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All about Minolta RD-175

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ffrolvaag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: All about Minolta RD-175
    Posted: 11 March 2017 at 14:01
Yes, it does appear I did well. In my searching this was by far the least expensive SCSI adapter route at the time of this post. Adaptec made 1460A-D versions as well as a 1480 UltraSCSI version (more expensive). I see that the earlier versions are pretty cheap, but may not be fully XP compatible. Perhaps it was luck, but I happened to purchase two D versions for that price in separate auctions. All that being said, I strongly suspect any PCMCIA to SCSI or USB to SCSI cable will work as long as they are XP compatible. I would just urge anyone to search google for compatibility information on whatever card that they are considering to verify XP compatibility. Most of the SCSI PCMCIA cards are made for windows 98 an earlier computers and may have XP compatibility issues.

My next goal is to see if I can get this to work on my Windows 10 PC. The RD-175 software works, so it is just a matter of loading drivers and finding a compatible SCSI adapter for the computer. The newer computers have a smaller form factor for expansion cards than the previous generation of PCMCIA cards, so I will have to purchase another component to test this. At least I can now retire my windows 98 laptop, which I had maintained exclusively for the RD175.
Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
 



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Howard_S View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2017 at 12:36
@ffrolvag - great work! Thanks for documenting this.

A quick search on eBay suggests you got a bargain in that adapter!
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ffrolvaag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2017 at 02:01
Today I am happy to report that I have future proofed (or at least greatly extended) the life of my RD-175. After a couple weeks of playing around, I have created a workflow to repeatedly to format a number of Compactflash (CF) cards in my RD-175's using windows XP laptop. The materials I used were:
1. Windows XP laptop with PCMCIA port
2. Adaptec 1460D SlimSCSI PCMCIA card with 50 pin centronics cable supplied with the card ($11 USD including shipping on Ebay). No drivers are necessary for this card with windows XP.
3. 50 pin centronics female to 50 pin centronics half pitch male adapter ($8 USD on Ebay)
4. PCMCIA CF adapter was plugged into the camera along with a 256MB or smaller CF card.
5. Minolta RD175 ver. 2.0 software along with the camera drivers previously installed on the computer (that was somewhat of an ordeal in itself).

Assuming you have these things, you can follow the exact sequence listed here on a XP laptop PC. If you deviate from this order in any way, the camera and computer will not recognize each other, so the order is critical.
1. Connect all the cables to both the camera and SCSI card. The camera and computer should be powered off.
2. Hold the "mode" button down on the camera for 3 seconds and then slide the the power button on from lock to on (still holding mode). "SCSI" and "ID-X" (where X is the ID #) will be displayed on the camera's display if done correctly.
3. Then you turn on your computer.
4. Open the Minolta RD-175 control software.
5. Select the "Settings" option on the menu.
6. Select the "Format" option.
7. Turn of the camera, close the software, and remove the CF card (or PCMCIA harddrive).
8. If you want to format another media, start at #1, and will need to restart the computer at step 3.

Originally posted by Velocina Velocina wrote:

I think every "native" CF with nominal capacity below 256 Mb can be formatted directly into camera, connected to PC, but I've don't tried. I'm sure that my 1 Gb Sandisk ULTRA II cannot be directly formatted in camera (error code E8), but one partition on it of 250 Mb cans (199 free ...).


I can confirm that 256mb is the maximum native size. This is because I was repeatedly able to format multiple 256 mb CF cards using the process above, but was not able to format a 260MB PCMCIA harddrive (double the capacity of the 131 MB Maxtor drive that came with the camera). Apparently those 4 MB pushed it above the limit you noted.

As a general service announcement, I can provide anyone with the Minolta RD-175 drivers and control software free of charge (PC only). I do have the disks for Mac as well, but I am not sure how to copy them since I only have a PC, but don't want to part with them since they came with the camera. However, if you can't obtain all of the items I noted above (none of which came with the Minolta RD-175 except for the camera itself), I can either sell pre-formatted media, or format your 256MB or smaller media for you. You just need to send me a PM, and we can work out the details.

Edited by ffrolvaag - 11 March 2017 at 02:20
Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
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ffrolvaag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2017 at 18:22
Here is the marketing Brochure expanded:

Page 1:


Page 2-3:


Page 4:
Specifications as listed on Marketing Literature (not dated Page 4 of 4)


Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2017 at 16:29
Thanks for sharing and yes i would for one be curious to see the rest of this brochure

I wonder what is item number 9992-0501 Optimate Optical Carrier
Michel B
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ffrolvaag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2017 at 15:45
A friend of mine who recently moved out of state gave me another RD-175. Along with all of the accessories, there were two marketing inserts he had from when he purchased the camera back in the mid-90s. I am uploading scans of the spec sheets and optional accessories lists from these inserts. Higher resolution color scans of the full Spec Sheet (6 pages) or Marketing Sheet (4 pages) are available upon request. The remainder of the documents is basically marketing fluff and camera layout photos.

Specifications as listed on Spec sheet dated August 1996 (page 1 of 6)


Optional Accessories as listed on Spec sheet dated August 1996 (page 1 of 6)


If I have more time, I may end up breaking these into two separate posts and add the missing pages. For the time being, I want there to be a formal record of the technical specifications and accessories, as none truly exists in this post.

Edited by ffrolvaag - 26 February 2017 at 18:19
Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
 



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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 November 2016 at 00:36
Lens Compatibility:

Non-chipped lenses do not work. The LCD will display the following, but will not allow activation of the shutter or focus confirmation in the viewfinder. Up until you try to activate the shutter, the camera seems to work normally.

(attached is a non-chipped 58mm f1.2 Rokkor)

Chipped MF lenses do work. The camera will try to AF these lenses if you leave it in AF mode. Focus confirmation does work as well. I have both a Pentax 50mm f1.2 and Nikkor 50mm f1.2 ais, both of which are chipped and do work.

SSM lenses will not auto-focus, but otherwise works normally. (Oddly enough, the the camera balances a 70-400G better than an a900 w/grip )

Otherwise, it appears that any other chipped AF lens I have tried works as intended.
Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2016 at 08:53
Thanks for the update and good to know.
I think the last time I went to put my batteries on charge only a few were accepting any power .
The chargers were refusing to start for the others .
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ffrolvaag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2016 at 03:40
I have decided to start adding as much detail as I can to the database beyond the links. After not having touched my camera in a while, I pulled it out recently, and plan to start working with it some more. However, here are two common items that are easy fixes for very common issues I have seen with units sold on ebay. Pictures forthcoming.

1. Batteries - The original is a Minolta NP-500H, which is a 7.2v 1200mAh Li-ion battery. Although it is virtually impossible to find a functioning Minolta version, it is a the same size and shape as common camcorder batterys of the era. I have confirmed that Sony NP-F330, NP-530, NP-550 are all of identical size and will work in the camera with no issues. I have purchased several generic replacements of that type that also work. Replacements are cheap (5 USD + shipping) and plentiful, so fret not if your battery dies. See below for a photo of all of these various batteries. As you can see, there a couple of extra contacts for some of the Sony batteries, but the only important contacts for the camera is the two +/- pins on the sides (two small holes on either side of the bottom (on the picture) of the battery)



2. Battery Charger - Any Sony charger that will charge the above batteries will work. The main difference is that the Minolta charger has the ability to direct power the camera. The connector appears to be proprietary (off the charger, but not to the camera). If you want to find a charger that will work to charge batteries, I found that early Sony Mavica cameras that stored images on 3.5" floppy drives (MVC-FD92 etc) used NP-F330 and NP-F530 batteries. You can pick them up for cheap if you can't find a compatible generic charger. Just a small note, that if you buy a used Sony Mavica with charger and battery, buy it for the charger, and don't count on the battery being good as they are 15-20 years old by now.

As I get through more of my notes, I will continue to add details.

edit - Photo of batteries added.

Edited by ffrolvaag - 03 November 2016 at 00:03
Franz



a900, a700, 5600hs, 1200 (w/MFC-1000), 3x converted f1.2 (Rokkor 58, Nikon 50 ais, and Pentax 50), 85mm f1.4, 100mm f2.8, 70-400G, and way too much other stuff to mention
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 May 2016 at 20:15
To add to the knowledge base here, I have tried the v2 software mentioned in Velocina's earlier post and it works on a Windows 10 PC, 2016 vintage. I can't even open the Mac software of a similar age. Who'd have thought that Windows would be the winner after 21 years?

The Minolta software does the best job of converting the files to TIFF format - GraphicsConverter v9 and Picasa also read these files but don't achieve the same tonality and more importantly, get the aspect ratio wrong. Something to do with the pixels not being square, I guess, but the file dimensions are slightly different too.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thornburg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2016 at 13:21
If you're going to need to insert & remove something from a CF slot with any sort of frequency, be careful, because it's possible to bend the pins at the bottom of the slot, and this will usually spell the end of whatever device those pins are part of.
Sony a3000, a6000, a57, a99 - Sony E 16-50, 28/2 | Vivitar 13, 85 | Minolta 24, 28-105, 35-105, 50/1.7, 75-300 | Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 | Sigma 70/2.8 Macro | Tamron 70-200/2.8 | Celestron 1000/11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2016 at 11:07
Long live film, long live digital!

I think I diagnosed what I did wrong with the CF card. It seems that it can be inserted either way up in the adapter I have and one way round it fails to work properly.

This is something that will vary from card to card and adaptor to adaptor I'm sure, but it is worth checking if future readers experience a problem.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Photosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2016 at 01:24
This little Minolta saved me on a job once. I'd rented the camera to play around and enter the digital age. Job was shot on film but I recorded everything twice to make comparisons.

As it turned out, the photo lab botched the film. Ruined everything, and I was in deep trouble because the job could not be done again... Yearly Corporate Policy Seminar for AT&T. We needed a 5x7 head shot for everyone attending from all over the country. Impossible to bring them back for a photo shoot.

Freaking out, I discovered that the RD-175 could produce a very decent 5x7 print from Kodak Dye Sublimation.

I delivered to client without saying a word about the lost film. They were thrilled and never knew the difference.

I turned to digital photography as soon as I could after that, incorporating it into any job that it could satisfy.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Howard_S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 April 2016 at 21:52
Just one to conclude this:


Sample RD-175 photo by Howard Stanbury, on Flickr

0.5 s / f/6.7 / ISO 800 handheld
Minolta AF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom

RAW MDC file converted in RD-175 Grabber on an XP PC to make a TIFF file

Corrections in Lightroom, including noise reduction and removal of hot or dead pixels

This file is 1528x1146 px; files read by Picasa are 1534x986 px and probably unadjusted for colour balance.
Howard Stanbury Instagram | Flickr | Web
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