The Minolta XK | XM SLR
Basic Camera Operations: Part VI

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Flash Photography

Your Minolta XK is wired for X or FP flash synchronization, and either direct-contact cordless flashguns or units having cords can be used on it. The standard ISO type hot shoe requires a flash coupler to mount on a 'proprietary flash mount. While there are X and FP terminals provided for both electronic flash and various flash bulbs to be used on the camera.


Turning the sync. selector switch to align its index dot with the appropriate indication sets the camera for synchronization as follows:

Sync. selector switch setting

Type of flash

Sync Speed range in seconds


On automatic mode (stepless speeds)

On match-needle/manual mode (step speeds)


Electronic flash ("strobe")

4 through 1/100

16 through 1/60, X (1/100), B

Class M or MF flashbulbs

4 through 1/30*

16 through 1/30*, B


Class FP flashbulbs

4 through 1/2000

16 through 1/2000, X, B

* Certain Class-M bulbs have characteristics which allow covering higher speeds.

Do you need to invest into a Minolta branded flash unit ? Not necessary. Since there is no distinctive advantage for that. Popular and common feature like TTL flash was not seen in a Minolta until the hugely successful X-700 in 1981.

Rewind Crank.jpg
But one thing is for sure, the XK has enough 'plug-in' sockets to take in any flash types - regardless electronic shoe mount, cabled, bracket or bulbs.

Connecting Flash Units

But an inconvenient part presents in the XK, just like the Nikon F, F2 or even the Nikon F3 of the 1980, the XK needs a flash coupler to works with standard ISO foot flash units.

Clip-on-type units are attached by using the optional accessory hot shoe, which slides onto the accessory mount at the base of the back cover release knob and locks in place. The accessory hot shoe is removed by pushing the mount-lock release button and sliding the shoe off.
Bracket-type flash units (Right) are attached to the camera by means of its tripod socket.

Cordless clip-on flash units are connected b simply sliding them into the installed accessory hot shoe. Sync. cords of either clip-on or bracket type conventional units having them must be plugged into the camera sync terminal for operation.

Multiple Exposures

Of coz' looking backward, one may wish to have a dedicated lever for multiple exposure operation. But the XK, just like any of the cameras available during that era, you have to use the rewind button to disengage the film for such operation. To intentionally make more than one exposure on a single frame of film:

1. Make the first exposure in the usual way.
2. Push the film-advance release button on the bottom of the camera. (Do not continue depressing the button while film is being advanced.)

3. Operate the film-advance lever. This will cock the shutter for the next exposure, but the film will not advance since the release button has been pushed.
4. Make your second exposure.

5. Then repeat steps 2 and 3 above as many times as desired to make further exposures.
6. After the last multiple exposure, advance film to the next frame in the usual way without pushing the advance-release button.

Note: Exposure counter will advance as usual each time the film-advance lever is operated.

Self Timer

The self-timer built into your Minolta XK can be used to delay release of the shutter for a variable number of seconds after actuation.
To operate it:

1. Advance film.
2. Cock the self-timer by moving the self-timer lever counterclockwise. Moving the lever as far as it will go (about 150° from its rest position) sets the self-timer for a delay of about ten seconds.

Moving it about 100 until it catches and does not return by itself to its rest position will set it for about six seconds' delay. Delays between these limits can be obtained by setting the lever at the appropriate intermediate position.

3. To start the self-timer, push the small release button which is hidden under the end of the self-timer lever when the lever is in its rest position.

Note: If the shutter is not cocked, the self-timer will stop operating part way through its cycle; it can be reset either before or after advancing film.

You can override the self-timer's release of the shutter by pushing the shutter-release button to trip the shutter at any time before or after the self-timer has started operating.

Rewinding and Unloading Film

1. Push the film-,advance release button.
2. Unfold the rewind crank and turn it in the direction indicated by the arrow on it until you feel tension on the film increase, then disappear, and the crank turns freely.

3. When you are certain the film is completely rewound, pull out the back-cover release knob to open the back and remove the cartridge.

Shutter and Operation

These are lifesaver feature in the XK (You won't find this anymore in a modern electronic AF SLR) if you are caught in such situation where your battery fails to function due to extreme of temperature or depleted halfway during an assignment. It is considerate enough to have two instead of one mechanical speeds to operate. The "X" (1/100 sec.) and "B" shutter settings are mechanically controlled and can be used manually even without any battery power. You can, use the 1/100 sec which is closest to the standard ASA 100 film speed negative or slide films. While the 'B' is for time exposure or any calculated time set.

To use these settings when the film-advance lever is operating normally, simply turn the shutter-speed selector dial to align one or the other of them with the index and proceed to take pictures as usual.

If the film-advance lever has automatically locked and the mirror is up (because of insufficient battery voltage when the shutter was released at an electronic setting), they can be reset to allow advancing film and viewing by turning the index on the battery chamber cover from "C" to "O" and back to "C" again.

By turning the shutter-speed selector dial to "X" or "B" either before or after this resetting, you can view, make exposures, and advance film even though batteries are unserviceable or completely lacking. This mechanical operation will continue so long as the selector dial is not turned to an electronic setting.

The meters in the Auto Electro Finder cannot of course be used at these mechanical settings.

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Basic Camera Operations XK/XM/X-1: 5 Parts
Specification for XK/XM/X-1:
Main Reference Map for XK/XM/X-1:
HTML | PDF (250k)
Additional info on
XK | XM Motor - by Satosh Oka
More images on XK Motor By : Stephen Schwartz (New)
XK USA fold-out Product brochure in HTML files
and a huge
PDF (1.3MB) copy. Contributed by : Mark Wasmer

Some fabulous views of the Internal Structures that made up of a Minolta XM by Gino Mancini (New);Three great images of a Minolta XM/XM Motor scanned by Hervé Prigent of France (New)

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Copyright © 1999. leofoo ®. MIR Web Development Team.

Credit: Satosh Oka for his superp imagery of the XK Motor and XD-7; ® Stephen Schwartz, for his images of the XK Motor appearing in this site. Mark Wasmer, for his collection of the original marketing brochure. Oleg Volk, who has given me some help; Dick Sullivan whom I had used some references in his site; Hervé Prigent <>of France for his great scanned images from brochure of Minolta XM/XM Motor; Gino Mancini <> for his images of the internal structure of the XM; CYLeow ® , photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia, Mr Poon from Poon photo for their input on Minolta older SLR bodies. Minolta, XD-7, XK, XM, X1, Rokkor, MC lenses are either registered tradenames or trade mark of Milnolta Optical Co. Ltd, Japan. A site dedicted to all Minolta fans worldwide. Made with an Imac.