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View Full Version : HELP ASAP, broken camera



twires
10-12-02, 10:47 PM
Help,!!!!
I have a camera that I borrowed from a friend..he offered and it is not one that he uses at all...anyway I have had wonderful luck with it doing bird photos and stuff...well...it is a minolta maxxum 7xi....and today I dropped it onto the ground while trying to speed load a roll of film.

Now when I look into the viewfinder it is just black...no picture...like I still have the lens cover on (but I don't)...I do have the viewfinder data panal visible but that is it.

Can anyone tell me what might be wrong?????? I will get the camera fixed for my friend or buy him a new one but would like to know what might be wrong with it before I try to get it repaired...hoping that it's just something silly setting that I am/am not doing or that some setting changed when it fell.

Please, if you have any experience with this type of problem let me know what your opinion is....

Thanks,
Tami

Dakota
10-12-02, 11:08 PM
Sounds like the mirror got slammed shut and stuck. Remove the lens and see if the mirror will pop back down. It could be that simple.

Does the shutter work? What happens when you press the shutter button?

poptom
10-13-02, 01:25 AM
The mirror is in the up position. Try operating the film advance lever and shutter. It may be OK.

twires
10-13-02, 06:22 AM
Dakota and Pop,
The shutter button will not work and removing the lens doesn't work either. I do not see the mirror when I look inside the camera....

I can find no way to manually advance the film...

poptom
10-13-02, 10:48 AM
I think Dakota is right so I'll elaborate. Here's what happens when you press the shutter button:

The mirror swings up. The lens stops down. The shutter opens and closes. The lens re-opens, then the mirror returns to the viewing position. With a motor winder, the film will advance and all the above actions are reset or ****ed.

Looking into your camera with the lens off, you are looking into the mirror box. The ceiling of the mirror box is the back side of the mirror when it is raised. It is hinged at the back and probably held in that position by a spring.

What you want to do is grab the front edge of the mirror, maybe with a toothpick or something and swing it down all the way until it latches at something like a 45 degree angle. If you can do that, you may have it whipped. Do not get a fingerprint in the mirror face, next to impossible to clean off.

Good luck. Tell us how it goes.

twires
10-13-02, 08:16 PM
Ok, Pop,
I have found the mirror and can swing it down! There is a small "clip" on each side of the compartment that will not allow it to lock into place in the 45* angle.....any ideas on how to get those clips to release so that the mirror can click into place?
You have been a huge help so far...
Tami

poptom
10-13-02, 09:06 PM
Ok. I can't see your camera from here so I'm guessing now. Stick your finger in the mirror box and feel whether the clips will move down when you press on them. If so, I think you can press the mirror against them, they will move down and catch the mirror so it doesn't spring back up.

Before you try that, though, let's look at something else. How do you wind the film? Is it motor driven? Do you need to have film in it for it to wind and **** the shutter? If so, try loading film in it and see if it winds.

Another possibility: Open the camera back and turn the film sprocket a few turns toward the take-up spindle with your thumb. If it shows resistance at some point, see if you can push it past that point. That may just reset everything.

Let us know what happens. I'm out of ideas for the moment.

--Tom

twires
10-13-02, 10:17 PM
No resistance when I advance sprocket and no reset....also the clips are not moveable with my finger....I know that I am being a pain but I will be eternally grateful to you, or anyone else, with any ideas on how to fix this (seemingly minor?) problem.

Dakota
10-13-02, 10:56 PM
It may not be minor. Dropping an SLR camera to the ground is not a minor thing. Next time you'll use the neck strap, but enough of the lectures eh? ;)

Anyway, you'll see by the attached picture a side view of an SLR camera. See the position of the mirror there? The lower one, not the one in the pentaprism. That's the way the camera should appear normally. What has probably happened is that the huge shock of the camera slamming against the ground caused the mirror to 'snap' into the open position.

In this drawing, I am thinking that the mirror is in a parallel position in relation the the transluscent screen and that's why you cannot see anything through the viewfinder. That is the position that the mirror flips to for a micro-second when you snap the shutter button. The mirror flips up, the shutter opens, exposes the light to the film and then closes. Then the mirror flips back down again to its normal 45-degree position.

Remove the lens and tip the top of the camera back a little. You should see the mirror in the up position. See if it will pop back down.

If that doesn't work. Buck up and call your friend. Either way, even if it pops back down you should still tell him. How did the camera hit the ground?

Anyway, hope this helps. Here's the pic:

http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/camera-diagram4.gif

Dakota
10-13-02, 10:59 PM
And....you might want to read this:

http://www.howstuffworks.com/camera.htm

twires
10-14-02, 06:38 AM
Dakota,
Yes, you are correct. I am going to tell my friend that I dropped his camera. I was only trying to fix the darn thing without a major trip from our home in small town to the camera store (2 hour drive one way)in the closest big city over this weekend.

The mirror is stuck in the up position but I can't get it to lock back into the angled position.


I dropped the camera while taking pictures at my best friend's mother's wedding reception (outdoor pig roast) while I was trying to load a roll of film. The camera was off balance with the door open and in a split second it fell out of my hands.

So....I am going to take it to the camera repair shop. I am not concerned with my friend's reaction. He is very low key and will not get upset; I am beating MYSELF up for breaking it.

Thanks for your help and for the link.

Tami

Dakota
10-14-02, 09:25 AM
Okay cool. Yeah, if it won't pop back down then get it off to a repair shop. It might not be that bad of a fix though. Fortunately, like you said earlier, it's not his prime camera so that's a good thing. A very good thing. Let us know how this all turns out. We're a curious sort here. ;)

twires
10-14-02, 06:15 PM
Dakota and Poptop!!!!
I got it fixed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought I would try the Minolta website for advice although since the camera was way out of warranty I wasn't hopeful. They responded with an idea to turn the camera on, take the lens off, then remove the battery and reinstall it....**POOF** if was fixed....WHEW!

I will still tell my friend about it in case something else pops up but am totally relieved that it will not cost me an arm and a leg to get fixed....Ya know...travelling all that way at least twice to the fix-it store, eating out each time atour favorite nice restaurant....shopping along the way...ends up being expensive when we have to go to Columbus for something.


:)

Thank you both so much for all your assistance!

Tami

poptom
10-14-02, 06:40 PM
Wow! That's great, Tami.

All I could think of was the obvious mechanical stuff, not electrical. That's a fix that would never have occurred to me and I expect it's unique to that particular camera. Thanks for telling us and go take some more pictures with confidence.

My SLR's are all mechanical.