Just picked up a beautiful Minolta Hi-Matic 9
and was wondering if anyone has any experience with this camera that they could share. This one looks like granny bought one, couldn't figure out all the controls and stuck it in a drawer for 50 years.
I've never shot with a rangefinder and figured I'd pick up a cheaper one (with shipping the Hi-Matic cost $55) before moving up to a Voigtlander or Leica.
I'd also be interested in any ideas for carrying cases that would fit the camera. Thanks!
I have a Hi-Matic 7s and use it only in A (or AA - you have to align both A at the center) mode, as it is far easyer and faster. But it only shuts 1/30 and shorter in this mode (on my model, the 30 is marked in red). In dark I have to use it in ISO 400-800, but this way it works perfectly.
Another thing, the aperture doesn't close as fast as with a SLR, so, while shooting, especially in good light, I have to depress the shooter in two steps by 1/4-1/2 second delay between, to allow the aperture to close.
A good thing is that by half depressing the shooter, you are in AE-lock mode: make the focus, pick up the light where from you like by half depressing the shooter, than reframe and shoot.
The lens is very good (made by Leitz Canada if I recall) and using it in A (AA) mode gives you great pictures at a large scope of apertures. Still, what I don't like about this lens, is: 1) the glare in backlight (a lens shade is recommended), and 2) the metal rim of the lens is soft (I use a metal filter to reinforce it).
Because of the A (AA) setting, I use my Hi-Matic to hunt images, because it works very fast, almost like a point & shoot.
Don't forget to set the ISO lever on the bottom of the lens at OFF after using the camera, in order to preserve the battery.
I too had a Hi-Matic 7s. It was one of the best cameras I ever had. Very sharp lens, good metering and well built.
I forgot: open the bottom lead of the camera and put some vaseline inside - than it will work like a dream.
BTW: when I first used this camera, I was surprised by the way the winder turnes - I first thought it's something wrong, but this is the Hi-Matic.
And another thing: it hapens often after rewinding the film, that the winder and the shooter feel blocked. Fact is that, after half-winding the film at its end, when you turn the winder back, it might block there and you won't be able to deblock it by depressing the shooter. Try again to wind without forcing at all: even 0.5mm of winding counts. Now you'll be able to depress the shooter, and all will work as regular.
Cool, thanks for the tips. I'd already seen that website and I was able to track down a scanned PDF of the original manual, so that will help as well.
I also found a thing for $30 that mimicks the original mercury battery's 1.3 volts and is supposed to insure that the metering is accurate.
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phenix, I meant to add that from the looks of it this camera has had a UV filter screwed onto it for almost its entire life. So no issues with the soft metal frame because I'm leaving it there!
Congratulations on your Minolta Hi-Matic 9. One feature that I really like on this camera is the guide number feature that allows the diaphragm and focus mechanism to couple for automatic flash exposure.
Unlike the guide number feature of the Canon QL17 rangefinder, the Minolta’s guide number feature is strictly mechanical and does not need a battery to work.
The Minolta’s guide number feature is very similar to the mechanical guide number feature of the Nikon 45mm f/2.8 guide number lens. Both have a metric guide number range of 10 to 80. The Nikon has 10 settings within that range. The Minolta has 7 settings within that range.