How do you work this thing?
June 23, 2008 7:14 PM   Subscribe

I've recently inherited a few old cameras from my late grandfather, my favorite of which is a Minolta Hi-Matic G in almost perfect condition. I need a little help using it and finding out what can be used with it.

1. What kind of flash(es) can be used with it?

The Electroflash 20 that came with it doesn't appear to work anymore. Well, it makes that whine like it's charging, but it never seems to fully charge, and it doesn't fire. Anyway, I haven't been able to find another one exactly like it. I have found other Electroflashes on eBay, but I don't know anything about these things, like if any of them would be compatible. Honestly, I don't know much about flash photography in general; I avoid using a flash whenever I can. Still, I'd like to have something if and when I need it.

2. There's some threading on the lens housing. Can something be screwed into that? Like, I don't know, a filter or um... something? If so, what?

Might be obvious, but I'm not educated on this stuff, and there's no manual.

3. So, who knows where I can download a manual?

I found one for sale, but if anyone knows where I can download one, you'll be my hero, the wind beneath my wings, everything I'd like to be, etc.
posted by katillathehun to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Hah, wow, how strange. Less than an hour ago a friend of mine offered to give me a Hi-Matic G that they had found in their late Aunt's house. I'd never seen or heard of them before now so I've been looking up stuff about them since.

As far as I know any hotshoe flash should work with it, even the modern Canon and Nikon flashes.

From what I can tell it has a 4 zone focusing system, and uses pre-set exposures that aren't configurable (the shutter speed is fixed and changes depending on which aperture you select, or the other way around).

And from the few pictures on Flickr that I've seen taken with one, it looks like you can expect results a lot like those you'd get from a Lomo LC-A, another zone-focused camera with a small wide-angle lens.
posted by Venadium at 7:28 PM on June 23, 2008

Best answer: Oops, I forgot to mention, but those threads on the end of the lens are indeed for filters. It should take any 46mm filter you can find. As for a manual, I haven't been able to find one of those, but there are a bunch of sites with somewhat in-depth info about the camera.
posted by Venadium at 7:38 PM on June 23, 2008

There's an original manual for auction on eBay. The Hi-Matics are fun little cameras. Enjoy!
posted by wherever, whatever at 7:55 PM on June 23, 2008

Best answer: I didn't see a Hi-Matic G manual available for free download anywhere, but this site has a manual for the Hi-Matic F, and this one has a good explanation of Hi-Matic G features, including differences between F & G.
posted by pmann at 8:10 PM on June 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, guys! Hugely helpful. Pmann, that first site is a godsend. I just found manuals for a couple of my other older-than-dirt cameras, too!
posted by katillathehun at 10:48 PM on June 23, 2008

Heh. I almost got a Himatic 7sII once -- I decided on a Canonet Ql GIII17 instead.

1) Are you sure the flash doesn't work? Make sure that your batteries are new new new -- I have an old flash from the 80s that will only really go off if the batteries have enough charge in them. Just because the batteries worked in another appliance (like a remote control) doesn't mean that they'll work in flashes.

You can use any flash with a hot shoe connector/PC connector. The way the G works is that in flash mode, the shutter is set at 1/25th, and you have to adjust the aperture according to distance. Kinda primitive, but it's so for all of the cameras around that time.
posted by suedehead at 10:59 PM on June 23, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, suedehead. Yeah, the batteries are brand new. I popped them into the flash just moments after I bought them. I tried different brand new batteries as well, just in case. Nada. :-\
posted by katillathehun at 11:47 PM on June 23, 2008

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