Minolta XG-9

Minolta XG-9 camera body.

Camera Make: Minolta

Release Year: 1979

Release Price: $170 for the Body,  $280 for Body and 50mm f/1.4 lens (as of 1981)

Current Street Price: $20 – $50

Notable uses:

Interesting Features:

Media: 35mm Film

Can you still get the media now: Yes.

Interchangeable lenses: Minolta MD Bayonet Mount

Batteries: Two 1.5V Silver Oxide

Can you still get the battery: Easily, using two AG13 / KS 76, does not need to be silver to function correctly based on my testing.


Can you test without batteries: No. The shutter will not fire in any mode without batteries. You can focus an attached lens, turn dials, and cock the shutter once if not already cocked.

Can you test without a lens: Yes. The camera will let you fire the shutter without a lens.

Can you test without media: Yes. Film is not required to function, and you do not need to trick the film advance to do subsequent shutter tests.

How to test the camera: Insert batteries and turn the dial to B.C. The front light should illuminate brightly*. You can then attempt to cock the shutter, test fire, examine the meter, roughly check shutter speeds, make sure film advance is functioning, etc.

*My battery holder was corroded, and even after cleaning in vinegar, it still required scratching it quite a bit to make contact. It usually takes me several attempts at getting the batteries in place until the front light will illuminate, but once it does, I do not have any issues after that.

Camera Operation

How to Load the Camera: Typical 35mm SLR Film Loading

Viewfinder: SLR with Split and Microprism.

How to Take a Picture: Half press the shutter button to activate the meter, fully depress to fire the shutter.


Highly recommended camera. One of the easiest manual focus 35mm cameras I own. Requires few easy to get batteries, and has worked reliably (outside of mine having been corroded). Since it is consistently cheaper and less desirable than the Canon AE-1, it is a good cheap beginner camera, and most kit lenses are great, or you can easily find cheap lenses for the camera. Minolta MD lenses are less desirable than Canon FD lenses, making equivalent lenses routinely less expensive second hand. The main drawback is the lack of metering in non auto modes, you get no real feedback on manual exposure. Good way to learn how to use manual metering though while still having auto when needed.