GTE : On/off switch & battery life : LUSENET : Minox Photography : One Thread

I just bought a Minox GTE. I cannot find any on/off switch to turn off the camera. The owner's manual does not indicate any on/off switch. The owner's manual does advise "Closing the front cover in intervalls (sp?) between shooting reduces battery drain." So I assume there is no on/off switch. Am I correct?

I do have an old SLR with needle light indicator, and the battery does drain rapidly if left turned on. So, how long will the GTE's battery last with the lens cover closed? Should I reverse the battery polarity while not in use, as what I usually do with my flashlite?

-- KK Cheung (, May 19, 1999


KK, the film advance lever is the on/off switch: you need two strokes to advance the film and cock the shutter, the first stroke turns on the battery, and the needle in the viewfinder swings. After pressing the shutter release, the battery is turned off.

-- martin tai (, May 19, 1999.

Martin, your information seems to be correct, but at least my GT-E also switches the meter off as soon as I start to close the lid. The manual says the same quite clearly ("Closing the front cover in intervalls between shooting reduces battery drain.")

-- Tomi Salo (, August 22, 1999.

Thanks. This means I shouldn't advance the film after each shot and leave the shutter cocked as I always do with my manual SLR.

-- KK Cheung (, May 19, 1999.

I read somewhere that it's never a good idea to advance film if you're not intending to shoot immediately. Apparently, by advancing and leaving the film, you allow the film to warp - which means a loss in definition. Tim

-- Timothy Williams (, May 20, 1999.

When the film is advanced and the shutter cocked, the light meter is turned on. Even if you close the lens cover, the light meter is still activated, but I guess with less electric current running thru the light sensor.

Out of curiosity, why advancing film requires two strokes? I noticed that the film spindle actually turned for each stroke.

-- kk cheung (, May 24, 1999.

Shutter problem and flash problem on my third and fourth roll of films. Half of the films were not exposed. The others were badly underexposed. The flash discharged static thru the camera body when turned on. The local distributer in Hong Kong will send the whole set to Germany for repair.

-- KK Cheung (, July 20, 1999.

KK, you seem to have a malfunctioned camera. It is wise to send it off to fix. I don't have any problem with my GT-E, it is one of the most reliable 35mm Minox camera.

-- martin tai (, July 21, 1999.

But what about the other point in the original question - reversing the battery when the camera is not in use.

To my mind this is a bad idea and could be damaging to semiconductor electronics.

Anyone else have a view ?

-- Simon Phillips (, August 03, 1999.

Simon, I rather take off the battery if I don't intend to use the camera for extended period of time :)

-- martin tai (, August 03, 1999.

My suggestion was based on recommendations from fashlight (Torches in UK) manufacturers. But I didn't tried it on the Minox. I have the same fear about blowing the voltaging regulator, or whatever IC Minox uses.

As to the shutter problem, the initial diagnosis from the local distributors is that of humidity. It is quite possible, as I carried the Minox with me all the time. The indoor air-conditioned temperature is 20C. Outdoor is 34C, humidity 90%. Condensation might have been te cause.

The technician says that the problem is with a magnetic mechanism that hold the "back" shutter blade from firing after the "front" shutter blade fired. So the back shutter blade follow the front shutter blade, and thus no exposure. This sounds very much like a focal plane shutter, and I always thought Minox had leaf shutter.

I must say I'm impressed by the Leica/Minox distributer's service. I had bad experience w/ distributer of a very big lens manufacturer. I haggled with the reception clerk. And not until I wrote to the lens manufacturer in Japan, before the distributer agreed to fix my lens under warranty.

-- KK Cheung (, August 05, 1999.

Tomi has the right answer, the cover of Minox 35 camera IS the master on-off switch.

This can be check out by doing the following experiment: fully open the Minox camera, operate the film winder twice to tension the shutter,

point the camera to the sky, look throught the viewfinder, note the position of the exposure meter needle; then close the Minox front cover SLIGHTLY, the meter needle will immediately switched off.

This shows that the master on off switch is engaged when the Minox 35 camera is fully open up.

Even when the shutter is tensioned, but closing the camera automatically cut off the battery.

Camera cover doubles as an on-off switch is quite a smart design idea.

-- martin tai (, August 23, 1999.

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