27 July 2010

Minolta Vectis S-100 APS SLR

St Andrews rose 2

Vectis S-100 | 25-150 zoom lens | Nexia A200 film | full negative scan

The APS film format is now 14 years old and must be on its last legs. Film is in decline generally, and this format must be the junior partner among the three remaining formats – 120, 135, and APS.

Minolta Vectis S-100


The Vectis S-100 was Minolta’s junior partner to the S-1, their SLR offerings for the APS format.

Minolta Vectis SLRs

Superficially similar to the S-1, the S-100 was the entry level SLR, largely automated, with no facility for manual settings of exposure. There are various auto exposure modes and facilities to set aperture or shutter speed separately and exposure compensation controls. Dig deep and you can get the camera to most things.

I like the camera – and its superior sibling – because it is compact, light, and splash proof, an ideal travel camera. It looks different too, with no noticeable pentaprism housing so characteristic of 35mm SLRs (the camera uses a system of mirrors instead, which places the viewfinder to one side of the body).

St Andrews lavender | full APS-H scan

The negative is smaller than 35mm; there are no sprocket holes and the full H-format has an area of 30x17mm approx and a 16:9 aspect ratio. (The other APS negative formats were achieved by cropping.) APS was launched just as digital was emerging, and coupled with the relative expense (more expensive film, more expensive processing) it never made huge headway. Minolta sank a lot of resource in to APS and some have blamed this for its eventual undoing as an independent camera maker.

St Andrews sundial

Vectis S-100 | 25-150 zoom lens | Nexia A200 film | full negative scan


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