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Minolta RP-507 Microfilm Reader Printer - a brief technical perspective

by Evis Beaton –


The Minolta RP-507 was released circa 1987 and fit into the then current RP line up as sort of a hybrid unit that could breach the gap between standard legal/letter microfilm & microfiche and large format engineering applications such as Aperture Cards and 35mm roll film.

Working for the largest Minolta reseller in the U.S.A. (at that time) as the service manager for the Los Angeles division, we fully expected the RP-507 to replace some aging RP505 units that already had rather high mileage.  The RP507 had two paper cassettes that could be set up for various paper formats as well as an optional bulk paper feeder unit that could hold over 1,000 sheets. This unit was designed for high production printing, with its print engine based on its EP-650Z photo copier brother.

The RP507 had most of the same paper feed, transport, imaging and fuser parts as the high production EP-650Z copier but the addition of the optical mirror scan system required for the microfilm application, along with the vertical paper feed section and dual developer unit system made it much more temperamental.  As a Minolta factory trained technician on the RP-507, I could clearly see the potential for paper jam issues on this machine and they were eventually plagued with paper jams as well as copy quality issues.

Minolta changed the “Bi-Mode” single developer unit system so successful with the RP-505 and went with a dual DV system so that there was a N-P toner hopper and developer unit as well as a P-P toner hopper and developer unit. When the user chose the film polarity format (or determined by AE) the DV assembly would tilt the appropriate DV unit closer to the drum unit by way of a motor controlled platform. The toner hoppers were located at the top of the system on one side and employed rotating toner bottles that “trickled down” the toner via plastic tubes to the DV unit. That system was prone to clogging and consequently the density of the print was unreliable.  From a technician’s point of view, we noticed that customers that had replaced thier RP-505’s with the new RP-507 were generally not as satisfied with the upgrade.

The RP-507 did have its bright points though. It could print as large as 11 x 17” and had a large ledger size screen as well.  It was not as successful as the RP-505 and never did I find an RP-507 with even 500,000 prints on it, they usually were sent out to pasture way before they could reach that point.  After the successful launch of Minolta’s next work horse, the RP-605Z, the RP-507 was phased out and parts became difficult to obtain. Eventually they were all but replaced with newer systems by Minolta and increasingly by Canon that had capitalized on the weakness of the RP-507 and touted their apparently more reliable NP-680/780 which I believe gained much ground during the period between the end of the RP-505 and the beginning of the RP-507 era.

Please feel free to contact me regarding Micrographic solutions or for technical support on these or other Micrographic Systems. Evis Beaton

Evis Beaton is the Sales and Marketing Manager for and has over 25 years of experience in the Microfilm Industry working as a field service technician, technical specialist and service manager for Minolta’s then largest microfilm dealer in the USA. Evis has an ASEET (Electronic Engineering Technology) and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with an emphasis on e-commerce organizations.

 © Evis Beaton All Rights Reserved 2015

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