Minolta X-9 operation?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by dajain, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. As I posted in the wrong part of the forum earlier, (sorry guys), I picked up a used Minolta X-9 before Christmas and we are still waiting for the film to come in. The owner manual that came with it is for the X-300 camera but everything reads and looks the same

    But, my question should be pretty basic, I hope. With no film loaded into the camera, do they have some kind of lock on the film advance lever and shutter? Reason I ask is because I finally got the batteries and got them installed, everything lights up inside the view finder but the film advance lever will not turn and the shutter doesn't activate.

    It makes sense to me that there would be a lock on this if there is no film installed to keep the alignment in place, but still would like to make sure. Didn't see anywhere in the owners manual where it says so though.

    Thanks for any responses.
  2. Upon more research, I have found several leads that indicate a capacitor has gone bad inside the camera. Since I am an MSHA certified electrician and familiar with these sort of things, I find this to be an easy fix. Found a batch of 10 of them for $6 on Amazon. Sure I only need one, but if anyone has an X-9, X-300, X-370, or even an X-700 that they have given up on because it quit working, ship it my way. :)
  3. Easy? May be you should post a video of you doing that. disassemble a camera is no easy task.
  4. I would make very sure it is the capacitor before opening up the camera.

    If the shutter is already cocked (primed ready to fire), then the advance lever will be locked. There are probably several things that can prevent the shutter being fired. A simple flat battery for example. Or poor shutter contacts that have oxidised through lack of use.

    Replacing the capacitor will only be relatively easy if it's accessible by removing the baseplate of the camera. Removing the top-plate of any camera is usually a real pain. A simple battery box replacement in a Nikon F2 requires an almost full stripdown of the camera! As I found out.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  5. It has brand new batteries in it, so I know that is not the problem.

    I turn the camera on, the light metering lights up when the shutter button is depressed as it should but the shutter does not activate. The film advance only turns approximately 30 degrees and stops. All the research I have done points to this capacitor underneath the base plate.

    I've looked at the website, Garry's Camera Repair and it even mentions the replacement of the capacitors with their service. There seems to be 2 of them in this camera. I'll do the easy one first which is just under the baseplate with 4 screws. Their services for the camera is $53, which isn't bad at all so if the 65 cent capacitor and 1/2 hour of my time doesn't fix it, I may just send it in. Or, I can go on E-bay and buy a working camera for $30. But sending this one is would mean I get a refurbished camera ready to use and no questions if it's going to work or not.

    I've already had the bottom of the camera open to verify which capacitor I need and it's right there and easy access. Don't have to dismantle everything to get to it unlike the capacitor in the top. I'll keep ya'll posted,
  6. Once I have the old capacitor out of the camera, I can test it and know whether it's bad or not before I install the new one. But really, why not just install the new one when you got it that far already? haha
  7. Do you know the exact value of the capacitor? I know most capacitor has its value marked on it but the tolerance of the capacitor is very wide. +/- 20% is the norm.
    dajain likes this.
  8. I'm not exactly sure of the tolerance but I have seen online people using a 220uf 6 volt capacitor with success to repair their cameras. Since the original capacitor is a 220uf 4 volt rating and the batteries only produce a series voltage of 3 volts, that is already a tolerance spread of 25% for a 4 volt capacitor. Really didn't want to go any bigger. With a 6 volt capacitor, you're looking at a 50% tolerance spread, but some have said it worked well.

    Update: looked up the capacitors I bought and the tolerance is +/- 20%, which is standard. Since I am getting 10 of them, I'm not too worried about them burning out. If it does cause a problem (which I doubt) I will look for a different camera.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  9. It's the capacitance value that I am worrying about. The voltage rating is irrelevant as long as it's higher than the voltage applied to it. The uF rating while would work would need a recalibration of the shutter speed I think.
  10. SCL


    Before opening it up check that the film rewind button/pin isn't depressed, This happened to me several days ago with symptoms similar to yours. I opened the back of the camera and manually rotated the film sprocket back and forth until the rewind pin dropped back down, and voila....everything was working as it should.
    dajain likes this.
  11. A 220uF electrolytic sounds too big and too crude for a shutter timing capacitor. I'd expect something low-leakage and tighter tolerance -like a tantalum capacitor- to be used in a timing circuit.

    I had to change the shutter capacitor in a Mamiya 645 one time, and that was much smaller than 220uF, although I forget the exact value. There was a calibration preset resistor in the circuit too, so the capacitor tolerance wasn't too critical.

    Thank goodness things have moved on from simple R-C discharge circuits for timing. I don't suppose the designers bothered to fit any temperature compensating components?
  12. This camera is of the early 1990's. You guys are acting like it's a high tech camera of the modern day. I opened it up, looked at the capacitor I needed and ordered it. It is not a sophisticated digital camera where EVERY specification needs to be exact for the camera to work.

    The capacitance value never changes in any of my statements so I don't know why that is all of a sudden a concern. The original is a 220 microfarad and the one I ordered is a 220 microfarad. I would be willing to bet money that they are both 20% tolerance as that is a common standard. And yes, that is what the "uf" stands for, microfarad. haha

    It's a 1990's camera and yes, it is crude to todays standards. That is probably why I like it. And if the capacitor isn't the problem with the camera, I'm out $12 as that is what I paid for it, the lens and the case.

    I have spent some time with the camera and have tried everything "simple" to correct the situation with this camera. Thank you SCL for mentioning this option. I tried it and still no operation. Been looking at the internet for possible solutions and answers range from dead batteries, rewind pin, shutter stuck, etc. but the capacitor seems to be a common problem for the x-300, x-370, x-9 and the x-700 and they all use the same capacitor. Yes, it is a crude capacitor compared to todays standards, but it was the 1990's. lol

    I'll keep ya'll posted when I get them in.
  13. Just remember that a capacitor is a capacitor. They haven't changed much (if at all) since their invention. This capacitor serves the same purpose as the capacitor in your refrigerator even though they are completely different sizes. There is a VERY, VERY, VERY small chance that there is a difference between the 2 capacitors that have the same markings for this camera. Sounds like some are "splitting hairs" to me.
  14. "Just remember that a capacitor is a capacitor."

    - Yeah, right! Try replacing a mica capacitor with a ceramic one in a noise or temperature sensitive application, or polyester with tantalum, or a low ESR electrolytic with a standard one in a flash circuit. Or for really spectacular results, replace the non-polarised refrigerator snubber with a polarised electrolytic!

    Low-leakage tantalum capacitors have been readily available since the 1970s, and their advantages in timing circuits are widely acknowledged. By the 1990s the use of anything less in a timing cct would be just negligent on the designer's part.

    I'm speculating that the purpose of the crude 220uF electrolytic is to 'kick' a solenoid somewhere in the camera, and not for timing purposes. However, if it fixes the problem then it doesn't really matter.

    FWIW, the 'u' in 'uF' should be the Greek letter mu, for micro, but qwerty keyboards don't support that.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  15. I highly doubt this camera has he high end capacitors rated for noise or temperature applications. I've been inside the camera and it is comprised of simple solid state electronics that are comparable to a 1990's television. But, the mechanical workings in the camera are nothing to sneeze at. They are very fine and delicate.

    All the research I have done on it does point towards the capacitor to be used for the shutter solenoid which in turn, when it's not operational, prevents the film advance from winding. If the capacitor fixes it, Great! We have a working camera then. If not, the question remains to ship it off for repairs or just buy a different camera. Like I said before, I paid $12 for the camera. Not sure I want to stick too much money into it.

    And I do know about the "uF" and what it stands for, but many do not. I've worked with systems with intrinsically safe circuits in explosive atmospheres (methane) and up to power distribution systems up to 13.8 kva. Many could care less about the different types of capacitors and I'm sure that applies to Minolta in the '90's also. haha
  16. This is the thing that I find frustrating and hilarious about ALL forums I have been to.

    The O.P. has, what I would call, a very simple camera operation question. Up to this post, that simple question still has yet to be answered.

    But yet, we are discussing an object or subject that has absolutely nothing to do with the original post and talking about something that has nothing to do with cameras or photography.

    Hilarious and frustrating. lol
  17. "But yet, we are discussing an object or subject that has absolutely nothing to do with the original post and talking about something that has nothing to do with cameras or photography."

    - Sorry you don't see the connection.
    The type and purpose of the capacitor in question is totally relevant.

    If it's a timing capacitor, then replacing it will almost certainly require the shutter to be re-calibrated or at least checked, given a possible 40% change in value. However, if the capacitor simply supplies a burst of current to a solenoid, then no shutter adjustment should be needed.

    It seems to me that you'd ready decided on a course of action before even starting this thread. So why start an argument with your respondents?
  18. "You'd ready" ??? lol

    If you look back at the original post my friend, I asked a simple question and it had nothing to do with a capacitor. It wasn't until several posts into the discussion where the capacitor comes into play. And the last several entries by the "seasoned" photographers have been nothing but argumentative. I have looked into my camera and have seen what it has in it, you have not. Plain and simple

    I'm done with this conversation. It's already wasted too much of my time just like EVERY other forum trying to get advice. Some of you have been great. Have a great day
  19. Just some food for thought guys.
    Not a single one of you have said anything to the likes of, "hope that fixes your camera" or anything positive in that regard.
    Nothing but negativity from the majority of the group. Not all of you though.
    Thank you to the ones for those helpful comments. I do really appreciate them
    Have a great day.
  20. Just in case anyone is curious. The capacitors I ordered fixed my camera and it is working perfectly.
    Maybe when a newbie asks a simple question, stick to a simple answer.
    Vincent Peri likes this.

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