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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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  • \$\begingroup\$ I was given a XG-9 which worked just fine. Last time that I changed the film it started doing something similar to what you describe: Once I advance the film it immediately shutters. I also find on the internet only problems regarding stuck shutters, and not the other way around. Did you find any solution for your camera? \$\endgroup\$
    – Maria
    Nov 11, 2021 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Maria I did take it to a photo shop which also does camera repairs; it came back as being water damage of the top assembly of the camera which would have cost some absurd sum (euros) to repair because another XG-M would have been required and sacrificed. (I did not verify this claim, because I'm not comfortable opening my cameras, at least not now.) On the other hand, I was given the advice that if I wanted to repair the camera, the best I could do was to change out most of the electronics components myself. So repair should be doable, if you trust yourself enough. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2021 at 13:05

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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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  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2021 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @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. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2021 at 17:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 22, 2021 at 17:28
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I'm no expert on this topic and have just been playing around with a Minolta XG-M for a couple of years. But I had the exact same issue that this post describes and after finding this post in search of a fix, I have actually managed to fix it myself.

Just as described in the question, I had replaced the batteries to my camera and turned it on to find that when I pulled the advance lever the shutter would automatically release without pressing the shutter button. Before taking it apart I decided to experiment with the power settings and advance lever to see if I could see what the cause might be. After experimenting for a while I found that a combination of steps lead to my film camera's shutter functionality being returned to normal.

  1. I turned my camera on
  2. I pulled the advance lever and the shutter automatically went off (as expected)
  3. I unscrewed and removed the battery compartment (I had not turned off the camera)
  4. I turned off the camera
  5. I returned and screwed in the battery compartment
  6. I turned on my camera
  7. Pulled the advance lever and the shutter no longer triggered automatically

I understand that I am writing this as if it is some kind of exact science, most likely whilst messing around I unknowingly corrected something completely unrelated that had gone wrong. But ultimately these steps lead to the problem being solved so I thought I'd provide as much detail as possible to anyone who might come across the same issue.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Good to know, thanks! Sadly, in my case, two technicians (one not believing the other) have found water damage, so my XG-M is beyond repairability at this point, but happy to hear that yours had such an easy fix! \$\endgroup\$ Dec 6, 2022 at 13:41

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