This is the first Professional grade Maxxum AF SLR Minolta produced beginning in 1985 after the release of the revolutionary Maxxum 7000. I highly recommend this camera as an affordable way to enter into 35mm photography. It’s perfect forbeginners and amateurs alike. They tend to be less expensive on the used market than picking up any of the current brand new SLR systems. The great thing about purchasing any Maxxum SLR is the ability to utilize all Maxxum AF lens with any model of Maxxum SLR. Since I already had the Maxxum 5, the Maxxum 9000 was a logical choice for a backup body.
The Maxxum 9000 is a tank, it boasts an all metal chassis that can withstand the abuse put on it by professional field photographers. It features the first generation of Minolta AF technology so it is slower than today’s AF SLR systems, but it still functions very well. I have used it in a variety of situations and it always performs admirably. The camera itself has a manual SLR feel to it, with its large knobs on the top of the camera, and the manual film advance and rewind. Another plus to this camera is that it functions on only two AA batteries making it quite affordable to maintain. There is a battery pack available that allows for 5 frames per second film advance and auto film advance and rewind, but it does take 14 AA batteries and makes the camera quite heavy. The LCD readout is large and easily read, displaying all of the necessary exposure information. Although in some of these older Minolta models the LCD may have bleeding occur that can block out information. Below is a list of additional features.
- Shutter speeds from 1/4000 – 30 seconds plus Bulb
- Manual film advance and rewind (detachable 5 frames-per-second motor drive is available)
- Silicon photocell metering (Center-weighted averaging and 5.5mm Spot metering)
- Spot-metering correction for highlights and shadows
- Four exposure modes (Programmed auto-exposure, Aperture-priority auto-exposure, Shutter-priority auto-exposure and Metered-manual exposure)
- 1/250 second flash sync, off the film flash metering, metered fill flash and PC socket
- Depth of field preview
- Multiple-exposure capability
- DX coding
- Interchangeable viewfinder screens
- Automatic viewfinder illumination
- Variable eyepiece dioptre correction
- Detachable program backs are available, The Program Back-90 and the Program Back Super-90
The only drawback is that Minolta changed the flash hotshoe attachment on the top of the camera, so different flash accessories are needed for the first generation SLRs such as the 5000, 7000 and 9000, the “i” series, and the most recent models. Older Maxxum flashes can be easily found on EBay for the early Maxxum SLR systems. There is the basic 1800, the 2800 and the full featured 4000. These work with the Maxxum 5000, 7000 and 9000. These flash models also function with older cameras that feature hotshoe connections such as the Argus C44 or Perfex Deluxe. The optional shutter release cables also function with all of the Maxxum models.
CLEANING AND REPAIR
Basic maintenance is usually all that is required of the Maxxum 9000 or any Maxxum SLR. Keeping it clean and avoiding damp and humid conditions have kept this workhorse dependable time and time again. These are fairly sophisticated pieces of equipment and if not fully trained in repairing these or any modern SLR, I would suggest leaving it to a professional. Most reputable camera repair shops would probably charge around 75-150 dollars for a full CLA (Cleaning, Lubrication and Adjustment). I always recommend purchasing a UV or Skylight filter for lenses, as they keep the actual lens from getting scratched or dirty without effecting exposure. In fact, some of the better ones by Tiffen or Hoya improve the image slightly.
There are always Minolta Maxxum SLRs up for auction on EBay. My first piece of advice is to do your homework. Each model has a variety of features. Decide what camera will work best for you and then watch some auctions to see what average prices are. Generally the lower numbers in a series have the least features. For example the Maxxum 5000, 5000i, 500si, 3xi, etc., usually represent the beginner or introductory model with limited features.
The first generation such as the 5000, 7000 and 9000 can usually be found for 75 to 200 dollars depending on the model and their condition. These cameras, especially the 9000 and later “i” and “si” models hold their value as they are well-made, dependable cameras that can provide excellent pictures for decades. Sites such as www.bnhphotovideo.com orwww.adorama.com are reputable sources for used camera equipment. I’ve seen a Maxxum 9000 in Very Good condition for as low as 100 dollars. This avenue ensures that the equipment has been checked out by certified camera technicians.