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minolta hi-matic G meter question
Old 05-15-2006   #1
ampguy
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minolta hi-matic G meter question

Hi all, first post here --

Picked up a '70s Hi-Matic G viewfinder camera for a few dollars, and replaced the battery (I realize it wants a 1.3V 675PX, but all I have are 1.4V+ newer types.

In any case, the meter needle doesn't move from the complete bottom to past the lowest 2.8 and 1/30th section, which is a very small amount of needle movement, indicating the light meter is getting some power. This 2.8 / 1/30th setting is also the default setting for when the battery is dead.

So even though the battery is working, and some needle movement, apparently the meter doesn't work, and I think I'm stuck using this at 2.8 and 1/30th second. (Am I correct to assume that tweaking the ASA dial around won't do anything, since it just adjust the meter which in turn sets the apertere and/or shutter, and these are apparently fixed in the meter dead state?)

The ASA dial in front of the lens works (32 to 400), but it appears that it just varies a circle in front of the meter (if it worked).

I'm halfway through a roll of 100 ASA print film and should know what the pictures look like in a few days. Thanks!
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Old 05-16-2006   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

Easy fixes might be to try working of all the controls for a while to make sure the electrical contacts are clean and also clean the battery terminals even if they look clean - try with vinegar.


More difficult: there may be a corroded battery wire somewhere inside, which might mean opening up the top or bottom to re-solder or replace the wiring. The light meter needle may have come off its mounting or the meter cell may also need to be replaced. Other RFF members experience and information on repairs like this.


I hope it is repairable and you enjoy it when it is up and running.
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thanks!
Old 05-16-2006   #3
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thanks!

Thanks very much for the tips. I will definitely clean out the battery area. I doubt I'll go as far as opening it up. Depending on the outcome of the first roll, I might not mind having a camera with fixed settings. I have several other film and digital cameras, and I'm sure if I hang around this forum, will have too many very fast!!

Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by zuikologist
Welcome to the forum.

Easy fixes might be to try working of all the controls for a while to make sure the electrical contacts are clean and also clean the battery terminals even if they look clean - try with vinegar.


More difficult: there may be a corroded battery wire somewhere inside, which might mean opening up the top or bottom to re-solder or replace the wiring. The light meter needle may have come off its mounting or the meter cell may also need to be replaced. Other RFF members experience and information on repairs like this.


I hope it is repairable and you enjoy it when it is up and running.
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Old 05-16-2006   #4
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I hope the easy fix is successful. The lenses on the little Minoltas have a good reputation.
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update from processed roll
Old 05-22-2006   #5
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update from processed roll

Well, I had my first roll processed, and it does indicate the shutter is fixed at 1/30th and aperture at 2.8.

However, since I had this inkling, I mainly shot the roll indoors or where I'd normally use a flash.

Surprisingly, exposure wise, all but about 2 or 3 out of the 100 ASA color print roll came out just fine, with a couple highly overexposed when I forgot about the fixed setting.

A few, the subject is out of focus, but whatever (if anything) at ~3m/10ft) is ultra sharp. Sharper than any Leica, Nikon, Canon, etc. I now know to use that 4 step focusing ring, I had left it fixed on the 3m/10ft setting since that setting was in "red" for whatever reason.

So I think I have a keeper 2nd camera (well, 4th or 5th...). Not the ultimate fast action camera, or deep depth of field camera, but the best $3 camera ever. Maybe I can find some ASA 25 or 50 film and use it outdoors more, or find a ND filter for it.

Meters? Who needs em' !!
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Old 06-15-2011   #6
dwarrenku
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Thumbs up

I realize the last post to this thread was 5 years ago, but just having bought a Hi-Matic G with the same problem, I thought it was necessary to respond so people have a record when searching for the answer.

I first put a modern LR44 battery in that measured 1.55v on the multimeter, but when I pressed the shutter the needle didn't move at all, similar to ampguy's problem. Thinking that it was a corrosion problem, I opened the camera up, removed the lens assembly, checked the connections everywhere and none were broken. I opened up the needle assembly and confirmed that was working properly. I checked the CdS sensor and it was working correctly. Though the camera looked 35 years old on the outside, it looked brand new on the inside.

My last thought was that the high voltage was the problem. I found a rechargeable aa battery that read 1.34v, connected it with alligator clips, and the needle started to move! This might sound insignificant, but the lens assembly sets the correct aperture and timing through the position of the needle. Apparently this camera is extremely sensitive when it comes to higher than normal voltage.

I've ordered some 1N5711 schottky diodes that will lower the voltage of the lr44 by .25 volts, right to where it needs to be.
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