Interview with Mikel Adell, Minolta collector

Today I bring you a more than interesting and curious interview that I did with a member of the SonyAlpha forum months ago and that I would like to share with you.

The interviewee is Mikel Adell, Minolta camera collector (and Konica-Minolta) that has real beauties, almost all of them in operation, and many in use. I prefer not to get involved and that you find out everything between my questions and their answers.

Hello Mikel, first of all thank you for answering these questions about your collection.

1-When and why did you start collecting cameras? What prompted you to do so?

You could say that I started collecting Minoltas when I was studying photography at the IEFEC, around 1994, when I was 20 years old, there I had an X-300s and a HI-MATIC 9 to do the classes, in the second year I booked a Maxxum 700si with a 24mm 2.8, a 50mm 1.7 and a 20-200mm XI.

Then I bought a Dynax 700si with a 135 2.8 and I don't know how I found a small showcase in my house with a few Minoltas, that's how collections should start, right?

2-We know that you have a large collection of cameras from the Japanese brand Minolta. Do you only collect cameras from this brand? Why?

I collect Minoltas because at home we had the HI-MATIC 9. And only Minoltas for reasons of economy. There are many brands and models, some very appealing or interesting, that is why I preferred to focus only on one brand, because otherwise it would be a never ending.

3-How many cameras do you have? How long did it take you to collect them?

Right now I am in the process of cataloging because I have about 150 cameras without counting accessories such as lenses, flashes, etc.

Although I started about fifteen years ago, it has not started to grow until about five years ago, especially since I got to know the eBay auction site, because the option of flea markets and collector's shops were waning, the first by assortment and the second by price.

4-What is it, of the ones you have, the one that has cost you the most to find?

In times of Internet auctions it is no longer difficult to find models, indeed, I have found a couple of cameras that I did not even know existed, such as the HI-MATIC GF RED, everything is a matter of patience, waiting for the moment and try not to raise the bid. Some people tell me that the charm has been lost, but when you have a significant volume of models, you no longer find anything in the markets and stores and in the end you have to go online.

5-What three cameras do you have are your favorites? For what reason?

A father sees all his handsome children and it is difficult to choose between only three ..., and of the ones I currently have I would opt for the Minolta Autopress, an old-fashioned bellows plate camera beauty, brutal, and being completely metallic gives it a beautiful aesthetic. The other would be the Minolta Miniflex, which is a 4 × 4 format TLR with a green finish, and finally the Dynax 9, although it is modern, I highlight the beauty and simplicity of shapes and configuration. It was a PRO camera that stood up to the F5 or EOS1 but without frills, that if, with its vertical grip, if not incomplete. It would also include the Minolta Xk, the Repo and the 8000i MIR, but since you only let me choose three ...

6-Are there any that you don't have and that you crave? Which?

I have two, but they fall outside the budget, one is the Xk Motor, which is a beauty in black, and the SR-M with a side grip that gives it a very particular aesthetic.

7-Are they all in perfect running order? Do you use them regularly?

The vast majority yes, I try to make them 100% operational, but there are models that have batteries that are not manufactured and some that do not work and because they are low-end I do not repair them, I only keep them for aesthetics, but perhaps one day I will replace them for models that do work. The most important problem that I find myself with is the availability of negatives, since many use formats that are not manufactured, although I know that there is a place where negatives of any format are manufactured, now it is not part of my priorities, because I am cataloging and photographing. The most curious problem that I have encountered is the Minolta RD 175, being a digital SLR, I have not found any affordable system to be able to take photos, since its entire operating system is obsolete and there is no way to download the photos.

8-To conclude, which and why is, according to you, the best Minolta in history?

I'll be quick. The best Minolta ever is the Minolta Dynax 9 Ti, and you just need to have it in your hands to know it.

Thanks for the interview Mikel 😉

You can see more photos of his collection in your Flickr gallery

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