The Minolta Alpha 9 (a.k.a. Maxxum 9 or Dynax 9) is arguably the finest professional grade 35mm SLR camera ever made. It just oozes with ruggedness and quality. It is one of those cameras that once you pick it up you don’t want to put it down. It was released in 1998 with a feature set that left most of the competitors far behind. It was the last professional grade camera made by Minolta.
I confess, buying this camera was completely impulsive. I had often looked at the 9, even played with it a bit, but since they were usually priced at about $450 to $550 at the time, it just didn’t make any sense to me. After all, I still wasn’t that into film. But just something about the fact that this was the finest film SLR ever made by Minolta, and possibly by anyone made it awfully appealing. Then one day I saw this one on the shelf priced just under $200 and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I showed it to the clerk and he took a good look and had the same reaction as me. There was a cosmetic blemish on the bottom of the camera. It looked like maybe once it had been set on something hot and one small spot of the plastic on the bottom was a little melted but it was really minor. Other than that there simply wasn’t anything wrong with it. I thought long and hard, and in the end just simply couldn’t pass up such a good deal. And I don’t regret it. Since then prices have come down a bit, but I still have never seen one priced even within $100 of what I paid for mine.
I finally found a very cheap vertical grip… it was pretty beat up and subsequently discounted… just what I wanted!
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed shooting with this camera and the results have been quite pleasing! Take a look here.
On June 22, 2012 I sold this camera along with several others to help finance the purchase of a lens for my Mamiya 6. I’m still not sure if I’ll regret it because I really loved this camera. It was my favorite 35mm SLR film camera. But it just doesn’t get much use and I find myself increasingly uninterested in shooting 35mm film. I enjoy medium format so much more.