Once upon a time, I bought a Minolta XG-M to get the ultimate XG camera and the excellent Minolta MD 28-85mm lens that came with it. A review on the Rokkor Files had raved about the lens, calling it as good as a prime at some focal lengths. The bad news for my cheapskate self was that those lenses were rare on eBay and, when present, cost more than I was willing to pay. The XG-M, together with that highly praised 28-85mm lens, cost about half of what the lens alone usually sold for—two birds, one stone. All was wonderful, except six months later, the camera’s meter became wonky, and the shutter always fired at the same speed in “A” mode. Manual mode shutter speeds were ok, but there was no metering. At that point, I googled for answers and learned it might be a capacitor. Which raised a question: how do I get this fixed?
Finding places to repair a camera that was made by a now-defunct company was more difficult than anticipated. Searching photography forums, I found a few names, but all posts were at least 15 years old and proved to be dead ends. Now, at this point, it became clear that I should just find another camera. If you are patient, 25-30 dollars is usually enough to snag an XG-M on eBay. But, me being me, curiosity took over, and finding shops that fix Minoltas became a quest.
The first place I heard of that seemed to exist still was Garry’s Cameras. I wrote, didn’t hear back, and decided I would wait for a cheap XG-M to show up. I had other cameras–buying an XG-M wasn’t critical–so, the quest for repair shops and another XG-M came to an end for a few months.
The quest was rejoined a second time because I had my eye on a Yashica MAT 124 with a busted meter. Before buying, I wanted to know if I could have it repaired if desired. Mark Hama was repeatedly mentioned as THE guy for Yashica repairs, and his phone number appeared in multiple posts. I called him. (He does repair Yashicas AND his shop is just across town!!!) Encouraged by finding Mr. Hama and in the middle of planning for Earth, Sun, Film, I decided to return to the Minolta quest.
Having had little success with forum posts for Minolta repairs, I googled and found a decent list of camera repair places. As someone who now had a few favorite cameras that were not cheap to replace, finding places that fixed Minoltas took on more significance. The Minolta Gear Repair Services page is the outcome of this second quest.
After creating a list of shops whose websites stated they did camera repairs, I attempted to contact each by phone or email. I asked each for models repaired and typical turnaround times. The responses for each shop are included with its listing and are noted as “confirmed.” I’ll add new shops as I find them.
Initially, I was very concerned because nearly all shops that did Minolta repairs seemed to focus on manual models. However, when interacting with repair shops, I discovered four that repaired Maxxum models as well. Now, I can rest knowing that if my Maxxum 7 or XD11 bites the dust, there is still hope. Also, this time Garry’s Cameras, which does Maxxum 7 repairs (my favorite Minolta), answered right away!
Having tracked down this information, I decided to share it along with the Minolta gear buying advice found in Buying and Collecting Minolta: A Guide for Newbies. Along with these two Minolta-specific pages are two general pages, one for photography with a list of blogs, books, and similar things I’ve found useful. Gardening resources comprise the second general page. For the time being, I am shooting for a monthly update cycle to add new info or update old listings. We’ll see how it goes.
I did eventually replace the XG-M. This one came with a Minolta MD 35-70mm F3.5, Macro (yes, the one Leica decided to borrow)!!! Even better, that camera and lens cost less than that lens usually sells for alone, as well (another two unfortunate birds, one stone). Both are pristine. And to this very day, we (the manual-only XG-M, the working XG-M, two beautiful lenses, a Yashica MAT 124, and an analog light meter) are all living happily ever after.
(Ok, so it’s not exactly Disney…)