The Minolta A was launched by Chiyoda Kōgaku Seikō in April 1955[1] 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[2]. 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[3].

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.


  1. JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p194.
  2. Sugiyama/Naoi "The Collectors Guide to Japanese Cameras", code numbers 3431, 3432, 3433.
  3. JCII/Lewis, ed. "The History of Japanese Cameras" p91.


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