Trying to replace a Minolta X-700 w/ databack

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by John-n-Teresa, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. Hi folks,

    I currently have a Minolta X-700 with a Multi Function Back. I use my set
    up for taking long exposures of the night sky. These exposures run the
    gambit of length up to 5 hours. The Multi Function back allows me to program
    it for the number of Frames, Interval and Length of time and with the camera
    set to Bulb and a auto winder I am in heaven. I also use the same camera for
    family outings too.

    Now my quandry. The camera is almost 20 years old and while still in good
    shape. It won't stay that way for long. I love the set up and wouldn't give
    it up for anything. I am looking to buy new equipment AF or manual it
    doesn't matter but so far without spending a ton of money I haven't found
    anything that will do what I want. Does anyone have a suggestions of where
    to or what to look at?

    Thanks for your time
    John-n-Teresa, Oct 12, 2003
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  2. I am interested in taking time exposures of the night sky.....Can you tell
    me what you use to motor drive your camera to compensate for the Earth's
    revolving on its axis? Are motor driven platforms available that attach to
    regular tripods? How do you align them with the earth's axis before you
    start your timed exposure? Are they battery driven so you can use them on
    location, or must you have a mains power source? - Thank you......
    William Graham, Oct 12, 2003
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  3. Canon do a "Timer Remote Controller" TC-80N3 (and extension cable) which fits
    the EOS3, 10D, 1V and some other recent cameras. The EOS3 is claimed to have a
    very low current consumption shutter, and should be ideal for your needs. (It
    can take different focusing screens which may also help.) In addition to
    standard remote control, the TC-80N3 can give you a variety of independently set
    modes such as upto shutter times of 99 hours, sequence of 99 frames, starting
    delay of 99 hours, and interval of 99 hours.
    If you do jump from the X700 + MFB to an EOS3 (like I did) just make sure that
    your copy of the EOS3 doesn't drain the battery quickly due to some other
    (internal) fault. If you fit specialist (i.e. non standard Canon ) optics to
    recent EOS bodies, they may sulk due to a hidden interlock inside the lens
    mount. The answer (if needed) to this problem is to not fully mount the lens or
    attachment (more details in the archives, I'd expect).
    Malcolm Stewart, Oct 13, 2003
  4. Hi William,

    Well if I ask a question I'd better be willing to answer a few too.

    Ok motor driven equitorial mounts are interesting but here is how I got
    mine. a friend of mine had a telescope with a tripod and I simply bought the
    thing from him. I originally bought the telescope thing I would use that
    for pictures but didn't like the narrow scope of what did I
    think I was going to get. The tripod worked and the mechanism did too...
    sooo slap on a quick release and you're in business.alignment can be done
    with the north star and a flashlight. For detailed instructions go to the
    book store and find a book on telescopes or astronomy. Also a catalogue
    Edmunds Scientific will also have parts motor drives and mountsbut that
    isn't the only one. I need a replacement so if I find something I'll shout.
    But for some neat things...try....focusing on the north star (or southern
    cross in the southern hemisphere) and let the shutter open for a while. If
    you take the rolls to a developer...let them know you have some astronomy
    shots and and watch the results.

    back to the mount though.most are battery powered. I am not sure I want to
    use an AC powered thing....
    I have been in the rain a few times.
    John-n-Teresa, Oct 13, 2003
  5. Thanks....I'll give them a try....I imagine that I will just get a circle,
    or part of one, since the North star isn't exactly North......My uncle built
    a small observatory many years ago, but I wasn't interested then, and he's
    dead and gone now....That's the story of my life.....When I had the chance
    to learn something, I wasn't interested....It's all the fault of those damn
    women.....They are all I was interested in for the first 4/5 of my
    William Graham, Oct 13, 2003
  6. The problem you will have won't be the X-700, there's tons of them on
    the used market, including near-new or mint condition ones, and shops
    still repair them. The problem is the MFB, which I discovered when
    mine went nuts (keeps firing the camera). Minolta does not support
    them anymore and few places know how to fix them (none that I can
    find). There still are some on the used market, but the supply is

    Anyone know someone who can fix MFB's?

    Scott M. Knowles, Oct 14, 2003
  7. John-n-Teresa

    RWatson767 Guest


    It can't be that difficult to repair. Perhaps a chip would be difficult.
    Bob AZ
    RWatson767, Oct 14, 2003
  8. John-n-Teresa

    Magnus W Guest

    Sorry for the late reply...
    If you want to stay with Minolta, the 9000 with Program Back Super 90 and a
    motor/winder will do what you want without breaking the bank while still
    being compatible with almost all modern Minolta AF lenses -- /and/ your old
    MD lenses, too, with an inexpensive adapter. Read more about the camera at
    Magnus W, Oct 23, 2003
  9. John-n-Teresa

    Magnus W Guest

    I forgot the intervalometer card. With that "creative expansion card" you
    can use more recent Minolta cameras -- the cameras taking the card are
    700si, 9xi and 7xi, ordered by attractiveness.

    Those cameras aren't optimal for mounting your old manual focus lenses,
    however, due to metering difficulties.
    Magnus W, Oct 23, 2003
  10. John-n-Teresa

    jonathan Guest


    I see where you get the TC-80N3. But what about the extension cable?
    Don't see that anywhere around.


    (ps - if I wanted to simply splice a longer wire into the TC 80N3,
    what wire would I get? Standard audio-visual? Is there a special type
    of solder to use with this kind of wire? And will standard male/female
    audio plugs work?

    I really wish they would have designed this piece of equipment with
    different extension lengths in mind, instead of only providing one
    puny 2 1/2 foot length of wire.)
    jonathan, Oct 28, 2003
  11. The Canon extension is available from a few of the better dealers, and is listed
    on the WarehouseExpress website. It's stupidly expensive at about £50 in the
    UK, and I don't have one. The cable you need for a do-it-yourself extension is
    3 core, preferably screened, and easily available as a stereo extension lead.
    I've extended earlier Canon RCs and advice from people who've done it on the
    TC-80N3, is that the control to the camera is nothing more than closing two
    switches, and doesn't cause any RF or EMC problems.
    I used standard 3.5mm stereo jacks/plugs - if you have earlier cameras using the
    simpler RC, you can give them an intervalometer as well. Normal poisonous lead
    bearing solder worked fine for me!
    Good luck.
    Malcolm Stewart, Oct 28, 2003
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