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

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Interchangeable Focusing Screens

The XK remains as the only distinctive Minolta camera model that can accept interchangeable finder/Prism and has the option for focusing screens as well. But it was such a long time ago and most Minolta users might not even have heard of that. That is essentially the true essence of why I am creating this site here - even if there is not much of a web traffic. Sometimes, that is not a priority to a web developer who so happens to be a photographer (Still a lousy one for both medium).

Changing Focusing Screens

1. With the finder removed from the camera, grasp the small projecting bracket on one side of the screen frame with thumb and forefinger and hold it so that the bracket is on the upper side of the frame and toward the back of the camera over the corresponding curved recess in the camera's screen receptacle.

2. Keeping the finder release button pushed all the way in, hold the screen at an angle, insert the side toward the front or the end toward the shutter release first, and let the screen drop into place. Then release the button.

To Remove

Holding the finder release button pushed in as far as it will go, use the small bracket protruding toward back of camera to lift the screen out back side or rewind-crank side first.

Note: Care should be taken not to scratch the surfaces or damage the microprism or split-field prisms of focusing screens.

Liquid/Agent Remarks
Freon (CCl2F2) Excellent
Lens cleaner (on the market) Excellent
Ethyl Alcohol (C2H50H) Acceptable
Methyl Alcohol (CH3OH) Unacceptable
Ethy1 Ether ( (C2H5)2O) Unacceptable
Thinner ( on the market) Unacceptable

Compensation Factor Selector

A few combinations of focusing screens and lenses require metering compensation for accurate exposure. In addition to showing recommendable combinations of lenses and screens and the metering method to be used with each, the table on earlier focusing screen section indicates any such compensation factors necessary.

With the Auto Electro Finder, if the lens screen combination you are using requires compensation, lift up on the outer ring of the film-speed selector and turn the ring until the applicable factor designation appears in the compensation factor window in the selector dial.

Caution: When no compensation is needed, the dot should appear in the window for proper metering.

Type P: Matte Fresnel field with 4mm central horizontally oriented split-image spot; for general photography
Type M: Matte Fresnel field with 4mm central microprism spot; for general photography
Type PM: Matte Fresnel field with 2.5mm central horizontally oriented split-image spot surrounded by a circular microprism band 1.5mm wide; for general photography

Type G: Matte Fresnel field only with no spot; for general photography.
Type C1: Clear Fresnel field with 6mm microprism spot; for general photography with certain lenses;
Type C2: Same as Type C1 but suited for different lenses;
Type C3: Same as Type C2 but suited for still other lenses.
Type H: Matte Fresnel field with central 8mm clear spot containing an etched double cross; for dioptric and parallax focusing in astrophotography, photomicrography and other high-magnification applications
Type S: Clear Fresnel field with central cross as above plus etched measuring scales; for dioptric and parallax focusing in dim light, close-ups, photomicrography and other high-magnification applications plus making actual image measurements.

MC-Lens-Screens Combination Chart

Pink.gif Full-aperture metering, best combination: Uniformly bright screen image provides excellent viewing.
Orge.gif Full-aperture metering, satisfactory combination: Viewing is acceptably good, though there may be some darkening near the edges of the viewfield. (This does not of course affect the image on the film.)
Grey.gif Stop-down metering, best combination: Excellent viewing with a uniformly illuminated viewfield image.
Brwn.gif Stop-down metering, satisfactory combination: Though some darkening may appear at the edges of the screen, viewing is acceptably good (and the image on the film is of course not affected) * Focusing must be done on the screen mat area, since the central spot cannot be used to focus with this combination. Numbers indicate necessary meter compensation factors; if no figure appears,the compensation factor for the combination is zero.
Blk.gif Finder can be used only for focusing; metering cannot be done.
Whte.gif White spaces indicate unusable combinations.

Pdf Link.jpg
PDF File (265k)

Changing Lenses

To Install

Align the red dot on the lens barrel with the red dot on the camera lens-mount flange; insert the lens bayonet into the mount; and turn the lens clockwise until it locks into place with a cl ick.

Remove Lens.jpg
To Remove

While pushing the lens-release button, turn the lens counterclockwise as far as it will go; then lift the lens bayonet out of the mount.

Using lenses other than MC-Rokkor/MD Lenses

Metering and exposure with RF Rokkor-X, Auto Rokkor, and Manual-Preset Rokkor Lenses is by the stop-down method as follows:

Rokkor Lenses

1. After focusing, push the stop-down/Lock-up button to release it to its outer stop-down position.

Old Lenses.jpg
2. Use automatic or match-needle/manual mode as explained earlier, respectively. The viewfinder field will darken as the lens is stopped down, and the split-field and microprism spot may become unusable due to darkening
3. Leave the lens stopped down to the proper taking aperture when releasing the shutter.

RF (Mirror-Type) and Manual-Preset Lenses

Proceed as for Auto Rokkors above, except that the stop-down/Lock-up button need not be pushed, as metering and exposure may be done with it in either inner or outer position.

Manual Mirror Control (Mirror Lock-up)

The mirror must be locked in its upper position when the old Rokkor 21 mm F4 or F4.5 ultra-wideangle lenses are used, It may also be locked up at other times if desired. But in specific photography such as duplicating works, high magnification macro, astrophotography that may require absolute vibration free environment, this may also comes in handy. Of coz', just like any camera that has mirror lock up feature, you have to meter before you lock the mirror up.

Mirror Lockup.jpg
To Lock the Mirror Up

With the stop-down/Lock-up button in its outer stop-down position, turn the button clockwise so that the red dot on it is aligned with the red mark on the collar around the base of the button.

To Lower the Mirror after Lock-up

Push the stop-down/Lock-up button to its inner full-aperture-metering position.

System accessories:

User Interchangeable Finders: Metered Prism (
Auto Electro Finder), High magnification finder & Waist-level finder and plain finder. A dedicated 250 bulk film back and film loader. A separate battery pack. Battery Grip. Remote Control Cords S & L : "S" Cord - 1 meter (3.3 feet) "L" Cord - 5 meters (16.8 feet).

XK Motor Front.jpg (20 k) Loading...
Intravalometer: Operates at intervals from 0.5 sec to 60 seconds. Connecting Cords S (50 cm) & "L" (2.5 meters): For connecting Intravalometer PM and other devices. 9 interchangeable Focusing Screens: mat fresnel center split image standard. Leather strap, cases and share many accessories with the SR-T series SLR models.

: The XK | XM Motor Front view, courtesy of Satosh Oka.

For a view on the system map and illustration: Download a PDF file (95k)
Note: Any contribution of images, data etc... on various system accessories mentioned here in this section will be greatly appreciated. Appropriate credit will be given.

General Guideline on Care and Maintenance

As with all high-precision instruments, no part of the XK camera body, or any lens, finder, or screen should ever be forced at any time. If operation is not as you think it should be, never attempt to disassemble the camera yourself. Call a friend or use the
message board I prepared for you here to seek help from similar users to exchange view and opinion or the best way is to consult an authorized Minolta service representative (I doubt Minolta's young technician can help much...screeze before you get attention, old trick works at times, hehe...).

Always keep your camera in its case when not in use.
* Never subject your camera to shock, high heat and/or humidity, water, or harmful chemicals or gases.
* Never lubricate any part of the body, finder, lens, or screen.
Always use a body cap or top cap when a lens or finder is not installed on the body. Keep lenses, properly capped front and rear; finders, also properly capped; and screens in their cases when not in use.
* Never touch the shutter curtains or anything inside the front of the body with the fingers, These parts and the inside of the back should be dusted with a soft brush from time to time as necessary, with particular care never to exert pressure on the shutter curtains - this applies when you are loading the film.
Never touch glass lens or prism surfaces with the fingers. If necessary, remove loose matter from these glass surfaces with a blower lens brush. Use special photographic lens tissue or a soft clean cloth to remove smudges or fingerprints with a gentle circular motion. Only if absolutely necessary, the tissue may be moistened very slightly with not more than one drop of a satisfactory quick evaporating fluid cleaner specially compounded for photographic lenses, Such fluids must never be dropped directly on the glass surface.
Smudges or fingerprints on the mirror may be removed with lens tissue slightly moistened with lens cleaning fluid as above.
No liquid should be used on focusing screens, but surfaces may be dusted with a soft brush and cleaned of smudges with lens tissue or a soft dry clean cloth if necessary.

* External camera, finder, and lens barrel - but not glass - surfaces may be wiped with a soft, silicon-treated cloth.
* Make sure the finder power switch (on Auto Electro Finder) is turned off when the camera is not in use.
* Avoid leave the shutter or self-timer cocked when the camera is to be stored overnight or I onger.

Last reminder: If the camera is to be stored for a long per of time, its components should be packed and kept in a cool, place away from dust or chemicals, preferably in an airtight container with a drying agent, such as silica gel.

| Previous | Spec Sheet | 7/7

Back | to Index Page of Minolta XK

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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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.