Roughly around 20 years ago I bought an old camera, second hand at a flea-market, it was a Minolta SR-7. I don’t remember what I paid for it but I wasn’t earning much at the time so it can’t have been expensive. I had fun with it for a few years and then the speed and light-weight convenience of the modern camera tempted me and the Minolta went in a drawer for a long rest.
Since I found my lovely Box Brownie in a charity shop I have been thinking that I should dig out my old Minolta and take it for a spin.
The summer sunshine always makes me wants to get out and about, even more so than I do normally, so this year I took the opportunity to visit some of the many local village shows and take some pictures of the things I go to see – big bulls, long eye-lashed cows, huge vegetables and steam engines.
Stithians Show is the one nearest to me and I think it is the best (controversial?). It has everything that you would find at the much larger and grander Royal Cornwall but without the mass crowds. Stithians still feels like a real village affair and a community effort (which it is) and, for a local girl like me, chances are you will see one or two people you know!
So one hot July day off I went to Stithians, the heavy weight of my old camera swinging by my side.
The Minolta SR-7, which was produced from 1962 – 1967, is far more complicated than any other camera I have. Where as in previous posts I have revelled in the simplicity of my Brownie, my Minolta is about as complicated as I ever want my photographic life to get. (I like to keep things nice and simple.)
I am afraid I am not qualified to give you a run down of all its features yet but needless to say I think I am going to enjoy the results! That is once I get the hang of the light meter I just bought on eBay! This model of the camera is completely mechanised (although it did have a built in battery-powered light meter it functions fine without it) which means that when you take a picture and wind on the film it makes all the clicking, crunching and grinding noises you could possibly wish for. An audio experience as well as a visual one!
The other thing that strikes me about these first pictures is that they have a real timeless quality about them. I realise the subject matter helps – the traditional country show – but still there is an almost ageless feel. The prize-giving picture above could have been taken when the camera was first produced in the 1960s.
I must just add that those cabbages are HUGE, cattle are surprising good at standing still for a picture and steam engines smell amazing!
I am really looking forward to further adventures with my Minolta!
For more of my photographic stories try: Box Brownie: The Perfect Reflection or Adventures with my Box Brownie: Part 2 How to load your film! or Lady behind the lensI provide all the content on this blog completely FREE, there's no subscription fee. If however you enjoy my work and would like to contribute something towards helping me keep researching Cornwall's amazing history and then sharing it with you then you can DONATE BELOW. Thank you!