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Simple to use 35 mm manual focus SLR camera. Model number X-370.

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Shutter curtain only opens half way

When I press the shutter, the curtain only opens half way, which makes my pictures look like "half taken", with a big chunk of blackness on one side. I've never repaired a camera before, so I would appreciate some guidance.

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Camera repair requires a lot more skill than most other endeavors. Sometimes there are traps which can get you during disassembly (like the AE-1 tungsten wire). I don't know this particular camera. You can probably lube and adjust curtain speeds by removing the bottom plate. The other ends of the rollers are on top, with more disassembly required, and the attendant risk. To adjust the speeds, though, you need to be able to read them. We do this with an optical device which measures the open time, and the transit times of both curtains. At speeds above 1/60, or 1/125 for metal shutters, the second curtain starts before the first curtain finishes, so there is a slit that moves across the film. This allows for exposures less than the curtain transit time, but means the two curtain speeds have to match, otherwise there is an exposure gradient. Adjusting speeds would be a challenge without the equipment. Lubrication alone might fix it, though.

I don't think you have much to lose if you're careful not cause damage. If you can't fix it you can then take it to a camera shop. Be parsimonious with lube, though. You'll want something like a watchmaker's oil, and you want to apply it with an insulin syringe, or a droplet on a needle. Too much is disastrous.

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Thank you very much. I have experience fixing watches, so I think I can handle myself around a camera. At least with regard to applying lubricant. More than that, then I should take it to the shop... specially if the speed is out of sync. Thanks everyone for their help!

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It’s likely the curtain rollers need cleaning and fresh lube. When you fire the camera does it squeal? That’s a sure sign of dry bearings or gummed up if the curtain fails to move.

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@pabloampuero sounds like your camera requires some cleaning and re-adjusting of the curtains. Cleaning your shutter gear and readjusting those, may just do the trick. Now, to work on your camera and to clean it, as well as re-adjust it use the Minolta X 370 Service Manual

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