The eleven focusing screens for the X-1. The screens are made from a glass condenser lens and a plastic focusing screen, encased in a protective metal frame.
   
   

Focusing Screens

Minolta initially made nine focusing screens available for the X-1 camera. But by the end of production, there were eleven. The standard focusing screen supplied with the cameras body is the ‘P’ screen. Here is a list and description of the screens:

  • Type P: Matte fresnel field with 4mm horizontal split image spot. Good for general and wide angle photography.
  • Type M: Matte fresnel field with 4mm micro-prism spot. Good general purpose screen especially for 35 to 100mm lenses.
  • Type PM: Matte fresnel field with 2.5mm horizontal split image spot within a 1.5mm wide micro-prism band. Good general photography for all lenses. Standard screen for the X-1 Motor camera.
  • Type G: Matte fresnel field only without spot. General purpose screen that does well with long focal length lenses.
  • Type L: Matte fresnel field with grid lines without spot. Special purpose screen for architectural and accurate composition. Perfect screen for use with the 35mm CA Rokkor Shift lens.
  • Type C1: Clear fresnel with 6mm micro-prism spot. Good for low light situations with certain lenses only. (see compatibility chart)
  • Type C2: Same as C1 but for different lenses. (see compatibility chart)
  • Type C3: Same as C1 and C2 but suited for still different lenses. (see compatibility chart)
  • Type H: Matte fresnel field with 8mm clear spot containing an etched double cross. Use for dioptric and parallax focusing in astrophotography, photomicrography and other high magnification applications.
  • Type S: Clear fresnel field with central cross covering the full field and includes measuring scales. Use for dioptric and parallax focusing in dim light, close-ups, photomicrography and other high magnification applications needing image measurements. Specifically designed for use with the High Magnification Finder.
  • Type AP: Acute-matte screen with diagonal split fields. Great bright screen for general purpose photography.

As mentioned earlier in the specifications section, there was also an F screen listed in early marketing material of 1972/73 but no example has surfaced thus far. It is unusual because it was made by compressing .017mm optical fibers together that resulted in approximately 4 million strands per screen. This same technology was also used in the development of Polaroid backs. The process resulted in a focusing screen capable of bright finder images in low light or poor contrast situations. It did not have a split-image or micro-prism. By the time the X-1/XM/XK cameras actually were distributed for sale, the F screen disappeared from Minolta’s marketing materials.

Compensation is required on certain focusing screen, lens and finder combinations. Screens P, PM, M, G, L, and H do not require compensation. A comprehensive chart was compiled indicating all lenses and finders known. The S screen is not shown since it was specifically designed for the High Magnification Finder which lacks metering capability. To determine compatibility of screens with lenses, and the exposure compensation required for each screen, click on the link below to open a pdf of the exposure compensation chart.

 
   
 

Some Minolta dealers were equipped with what is referred to as a Diopter Checker. The device allows one to compare the variety of correction diopters with any combination of focusing screens and the wide selection of Rokkor lenses. One is pictured below.

 
 

 

 
 
The diopter checker is a rare collectible for keen Minolta X-1 collectors.
 
 

Dedicated Accessories

 
 
 
 
An XK shown with the Auto Electroflash 450, plus optional external battery pack. The tripod shown was not available at the time of the release.
 
 

Minolta introduced an extensive range of accessories for the X-1 series, many of which are highly sought after today due to their rarity. Some of the accessories include:

  • Accessory Hot Shoe
  • Finder storage case
  • Finder dust cap
  • Body finder mount dust cap
  • Camera case for use with AE Finder
  • Camera case for use with low profile P Finder
  • Long nose case
  • Soft nose case
  • Leather neck strap with integrated spare battery storage
Additionally, Minolta also introduced a professional flash unit to complement the X-1 Series, being the Autto Electroflash 450. Some of the dedicated accessories for the camera are shown below.
 
 
 
 
Camera cases for the XK Series. The standard case is pictured on the right, while in the middle is the case designed for lenses up to 135mm, and on the left is the soft case. The long case and soft case are extremely rare accessories to locate today.
 
 
 
 
It's even rarer to find them with their original boxes!
 
 
 
 
The accessory flash shoe for the X-1 System. This was kept in a small leather case attached to the camera strap and fitted when needed. It mounts over the rewind crank, as is shown below.
 
 
 
 
The flash shoe locks into position, and is released with a small button on the rear (not visible above).
 
 
Minolta really hit the mark with the X-1/XM/XK cameras. With it’s durable resin coated titanium shutters controlled by sophisticated electronics along with sensitive and reliable metering, who would want more? But more is what you got. The designers at Minolta did a great job and should be proud this camera is still sought after today by users and collectors alike who appreciate the refined features and capabilities. It is a camera from the 1970’s that is definitely capable of outstanding film photography today.
 
   
    The magnicicent X-1, XM and XK - the cornerstone of a true professional system