Classic Fixed Lens Rangefinders:

Minolta Hi-Matic 9

by Karen Nakamura

Overview and Personal Comments

The Minolta Hi-Matic 9 is a small coupled-rangefinder, leaf-shuttered 35mm camera with program automatic exposure. Released in 1966, it has a very sharp Rokkor-PF 45mm f/1.7 coated lens. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

The rangefinder focusing mechanism is coincident image with a nice bright diamond shaped imaging area. The finder has parallax compensation. All in all, although it looks like a point and shoot, this is very high quality camera. But then again, it cost ¥24800 in 1966, which was a princely sum.

Unfortunately, this camera came broken and I sold it for parts. The camera winds and the shutter clicks, however, the front of the lens barrel is loose and you can't easily dial in the shutter speed or aperture. It looks like you'll need to take apart the front barrel and reassemble it correctly. See Fukucame's site below for assistance, he has great photos of taking a HiMatic 9 apart.







Interesting quirks

The Seiko FLA shutter ranges from 1 second to 1/500 sec. The CLC meter is not TTL metering but ATL (above the lens) - the silicon cell is located on right above the lens on the lens mount, but it does a great job. Because the silicon cell is right above the lens, you can use filters (including polarizing, etc.) without having to make filter corrections. When not in automatic mode, the meter will tell you the current Exposure Value which you can dial in to the lens. Very nice.

The camera uses discontinued 1.35v PX625 mercury batteries.



Technical Details

Camera Name Hi-Matic 9
Manufacturer Minolta
Place of Manufacture

Body: Japan?
Lens: Japan?

Date of Manufacture 1966~
Focusing System

Fully coupled rangefinder (parallax marks)
Lens use helical focusing

Fixed Lens

45mm, f/1.7, Rokkor-PF (x elements in x groups)
xx mm filter mount

Minimum focusing distance = 0.9 meters (~3 feet)
Right focusing (infinity on right side)


Seiko FLA leaf shutter 1 sec ~ 1/500 sec.

X-flash sync at all speeds

Metering System

Silicon cell mounted above lens
Program automatic electronic exposure

Lights on top of camera / rangefinder warn of under/over exposure conditions

EV 5.5- 17(at ISO 100)


f/1.7 - f/16


External hot-shoe and PC cable connection.

Film type / speeds

Type 135 film (35mm standard)

ASA 25 to 400

Battery type

1 x 1.35v PX625 mercury cell

Dimensions and weight 136 x 81 x 74mm ; 750 grams
Retail price ¥24800 in 1966
Note: Copyright © 2005 by Karen Nakamura / Using the text or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place.




About Minolta

Minolta began making cameras in 1928 as the "Nichi-doku Shashinki Shokai" (Japanese-German Camera Factory) and in 1937 was renamed Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha or Chiyoko for short. One man was the heart of the company, Kazuo Tashima. He ran the company from 1928 to 1972. Before the war, Chiyoko made medium and large format cameras and began making 35mm cameras after the war. They started using the Minolta brand in 1937. In the post-War period, they made a series of Leica clones, the Minolta 35 rangefinder.

In 1962, Chiyoko changed its name to Minolta. They are famous for the first SLR with fully coupled metering, the SR-7 and the first model with built-in motor drive (SR-M). They also produced the first camera with integral autofocus, the Minolta Maxxum 7000 (aka Alpha 7000) in 1985. I remember when in 1986, my dad brought home his shiny new Minolta 7000 and handed me down his old Pentax Spotmatic SPII (which still have). Ironically, the Pentax still sees more use than the Alpha because of its ability to run fully manually.

In any case, Minolta continues to make great 35mm SLRs as well as an increasing array of interesting digital cameras. In 2003, Minolta announced a merger with Konica, Japan's oldest camera manufacturer. Hopefully the merged company (Konolta? Monica?) will have enough financial resources to continue to produce high-end film-based SLRs and rangefinders.


On the Net


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