in Cameras

Minolta VC-9 battery grip for the Dynax 9

The Dynax 9 is easily the loveliest late-era professional film camera I have used—all of its functions are so polished and perfect. Exposure is universally spot-on to the extent of being telepathic; autofocus is precise; the huge, clear viewfinder, like an Evian swimming pool, makes people say “ooooh maybe I should try a film camera”; dials and displays have just the right balance between knob-twiddling and “I don’t care just show me the settings”.

The only problems are:

  1. it is pretty heavy. But not really that heavy when it comes down to it. Toughen up. Carrying cameras is cheaper than the gym.

  2. it eats batteries. Well, not too badly I suppose—a pair of CR123s will take it through a holiday easily. But CR123s are expensive, and the battery grip takes 4 x AAs, which are cheap and last longer.

I bought this VC-9 battery grip on eBay from Japan because that seems to be the only place where they are available. I’m not 100% sold on battery grips for SLRs that are pretty large already but, you know, if you’re going to carry a big camera why not go all the way?

The lens on the Dynax 9 in these pictures is the Minolta 50mm f1.4 (with an ugly rubber hood—sorry) which I know looks absurd on a camera this size, particularly when it’s got a battery grip attached, but works wonderfully.

  • I feel similarly about my F90x – although I do like the more manual experience of the F3Hp or FE2 at times 🙂

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    I do find myself using the Pentax MX a lot more often really, simply because it’s smaller and fits in my bag.