The Repo-S was Minolta's third and final attempt to break into the lucrative,
half-frame market. It appeared in 1964, and was as close as Minolta
would get to "getting it right". All of the Minolta Repo cameras were
small and stylish, but they were always "too little, too late". The
Repo-S was no exception. This model came with a super-fast, 32mm,
manually-focusing (f1.8 - 16.0) lens with close focusing to three feet.
The body is a little thinner than the earlier models, but the
lens sticks out much more than on the original. This is partly due
to the increased aperture. The camera still has a selenium-based
match-needle exposure system, but this model dropped the unfamiliar, EV-numbering
system. Now you can set the exact f-stops and shutter speeds -- much
nicer -- with or without using the built-in metering system. The shutter
speed range is expanded over the original model with shutter speeds of B,
1/8 - 1/500. But, although there were improvements, this version did
not come with a built-in flash shoe -- two steps forward, one step back.
And this was strictly a manual-exposure camera. Although
other camera companies were coming out with half-frame models which included
automatic-exposure options, the Repo-S lacked this feature. At least
it had other convenience features -- tripod socket, PC connection and cable
release socket. This model also added film advance with a more familiar
lever, replacing the thumb-wheel of the earlier versions. Film speeds
from 25 - 800. The faster lens required a wider 39mm filter thread
and a new D42KC lens shade. Black and chrome versions were available. This
was the last Minolta half-frame, but certainly not the end of Minolta subminis.
They continued to make their popular 16mm cameras, and would go on
to make some of the best 110 and disc cameras ever produced.
COPYRIGHT @ 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 by
Joe McGloin. All Rights Reserved.