Replacement batteries for Minolta hi-matic F camera : LUSENET : Camera Equipment : One Thread

Looking for advice on where I can buy replacement batteries for my Minolta hi-matic F camera. I believe those old mercury type batteries are no longer available anywhere. Thanks.

-- Brandon (, April 22, 2000


I am also looking for a battery substitute. If you have found any could you possibly let me know what battries to be used in place of the 640 3A Cells (Batteries)?

Best wishes. Tariq

-- Tariq Ahmad (, January 17, 2001.

If you contact you will contact a very nice man called fred who operates out of Maywood, New Jersey. He will supply replacement alkaline 640As at five dollars each and airmail them very quickly for another two dollars. they brought my Hi-matic back to life! Fred's e-mail is Hope this solves your problems. if it does, maybe you can help me. I don't have a manual - how do i get the hi-matic to fire the flash? all i get in low light is a red warning signal. Maybe you have the answer? Mike Hannon:

-- Mike Hannon (, March 01, 2001.

Spend $12 if you want on the PX640's, but there is a cheaper solution.

Make your own battery adapter that can accept the more commonly available SR44/A76 1.5 volt button cells. (The A76's run around $1 each from places like Radio Shack or even local drugstores.) This is how:

All you want is a conductive spacer that makes up for the difference between the dimensions of the small SR44/A76 and the thicker PX640 cell.

My adpater is made from the cap of a Crayola marker. The ridge on the cap is carefully cut off with a sharp utility knife or sanded down. The length of the cap is cut to the dimension needed to fit in the battery chamber of the camera.

A small screw, of the type used on computer circuit boards and computer cases is snug fitted through a hole in the Crayola marker cap. The end of the screw should lightly touch a A76/SR44 cell snug fitted into the cap from the open end. You may need to experiment with different size screws to get it right.

Make two of these and you can continue enjoying the Hi-matic F or E that you have. Make sure the cells are correctly inserted to match the polarity of the battery for the circuit.

I seem to be getting identical metering with PX640A's and my adapters, as indicated by the lens openings. I can't say with certainty about shutter opening times.

I am currently testing my adapters with a roll each in a Hi-matic F and a Hi-matic E. I'd imagine the exposures are close enough to be covered by the print film latitude of Kodak C-41 B&W film. E-mail me in a few days and I'll tell you how the pictures turned out.

As far making the flash fire, which camera do you have? On the Hi-matic E, setting the switch at the back to auto will give you Easy-Flash, that is the flash will go automatically whenever the lighting condition requires it. When you mount the flash on the camera, a flash symbol should appear in the viewfinder to ensure proper coupling of the flash.

With the switch set to manual on the Hi-matic E, you will get fill flash, i.e., the flash will go everytime as long as it's charged up to light up the ready light. On the Hi-matic F, you have only auto flash, no manual.

Hope this helped with the battery and the flash questions.

Vasu Ramanujam

-- Vasu Ramanujam (, March 12, 2001.

I found all of your answers extremely helpful. I am looking for a manual for the Hi Matic E. Any suggestions?


-- Marcia Donahue (, June 15, 2002.

I just acquired a Hi-Matic F. The old 640 batteries were still in it, but had begun to leak a little. I took the old batteries out and cleaned the battery chamber.

Without batteries, the shutter makes noise but does not work.

I inserted four AG-13 / LR44 1.5v button cell batteries, two lined up in one direction and two in the other. The battery light works, and the shutter fires, and the speed and aperture vary.

I do not know whether the exposure is appropriate, nor whether by putting in two batteries too many I am liable to burn out the circuit. Anyone out there have any idea?

-- Dan Iggers (, June 21, 2002.

Another PX640 replacement possibility for those who're handy with tools and like to tinker.

Find a spent Energizer 2CR5 6V Lithium battery. This battery is used in my Canon A2E SLR and a couple of p&s cameras I own. The 2CR5 is really two CR123 size batteries welded together in an appropriately shaped plastic case to fit the 2CR5 battery chambers. The Energizer one is of somewhat flimsier construction than the Duracell and others, which suits our purposes perfectly as we will be braking down the construction. Generally, these batteries are made to discourage disassembly and won't come apart easily.

The battery has a top with the two contacts, a base, and the two are connected by ribs on either side, one thin and one somewhat thicker. What we need to do is score the ribs repeatedly with a utility knife and after they have been weakened sufficiently, just break them off by prying with a small scredriver tip.

Using a needlenose plier twist off the base. Then pull out the welded connection at the bottom that keeps the cells together. Pull on the two CR123 cells to create some space to slide the pliers or a utility knife and similarly detach the connections from the other end. Be careful not to puncture the 123 cells in the process of taking them out. Once the two cells are off, please dispose of them properly. Your local Radio Shack may be able to accept them for proper disposal.

Now cut off and file down the ribs on the part that is left, so that you are finally left with a small, plastic, bean shaped chamber free of connectors or cells. Stuff a bit of aluminium foil or a thin sheet of copper inside it - I had some copper sheet from a roofing job that was done in my house, and this worked great. With the metal providing the connection, you can now place two ordinary 1.5 volt button cells into the little adapter.

This is it. This thing will fit snugly into the battery cavity of the Hi-matic E cameras. Place two 1.5 volt LR44 cells with the appropriate polarity and wedge the adapter into the battery space. Removal is done by prying off with a screwdriver - please note that it will be a pretty tight fit.

You may choose to dispense with the camera's sliding battery chamber cover altogether, as it may not close properly with the adapter inside, or you could try filing down the wall thickness of the adapter so that the battery cover still fits.

Please work with caution, as there is risk of the utility knife slipping as you are trying to cut the ribs of the 2CR5 off. Protect your eyes also, in case a bit of plastic or something else flies out while you are prying the cells off. Just commonsense precautions. BTW, removing the original + and - terminals from the CR5 battery is optional. I left them in and the wedged bit of copper keeps them in place.

I am not sure how clear these instructions are, but I hope you will be able to picture what you need to do by locating and looking at an Energizer 2CR5 battery.

-- Vasu Ramanujam (, June 29, 2002.

Just an addendum to my previous post.

To make the adapter somewhat of a looser fit, so as to be able to close the battery cover properly, I filed aggressively with a coarse wood file all around the adapter to reduce the wall thickness to about half what it was originally. The material is tough, but not impossible to thin down in about 15 minutes of sustained filing. I finally used a triangular file to cut a deep wedge into the curved part so as to make room for it to fit better inside the battery cavity. Do all this away from the camera, as you don't want plastic dust inside the camera. Wash the adapter well before use so as to get rid of any fine filings sticking to it.

I also removed the original +/- terminal ends, and the copper piece - it was somewhat too thick - and simply wedged a length of stiff wire cut from a paper clip to snugly fit inside the adapter. All you need is a way to bridge the terminals of the button cells and this solution works quite well.

The finished product fits beautifully inside a Hi-matic F, AND you don't need to sacrifice the battery cover.

A fun project all in all. Consider your PX640 problems to be a thing of the past!!

-- Vasu Ramanujam (, June 29, 2002.

I am not as technically minded as some of the other minolta users mentioned and therefore would settle for replacement batteries. (minolta hi matic f). I was informed that replacement batteries can be purchsed from someone in glasgow who advertises in one of the photo mags. Does anyone know of this person or seen the advert?

I was also told of another source in America that sold the batteries again a contact would be helpful.

I am reluctant to sell the camera but without batteries!


-- ricky (, September 09, 2002.

I used the SR44/A76 1.5v button cells Vasu suggested and just used aliminium kitchen foil tightly folded over and over then cut to size as a packer. Camera works fine.

-- Barry (, October 14, 2002.

Just use 675 hearing aid batteries and gently pull down the battery contacts on the top of the battery chamber, enough to make up for height....BE CAREFUL when you are pulling down the contacts, they are fragile and can easily break. The 675 hearing aid batteries are the same voltage as the mercury batteries (1.4V) and don't have a sloping discharge curve like alkaline....they are also really CHEAP. The only disadvantage is that they don't last as long....If your not going to use the camera for awhile, pull out the batteries and put a piece of tape over the holes at the top, they will last longer because the battery requires air to produce the voltage... If your having trouble keeping the batteries in place in the battery compartment, try putting a rubber O-ring, or rubber grommet around the battery that is the right size to make the battery fit snugly in the compartment...take the camera and batteries with you to somewhere like Home-Depot to make sure you get the right size...they are also very cheap..good luck

-- John (, December 10, 2002.

John, did you check the voltage of the batteries? Do you have any problem keeping the voltage constant?

Yesterday I bought some 675 batteries. What I did is I stack two batteries in a tube, cut the tube to appropriate length, make some ventilation holes in the middle of the tube and put in it my Hi-Matic F. On the other side I put a tape wrapped metal to create a connection. It works fine.. but now and then I check the voltage of the batteries, combined, the voltage sometimes drop to 2 volt range.. If I take the batteries out, soon the voltage will go back to around 2,8 volt. I suspect that the batteries run out of air sometimes. Is this happen to your camera too?

-- Martin Stefanus The. (, December 16, 2002.

Yeah, I didn't have any problems at first, but it seems as though the voltage drops when the batteries are in the compartment for a day or two. The red light does not seem to illuminate when you push the battery check button, however it does when you push the shutter release halfway down to check if you have sufficient light (when there is in fact, insufficient light!)...I know that the zinc-air cells require a supply of air to keep the voltage moving, but I assumed that because the battery compartment was relatively large (compared to the cells) that this would provide enough air to allow them to run longer than a day or two....I'm now debating on whether or not to drill a small hole through plastic battery compartment to get more air moving in.....Basically I'm not happy with the other alternatives to the mercury replacements. Alkaline cells discharge too quickly to give the constant voltage supply that is required to get correct exposure with the automatic metering system, while the voltage with silver oxides (at ~1.6V) is too high for the system (for correct exposure again!) and I think it might fry it over in the long run....I'm going to experiment a bit more with the hearing aid batteries and see what I come up with....I'll let you know.

PS Have you had any problems getting the shutter to open when the voltage is on the low side?

-- John (, December 18, 2002.

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