As another poster said send it to Essex.
DO NOT send it to Gary's unless you want a damaged view screen and a meter reading 3+ stops off. I sent him a XE-7 that needed mechanical service and asked him not to make any adjustments to the meter since it was dead on accurate. He did it anyway and the meter would not work in auto at all. Plus in manual mode it was 3 stops off. He also scratched the view screen. It came back with circular scratches all over the screen. Had to send it to Essex to get the meter back where it was before and replace the screen..
That said: the XE-7 is one of the finest SLR cameras ever made. I love the absolute smoothness of the advance..
I bought another one on eBay that had a jumpy meter needle. Paid $29 for it. Cleaned the asa resister plate and now it works fine...
I agree that the problem described is way more than likely to be mechanical. When I first got my XE, however, it had intermittent problems due to dirty battery contacts. The shutter (electrically controlled) sometimes wouldn't quite complete it's cycle, the mirror wouldn't return and the winder would hang up. I really thought it was mechanical, but once I got the electrical issue solved, everything worked perfectly. Still does.
Originally Posted by leicarfcam
Thanks for the heads-up on Gary's Camera.
Thanks guys! This really is a great Community!!! I need to get on the "subscription" roster at some point.
So yes, as others have mentioned, i have also had a conversation/service inquiry with Garry's regarding a service to one of my XD-11's. I was going to be near Chicago-Land for a few months so it would have been a "local" drop-off service. After that series of dialogue, I'll never send a camera (or anything else for that matter) to them for service. They just don't seem to be a "full-service" camera repair shop (and lack the professionalism that is uber important to me).
I have a Minolta Tech that i have used (and singularly recommend for all Minolta 35mm SLR service) for the last 7 years. His name is John Titterington and is located in Kansas. John has serviced my SRT202's, 102's and most recently my XD-11's and they all continue to work flawlessly. He is the absolute epitome of professionalism - excellent communication, great pricing and very fast turn-around times on repairs (i suppose seasonal back-log affects this). As an example, i had sent one of my 1st XD-11's in for a CLA which also had a very distracting scratch on the Fresnel lens (a very difficult replacement part to source). He not only replaced the Fresnel at no extra charge to the CLA quote, but only charged me $3 for the replacement part - i was utterly surprised. When i first started working with him, he charged $50 for a complete CLA. However, over the years his usual charge increased to $75 - still an excellent price. It's been a couple years since i've sent anything to him, but i'll be contacting him in the near future for a CLA on my new XE-7.
As mentioned, my XE-7 really is in beautiful condition (i'd post a speedy-pic with my digi cam, but i think that's a no no here....). As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm getting the film advance lever to return about 85-90% of the time. While the shutter sounds accurate in the 'in-between' speeds (say from 1/8th to 1/500th), the extremes aren't functioning as they shoul and evidencing a failure to actuate and/or a 'sticky' mirror return. I'm absolutely certain John can get this all sorted out, i just need to set aside the camera long enough to get it serviced.
I'm still getting used to the light metering system with the XE-7, but otherwise it's strongly vying for 1st place in my 35mm gear line-up. My XD-11's/5 are clearly nudged (albeit gently!!!) into 3rd place, but retain their #1 position for a compact 35mm SLR.
I really wish the XE-7 had the exact match-needle metering in my SRT series cameras, but there's no perfect thing under the sun
Thanks again for all the tips, suggestions and pointers!!!