The Minolta Autocord (thank you Karl Bryan).

Third time the charm?

For those of you following along, I purchased a “recently adjusted” Minolta Autocord one month ago and it was dead on arrival.

Fortunately, Mr. Karl Bryan restored it to its former glory.

After shooting my very first roll of film (which turned out great), I tried to load a second roll and the frame counter stopped working.

Subsequent to some extensive scientific analysis I concluded that this Autocord was cursed.

I was ready to give up on it and I let Karl know, but he wouldn’t have any of it.  He urged me to stick with it.  When I asked him why, he responded:

“Your camera is way too nice of an example to not get it working… I just want you to use [it] and see what a fantastic camera the Minolta Autocord is.”

His enthusiasm convinced me to send it back to him.  Truth be known, I actually didn’t want to disappoint him.  And so, off it went.

Several days later, I received the following message:

“Hi Peter,

I recvd your camera this afternoon and performed the following services on it:

cleaned Fresnel lens (dirt/grit from deteriorating light seal), your ground glass and Fresnel are in better shape than any of my spare parts
installed waist level finder light seal
adjusted tension of frame counter wheel spring
installed leather neck strap”

The charge for all of this work?

$0 (zero).

My Autocord arrived back home today and I am simply giddy with excitement for this little jewel.  I can’t believe how beautifully it is working.  And the leather strap that Karl put on it is just perfect — it would have been exactly what I would have chosen if given the option.

I let Karl know how I felt, and he wrote back immediately:

“Hi Peter,

you made my day! I am so happy that you are again enthused with your Autocord.

Yes, that “old school” camera strap was one of my favorites (used on my Leica 3F, Minolta 35 rangefinders, Nikon rangefinders and on the Minolta Autocord CDS II that a buddy used for my wedding photos). Glad you have it and will enjoy using it.

If you should have any issues with your camera, please feel free to email me. I so want you to enjoy using your Autocord.



yeah, Autocords are my favorite camera and I want other people to appreciate how nice they are, so forgive me if I seem biased”


Mr. Karl Bryanthank you, thank you, thank you.


Minolta Autocord (thank you Karl Bryan)


7 thoughts on “The Minolta Autocord (thank you Karl Bryan).

  1. andygemmell says:

    Great news Peter! That first “test” role certainly showed us what this camera can do in the right hands.

    Looks like you are in analogue heaven at the moment! Looking forward as always to the results.

    • Thanks Andrew. It’s an embarrassment of riches for me at the moment but I wanted to do things properly this time around. I’m getting exactly what I want and hoping to stick with everything for the long run, because each piece of equipment serves a specific purpose. Had I just done this years go (specifically focusing on film), I would not have been on the equipment merry-go-around I’ve been on for the last 10 years.

  2. Love this story Peter! I had similarly wonderful service from a chap in the UK called Roger Lean who fixed my Lomo LCA years ago. He sent me a hand written (in fountain pen no less) list of things he’d tightened and greased! It felt like service from a bygone era, an attention to care and detail that’s rare. He also charged next to nothing. I’d previously been quoted more than the cost of the camera by two high street stores before being tipped off by a friend.

    There’s something heart-warming about someone taking that level of pride in their work, and wishing to share their enthusiasm with like-minded souls.

    Keep sharing, I look forward to seeing your photos with this camera.

    • Isn’t that something James? I have to hold on to this camera because it’s had so much love and care put into it by Karl. And him charging me nothing for the follow up work speaks volumes about the man. I insisted on paying him anyway, but it was really a token amount, given what he’s done for me.

  3. dazvernon says:

    Hi Peter, I recently became the proud owner of an Autocord and have been trying to find a suitable strap for it – it has the same mushroom lugs as yours. Do you know where Karl obtained the strap from?

    I’ve tried to locate him online but without success.

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