Minolta Hi Matic F 640a battery alternatives
I have a new Minolta Hi-Matic F that uses 2 thick 640a mercury batteries and need some suggestions on alternatives to replace these no longer available batteries. Any help will be highly appreciated.
Last edited by archer; 03-12-2011 at 05:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I have had a few Hi-Matic F cameras over the years and I love them- sharp lens, very portable, easy to focus, great all around except for the electrics. I have three right now, sitting unusable on my desk because the battery wire rotted out between the circuit board and the clip that connects the two batteries. If yours is truely in need of a battery, and not rotted, there is one method of fitting the 675 hearing aid batteries in that I have found useful. On one side of the compartment (where one of the 640a's would go) install a short section of spring, making contact across the gap. Then fit two 675's stacked in the other compartment. It worked for me for a while in the last years prior to complete failure.
I have taken my cameras apart, but the black wire is very short and difficult to solder back on to the clip. If you try ther new batteries and the camera still doesn't work, you'll have to have a pro look at it if you aren't really handy with wire and solder. I keep trying (ergo the three sitting on the desk!)
Ditto what Whiteymorange said about the Hi-Matic F - the Hi-Matic E also uses the 640 battery and has the same issues. The 640s are huge, and when they go, they really screw up the wiring.
However, if you have one that works, the best adapter I've found is the one made by Joe Wolff - The Yashica Guy. Here's a link:
It's around ten dollars and Joe uses the proceeds to keep up his excellent website (for Yashica RFs). It uses a modern CR1/3N photo lithium battery, commonly available, that gives good, long service for these battery hogs. If you decide to get one of these, be sure and mention on the PayPal form what camera you are using it for, or Joe will cancel the order and chide you for not following directions.
Once you have the camera powered up and ready to go, be sure to keep the lens cap on it when not in use, or, better yet, remove the batteries.
I like both the E and the F but they are rather trying cameras to keep running, especially the complex E. I use the F as a hiking/cycling grab-and-go shooter as it is small, simple and sturdy and the exposure control (on both cameras, actually) is remarkably accurate - good enough for slide film.
Last edited by upnorthcyclist; 03-13-2011 at 03:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Thanks Mike, that's exactly what I've done.