Is there an update available for the Maxxum 9, allowing it to use the "SSM lenses"? Is there a way of knowing if this update has or has not been done?
All of the Minolta photography product assets were transferred to Sony. I would suggest checking the Sony web site. Repair service for current Minolta camera models is available through Sony support and repair services.
Thanks for the info however, as I read the statement from Minolta, Sony has only aquired the digital line of cameras and the lens line. The film line of cameras has been dropped. I will do some addition research with Sony.
Maybe this will help others as well.
I did contact Sony and this is thier reply....
The easiest way to check to see if your Maxxum 9 has been upgraded is to see how many customer functions it has. The original 9 will have 19 Custom functions, the 9Ti upgrade will have 23 functions. If you do not have this upgrade you may send it in to have the service performed. Please visit http://eservice.sony.com/ for more information.
That is nice information to know.
Even if your Dynax/Maxxum 9 has 23 Custom functions, it does not mean that it has the SSM upgrade. After the introduction of the Dynax/Maxxum 9Ti Minolta offered 9 users the opportunity to have their 9s upgraded to Ti spec. However the SSM upgrade includes the extra Custom functions of the Ti. As far as I know there is no way you can be certain if it has been upgraded for SSM other than trying an SSM lens. The SSM upgrade consists of a change of main circuit board and the modification adds ADI flash metering.
Dear Minolta fans.
I just stumbled upon this thread and think I can throw in some useful information here.
A little known fact of the "SSM upgrade" of the Minolta Dynax/Maxxum/Alpha 9 is that in addition to full SSM lens support including DMF (Direct Manual Focus) with SSM lens, the upgrade implies added camera support for the ADI (Advanced Distance Integration) flash exposure system in conjunction with (D) series lens (with built-in distance encoder) and the built-in flash or (D) style external flashes. Given that only two high-priced SSM lenses are (kind of) available so far, in practice I personally find ADI flash a much more useful feature addition than the SSM support as is.
Unfortunately, ownership of a (D) series lens does not entitle to a free SSM/ADI upgrade according to Minolta and Konica Minolta, however, if you buy a new SSM lens, you should find a coupon in the package with which you can let upgrade one 9 (or 9Ti) body free of charge. Otherwise the upgrade costs 150 Euro per body (without VAT) over here in Europe, which is somewhat pricey, I think, but understandable when considering that the upgrade involves the replacement of the main electronics flexiboard of the camera or - alternatively - the main controller IC on the mainboard be removed and replaced by a special SSM-type version of that chip. Since it is rather risky to resolder fine pitch SMD ICs on a temperature-sensitive flexiboard, if you ever have a chance, I would insist on let them change the whole electronics rather than just that IC (I assume they prefer this as well as long as parts supply lasts). From the hardware point of view there is no difference between a SSM/ADI upgrade for a normal black 9 body or for a silver 9Ti body, the electronics needs to be changed in both cases, unfortunately. From the viewpoint of the user, there are, of course, differences.
The 9Ti has extra custom functions 22 (22-1 und 22-2) and 23 (23-1 and 23-2), an extra entry under function 18 (18-4), neither of which are available on normal black 9 bodies, and changes to entries 14-2 and 18-3.
The fact, that the SSM/ADI upgrade adds ADI flash exposure to the camera, has the nice effect of providing some means to easily distinguish upgraded bodies from unmodified units even without a SSM lens at hands, as the upgrade adds a new entry to custom function 20. If this function has four entries (that is, 20-4 exists), you can be sure, it's an upgraded model, as otherwise the function will have only 3 entries.
In contrast to what the cited Sony answer suggests, the SSM/ADI upgrade does not incorporate upgrading a black body to 9Ti specs, functions-wise. That is, the extra custom functions (except for 20-4) still do not normally exist on black bodies after the upgrade. Of course, 9Ti bodies do not loose their extra functions during the upgrade.
Here is an overview on changed custom functions:
9 9Ti 9 + SSM/ADI 9Ti + SSM/ADI
========= =============== ================= =============== =================
14 AF area display
14-1 LED 0.1s LED 0.1s LED 0.1s LED 0.1s
14-2 LED 0.4s LED 0.6s  LED 0.6s  LED 0.6s 
14-3 with button with button with button with button
18 Control dial Tasking
18-1 no Pa/Ps shift no Ps/Ps shift no Pa/Ps shift no Ps/Ps shift
18-2 Pa+Ps shift Pa+Ps shift Pa+Ps shift Pa+Ps shift
18-3 exp.-comp.  Pa+exp.-comp.  exp.-comp.  Pa+exp.-comp. 
18-4 -/- Ps+exp.-comp.  -/- Ps+exp.-comp. 
20 Flash Metering
20-1 4-seg. TTL  4-seg. TTL  ADI  ADI 
20-2 average TTL  average TTL  4-seg. TTL  4-seg. TTL 
20-3 spot TTL  spot TTL  average TTL  average TTL 
20-4 -/- -/- spot TTL  spot TTL 
22 AF Illuminator
22-1 -/- enabled  -/- enabled 
22-2 -/- disabled -/- disabled
23 Front/Rear Control Dial Lock
23-1 -/- off -/- off
23-2 -/- on -/- on
 Focus area LED delay time is customizable by Minolta service between 0.1s and 1.6s in 0.1s increments.
 Exposure compensation range via control dial is +/-3 EV in both 1/2 EV and 1/3 EV steps (in contrast to only +/-2 EV in 1/3 EV steps via the dedicated exposure compensation dial).
 The camera will automatically select among pre-flash (P-TTL-OTF) or TTL 4-segment flash (TTL-OTF) metering depending on if a HSS-capable flash is used (and HSS is enabled) or not.
 The camera will automatically select among ADI, pre-flash, or TTL 4-segment flash metering depending on the lens and flash combination shown in the chart below.
 It is not 100% clear from the docs, if this mode will take advantage of pre-flash metering (P-TTL-OTF) with HSS-capable flashes and HSS on, or if it will always use plain TTL-OTF with corresponding weighting. Several notes suggest that it does not use pre-flash metering at all.
 It is not 100% clear from the docs, if this mode works identical to  in regard to the optional usage of pre-flash (P-TTL-OTF) metering, or if it will always use plain TTL-OTF (similar to ). I assume the latter.
 Fires only when required in AF-A or AF-S modes with AF enabled.
The following chart lists what flash metering is used with custom function 20-1 on SSM/ADI-upgraded bodies when using autofocus. The Program Flash 2500(D) should be set to ADI and other program flash units set to TTL.
Flash (D) lens Other lens
============================= =========================== ======================
5600HS(D)/3600HS(D) (HSS on) ADI metering with pre-flash Pre-flash metering 
5600HS(D)/3600HS(D) (HSS off) TTL-metering TTL metering
2500(D) (no HSS) ADI metering with pre-flash Pre-flash metering 
5400HS (HSS on) Pre-flash metering Pre-flash metering 
5400HS (HSS off) TTL metering TTL metering
Other Program flashes (no HSS) TTL metering TTL metering
Built-in flash (no HSS) ADI metering without pre-flash TTL metering
 TTL metering is used in manual focus. Manual focus have no affect on the other flash/lens combinations.
Another nice effect of the SSM/ADI upgrade in conjunction with using (D) series lenses is that distance information from the lens is used to determine exposure with the 14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering system in both, manual focus as well as autofocus modes. Metered exposure values may differ slightly between autofocus and manual focus. Without the upgrade, it would switch back to center-weighted average or spot metering in manual focus.
The only focusing and metering related features an upgraded 9/9Ti body still lacks compared to a Dynax/Maxxum/Alpha 7 is DMF with non-SSM lens and 14-segment honeycomb-pattern metering with non-(D) series lenses in manual focus. This is, because the camera lacks the necessary electro-mechanics to support these features (direct AF/MF coupler and extra distance encoder in the camera).
The SSM/ADI upgrade does not cause any new compatibility issues with third-party lens (driving to the conclusion, that the well-known problems the 7 had were neither caused by added ADI or SSM support, but solely by support for the Data Saver DS-100). So, if your lens works with the unmodified 9/9Ti, it will still work after the upgrade.
Finally, the upgrade includes a number of rather subtle feature enhancements including enhanced viewfinder displays (numeric exposure compensation display when exposure compensation is changed, shutter speed and aperture display when metered value is held on independent of Eyestart status and kept on for a while after metering is unlocked, focus indicator in self-timer mode), improved power-management (for a better battery life) and flash exposure reliability with the built-in flash (the flash now charges exactly - and only - when actually required, with or without Eyestart). Also, it is now possible to use the IR-1/IR-1(N) infrared remote trigger in conjunction with wireless flash. These improvements are also present on all 9Ti bodies (regardless of the SSM/ADI upgrade) and the more-recent black 9 bodies with newer firmware, however, they are not available on older black units with original firmware . As a nice sideeffect, the SSM/ADI upgrade brings all units, even the old ones, to the very latest specs. Given all these little improvements, I think, the upgrade is highly recommendable - even to people without SSM lens.
Hope this info will be useful to some.
PS.  Die-hard Minolta fans of the "black beauty" may feel free to contact me privately if their camera body is either SSM/ADI upgraded already or shows the above mentioned improved behaviour. I may have some extra sweets for you...
Thanks Matthias I had forgotten about Custom 20 and ADI which of course would mean you have the SSM upgrade. As a matter of interest though both my black 9s had the Ti Custom Functions after they had had the SSM upgrade.
Has anybody had their Maxxum 9, or 9Ti upgraded since Sony has taken over repair?
I have read some horror stories on http://www.dpreview.com., about Sony's repair service for Minolta equipment.
I got my black Maxxum 9 body upgraded by Minolta back in Febuary of this year. Had no problems with the Minolta service, and turn around was fast.