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It's a Minolta but not a

  1. Focus No. 9
    SLR. It's a HiMatic E. I paid $5.00 at the Tucson show. Needed batteries was stated on the tag. The seller was on break so his buddies filled in and felt he would not disclose something on purpose... I had already lined up a Oly Stylus and a Pentax WR105 (each a dollar) so bought it.

    Got 2 new A640's from a 'bay seller( no tax, no shipping) $6.00 today. The camera came to life and I'm doing the happy dance.
  2. upnorthcyclist
    upnorthcyclist
    Hi,

    Congratulations on the new Hi-Matic E. It has a reputation of having a very good lens and I like the size of the camera - nice "jacket pocket" shooter.

    I have a Hi-Matic F, which is a cheaper version - the next in the Hi-Matic series. It shares the same electronic exposure control with the E. It has a 2.7 lens vs the 1.7 of the E, and loses some features. It's actually a pretty cool camera and the exposure control is very accurate.

    The exposure control of both these cameras is the same design as the Yashica Electro system. Make sure the batteries that you bought are the same voltage as the original mercury 640 or the meter will be off. I corresponded with Joe Wolff, "The Yashica Guy" about the system. He sells a clever kit that updates the batteries to a single, modern LR44, available everywhere - very slick fix for 10 or 15 dollars. I don't know if the E has an off switch - the F doesn't - make sure the camera is off or the lens cover is in place when you aren't using the camera or it'll eat up batteries like crazy. It continues to draw a lot of power when not in use otherwise.

    He also mentioned that the self-timer lever on the Hi-Matic E is referred to as "The Lever of Death". Apparently this mechanism is complex and subject to jamming due to age and hardened lubricants and if it sticks during use the camera is rendered useless, requiring a costly rebuild. He suggests removing the lever and putting the screw that holds it in back in place to avoid this problem - says it looks fine and will save heartbreak if it is activated by mistake.

    Best regards,
    Mike
  3. Focus No. 9
    Focus No. 9
    Thanks Mike .. I hope to enjoy it. I just had to try the self timer and it worked. But I doubt I will use it much. I haven't heard about the battery drain; it came with it's original case so it doesn't get constant light. I will have to look around for a lens cover. I have some hits and misses with the rangefinders. I have a Minoltina but it only works as a point n shoot..haven't finished a roll so have yet to see if anything takes. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Peace.
  4. Ralph Javins
    Ralph Javins
    Good morning, UpNorthCyclist (Mike);

    It sounds like your camera repair guy must have been talking to my camera repair guy. Mine did not have a clever name for the "V" lever, but he did say that it should not be used, and if it does lock up and cause a problem, it requires a rebuild of the lens barrel assembly to cure it. He mentioned that he cannot get parts for it now, and even if a donor camera is available for canabalization, it will be an expensive process.

    Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
  5. upnorthcyclist
    upnorthcyclist
    Coincidentally, or maybe because Focus's note got me back on the hunt for an E, I won one from the bay - it arrived yesterday. I paid $15 + shipping for it. When I first took it out of the box, I was disappointed - well, not too much for the price I paid for it. It was dirty and had dead, corroded batteries installed, in spite of the seller's claim that the camera worked.

    I cleaned the battery compartment with vinegar and installed the aforementioned battery adapter from my F and - lo and behold - the camera came to life! I spent a couple hours cleaning the exterior of the camera and it came out sparkling - no dings, scratches - looks almost new.

    The viewfinder is actually in pretty good shape - aligns both near and far. It is a little cloudy but the patch is very distinct. I have to decide whether to dig into it or not - knowing me, I probably will, although I've hopelessly ruined a few of them trying to clean them up. The seals look functional but could stand being renewed.

    I bought another battery adapter from Joe Wolff yesterday. He sent me a note reiterating the Lever of Death thing (actually, I misquoted him - he calls it the Lever of Doom...). Nice guy. I hate to say this, but, like you, Focus, I just had to try it out - the $15 gamble - and it worked fine. Don't ever buy one of these from the bay if the lever is pictured in the cocked position! 99% chance the camera is toast.

    It is amazing how close in physical size, appearance and weight this camera is to the Canonet QL-17 GIII. I must say I prefer the Canonet's shutter priority auto and unmetered manual features. I haven't run any film through the E yet, but if the exposure system is anything like the F, it will be surprisingly accurate and hard to fool.

    Well, have nice holidays!

    Mike
  6. brian d
    brian d
    Hi,
    Does this lever of doom/death warning apply to the 7s as well? Mine came from the bay for cheap not long ago too, it all seems to function properly but the seals are long gone. Another wintertime project
  7. upnorthcyclist
    upnorthcyclist
    Hi Brian,

    No, the 7s doesn't have a "lever of doom". Its V-tab is lens mounted and direct, so that if it should grind to a halt in use, it can be pushed along to complete the timing function and allow the camera to keep working. It does help to exersize it occasionally, I've found. The lever on the E is mounted on the front of the camera body and, apparently, its more-complex linkage doesn't allow a little nudge to get it going again if it stops mid-cycle.

    I'd recommend Jon Goodman (Interslice) for seals for your 7s. Along with the seal kit, he includes instructions with pictures for cleaning and adjusting the viewfinder on the 7s. Very helpful. He also sells a clever battery adapter called the Tridot that converts the 625 mercury battery to the cheap and common 675 hearing-aid battery. I've got three or four of these in various cameras and they work just fine.

    Replacing seals on the 7s is real straightforward. It's tedious to remove the old goop but not technically difficult at all. The Interslice seal kit also includes step-by-step intsructions (again, with pictures) and some simple tools that help a lot.

    Mike
  8. brian d
    brian d
    Thanks, almost all of my SLR's are Minolta but I'm completely new to the Minolta Rangefinder's along with the 7s I picked up a "A"
  9. Jayd
    Jayd
    I've had a few different Hi Matics and have a completely rebuilt 7s now that is my favorite, shame they did not make a HiMatic with changeable lens, I know about the CLE but way out of my price point, I'm looking at a Kodak Retina IIIS instead as I love the IIc I have.

    Jay
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