Advantages Quality, handling, robustness
Disadvantages Heavy, quite expensive
|Range & Quality of Features|
|Ease of Use|
|Compatibility with other Photographic Equipment|
Why a Dynax 9?Minolta SLRs have been a problem for some time: not the most popular as professional cameras, but with a very strong following among amateurs. So is the Dynax 9 no more than a figurehead, which no-one will buy when they can get the more advanced features of a Dynax 7 so much cheaper? And can anyone take it seriously as a competitor for the EOS 1n or Nikon F5?
The answers are “yes” and “yes” - the 9 is a real and useful camera for serious photographers. It has wonderfully-intuitive handling for both stick-in-the-muds like me, and those brought up on dials instead of rings on the lens. The results are superlative.After a 24-year affair with another manufacturer’s product, I needed to get a newer body. Sadly, the latest version is VERY big and heavy, for no obvious reason. So, after enjoying an old Minolta 9000 for some years as a small and versatile camera, I decided to update by getting a Dynax 9 - not the most popular choice, perhaps, but uniquely placed to give effortless technological backup to my mediocre photographic talent.
The Dynax 9 is incredibly solid. It makes most other metal-bodied cameras seem fragile and bendy, while putting all the controls where my fingers can find them easily. The viewfinder shows 100% of the picture area, the shutter synchs for flash at up to 1/300 second, and it has both a depth-of-field preview and a socket for a studio flash lead - all signs of a really serious camera.To go with the body, I treated myself to a new lens: a G-Series 85 mm f/1.4. This is the ultimate lens for portraits, figure work, and (often) landscapes: it has a significantly smaller field of view than a 50 mm, and this concentrates the mind on isolating the most important part of the subject for closer study. The wide aperture means that you can go on taking pictures in light so poor that zoom lenses have retreated to the shoulder bag - and the sharpness, lack of flare, and accurate geometry will be a revelation to anyone who is used to zooms.
A side-effect of choosing a less-popular brand is that second-hand lenses, particularly fixed focal length ones, are silly-cheap. A 35 mm f/2 lens for £130 makes a marvellous two-lens kit with the 85, and has all the same virtues.I’ve tried the competition, and was overawed by the size and weight: the Dynax 9 feels businesslike and solid, but perfectly manageable. Do I want a 7? Probably not: the extra sophistication of the focussing system means extra complication. I like the combination of fine engineering with a degree of starkness and simplicity in operation. I can choose which of the three focus points to use: I think this sort of choice is absent on the 7 - despite having more points to worry about!
All in all, a wonderful camera, which is inspiring me to take more and better photographs. And it’s the “better” that is the real tribute to the work of the Minolta design team!
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Manfrotto U5FW42 Motor Drive Cord (Used With 322rc2 Grip Action Ballhead) For Minolta Dynax 7 & 9
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