Minolta Himatic 9: Flood Cleaning Shutter and Cleaning Viewfinder, also applies to the 7, 7s, and 11.

I bought this camera in 1969, my first 35mm camera, and a whole Summer of mowing Lawns. I was 11.

The viewfinder had enough haze built up to make focusing difficult- last CLA was 1976. Time to clean it, I'm a lot better at fixing cameras than I was in 1976.

Tools required: Flat Head screwdriver, I used a Wiha 260 1.5x40, and a pair of fine needle nosed pliers.

This took a few minutes.

1) The Hot Shoe and PC cord are wired to the body, and this is easy to break. Have something to lay the top on while working on the camera in the upright position.
2) The shutter release button has TWO parts, and the small metal stem can fall out into the body when you remove the top. Remove the top with the camera on its back.
3) Washers: one on each end of the rewind shaft. I reassembled the rewind shaft after removing it to keep the washers in place.

When reassembling- lay the camera and top on their side, put the two-piece release in place on the top piece, then slide the top into place.

A Gotcha: I'm preparing instructions for the much less common AL-E Minolta Rangefinder of 1965.

Before taking the top off the camera, use a marker to place a dot on the outside of the eyepiece. After 55 years, the cement holding the optic failed, and the eyepiece fell out as I took the top off. I was lucky that the cement still on the glass told me how to orient it correctly when re-assembling.
Unexpected "Gotcha"-

Most cameras, I use a fairly thick self-sticking "foamie" cut from a sheet from the craft department at Walmart.

Cannot use it for the HM-9: this will cause the back to jam. I ended up using self-sticking felt, sheet found at a sewing store.

The thicker foam worked for the Minolta AL-E that I just cleaned and replaced the seals.
For $25 I bought another HiMatic 9 off Ebay because it had the metal lens cap and original box- the camera was listed as not working. I'm happy, the Himatic 9 that I bought 50 years ago looks like new, and now has the cap I lost decades ago and a box. The camera: looks like someone spilled a coke on it many decades ago, and the stuff had crystallized into the lever advance, eyepiece (not the beamsplitter or mirror), rewind, outer flat glass, hot shoe. On top of this: the shutter was not working. The meter- was working and is accurate, the RF is accurate. The last HM9 that I got for $20 looks mint, but the meter is broken- as in the galvanometer floats freely. After looking under the top deck at the meter- more than what I wanted to try. SO- nothing to lose, went for flood cleaning the shutter.

Tools required: Flat head screw driver, very sharp tip needle nosed pliers, optical spanner, rubber cork, lots of Q-Tips, ronsolol, 99% pure isopropyl alcohol. Flat surface: I use an old cafeteria tray layers with thin bubble wrap and paper towels, and an ice-cube tray to put parts in order of access.


You need to remove the chrome ring holding in the name-plate that also has the electric eye mechanism. LOTS of small, easy to break wires. You need to start unscrewing using the needle nosed pliers. A spanner will not get past the CDS housing. Once you get the ring a couple of turns out, use a spanner. Once the ring is past the filter threads, a rubber cork is easiest. You need to lift the mechanism out, the ASA selector requires more wiggling than lifting. Be very careful- the wires are thin, and there are quite a few. Someone must have tried to fix this camera and gave up- there was one crimped wire, the red one seen to the lower right. May be why the battery test does not work, I try for a 95% solution, not going to push my luck.

Once this mechanism is up, use the spanner to remove the front lens group. Removing the rear lens group requires major dismantling. For flood cleaning- access through the front works 75% of the time. It did this time. I use Ronsonol and 99% Isopropyl Alcohol. This mechanism required 4 attempts, I alternate between the two. The shutter started working right away, then quit- reapply. At the end- let everything dry out for a few hours. This is what I did- left the camera alone, came back 4 hours later- has been working ever since. Set the shutter to B and F1.7, VERY CAREFULLY clean the surface behind the shutter. It most likely has oil sprayed on it from the cleaning. Once it is clean, screw the front group back into place.
NOW- you have to get the thing back together. I guess they did not trust electrical contacts, and hard wired everything. There is a small plastic hood that fits between the lens and the electric eye assembly. SO- you need to get the hood in place over the lens, the wires around the rim so they do not get cut by the ring and the EE mechanism, the ASA selector dial into the little slot, and everything back in place within the limits set by the wires. This is non-trivial.


Have a flat head screwdriver handy to gently push the wires around the rim of the ring that sits over the lens. Then get the ASA selector into place, carefully lower the mechanism into place watching the wires. Once in place, screw in the retaining ring. As the ring screws down, make sure the mechanism is centered to the ring can screw down past it.
Other gotchas- the advance lever was not returning into position by itself. I cleaned coke-goo out, lightly lubed it, better- bit not perfect. I took off the bottom plate to watch the gear action as the camera advance was exercised. Found the brass piece over the gear needed to be lubed, the far right in the image.

That fixed the lever wind problem.
So now I have an almost fully working HM9, battery check not working- but has an unreachable stain under the front cover glass AND a mint-looking HM9 with broken meter.


AND- I'm sure I'll be popping the top again, and hate the short wire that does not allow for the top to be set down when working on the camera. So I switched tops on the two cameras, soldered in an extension to the flash wiring. It works. I also switched the Serial Numbers, which are stamped on the hot shoe cover. And let me clean all the coke-goo from under the hot shoe cover. Yuch.


The camera on the right- got the flood cleaning, finder cleaned, gears lubed shown here. You can see the coke stain on the left camera. Does not interfere with the finder, just looks ugly. So- one manual camera only, one with good meter. Both have new seals, ready to go. The camera I bought 50 years ago, seen in the original posts- got the best of the three/ nearly mint leather case and metal cap.

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