Two weeks, two Minoltas

Two weeks on Madeira with only a pair of Minoltas

This is our fourth visit to the lovely Portuguese island of Madeira. Because of its weather patterns, it offers a range of different climatic zones and scenery. One of the main attractions is the Levada water ways which crisscross the island, and make for nice walking paths (as long as you don't fall into them like I did). Good food, nice weather, friendly people, and always something new to see and discover, are a few of the reasons why it is our 4th visit.


When planning for this trip, I decided that I wanted to leave my digital cameras at home, and Instead bring two Minolta Rangefinders.

Minolta Hi-Matic 7s, Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII, Rangefinder, film camera, Minolta, Rokkor, Rokkor lens, Madeira, Film Photogrophy
The Minolta Hi-Matic 7sII, and the older and larger Minolta Hi-Matic 7s

Part 1, Preparation:


This trip was going to be my first time traveling with only film cameras, so here are a few of the thoughts and considerations I had before the trip:


Why the Rangefinders?

I originally bought the two Minoltas because I wanted to try using a rangefinder and they are relativity small and compact. My medium format cameras are a bit big and bulky to carry along on a hike, and as this is a vacation with my wife, not really a photo oriented trip, I wanted to keep the gear to a minimum. Before the trip I shot a couple rolls through each camera to make sure they worked properly and to get a feel for them. They work great, and I enjoy using them, so I felt comfortable bringing them for the trip.



My plan was to load Black and White film in one camera and Color film in the other, and if one were to fail I would have a back up.



When traveling with my digital camera, I tend to zoom in quite a bit, focus on a small detail, and my wider shots tend to be flat, and have no real subject of focus in them. Both of the Minoltas have a fixed 40mm lens, which I thought would be good practice in shooting more wide angle than I normally do.


If I miss a shot, oh well...

Having been to Madeira a few times before gave me a good idea of what to expect. Would there be situations when a different lens would make for a better shot? of course, but I wanted to challenge myself to make the most of what I brought, and not worry about getting every possible shot.



 A few small extras did make it into the bag along with the cameras:

  •  The Peak Design leash for carrying one of the cameras, the PD Capture Clip came along as well.
  •  An inexpensive set of filters for black and white photography (Red Yellow Orange Green and Blue), and a variable ND filter to help with the bright sunlight (as well as a step down ring so they could also be used with the 7sII).
  •  A cheap and tiny tripod with flexible legs.
  •  A cable release



  •  Color Negative
    • 2 rolls of Kodak Gold 200
    • Kodak Ektar 100
    • Lomography Color 400
    • Fuji Superior 200 (expired about 10 years ago)
  • Slide
    • New E100 Ektachrome
  • Black and white
    • 2 rolls of AGFA APX 100
    • Rollei Superpan 200
    • Silberra Ultima 200
    • Fomapan 100
    • Ilford XP2 super 400 (C41 development)




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