| Minolta 'A' 1st version with early rewind knob,|
'Chiyoda Kogaku' on bezel.
|Minolta 'A' top shutter speed dial|
|Minolta 'A' lift-off back.|
The Minolta A was launched by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō in April 1955 as the first of their new series of rangefinder cameras. It featured an optical viewfinder with superimposed coupled rangefinder, a shutter speed thumb wheel on top of the camera and a rapid wind advance lever. Earliest version had two-blade Konan Flicker shutters with speeds B, 1/2sec to 1/200sec. The second version had Optiper -MX shutters with B, 1-1/300s and the version released in 1956 had Citizen -MX shutters with B, 1sec to 1/300sec. All were M and X flash-synchronized. Its coupled 45mm f3.5-22 'Chiyoko Rokkor' lens, with 4 elements in 3 groups, was the first in a Japanese camera to use an equally spaced linear aperture scale.
It was an entry level camera for advanced 35mm photography that was ahead of more expensive popular American rangefinder camera models. The Minolta 'A' series was developed through the A-2, A3, A5, and then into the AL series that were marketed alongside the Hi-Matics.
- ↑ JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p194.
- ↑ Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code numbers 3431, 3432, 3433.
- ↑ JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p91.
|Column in the October 1955 special issue of Photo Art.|