The Blackberry Belle

Minolta Maxxum 5 w/ Fuji Superia Xtra 800 – 2018

In the long long ago, in the before time, I worked at an Eckerd Express Photo. Every year before the holidays, the company would host a day-long event where they would show off the new products that were coming to the lab/store, including all the new cameras we could sell. (That was the first place I heard of APS, which at the time I thought was THE COOLEST. LOOOOOOL.)

One of the cameras that I remember them showing off one year was the Minolta Maxxum 5, and the selling point they wanted us to make to people was that it was like a cross between an SLR and a point-and-shoot. We ended up getting one of these cameras in stock at my store, and it never sold. Mostly because when the little old ladies who came into the shop wanted a camera, they could barely deal with the absolute most basic cameras, and no one was going to Eckerd Express Photo to buy camera equipment.

Years later, I was working at Lakeside Camera and Photo as a lab technician, and I noticed that the Minolta Maxxum 5 was still on sale. I bought the camera for Doug as a gift. The kit came with a basic 28-100 lens and the body, and I “borrowed” it to take some photos in one of the graveyards as well as take some shots of my best friend.

We still have that Minolta camera. The Eckerd presentation wasn’t wrong, I find that it’s simple enough that I can just set auto-focus on and let the camera do its thing, or I can do things manually. Even today, it’s one of my absolute favorite film cameras to shoot with.

Back in 2018, when I dug the camera out of the closet to see if it still worked, I shot this roll of Fuji Superia Xtra 800 around my house to see how it would work – and it was just as good as back in 2004 when I got the camera brand new. However, I didn’t realize until the film was developed that I’d had the date feature turned on. Oopsie. I thought about removing the date in Lightroom, but then I figured, what the hell…leave it in. In fact, after seeing these images, I decided not to retouch them. I love this freaking camera.

I actually pulled the Maxxum out again this past weekend and shot a roll on the lakefront – this time with the date feature turned off. I’m excited to see how those turn out. Times like this I kind of miss one-hour photo labs. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I hate waiting.”

Film was processed by The Darkroom in CA.

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