The TC-1 is a compact 35mm auto focus point and shoot camera made by Minolta. Released in 1996, the TC-1 was one of the smallest high end auto focus compact cameras available on the market. It was Minolta’s goal to produce a camera that offered the image quality of a 35mm SLR, but with the convenience and size of a compact camera. The well built and high end Minolta TC-1 was manufactured to rival the Contax TVS and the Ricoh GR1, and was marketed towards advanced amateur photographers. Although it is compact in size, the camera was deigned for deliberate picture taking, rather than an aim and click approach to photography. Unrivaled in design and performance, the Minolta TC-1 was awarded the Camera Grand Prix in 1996 by the Camera Journal Press Club of Japan.
The “TC” designation in the name stands for “Titanium Casing”, as the body is made of titanium. The camera is lightweight, durable and designed to be shock and corrosion proof. It is an aperture priority auto exposure camera, and has a built in flash. A dedicated spot metering button is located under the thumb of the shooter to allow for precise metering. The camera has a button to illuminate the LCD, and a mid roll change button as well. The camera has a high magnification viewfinder, and allows the photographer to check the shutter speed and auto focus status. The TC-1 also has manual ISO and manual focus capabilities.
The Minolta TC-1 features a high quality wide angle Rokkor G 28mm f3.5 lens. The lens has two aspherical elements, and is multi coated and made of all glass. The entire optical assembly is constructed of glass and metal, so there are no plastic parts. The lens has a four step bladeless aperture ring made of a disc with three circular aperture holes. The camera is unique in that it has a circular aperture that allows you to manually select four apertures (f3.5, 5.6, 8 and 16) and each is a perfect circle. The aperture system produces images with the out of focus highlights, or “bokeh” effect, that many photographers find desirable. The quality of the Minolta TC-1 allows it to be a highly desirable camera for collectors.
Click HERE to view the Minolta TC-1 on the KEH Camera website.