Overview

This seems like it would be a great camera if only it were working! It's of the same vintage as another large EE flashmatic rangefinder with a Seiko ES shutter, the Minolta Electro Shot. The Super Shot adds additional touches that seem quite innovative for the time: user-accessible rangfinder adjustment screws (behind external screw covers, as found on Ukranian rangefinders), spring lever motor wind that lasts for 12 shots at a time, shutter lock.

The battery it was originally built for was the Mallory RM-1 (same as the Electro Shot), a large 1.3v battery that no longer exists. The replacment is the 1.5v PX1A. Now, I've found the Seiko ES and ESF shutters to be quite particular when it comes to batteries (see my Minolta Hi-Matic E page for more). In fact the battery that fires my Electro Shot will only light the lamps in the Super Shot, and a brand new one works in neither camera. Voltage is about the same, only the Amps are different. It's quite frustrating. I'm still in the process of trying to get this one working without resorting to completely dismantling it. I wish it were something obvious like a corroded wire that I can replace, but it's extremely clean and the electronics are tight from what I can see, both in the top and at the PCB under the front ring.

Repairs

Hm. The camera was covered with grainy dust from the deteriorating interior of the lined leather case. After I removed the top and blew out the dust and cleaned up the glass, the shutter no longer fired. Winder worked, self-timer worked, battery check light and even the underexposure warning light all worked. Shutter, no. Coincidence? Or something else? Hard to say...

Repairs - Special Notes

Unlike most Japanese rangefinders I've seen, this has externally accessible rangefinder adjustment screws (!). The large screw on top by the hot shoe, and the one on the front under the viewfinder are covers that hide the adjustment screws for horizontal and vertical alignment, much like on many FSU rangefinders I've seen (FED, Zorki).

Continuing in that vein, I found that right underneath the lens nameplate and accessible through holes in the next ring are -- count them -- four variable resistors for adjusting the sensitivity of the AE system. First time I've ever seen that. It was obviously hand-adjusted at the factory, as there's a notation written in red grease pencil right on the inside of the lens housing, '+.08'. Zowie.

Tips & Tricks

You can't test this camera without film in it; it seems that the winder works on some kind of tension-based freewheel that only properly charges when tensioned with film. Holding the takeup spool with your thumb doesn't work :) Winds counterclockwise.

The battery is a toughie, you have to really look around to find a replacement for a Mallory RM-1. I got mine at ecamerastore.com. I saw a Japanese site somewhere that sells an adapter to use an SR44 in place of an RM-1 but it was in Yen, plus a bank fee, wire transfer only so I didn't even bother bookmarking it. Otherwise search for the other names: PX1A


Related Links


PREVIOUS | RANGEFINDERS | NEXT