Refurbishing my Minolta XG-M

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by lightfox, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. lightfox

    lightfox Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hi all, I'm new to this forum, and I was hoping I could get some help refurbishing a Minolta XG-M camera given to me. First of all, is this a good quality camera to start with? I don't mind buying a better model from ebay if there are significantly better ones. I have 3 lenses for this camera, so I get something else it would need to be compatible with them. Auto focus is not essential for me.

    I've never used a film SLR before, and I just want to make sure it's going to work well once I start shooting with it. I can't test it right now because I have to buy batteries for it. Also the foam seals around the door are old and falling apart, so I think I need to change that. Are there any other common repairs needed to get an old camera in working order?
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welcome to the Wonderful World of Film.
    I don't know the minoltas but in general you have the right idea for replacing light seals on the back.
    If the back seals have deteriorated it would be prudent to also check the mirror bumper foam.
    This can sometimes get sticky with age and can cause problems with mirror return directly after exposure.

    Foam replacement is a somewhat tedious job but it's not difficult. Use some naphtha and a WOODEN tool like a chopstick to remove the old foam.
     
  3. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,816
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Welcome to APUG!

    It's a good camera, and the price is certainly right.

    It uses currently available batteries - get two new ones and if it functions well with them, re-foaming kits are easy to find.

    In case you don't have one, here is a link to a manual. If you are going to make use of the manual and camera, the suggested donation is a good idea.

    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/minolta/minolta_xg-m/minolta_xg-m.htm

    Have fun!
     
  4. lightfox

    lightfox Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've attached a picture of what I think is the mirror bumper foam. It's not sticky or brittle; it feels like it's in good shape. However, I'm not convinced of that because it's not level. If you look at foam in the left side of the picture, you'll see that a portion of it is elevated. Is this a problem?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. fstop

    fstop Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Probably not.But I would consider redoing the foam on it just because.The XG-M is the top of the line XG series.
     
  6. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You're going to love the XG-M, I'm sure of it. I have an XG-A, and though it doesn't have as many features, it amazed me when I started working with it, and it spurred me on to "upgrade" later to an X-570. Instead of pressing the shutter halfway down to meter like most cameras, with this series all you have to do is put your finger on the button. That's all! Also, Minolta lenses are crazy sharp and very high quality. Nikon, Canon and the other big names couldn't do any better.

    What you have is a gem and it should take almost nothing to get it back up to working order. If you're in the U.S., check your local drug store for batteries, or look for a Batteries Plus ( http://www.batteriesplus.com/ ) store or online. They stock most camera batteries. Good luck, and enjoy!
     
  7. lightfox

    lightfox Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I removed all of the old light seals and replaced the ones on the door. However, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to use the same foam for the groves that run along the long side of the camera on the back of the body. I don't think I can just a strip that narrow very accurately with a pair of scissors.

    Am I supposed to use something precut in the right width for the groves? The foam I bought is a 1/32 x 1 x 10" self adhesive foam.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Messages:
    7,473
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  9. fstop

    fstop Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    precut foam kits with everything you need are all over ebay for about 10 bux
     
  10. jimkuykendall

    jimkuykendall Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    North Georgi
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Plenty of extras have been built for this model as well as those for the x series of Minoltas. Check the auction and classifieds regularly.
    Good luck with the refoaming.
     
  11. BobD

    BobD Member

    Messages:
    444
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    California,
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I would replace the batteries and make sure the camera is functional before re-sealing it.
     
  12. lightfox

    lightfox Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I've replaced the batteries, and the camera works as expected. I'm done resealing now, but I'd like to know where I can get pre-cut kits for my camera. I couldn't cut the long narrow strips for groves to fit exactly, so a pre-cut kit would be my fall-back. I searched on ebay for "minolta" and combinations of the words, "light", "seal", and "foam", but found no pre-cut kits.
     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Or you can buy "Foamies" for about $2 a (9x11) sheet at a craft store, such as Michaels, if you're in the U.S. With this, you can refoam about 15 cameras and custom cut things. Works great. Buy the one with the self-adhesive on the back.

    I cut mine with a hobby knife and a metal ruler. I've also made small trims using a regular pair of scissors.
     
  14. lightfox

    lightfox Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the foamies recommendation. I may get that next time. However, the problem I have is that I can't cut 1.5mm foam strips accurately.
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,816
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Contact Jon Goodman (formerly interslice on eBay) for kits:

    JGood21967 at aol.com

    No connection, satisfied customer, etc.
     
  16. fstop

    fstop Member

    Messages:
    764
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'll second the Interslice recommendation. Didn't know they changed name,but the kit is the best way to refoam.Try one you'll like it.
     
  17. Peter Simpson

    Peter Simpson Member

    Messages:
    230
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2010
    Location:
    Outside Bost
    Shooter:
    35mm
    +1 Jon Goodman (interslice) - great guy, great product at a great price. Can't say enough good things about his service. I've re-foamed all my cameras with his product and never had a problem.

    Jon cautions against using "random" foam to replace seals. It's my impression that he has done a bit of research and has carefully selected the foam in his kits to be long lasting and compatible with materials generally used in cameras.

    Regarding Minolta, I'd be surprised if he doesn't have a kit for it, but I seem to recall he will modify existing kits or add kits to his inventory if there's enough interest.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2012