Talk about getting a bang for your buck. I think this camera takes great quality images for the size and price of the camera if you can find it for cheap and working 😉 I took this camera out in my purse on multiple jaunts throughout the city during the day and night and it did not disappoint. These cameras can be found pretty easily on Ebay or Etsy, and can be found pretty cheap at an average of about $30.
Minolta Hi-Matic AF2
This camera was first manufactured by Minolta in November 1981 as the successor of the Hi-Matic AF. The camera uses active infrared autofocus, which uses an infrared beam to determine the distance of your object. It also comes equipped with a warning buzzer and blinking light combo that notifies if an object is either too close to focus as well as too far out of the flash range. Similar to other Hi-Matics the camera has a four-element lens with a 38mm focal length and a maximum aperture of f/2.8.
This camera luckily takes very common two AA 1.5V batteries that you can find at most stores. The battery door can be found on the bottom of the camera and can be opened by pressing down on it and sliding it in the direction of the arrow towards the camera. Place the batteries in the slots according to the correct positive and negative order that is indicated on the side. Slide the battery cover back on once the batteries are installed. According to the manual if you are using alkaline batteries the flash can be used 250 times per set. I don’t really know how I feel about that estimate and would count for lower considering how some batteries actually really suck.
The Hi-Matic AF2 uses 35mm film which you can buy at such places as Walmart, Target and CVS. You can also buy film online from specialty camera stores if you want something special such as Lomochrome Purple film which I have reviewed here. This camera can take ISO films from 25-400. Once you know the film speed that you are going use you will have to set it on the camera. There is a film speed ring around the lens of the camera. Turn the ring until the correct number is aligned with the white film speed index window on the front right above the lens.
The Hi-Matic AF2 opens by flipping up the film re-winder and then pulling up on it. This causes the back door to pop open. You then place the film in the chamber to the left and push the film re-winder back down so that it goes into the film cartridge to hold it in place. Pull the film out and line it up with the sprocket nubs and insert the ledger into the slit in the film take-up spool. Advance the the film by pushing the shutter button and turning the rapid wind lever. Then you can close up the back click the shutter and wind the film a few more times till you see the exposure window says 1.
As mentioned before this camera comes with an autofocusing feature. Which makes picture taking pretty simple in that it is mostly point and shoot. The problem is if you want to take a picture of an object that is off to the side and you have a landscape in the back but you want to focus on the object that is closer then you will not be able to. This is where the focus hold feature comes into play. If you want to focus on your side object you need to press slightly down on the shutter button until the LED focus zone light in the viewfinder turns on. This causes the camera to memorize the distance that you want it to focus on. You then reframe your picture with the shutter button still held down to how you originally wanted it. Press the shutter button all the way down to actually take your picture. Besides the LED focus zone light there is a low-light warning as well if the camera thinks there is not enough light needs to have the flash on.
There is also a self-timer feature that can be found on the side of the lens that can pulled down. Once you push the shutter button then the timer starts and you have about 10 seconds to take a picture.
The Sure Shot also comes with a built in flash that can easily be used. The flash will pop out once you push the flash switch that is located under the flash towards the arrow. There is a square light on the left of the viewfinder that will light up once the flash is ready to use.
Once your roll is done your shutter button will no longer be able to be pressed. Push in the film rewind button at the bottom of the camera and then turn the rewind crank to take up the film into the spool cartridge again. Leaving you to just take it out and have it developed 🙂
This camera was a blast. Some people don’t know that I am into vintage cameras so it’s always fun to take out new cameras and have people be amazed that they are still being used. This camera is small enough that taking it on a night out was easy. Most of this first photos are of some birthday parties done with bar hopping. The flash did a great job and giving out enough light but not overly blow out people.
I also had the camera on me when I was walking around in San Francisco and took some interesting architecture photos.
Wish I had gotten some more interesting shots from the camera, but I didn’t have as much time to play with it as I wanted to. Overall I think it’s a great camera and the photos came out nice and sharp. Although as I was just writing this blog the batteries in the camera just died. I only took 2 rolls of film on it. So as I said before maybe batteries in days of yore lasted forever or I just used really sh@*ty batteries. So I think in conclusion splurge on some fancy batteries is you don’t want you flash to die on you while shooting.
If you have any interest in this camera you can sometimes find it in my Etsy Shop. If it’s not in stock you can always drop me a note and I can source it for you for no extra cost and make a reserved listing just for you.
Most times the manual for this camera is no longer with the camera itself, but I was able to link a copy and you can find it at the below link from orphancameras.com:
- Type: Auto-focus 35mm camera with automatic exposure control, electronic shutter and built-in flash, plus two-types of piezoelectric-oscillator audible warnings
- Lens: Auto-focus type 1m (3.3ft) to infinity, with focus-hold function when the shutter release is slightly pressed
- Shutter: Behind the lens electronic type programmed for AE EV 6 (1/8 sec. at f/2.8) to EV 17 (1/430 sec. at f/17) X-sync. at 1/40 sec. ; self-timer; approx 10 sec. delay
- Exposure System: CdS type, coupled AE range EV 6 to EV 17; film-speed range ASA 25 to 400; automatic compensation with filters used; low-light warning lamp and steady audible signal come on when the exposure is under EV 8.4
- Viewfinder: Bright-frame type with parallax-correction marks, LED focus-zone signals for focusing and flash range, flash-monitor lamp, low-light warning lamp and Auto-focus zone marks
- Power: Two 1.5v AA-size alkaline, sealed carbon-zinc, or 1.2v nickel cadmium sells for AE system, automatic-focus system, indicator lights, piezoelectric audible signals, and flash operation
- Flash System: Built-in, pop-up flash automatically turns on and engages flashmatic system with sets shutter for X-sync. exposures at 1/40 sec.; aperture coupled to Auto-Focus system providing automatic exposure and adjustment throughout the flash range; LED focus-zone signals in the viewfinder and beeping audible signal alert when subject is out of flash range
- Dimensions & Weight: 53.5 x 76 x 129 mm, 335 g
I hope that you have enjoyed this review. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you think some other information should be added.