutter controls are setup in an almost the exact same fashion, and the general look of silver and black and shape is extremely familiar. I cannot resist either one.
Oh, and the Minolta shot on top was made with the Fuji shown below it.