Minolta Autocord

When I decided I wanted a practical medium format (120-size film) camera, I thought about the usual suspects, such as Hasslblad and Mamiya, but I’ve always like the twin-lens reflex (TLR) cameras, such as the famous Rollieflex. But finding a Rollieflex in good condition for cheap isn’t easy, and everywhere on the web I looked I saw people talking about their old Minolta Auotcord, how they loved it, and how wished they still had it. Since I am a fan of things Minolta I looked into it and purchased this camera from a seller on eBay for a fair price.

This version of the Autocord dates to the 50s or early 60s and has a built-in selenium light-powered meter. The Rokkor taking lens on it is fantastic, very sharp and clear. Using a camera like this takes a little getting-used to: you open the top and look down at the ground glass at the image coming from the focus lens (the upper lens). Moving the focus lever moves the whole lens carrier assembly, so that when the focus lens is focused, so is the taking (lower) lens. There is a magnifying glass so you can get it really sharp. The meter works well in daylight, but not in low light conditions. Having an on-board meter with no need for batteries is great as it makes it a self-contained system.

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