Minolta XE-1/XE-7 Shutter Rewind Issue

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by delanoburtini, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Hello,

    I recently bought a Minolta XE-1 sight unseen and took it home for further inspection. I removed a pair of very corroded batteries before cleaning the battery compartment and contact and replacing them with a fresh pair. The battery indicator LED lights up so they are working as far as I can tell.

    When I received the camera, the mirror was up and the shutter curtains were open. The film advance lever wont move, and the shutter release button does nothing. I took the bottom plate off and found that I could manually set a lever allowing for the advance lever to be cocked thus releasing the mirror and resetting the curtains. However, after releasing the shutter, the mirror stays up and the curtains stay open just as before. The camera is set to bulb so it shouldn't be an electrical issue, but a mechanical one.

    I have reason to believe the camera was working before it was put away by the previous owner as it had a half exposed roll of film in it when I opened the back.

    I have found the service manual, but I dont know where to begin in diagnosing the issue. I'm hoping someone here will be able to help. I've included a video below that I hope illustrates the issue:

    Thanks in advance,
  2. Why do you have the shutter speed set to B? On B (bulb) the shutter is supposed to stay open. Try moving the shutter speed dial while the shutter is open to see if that makes the shutter close. Then set the shutter speed dial to a different speed and see if the shutter opens and closes properly.
  3. I'm aware what bulb does, it is set there because B and X are mechanical shutter while all other speeds are a electronic shutter. The problem persists in all speeds.
  4. The XE series were very fine cameras, but they employ an early '70s discrete electrical/mechanical design with several arcane age-related failure points. Capacitors die, shutter coils go bad, and compared to similar indestructible "pure" Copal-shuttered cameras of the era the "Leica-refined" version in the XE seems to degrade into dysfunction more often. DIY repair options are limited: some parts are difficult to access and are best left to a professional repair tech. One peculiar DIY reset hint that does work for some owners to relieve a random shutter/mirror glitch was posted here by ben_ballard ten years ago, as follows:

    "Finally, I found an odd combination of actions which released the jam, so I figure it's worth sharing. I pulled down the self-timer with the camera in the off position, then released it. The timer wound down and came to a stop about 1/4 of the way from when it should fire the shutter. Then I turned the camera switch to the on position, and the timer continued and fired the shutter. After that, everything was back to normal."

    If that doesn't get your XE-1 sorted, and the service manual has you flummoxed, it may be difficult to diagnose. '70s electronic Minoltas were very advanced for their time but have not held up too well forty years later. The electrical layout can be daunting to troubleshoot even for pro techs.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
  5. Certain aspects of the electrical and mechanical systems are co-dependent, so if the camera was put away with a partial roll of film and then forgotten for so many years that the batteries corroded, that cooperation may have been interrupted to where even the 'no battery" settings are dysfunctional. If the circuitry was damaged by the battery corrosion in a manner that left it trashed, or some of the gunk got into the shutter actuating parts, the "battery-less" emergency mechanical backup could become partially disabled.

    First generation electronic bodies like these are tricky to troubleshoot and service. An older technician who was around in their heyday would be more skilled at this, and be aware of how to isolate the discrete failed bits and replace them. Most younger techs do not have the expertise to handle the rats nest involved in a Minolta XK, XE or XD: they're more familiar with the later XG, X700 bodies containing simplified integrated circuit boards that you service by replacing the entire board or harness. If you're sure it isn't a sticky foam mirror pad or battery problem, and don't find any simple DIY fixes for this issue, it may be easier and more cost effective to replace the camera with another XE from a seller that guarantees its in perfect working order.
  6. Hi,

    I'm new to the forum, I came here looking for a solution with my XE & XE-1. I had the the shutter, locking in the up position. I had cleaned out the battery chamber, still no joy. Then i turned my attention to the battery holder in both cameras. I cleaned them out and hey presto, they are now both working. I haven't checked for accuracy yet though. I know it's not the exact same issue as above, but it can't hurt to try.

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