Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 x Lomochrome Metropolis

Winter has hit in this part of the world. The snow is here along with rain and freezing rain.. It is not the nicest weather to be outside which is perfect for catching up on little projects that haven’t been tended to.

Earlier this summer I found a Nikon AFD compact rangefinder camera at a thrift shop and quickly fell in love with it. It started me down this path of looking into all of these quirky, funky and retro looking lates 7o’s and early 80’s compact point and shoot cameras. I will get into the AFD soon but today we are looking at another little rangefinder I stumbled upon; the Minolta Hi-Matic AF2.

Similar to the Nikon, it is a compact black brick of a camera. Mostly made of plastic with some metal it seems pretty solid. It looks pretty sharp and definitely would have been a very modern almost futuristic looking camera at that time. Now it’s a funky retro piece and it works as it should which is amazing. It has autofocus of some sort that seems to be more or less accurate with my initial testing. It has a pop up flash for low lighting or taking pictures of people which worked well. It also has the ability to set the ISO on a little dial on the front of the lens. This is super handy if you like to push or pull your film. It has a 38mm, f/2.8 lens that has a nice perspective and seems to do well with my handheld aim and shoot approach using it. It has a timer which I did not use at all but will try soon enough. It is small enough to put in a jacket pocket or toss it in your backpack or shoulder bag with a few rolls of film. You still have to crank the film forward and rewind the roll by hand at the end of the roll. So it is not fully automatic but still it’s small and fun to use.

When I first got this it had some batteries in it and the battery compartment door was open and I couldn’t shut it since the batteries had leaked all over the place inside it! I was determined to get this thing working. I very carefully chipped out all of the corrosion that I could and used some q-tips and nail polish remover to clean out the rest. I popped in a set of batteries and nothing… I was a little dismayed at first and then tried a brand new set of batteries and lo and behold the thing fired up and was ready to go!

I put in a roll of Lomochrome Metropolis which I have talked about before. This time I shot it at 200 ISO to see the difference between 200 and 400 from the previous roll. It was shot around Ottawa in November. The greyest month of the year, the leaves have mostly fallen and the snow hasn’t come and the rain is around us almost daily. I threw the Minolta in my bag or pocket as I went about my usual travels and snapped a few pictures here and there.

Most of the pictures turned out dark and grey with some interesting colour shifts. Yellow seemed to pop a bit and the lights and colours of the night shots looked pretty cool to me. Similar to the last roll of Lomochrome I had to bump up the contrast a bit in post to get the pictures where I needed them to be.

Film processing and scanning were done here in Ottawa at Galaxy Camera. I am also getting all of my film right now at Galaxy, they have a very diverse and interesting selection.

That is it for now,


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