Originally Published September 5th, 2018
My Minolta Hi-Matic AF2: Taking photos for the fun of it.
Hey gang, if you’re interested in delving into the world of film photography and you haven’t been able to convince your wife to spend $2500 on a Leica kit, consider starting with a simple point and shoot camera like this Minolta Hi-Matic Auto Focus 2.
Lens: Sharp f/2.8-f/17 38mm Minolta lens
Focusing Distance: 1 meter (3 feet)
ISO Range: 25-400
Shutter Speed: 1/8th thru 1/430th
Light Meter: CdS
Viewfinder: Bright with framing lines
Power: Two AA batteries
Made in Japan
What makes this camera interesting is that it was one of the first to use infrared autofocus. Its been said to be “in between two eras” with new AF technology but still retaining the manual film advance and winder. The AF is fast and accurate, making this camera great for action and street photography. Its a decent sized camera with blocky features which I think adds to its character.
I have no idea where I got this camera, I found it while going through some boxes in my basement. I suppose it was purchased at a garage sale or flea market for a few bucks. Now with the resurgence of film photography, the AF2 is selling for $60-$150.
I recommend my method, garage sales, antique stores, and flea markets. But maybe you have a friend with some old cameras laying around, free cameras are always the best cameras in my opinion.
Point and Shoot?
“Just enjoy taking photos for the fun of it.” -Me
These days with cameras practically taking photos on their own, you may ask yourself, “why use a simple point and shoot?”. While a point and shoot isn’t ideal for every situation, I would argue that its great for day to day, street, and documentary photography.
The camera is simple, it does all the work for you. You can remove all the baggage that comes with a complicated SLR or manual rangefinder and just enjoy taking photos for the fun of it. While I have a lot of different cameras, ironically, this little “free” camera I found in my basement has become my main film camera.
“That would be a great opportunity to take some photos.” -Me
Whenever I’m asked to go somewhere or attend an event, my first thought is always, “that would be a great opportunity to take some photos.” I bring my Minolta with me pretty much wherever I go. Its great because it uses AA batteries which are still made today and sold at all dollar markets.
“Looking at My Phan.”
I’m working on several projects right now, this one is called “Looking at My Phan: A Love Story.”
“People Eating Food.”
This project is called “People Eating Food.” Its a powerful documentation of the food culture in America. I’ll be publishing a book soon.
Some of my favorite street photos that I’ve captured have been taken with my Minolta. The camera is super dorky and most people don’t pay attention to me. I look like a goofy tourist with a point and shoot camera, which I am “A Tourist of Life.”
“I am a tourist of life.” -Me
My Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 has become my favorite go-to camera for capturing and documenting the world around me. My advice to you, whether you’re a film or digital shooter, is to find a simple, easy to use camera—then go make some photos.
Thirty years from now, you won’t care what type of camera you used, you’ll only care about the images and the memories they bring. So go make them now while you can.
“Thirty years from now, you won’t care what type of camera you used, you’ll only care about the images and the memories they bring. So go make them now while you can.” -Me