Minolta XG-1 x Lomo Berlin Kino 400

This was a quick turnaround for me this time. Typically I like to sit on my photography for a while before posting but this time around things are a little bit different. The Minolta XG-1 was found a couple of weeks ago in that Salvation Army haul. The camera looked basically brand new or at least barely used at all. After talking about it with my girlfriend we decided that if the camera worked (I was sure it would) it would make a good Christmas gift. With the holidays upon us I didn’t waste anytime at all.

I loaded up the camera with a roll of Lomography Berlin Kino 400. I had shot with a Minolta X700 when I was studying photography and this camera immediately felt familiar in my hands. It came with a few lenses but I opted to shoot with the Hanimex 28mm 1:2.8 as I don’t have a fixed wide angle lens and thought it would be a fun challenge. Manual focus and a semi automatic SLR looked like a good combo.

Now the fun part is winter had just hit with the first waves of snow so almost everything was shot while it was snowing. Everything is basically white and grey so I figured the film would be good for that. The camera worked flawlessly, the metering seemed spot on and matched up with the meter on my phone and an older hand held light meter that I have. I used the Automatic setting, choose the Aperture and the camera selects the shutter speed. That worked fine and gave me good exposures. All in all it was fun to shoot. The lens perspective kept me on my toes as well as the manual focusing. I only missed a few shots which isn’t so bad with my terrible eyesight!

The film stood up well albeit it seemed a little flat contrast wise. With that being said it was all shot in snowy conditions. As usual I bumped up the contrast in post processing. The grain though is like nothing I have ever seen before! It’s big, chunky and kind of blotted. Almost like someone was doing some sort of sketch with a black ink pen. It is very utilitarian, industrious maybe? it works and gets the job done but to my eyes doesn’t seem to be very organic or natural. That is my humble opinion.

With all of that being said the camera worked great, the film performed well and will make an excellent Christmas gift. I am happy that I had the chance to shoot a Minolta again after so many years of shooting exclusively Nikon Cameras. I am also happy to be gifting this to someone knowing it makes great pictures. Film processing done here in Ottawa at Galaxy Camera. This is where I am getting all of my film these days too. They have an unparalleled selection in the city.

That is it for now, happy holidaze!


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