Minolta 7xi rewind problem

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mjs, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. mjs

    mjs Member

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    My beloved Minolta Maxxum 7xi has been developing a problem for some years now, and lately it's been getting more serious. I bought it used about ten years ago in my quest for the 'perfect' 35mm camera (and may have found it in the 7xi!) A couple of years after I got it the camera began being unable to complete the film rewind when the battery was more than about half discharged. It would try to rewind, the motor would make a two-toned noise, and at some point the rewind would stop and the display would flash "HELP". I'd have to go into a dark room or use a changing bag to finish rewinding the film by hand, then remove the battery, wait a few seconds, and then re-insert the battery to get the camera going again. Years ago I could expect to run several more rolls of film through before the battery died, but of course I'd have to rewind the film by hand, in a dark place... Naturally I'd more often just replace the battery but that 2CR5 battery is a lot harder to find these days, and at $11 a pop throwing away a half-used battery hurts.

    This past weekend the camera did the same thing, with a brand-new, fresh battery. When I got it into the darkroom and finished rewinding the film I found that only the film leader was still sticking out of the cartridge; the rest of the film had in fact been rewound correctly. I have to admit that over most of the past ten years, I've been using 4x5 much, much more than 35mm so the issue wasn't urgent but I'm starting a project for which I had intended using the 7xi much more than I have in the past. Do you think this is repairable, or would I be better off looking for a decent used 7xi (or possibly a 9xi; I hear they're pretty much the same except that the 9xi takes a slightly more modern battery?) Used cameras like this go for not much on the 'bay, so perhaps repair isn't economical these days?

    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 14, 2009
  2. Java

    Java Member

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    HMM!

    Things to check first:
    Are the battery contacts in the camera clean? (gently scrape them with a flat balde screw driver)
    Are the contacts in the camera making a FULL contact with the battery. You never know may just be slightly out of contact.

    As it has just done the same with a new batteries then it maybe more serious :sad:.

    I have no idea how much Maxxum 7xi cost across the pond, but here in the UK they can be picked up very cheap (one in a shop for £59 GBP body only). I would hunt out another body and get one.

    I think it would cost at least twice that to get it fixed but the issue may just be getting hold of parts.
     
  3. flashgumby

    flashgumby Member

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    I'm far from expert, but the 'two-toned' noise sounds serious, possibly 'beyond economical repair'? If it were me, I'd see this as an excuse to look at a 700si or even a Dynax 7 if $$$ permit.

    I know you love the 7xi, but having handled the 7xi, 700si and 7, the 700si and 7 seemed to have a much more comfortable grip and shutter button location - I found the 7xi rather awkward to hold. That may be just me though.

    I hope it all works out ok for you - all of the 7-series bodies are excellent tools and I hope you can continue to use one.

    Regards,
    Gordon
     
  4. mjs

    mjs Member

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    Thanks for the advice, Gordon. I had a 700si briefly when they came out and didn't like it: I don't specifically recall why now, it might have been the complexity of the control setup. 7's seem to go for $200-ish on Ebay; that's more than I can spend right now at tax time (ask me again in a month or so!) 7xi's are relatively cheap at auction at the moment, so I'll probably go for one of those or possibly a 9xi. I have large hands and really like the way my 7xi feels in my hand.

    Mike
     
  5. oldglass

    oldglass Member

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    Mike, I'll definitely suggest looking for a replacement, I don't think it's worth the hassle and money to try to repair it, unless you have a sentimental attachment to it, then it's different.

    Also a 2CR5 battery cost only seven dollars (just bought one yesterday) at Fry's. :smile:

    I am currently using an Alpha 5, which is the Japanese version of Maxxum 5. But I'm silently waiting for a cheap 7 to float by. I think I'd also like the 9000.