View Full Version : Hi-Matic question

That Guy
11-22-2004, 21:02
I got myself a Minolta Hi-Matic 9 some time ago. It was cheap so I was never really worried about it not working. Thing is, I've never run film through it. The lens is what bothers me. It seems a little loose. It has a very small dent in it near the frame counter. Cosmetically it's beautiful inside and out and the glass is perfectly clear.

So my question to other Hi-Matic users out there is about your lens. Is it normal for the lens to have a tiny amount of play? I'm talking very small here. If I grab the filter ring and hold the body I can feel it and can't really see it, but it's there.

Any insight?

back alley
11-22-2004, 21:04
it's pretty normal for lots of these old rf cams to have a somewhat loose lens. i had one and it worked fine.


11-23-2004, 02:50
I agree with Joe, it is not unusual. I guess if you want you can search out the screws that hold the lens in place and give them a little twist, but that was always too much effort for me.

(And I know I would mess something up that I would regret if I tried,)

Brian Sweeney
11-23-2004, 03:37
The lens on mine has some play; not too much as it has had a one-owner life since I bought it in 1969. Have you gotten a roll back from it yet and are all of the corners sharp? That will be the answer to the main question of is it working.

11-23-2004, 04:02
Both my yashica GSN's have a little play similar to yours. One that i used more (having it for longer) has the bigger play. I didn't notice any problems rising from this on the photographs it takes.

11-23-2004, 05:51
Yep, it seems to be common. I have a 9 and a couple of 7S, and they all seem to have this problem.

I looked for a way to tighten the lens down, never found it. I suspect that you have to peel back the leatherette, which I never really wanted to do.

If I ever 'releather' a classic RF camera, I might do that at the same time.

However, it seems to have no effect on the camera's picture-taking ability - my 9 is one of my sharpest fixed-lens rangefinders, and I like it very much.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks

That Guy
11-23-2004, 10:26
Thanks guys. I'll have to run a short roll through and see how it comes out. I'll watch the corners on the prints like you said, Brian.

Bill, do you think the Hi-Matic has a better lens than the Yashica Electro 35's Yashinon?

One other thing, is anybody using a battery adapter for their Hi-Matic? I picked up an adapter for my GSN from Yashica-Guy (shortly thereafter I broke the camera, but that's another story), and it worked good. I've seen the Zinc Air batteries that are supposed to have the same voltage as the old Hg cells. I also saw an adapter to use hearing aid batteries, but it cost more than the camera. Or do you just Sunny-16 it?

11-23-2004, 10:42

Yes, I think that the average Minolta Hi-Matic 9 (or 7S) has a better lens than the average Yashica Electro 35 GS/GT/GSN. That's just my opinion, mind you. Others have disagreed with me.

I use the C.R.I.S. battery converter:


That's probably the one you're talking about, right? Well, I justified the cost - I have a bunch of these old cameras that take this thing - I just swap the battery adapter around.

Otherwise, I'm sure the zinc-air would work fine - or you could use the Silver-Oxide replacement and just live with the slight over (or is it under - I forget) exposure - color print film can take it.

If I want a very accurate exposure, I meter with my Sekonic L-358 and set the speed/aperture manually anyway. The one thing I wish I could do on my Yashica Electro's.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks