My first TRUE 35mm Film Photography Experience! – FILM PHOTOGRAPHY IN 2017?! – Minolta X-370 Review


I’m in the “Wired in generation.” While I grew up as the internet was forming,
my entire life has been spent with the wonders of digital being thrown in my face, and then
finally brought to life. But I was born at just the right time where
I still had to use some of the analog ancestors. VHS tapes for video, cassette tapes for music,
CRT TVs – and, of course, film cameras. I used a LOT of those cheap disposable cameras
that you could get developed at Walgreens. Well, nostalgia is one hell of a drug, and
I’ve always had a soft spot for film photography, but was too scared to jump in on my own. That was until my grandfather sent over a
camera bag full of his camera gear from back in the day. A battery-powered flash, some crazy filters,
grips, cases, a zoom lens, and the star of the show – the Minolta X-370 SLR with a 50mm
f 1.7 prime lens. This bad boy was made in 1984 – according
to what information I can find online – and is pretty sweet. Honestly, I can’t imagine a better starting
point for me to get into film photography. It has an electronic shutter for auto exposure,
allowing me to just focus on aperture and focusing, while it handles the shutter speed. I also have a Nikon FM2 that I’ve been too
afraid to try due to being full manual, heh. The typical silver and black body is quite
heavy, but it feels very nice in the hands. Makes a lot of DSLRs from today feel like
cheap knockoffs. The battery is easy to replace and has lasted
a long time for me. Film is easy enough to load and reload, once
you get used to it. It does look like a motorized rewinder is
an option, though I don’t own one for this body. It has a self-timer and exposure lock, too. The viewfinder is easy to look through and
check focus, though changes in aperture are not reflected – which is why I rely on the
auto shutter heavily. Being used to digital cameras instantly reflecting
changes, this took some getting used to. There’s a little dust on the mirror, but
nothing noticeable in the shots. So far, I’ve only shot this with Kodak Portra
400 film and the 50mm MD lens it came with. This lens is a beauty – sharp, easy to focus
and adjust the aperture, and opens up to f 1.7. I am in love with this lens and I am hoping
to get a speedbooster for it soon to see what it looks like opened up a stop at 4K on my
Panasonic G7 – but that’s an adventure for another day. My shots are all developed by thedarkroom.com. They’re not a sponsor or anything, they’re
just the site I found during my research and I’ve been very satisfied with the results. I just mail my rolls off and wait a few days
and they deliver up to 30 megapixel scans ready for me to download. I do wish they could deliver full TIF files,
but the jpegs at 30 megapixels are plenty fine for me to tweak in Lightroom. My first 35mm shooting experience was a great
one. The shots I can get out of the Minolta X-370
blow me away. I’ve owned a lot of point-and-shoots, a
DSLR and a mirrorless, and this is by far my favorite body to shoot stills on. The shots all have this nice, organic feeling
to them. Punchy contrast, and just the “right”
amount of softness, in my opinion. With digital cameras, I feel like you can’t
achieve a “soft” feeling without things seeming out of focus – whereas on film you
can still plainly see subject-background separation while having a nice soft feel to the image. And, of course, dat magical grain. Never enough film grain. All of this is subjective, vague language,
but I freaking love my shots from this. I will still shoot digital some, of course,
but I look forward to every opportunity to put this camera to work and take great shots. For future experiences, I hope to do more
shooting with the zoom lens in my grandfather’s kit, try out some of the crazy filters and
such that he had, as well as maybe pick up some cheap lots of expired film. One day I will test out that Nikon FM2, but
today is not that day. —
I hope you enjoyed this video. What was your first experience with film photography? Have you ever used the Minolta X-370? Let me know in the comments below! Like the video if you liked it, get subscribed,
and I’ll catch you in the next one. EposVox is a Patreon-supported production. Our videos would simply not be possible without
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