CAMERAS > MINOLTA
Minolta Camera Co. was founded in 1928 by Kazuo Tashima, and the first camera of this factory was the Nicalette from 1929. Initially, the company was founded as Nichi-Doku Shashinki Shokai, but in 1931 it was renamed as Minolta Goshi Kaishima and the Minolta brand was registered.
Initially, Minolta focused on folding and TLR cameras, and from 1937 on manufacturing their own lenses too, with the Rokkor introduced by 1940; previously, lenses mounted to Minolta cameras were made by Asahi Optical. Like many other makers from that time, they also entered the 35mm arena, taking Leica as the working base. After WW2 they made Leica copies, and in the 50s they made rangefinder cameras with increasing quality.
The first 35mm SLR, the Minolta SR 2, was introduced in 1958 and had a lot of excellent features. With the 60s, production of SLR cameras continued with the SR, SRT or XK series, up to the 70s.
The second half of the 1970s saw the collaboration with Leitz and, as a result, the XD and XG series of cameras. Production of rangefinders and cameras for 110 film was also continued.
In the 80s the X series with MD Rokkor lenses was continued. From 1985 their first AF SLR, the Maxxum or Dynax, depeding on the market to be sold.
It was merged with Konica in 2003, creating Konica Minolta. Unfortunately, they were not capable of adapting to the digital wave and Minolta stopped making cameras by 2006, selling the business area to Sony which then developed the Sony Alpha series of dSLR cameras.