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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    ELECTRONICS MAVENS: I do need your help concerning Minolta XG7

    This has happened several times to me. I buy an electronic Minolta from the 'X' series and the manual works but the Auto meter is all over the place. Now, a different twist. The auto works but the manual is touchy. When I first got the camera a few days ago I fired on manual at, say 1/30, the exposure was 'time', in that the mirror lifted and the curtain exposed the film but then all was locked. On another speed all was fine. And then on 1/30 all was fine. But then on 1/1000 the same 'locking' at 'time'.

    These things have happened sporadically with electronic Minoltas but what strikes me as really interesting is that repeatedly firing the shutter at different speeds seems to slowly 'correct' the problem. After two days of firing often (without film, thank you) the problem is less and less. In fact, the camera has not locked for the past two dozen 'exposures'.

    What I am getting at is this: is there a 'rebooting' taking place for a camera that has not been used for probably a decade? I know little about computers but this has come to mind. Is the memory somewhat like the thrystor in a flash unit (ie, deteriorating with disuse)? I like to think of electronics as 'static' and unchanging but do things 'happen' when such are not used for long periods of time? Thanks. - David Lyga

  2. #2

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    Possibly bad contact in the pc board connectors, or other contacts somewhere in the camera. I'm not familiar with the XG7.

    Electronics are not exactly static and unchanging, electrolytic capacitors in particular are an electrochemical device, and they don't like disuse. You may be reforming them as you fire the shutter, or just by having a battery in the camera for the first time in years. Be sure all the battery contacts are clean.

  3. #3
    CGW
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    Electronic glitches/failures are baked-in problems with the X series, most notoriously with the X-700. Had two, pitched two. There are online DIY fixes if your idea of fun runs to amateur neurosurgery. Mechanical manual Minoltas are bomb-proof but the electronic manual models? Not so much.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Mechanical manual Minoltas are bomb-proof but the electronic manual models? Not so much.

    This holds true for makes other than Minolta........moral: if you're investing in an older film camera, make it the all mechanical version.

  5. #5
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    This holds true for makes other than Minolta........moral: if you're investing in an older film camera, make it the all mechanical version.
    I'm afraid not. Never a nanosecond of electronic trouble from Nikon bodies--old or new. Besides, few--if any--"older film cameras" in the affordable class represent investments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    This holds true for makes other than Minolta........moral: if you're investing in an older film camera, make it the all mechanical version.
    True. Parts can (if neccessary) be fabricated for virtually any mechanical camera. Not so with electronics...... try making a SMD transistor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    I'm afraid not. Never a nanosecond of electronic trouble from Nikon bodies--old or new. Besides, few--if any--"older film cameras" in the affordable class represent investments.

    I also use electronic Nikon bodies; F90x's, but they are not as old as the Minoltas highlighted in the previous post. My oldest mechanical models are a Nikkormat (still going strong after approx 35+ years) and FM's. I doubt that many all electronic models would last as long.

    By "investing", I meant investing for pictures, not for resale. Investing for resale, is a bit like investing in wine, you can never use the product since it will devalue.

  8. #8
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    True. Parts can (if neccessary) be fabricated for virtually any mechanical camera. Not so with electronics...... try making a SMD transistor.
    Seems one of the abiding myths around mechanical cameras, that there will always be obliging munchkins able and willing to crank out parts for a smoked Nikon F. Don't believe that making titanium foil shutters is any more likely than DIY semi-conductors. Just buy good quality back-ups of your favorites if long-term shooting is your goal.

  9. #9
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolleiman View Post
    I also use electronic Nikon bodies; F90x's, but they are not as old as the Minoltas highlighted in the previous post. My oldest mechanical models are a Nikkormat (still going strong after approx 35+ years) and FM's. I doubt that many all electronic models would last as long.

    By "investing", I meant investing for pictures, not for resale. Investing for resale, is a bit like investing in wine, you can never use the product since it will devalue.
    Have several Nikon FEs that are contemporaries of the X-700 which was Minolta's top-of-the-line manual body. They're still going strong for me and many others here. Can't say the same for the Minoltas.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Seems one of the abiding myths around mechanical cameras, that there will always be obliging munchkins able and willing to crank out parts for a smoked Nikon F. Don't believe that making titanium foil shutters is any more likely than DIY semi-conductors. Just buy good quality back-ups of your favorites if long-term shooting is your goal.
    I maintain my own gear, so I'm the only obliging munchkin I have to worry about. Making a quilted titanium foil shutter curtain is much more possible than a silicon junction transistor, although a point-contact germanium transistor is possible.

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