Minolta 7xi rewind problem
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?
Last edited by mjs; 04-14-2009 at 09:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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 .
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.
Stack of 35mm stuff, some 120 stuff and lots of other junk to make it work
Keep it simple. ~ Alfred Eisenstaedt
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.
*Minolta Maxxum 7 *Minolta Dynax 600si Classic *Minolta Dynax 5 *Minolta X-300
*Minolta 28-105 RS, Minolta 50/1.7 (AF & MD), Minolta 50/2.8 Macro, Tamron 70-300
*A passion to capture God's awesome creation
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, 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.
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.
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