Studio Updates —

Studio updates.

Minolta Supreme Freedom Zoom "Elite"

So today I wanted to share some first impressions of a thrift store camera I picked up late last fall. It's been sitting on my shelf till last week when I finally got the chance to get out and put a roll of film through it. The camera in question is the Minolta Supreme Explorer EX Elite which is quite a mouthful huh. I actually remember selling these cameras or at least trying to back in the early 2000's during my camera store days. When I came across it in the thrift store I couldn't pass it up at it was half off tag day which brought it to whopping $1.50. If I remember correctly it retailed for somewhere in the $200 range. Pretty crazy right?

Minolta Freedom Zoom 1

So first off let me give you a little rundown of the features as I know them.

1. 39-125mm f3.5-9.9 (4 element lens)

2. Date mode

3. Night, Portrait and Macro modes

4. Spot metering mode

5. Auto, red-eye and fill flash

6. DX coded ISO 25-3200

7. Panoramic mode


As you can see it's really not anything spectacular just another solid early 2000's mass-produced point and shoot. Not that that is a bad thing. 

Minolta Freedom Zoom 2

How does it handle is the main question. The first thing I noticed in using the camera is that is built like a brick and almost as big. You certainly not going to be putting it your pants pocket. Even in my jacket, it felt heavy. The zoom operated rather smooth and the camera itself isn't very loud so it can be used it a variety of situations without causing a scene. The lens isn't fast so you need to be aware of the lighting or what film speed your using. I'll be honest I didn't give the macro or spot metering modes a try. I am however slightly obsessed with the fake panoramic mode on these older cameras. Yes I know it's not a real panoramic, yes I know it is just cropping the top and bottom of the film frame and somehow I still managed to shoot half a roll using it. I'm actually to see the results in terms of lens sharpness and what kind of contrast it has. I'll be honest it's probably not a camera that I'll put any real time using again as it's just too big and bulky for me. Most likely it will end up in my collection of point and shoots or be passed along to a fellow film photographer in need. As soon as I get the film processed I will follow up with a result post so stay tuned.

Minolta Freedom Zoom 3