The short delay when release the shutter in the XD-11. Is this the problem?

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by ejstark, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Hello friend's.
    My friend own the XD-11. It's really great camera with only one minor
    problem: there is a small delay of 1/30 sec approx. between the
    pressing of the release button and the real work of the shutter. The
    repairman said that this delay is needed for the camera's computer to
    make the "final check" of the exposition: pressing the button -
    closing the diaphragm - checking the exposition (here is the delay) -
    releasing the shutter.
    But my friend says that this delay doesn't let him to "catch the
    moment" and this is real disadvantage for the street and reportage
    He checked 2 other XD-11 and there was the same delay. But another
    owner of the XD-11 said that his camera is "faster than the wind" and
    has no any delays.
    Please give me any advices, whether is common situation with the XD-11
    or my friend's camera is definitely broken and needs to be repaired by
    the other more experienced camera repairman.

    Regards, Erick.
  2. Hello Erick, I am a die-hard Minolta user and I had a XD-11 and a XD-5 that both had the same problem. I received a simular answer from my camera tech. I finally found it too much of an annoyance so I sold them both and stick with my SRT's and XE's.

    I know that you press the shutter down 1/2 way to turn the camera on and get the reading but it seemed to me that there was a little too much delay. Other-wise they are excellent cameras.
  3. Your repairman knows his stuff. There is no XD series camera that does not have this delay, only some people don't worry about it. My first real camera was an XD and I am still using it, so that's what I am used to and I have never had a problem with it. If you are used to a camera that does not have this delay, you might not like an XD, and should use another camera.
  4. I've shot an XD11 for several years and have never noticed a lag. If one is really perceptive I guess they might, but I have trouble seeing how a 1/30th second delay is going to affect your photographs much. I never even see half-blinked eyes in my photos.

    I suppose if you read about the delay then started using the camera, it might get into your head a little.
  5. I am happy to advise you that the camera does get faster if repaired properly. If the delay in the camera is enough for you to notice it is probably not the final check metering system. It is likely due to a soiled mirror damper. Here's a cut from another post on the MIR site.

    "In the XD11 (XD7) a pneumatic damper delays the mirror and subsequent shutter firing for about 52 milliseconds after the aperture has started to close down. This is in order to make sure the aperture has closed down and has stabilised. When the damper reaches the end of its stroke, the light value metered through the closed aperture is stored in memory and determines the shutter speed, upon which the mirror lifts. When the mirror has lifted about two thirds of the way up, the shutter fires.

    A soiled mirror damper will slow the pneumatic piston down and the delay between the aperture closing and mirror lifting may then be several seconds in severe cases. When fitted in the factory the damper piston is lubricated and then wiped dry before inserting in the cylinder. The minute remaining oil film can become a bit sticky after many years. The damper will have to be removed, cleaned, lubed, cleaned again an refitted. After that the damper timing has to be re-adjusted by adjusting a tiny screw on the damper which sets the length of the damper-stroke.

    A worn damper leads to too short a delay and will give inconsistent underexposure of the film as the light value is stored in memory before the aperture has completely closed down. Usually this means the damper has to be replaced with a new one.

    The mirror damper can be accessed and removed after removing the plastic cover around the lens mount and the little cloth-tape covered damper cover underneath. Get an expert repairman to clean it for you. If you want to do it yourself, you can use lighter fluid to clean both the piston and cilinder. Lube only the piston with a VERY thin and light oil and wipe dry before refitting. Beware which way the spring comes out of the damper when you remove it, the spring has a short and long tab at either end."


  6. Antony, thanks for the information. My XD-11 (love that thing!) doesn't have a noticeable lag; but if it ever develops one, I will know what is wrong.
  7. Thank you all for your opinions and advices! And special thanks for Antony! BTW, what is MIR site? Seems this site is very useful :)
  8. I use a XD-7 (same camera as the XD-11) every day and I love it. The issue of shutter lag has never occurred to me. If it's about 1/30 sec I wouldn't notice. And if you check shutter lags on other SLR cameras I am sure you will find the same kind of situation. Earlier autofocus SLRs had dreadful lag times though I think they've cleaned up their act now (I don't have an autofocus SLR).
    As far as I am aware, there is no such thing as an instantaneous shutter, so you are always going to live with some degree of lag. It probably doesn't help your photography to be thinking about it every time you press the shutter.
  9. I would imagine that cameras with 'in-house' metering would have some amount of delay which would vary depending on the model, and condition of the camera. Could a non-metering rangefinder be the right tool for the kind of photography you want to do? Having said that, I have not noticed any such delay with my xd-11.
  10. Guys! That XD-11 is not my camera. XD-11 belongs ot my friend, who want to sell camera body, because "the lag" interferes him. Today I tested XE-7 and definetely this camera has not such lag as XD-11 has.
    XE-7's sutter sounds like "cla-a-nk" and XD-11 - "clank-.-clank". Seems that XD-11 has to be repaired again. :-(
  11. The delay in the XD-11 is there and it's perceptible if you pay attention, but it doesn't/shouldn't impact the work at all. I compared my new late model XD (bought last year from a closeout at store where they found this never sold camera with the plastic protectors) with a near-new XE-7 and a twice rebuilt but in excellent condition SRT-101. In the first two there is almost no perceptible delay in the shutter, only for the mirror movement, but there is a slight perceptible delay with the XD, in any mode - manual, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority. I hadn't noticed this delay before and don't see it bothersome. I'll still use my XD's for street photography, it's still a great camera, probably the best Minolta made (personal view).

    Thanks for the information about the XD's. I printed for future needs.
  12. Another reason that there is supposed to be an extremely short delay is that Minolta was concerned that their earlier MC lenses wouldn't stop down fast enough. The aperture diaphragms in in all MD lenses were redesigned to be faster. Several people have commented that the delay shouldn't really be noticable.<p>

    Here is one test that usually works to see if the piston is in need of cleaning: let the camera sit for a while, maybe 2 or three minutes. Set camera to manual mode and 1/125 second. Then cock and fire the shutter, noting how quickly it fires. Then immediately cock and fire the shutter a second time and note whether the delay time increased. If it did then you have a dirty piston.<p>

    Its no big deal for an EXPERIENCED technician to clean and relubricate the piston.<p>

    Hope this helps!
  13. I have just acquired an old XD-5 and it has really big delay - about 1 second. I hope its repair will not be too expensive.
  14. This is too late a reply but I hope I can share my personal experience with other people suffer from the same "shutter Sluggish " problem of XD-11. In my particular case, it's not a mirror damper problem as mentioned by previous posts. I opened up the bottom cover, removed E and G as shown in the first picture below. Apply ronsonol to the spring associated with H, I and J in the second picture. And my XD-11 works like a machine gun now :)
    FYI, I is used to cock the shutter; H can block the film-advance lever; J can be used to trigger the shutter. When E/G are removed, you can move I to the right, H to the left, and depress J to release the shutter.
    If you need more details, please visit my blog. Unfortunately, the original post is in Chinese, but you can use Google translated version here:

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