Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 & Hi-Matic S2 Review

The Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 was Minolta’s first auto-focus point and shoot 35 mm camera. It was made by Minolta in 1981. The S2 is a scale focusing variation that uses a “scale” to focus. You simply look at the person and determine how much of the person will be visible in the picture and turn the focus ring to that scale to adjust.

Minolta Hi-Matic AF2

I really like these cameras. The AF2 is especially nice. You just point and shoot and get really good results. It has a fast 38mm f=2.8 lens. With 400 iso film (the fastest it uses), you can shoot down to about EV6. That’s good enough for a well-lit interior room without flash. If you use a film with some latitude like Kodak BW400CN, you can even get something usable down to EV3.

dimly lit restaurant

The auto-focus was pretty accurate. It only missed focus on a couple of shots. It seemed to have more difficulty with infinity distances than with people closeups. The lens has good contrast.

hay barn in Queeny Park

The camera is made from sturdy plastic. It has a real advance lever rather than a thumb wheel or motor advance. Something about cocking the lever makes it feel more like a real camera. It is lightweight, easy to carry and much more quiet than the Canons of that era. The flash works well and doesn’t seem to blow out the highlights.

with flash

I like the rangefinder look and feel of this camera. I’ve mentioned before that my real rangefinder, the Olympus 35 SP, is kind of hard to focus. Well this camera is the same convenient size, but with the auto-focus I can snap a shot and be sure of getting the image.

snapshot

I really like the sharpness of the images and the ease of shooting this camera. This will become my regular “carry-everywhere” camera.

fall foliage

You can see all the shots here.