Minolta xg1 problems
I just got a minolta xg1 and MD rokkor-x 45mm lens for $10, for fun. But poking around I can't figure out what's wrong with it! Looking through the viewfinder, it's very dark and the image is warped. Looking through the lens and body alone look bright and clean, but together it's impossible to use -- the split image focusing spot is completely black and in the rest of the frame I can barely tell what I'm looking at. I haven't bought batteries yet because I don't want to throw away money on a broken piece, but I would like to tinker with it if I knew what was wrong or what to do! :(
OK. Let's check a few things first. With the lens off the camera and the aperture ring is set to f/22, is the lens opening at the smallest size? Does the lens aperture open up properly to fully open at f/2 when you move the pin on the back of the lens sideways toward the other end of its slot? Does the lens aperture snap back quickly to the smallest opening when you release the pin? Does the lens aperture open up fully when you rotate the aperture control ring to f/2.0? Is the mirror down in the viewing position? Is the front surface of the mirror reasonably clean? (It is a first surface mirror and it is easy to scratch it when attempting to remove things on the surface. If it is not really noticeable, I would leave it alone; it will not affect what is going onto the film.) Is the viewfinder screen in the top of the camera still fairly clean? As a comparison, can you see the lens f-stop numbers through the little rectangular window below the viewfinder screen? Is the viewfinder screen properly seated in the top of the XG-1? (There should be no obvious angular displacement.)
If you can look at these things and answer while I see if I can find my XG-1, we can get started. And, it is possible that we should be doing this on either the Minolta Group or in the Camera Repair and Modification Forum.
And, the Minolta ROKKOR 2.0/45mm lens is a simple Tessar design, and it is quite a good lens. It is often under appreciated. With all Minolta lenses, I do suggest storing them off the camera body with the lens aperture set at the smallest lens opening of f/16 or f/22. That allows the lens aperture control springs to relax and not be kept under tension while stored. Put caps on both the front and the back of the lens, and put a body cap on the XG-1 to keep the inside clean while they are stored.
I don't know what you mean by the last two questions :(
But everything else checks out except for the mirror -- it is only about half of the way down to the full 45 degree viewing position.
If the mirror is not completely down then you are not getting all the light to the focusing screen ... that would explain why your view is dark.
Try lifting the mirror up (carefully) ... then quickly let it drop down, and hopefully the mechanism will complete.
It is possible you might need a battery to power the tripping mechanism.
I would get batteries (Duracell D357B or equiv) and load with film. Firing the shutter on this camera can blow a capacitor. If you can read the aperture image in the lower center of the viewfinder image then it is not the pentaprism and that's a good thing. If not, go no further and spend a little more money next time. Wind on and release the shutter. We'll go from there.