Minolta Dynax 5 flash not working - to repair or not?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Don Simon, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    OK, I admit, I have a problem. I just can't stop buying used cameras. Especially when no-one has placed a bid and I take pity on the seller (hey, I need some kind of excuse). So I've done it again, this time with a Minolta Dynax 5 (Maxxum 5 for you colonials :wink: ) on the basis that, unlike my Dynax 404si, it doesn't take half an hour to autofocus, and you can actually see through the viewfinder. It's pretty well-featured (though unfortnuately no DOF preview) but...

    ...the inbuilt flash doesn't work. I knew this when I bid for it - the flash on the 404si was just an irritation anyway, constantly popping up when I didn't want it (and I never wanted it) so the obvious answer here is for me to go lie in this bed which I've made. However this is not a bed but a camera, and on reflection the simple fact that there's a part of the camera which is there but doesn't work is quite annoying. The fact that I'd probably never use is anyway is mostly irrelevant :D. So I have three questions...

    1) How easy/safe would it be to take an SLR apart in order to look at the pop-up flash? I've only ever disassembled P&S cameras, so have no idea whether the pentaprism and mirror will drop out when I take out the first screw :confused:

    2) How much will I be ripped off if I take it to an "Authorised repair centre"? This is probably not even worth asking, since I guess the cost would be about the same as buying the camera new.

    3) Should I just forget about it and stop wasting valuable space on this forum with my stupid self-inflicted problems? :lol:

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. I know I'd be better off trying a Minolta users' forum (assuming there is one) but I thought first I'd try mining the deep knowledge base of this esteemed comminity :hail: (flattery will get you everywhere :))
     
  2. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    You sure about that? On mine there is a small black button on the right (if it's to your eye) of where the lens attaches to the camera. I keep catching mine with my little finger.

    Good luck! I've searched and searched and can only find tiny Minolta forums. Not like you get with Canon and Nikon. :(


    First off, the flash on the Dynax 5 pops up and is a silly little thing. That doesn't mean it's bad or whatever, it's just tiny. You can force it up if you're careful. Grab hold of it on either side and pull. To be honest, I wouldn't even try to fix it if it doesn't work at all. I assume it's not something as simple as the bulb being knackered? If it doesn't pop up, forget about it. Buy a third party flash which will have more features and will be stronger. It'll also have the added bonus of being able to be used on other cameras.
     
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  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I couldn't find any mention of it in the manual. I did try pressing that button, but with no result.... yep, I had it on F/4 :blushing:

    Sorry, I should have explained better. "Not working" is pretty vague. You're right, it doesn't pop up. Apparently it doesn't attempt to; the camera doesn't try to expose the photo as if the flash was up, displaying the "flash switched off" symbol when I press the shutter button even when I've set flash to always-on. Unlike the 404si the Flash on this takes a little force to open, so I've only done it once in case I break it the next time. When I did force it up however, the camera didn't recognise that it was up and continued to act as though there was no flash, so it looks like an electronic problem rather than a mechanical one. In other words, there's problably nothing that can be done about it :(

    To be honest I know you're right about the flash being not that much use, and like I said I'd be unlikely to use it for any photo that I actually bother to compose; though it might have come in handy when using it in more of a P&S capacity. It's more a matter of principle; my 80's Pentaxes (is that the correct plural of Pentax? Pentaxi? Pentae?) simply don't have inbuilt flashes and therefore I don't miss them. This one has one taking up valuable camera space, making the body less sleek, and it doesn't work :meh:
     
  4. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    Ahhh, does sound like an electronical problem. Which makes me wonder if it would even recognise any flash you may put on there. Maybe that whole side of things is down? I guess it may be able to be fixed, I can't honestly say. They may be able to fiddle with the software in the camera somehow. It may even be a loose wire. It seems odd to me. You could take it to a shop and see what they have to say. Or phone up Minolta and ask their advice.
    Still, at least it isn't always out and like a sore thimb on the camera. It is hidden pretty well in my eyes. :)
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Thanks again Ferny. I'll try the local camera shop tomorrow. If nothing else they might have a Minolta flash I can try. I take it actually opening the camera is pretty much out of the question? (I assume its considerably more difficult than taking a P&S apart)
     
  6. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well I've just been down the local camera shop and tried a compatible flash; that didn't work either. Since the problem is not only with the pop-up flash but also the hotshoe, this really does limit what I can do with the camera. It's probably worth paying to get it fixed; I imagine this will be somewhere between £50 and £100, though I might be willing to pay that since I got the camera for £30. Change of plan then; does anyone know where I'd find a camera technician/repairer, i.e. someone who could fix it, in London or the South-East of England? The staff in the shop just told me to find a "technician", without telling me how I'd go about doing this. I know it's a bit of a silly question, but any thoughts? Ta :)

    P.s. sorry for adding another post; I was going to add this to the previous post but couldn't find the "Edit" button, and I've only just realised it was because I wasn't logged in... silly meh :/
     
  7. ferny

    ferny TPF Noob!

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    Can't give you any names. Take a look on www.yell.com and see if you can find any.
    Or phone up Minolta and see waht they have to say. If they come out and say "yup, it's a problem we know about and we can't fix it because it's too old" or "yup, we'll fix it for £xx" then you know waht boat you're in.
     

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