Minolta XD-11 Problem

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by railfan, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. railfan

    railfan Guest

    A freind inherited some older Minolta equipment from his late brother.
    He's asked me if I could see about disposing of it for him. The
    camera is a black bodied XD-11, and appears to be in decent shape.
    But it doesn't work. In reading the manual it mentions the camera
    will only work with batteries. I've found some that fit -
    #357/LR44/AG13 and they do have power. But they don't do anything for
    the camera, no LEDs lighting up in the viewfinder at all. The shutter
    will trip when the dial is set to "O", X and B as mentioned in the
    manual. But otherwise nothing.

    Would this 1977 vintage camera possibly have internal defects or
    problems that won't let it power up? I recall reading on this
    newsgroup many years ago that one particular camera (I forget the
    model/name) had a resitor or something else in its electronic circuits
    that could go bad.
    Could this be such a camera?
    seems to be a fairly decent camera, with several modes of automation.
    The kit came with some nice lenses too - 28mm, 50mm, 35-70mm zoom, and
    a 75-300mm zoom, all with caps and hoods. Also a Minolta Auto 320X
    flash with case and remote sensor cord. I did see some of these lenses
    being offered on eBay, so there may be some sort of a demand.

    Anyone offer comments on the setup? Good, bad or indifferent? I'm a
    lifetime Canon user, so I don't have any experience with Minoltas. It
    would be nice to see this stuff find a home where it could be

    Thank you!

    Bob Boudreau
    railfan, Nov 26, 2005
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  2. railfan

    Doug Robbins Guest

    Try cleaning the battery contacts. Perhaps they are oxidized and not getting
    any current from the battery.
    Doug Robbins, Nov 26, 2005
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  3. The XD-11 is a popular used camera. It is probably the best Minolta
    made prior to the auto-focus cameras. Some suggest it is the best
    camera they ever built. Leica was impressed enough to use it as the
    base for their R6. It was also the first camera to have both aperture
    and shutter priority modes.

    The camera is sturdy, and generally is reliable. The feel of the camera
    is good, and the controls are generally intuitive. Minolta Rokkor
    lenses are typically above average in quality. (Minolta made their own

    Given when it was made, (first released 1977) there are typically two
    protential problems with it: The foam seals are likely shot, unless
    they have already been replaced, and there can be a problem with a
    capacitor that can go bad. It is easily accessible under the bottom
    plate for replacement, if that is the problem.

    The seal replacement is relatively straight-forward with the proper

    If the capacitor is bad, the LEDs will operate, but the shutter won't
    release on the electronic settings. It is not the only reason the
    shutter might not work, but it is a common problem.

    The black body will attract a slight price premium, but a working camera
    in good cosmetic condition, with standard lens should get $100 to $150
    on eBay, perhaps more if it is in excellent condition, and the
    description is well written.

    As far as your problem with not powering up, it sounds like a loose or
    dirty connection, or perhaps something physically blocking the
    electrical contacts at the shutter release mechanism. The LEDs and the
    shutter operate from different circuits, so if both don't work, then
    there is a basic power problem to the circuits.

    If you are sure the battery contacts are clean and the batteries are
    installed properly, and it still doesn't work, you can remove the lower
    cover to check and see that power gets to the circuit board.

    With the lower cover removed, you have to supply +3 volts to the metal
    tab in the battery compartment, and negative to any bare metal part of
    the camera.

    With the cover removed, the camera upside down, and the lens opening
    facing away from you, the circuit board should be on the right-hand side
    of the camera. There are two different circuit board designs, but in
    both cases, a red wire should come from the battery compartment to a
    foil trace at the far right hand side of the circuit board. There is a
    second red wire that goes to a point near the centre of the board, that
    is not the one you want. You should measure +3 volts on the soldering
    pad to which the red power wire runs. (Negative to the camera frame.) If
    you don't measure +3V, you should check the battery compartment. If you
    do get 3V, then things are more complicated, and you likely need to go
    to a camera repair shop.

    You can also check a couple of other things from the bottom, like if the
    shutter will electrically release, but the description is more
    complicated than can be described here, not knowing how good you are
    with electronics.

    Non-working cameras for parts sell for perhaps $30 to $50. Your friend
    can decide if the repair and reconditioning is worth it for the
    additional money he might get on eBay. A recently reconditioned camera
    might attract a bit over $200, though it can be hit or miss on eBay.

    If you really want an adventure, and feel very handy, you can buy repair
    manuals for about $15 on eBay. Note that you need some specialized tools
    to take apart the camera body, and some basic electronics knowledge.
    The tools can be fashioned, if necessary, but a simple screwdriver set
    and pair of pliers won't do it.
    James Robinson, Nov 26, 2005
  4. railfan

    railfan Guest

    Many thanks for the great explaination & help! But it now looks like I
    don't need a repair! I turned the camera over to check what kind of
    screws held on the bottom, and I grabbed the camera by the shutter
    button, which was cocked. It fired the shutter! Checked into the
    viewfinder and the LEDs now light up! There wasn't anything when I
    first put in the batteries the day before. I wonder if it took a bit
    of time for the capacitors to charge from battery power? Sort of
    powering up a flash that hasn't been used before.

    Anyway, the camera now seems to be operating in all modes. Just saw a
    similar black model on eBay close with a high bid of $117.50 and a
    reserve of $190.00. And it was listed as having been serviced
    recently. So I'm not really too sure what to advise my friend re this
    camera. Something is better than nothing for it I guess.

    Thanks again!

    Bob Boudreau
    railfan, Nov 27, 2005
  5. railfan

    Bob Hickey Guest

    me nuts until I noticed a tiny spec of foam stuck to the side of the
    mirror box. Upside down, the mirror got up enough speed to get past it,
    right side up, it wouldn't make it. With a mag glass I found it.
    Bob Hickey.
    Bob Hickey, Nov 27, 2005
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