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As someone enjoying analogue photography and having experience with a Minolta XG-1, I was curious to get my hands on an XG-M as a secondary camera. As far as I know, the camera has been stored without batteries for at least fifteen years.

However, when inserting fresh batteries (2x 1.5V alkaline as stated in the manual), I noticed that when I switched the camera on, the shutter would release. Thinking that may have been a coincidence, I pulled the film advance lever only to notice that once I let go of it, the shutter would release once again.

The battery check as described in the manual works as it should, the red light next to the lens lights up when I press the button. When having the camera set to "A" mode, the light meter shows readings which indeed look correct to me. This phenomenon occurs with the film speed set to ASA 100 as well as 400 (the only settings I have tested so far) and any exposure mode.

Note that I did not have any film inserted because I wanted to get to know the camera first, gladly.

Having checked the internet before posting, I only came across entries seeking solutions to stuck shutters or stuck film advance mechanisms. Thus, I ask here.

Is there anything, apart from consulting professional repair, I could do? Could this be linked to faulty capacitors often given as a reason for electronics malfunctions in this series of cameras?

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I see three likely modes of failure:

  1. Logical electronic malfunction due to a failing electronic component.
  2. "Mechanical" electric malfunction due to a broken trace or solder cold joint.
  3. Mechanical malfunction due to a bent, missing, or broken latch,gear, prong, etc.

Mechanical malfunction might be directly observable by looking at the film chamber. Disassembly of the camera might reveal a problem in the shutter release mechanism's mechanical components.

To find an broken trace or cold joint causing electrical issues, camera disassembly will almost certainly be required. An ohm meter might also help.

A failed electronic component will require disassembly and use of an ohm meter. It may or may not benefit from electronic logic analysis tools such as an oscilloscope.

If this sounds like fun, then there's nothing stopping you from attempting to fix the camera yourself. It appears to be broken and is not an heirloom. If it doesn't sound like fun, buy a working camera from a reputable seller...a reputable seller will have tested it before trying to pass it on as "possibly working."

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  • I see. Re-reading my question, I have to admit that I wasn't clear enough. I already own the camera (I didn't buy it but it was rather passed along to me). Thus, could you maybe expand the answer by estimating whether professional repair is worth it? I'm not confident in trying to fix these electronics as my first real repair. Apr 22 at 16:52
  • @AlexanderLeithner I am in the US. I looked on eBay before writing. A working copy with lens can probably be found for less than $100 with a small amount of patience. Professional repair in the US will most likely be 2x that at least assuming the shop has a parts camera in stock. Apr 22 at 17:19
  • Thanks for that information. Here in Austria, it's common for repair shops to provide quotes free of charge. So while keeping that (quite substantial, I'd say) price difference in mind, just asking cannot hurt. Apr 22 at 17:28

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