Minolta X-700 Shutter Advance Locked

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by lilmsmaggie, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm currently a photography student at a local J.C. in Northern California. The class I'm currently enrolled in is on digital photography. Anyway, during a DOF lecture and discussion, the instructor mentioned that if you had an older film camera lens, chances are you had a depth-of-field indicator on the lens barrel.

    He went on to explain that these were very helpful in understanding DOF and that unfortunately, because of different sensor sizes in todays digital cameras, most lens manufacturers no longer include DOF indicators on their lenses.

    Anyway, I have a Minolta X-700 that's in very good shape, with one exception: The film advance lever is locked-up. I discovered this after the lecture on DOF and wanted to do some experimenting. :sad:

    I also have two Rokkor-X manual focus lenses that are also in excellent condition.

    Has anyone experienced this problem and/or can recommend a good repair facility?

    I'd eventually would like to get back into film and had hoped I could use this camera. If I sign-up for a film class, having a camera already would be a plus. Otherwise, I'd have to purchase used. As I said, the camera from a visual esthetic perspective in in excellent shape. No dings, scrapes or scratches -- inside the camera is clean. Just the film advance lock-up problem.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Check three things. First the batteries. Press your battery check button. If the power indicator light does not come on then replace them. If it does then try moving your shutter speed dial from one extreme to the other. Sometimes the shutter can stick on a speed and doing this in a few cases might free things up. If this does not work then open the film back. If there is film in it, mark the exposure number and rewind the film until you feel it come loose. Do not rewind into the cannister if you want to expose more frames on this roll. To do so, just make exposures with the lens cap on and continue until you get to where you left off. Back to why we're opening the camera back. Look at the shutter curtain. The end should not be visible. If it is then see if it is perpendicular to its line of travel. If it is cocked slightly off then it could be jammed. Take something and press on the edge of the shutter curtain and see if it snaps back over on the tension of the springs. If it does then do so for the inner curatin.

    I suggest the last because if it is none of these and it is more than likely a blown electronic capacitor that, unless you are mechanically inclined and choose to do yourself, you could replace it on ebay cheaper than having one repaired.

    Good luck.


    (Edit: Also, knowing whether the mirror is locked up or not would be useful to know.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2009
  3. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Right on the money Chris. I have had two x-700's die this way. The cap goes with time, and the fix is not worth the pain (I have tried). I instead have just bought older more mechanical minolta cameras to live with my rokkor series of minolta glass. The last one, an SRT-201 came my way with an off brand lens (that now lies in the bottom of a drawer somewhere) for something like $15 plus shipping of about $20.
     
  4. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Lilms,
    What the others said. And I suggest new batteries anyway. And be sure--this is important--to clean the battery contacts in the battery chamber with a pencil eraser. I have seen many cameras fail to work, even when the BC light shows; or even when fresh batteries are installed--because a layer of invisible tarnish has built up on the battery terminal.
     
  5. Krockmitaine

    Krockmitaine Member

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    I agree with AnscoJohn to clean the contacts with an eraser. It happened to me. I bough fresh batteries and no matter what, the camera was locked. Told that to my friend and he said to me to clean the contacts with an eraser, even though the contacts appeared to be clean. Well, they were not, and my X700 was brought to life.

    Marc
     
  6. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    I'm somewhat hesitant to poke around inside the camera with my fat fingers. Although, the batteries died long ago - and there's no film in the camera. Shutter speed dial works OK. The camera has been sitting in a camera bag in a closet for about 20 years. I'll try fresh batteries and see if that works, and I'll make sure to clean the contacts before inserting the new batteries.

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll let you know how it turns out.
     
  7. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    I was hesitant as well as to pushing on the shutter curtains. But the camera sat around for a couple of months and I was pondering tearing it down to check the capacitors (I don't do this so it would have been my first attempt) and was fully expecting to end up with spare parts/boat anchor. When I was to the point when I thought it was just dead weight that was when I went prodding around and got really lucky.

    I understand the hesitancy. Again, only if the shutters are jammed and you can clearly see that the edges are not straight up and down should you try it. If they are either straight or out of sight to one side then more than likely that is not your problem and you should NOT mess with something that fragile that is not broke.
     
  8. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I also have 2 X-700's that were locked up. The capacitor was the problem and I bought them at Micro Tools and now the cameras are fine. Removing the bottom plate (4 screws) and a bit of low temp soldering was all it took. I was about to give up on them till I found the repair info online.
     
  9. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Taking the camera into a local photography shop to have it checked out today. Spoke to them briefly yesterday on the phone. They're talking overhaul (+- $150) because of the cameras age. I'm going to see if fresh batteries do the trick. Stay tuned.
     
  10. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    I have used 2 X-700s and both of them, as they got older, locked up the shutter. I took them to the repair shop and the technicial was able to free the shutter and the camera worked fine after that. I think it only happened to both cameras one over the 20 years I used them.

    If it's as simple as a new battery, which it most likely from condition of your camera, simply replace them and it should wirk fine. The shutter will not operate without functioning batteries. You can tell if the batteries are dead by turning it on, placing your finger on the shutter switch to activate the meter, and then look in the viewfinder and see if the leds are lighting up in it.
     
  11. lilmsmaggie

    lilmsmaggie Member

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    Great News -- replaced the batteries and the camera works just fine.

    Thanks for everyones input.
     
  12. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Glad to hear that is was the batteries. The X-700 is a great camera and you will enjoy taking pictures with it.