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My HTsi Plus never seems to be able to Auto Focus on a subject, so when you push the shutter button half-way, it just flashes the focus indicator (telling you it is unable to focus). Try switching over to the "Manual Focus" mode. On the front of the camera there is a button labeled "AF/M". Push that button to switch to manual focus. If the camera is in manual focus, the external LCD screen will say "M.Focus". Now try to snap a shot. If that still does not work, there may be something wrong with the camera or the lens. So, try using a different lens in manual focus mode. If it still does not work, then I would say the problem is with the camera itself.
I suspect your lens is forcing the mirror up when it's mounted on the camera. This would cause a dark viewfinder and as the metering system is also in there then no light means that the camera thinks that it's in total darkness and activates the flash.
Try another lens. If the problem continues then the camera body is broken, if not then it's the lens. Most likely to be the lens though.
Used Minolta lenses are readily available at reasonable cost (or free if you ask on FreeCycle) so unless your lens problem is obvious and easy to fix then just replace it as spares are mainly non-available and labour charges are high. If you want a new lens then Sony retained the same lens mount when they took over Konica Minolta.
I'm unfamiliar with the F80 but on models like the f65 and f75 the viewfinder screen has an lcd overlay and when the battery is exhausted or removed the viewfinder goes dark and blurry.
Looking at a picture of the f80 it looks like it's just an update on my f75 so it strongly suggests that you just need to insert a fresh battery. The lcd does draw power from the battery even with the camera turned off.
I hope that you found my answer useful, once you've tried another battery to confirm what I've suggested I'd appreciate it if you return the favour by rating my answer.
Take the lens off and look at the lens opening on the body - at the 9 o'clock position is the aperture stopdown lever. It should be square to the edge - not bent sideways or too far from the side. It's a pretty flimsy lever and easily bent. You can bend it back square by grabbing with pliers and pushing toward the left side. Common problem.
Here's a link to the N75 / F75 user guide. The troubleshooting section / lens compatibility area might point to the problem. If the viewfinder is dark, the mirror is likely stuck in the UP position. This is usually due to a lens compatibilty issue, or the fact that the lens is not set to its smallest aperture (ie 22). The camera needs that to control the full range of aperture openings
Sounds like a lens diaphragm problem ( lens stays closed down to F16 and that is why you have a dark viewfinder ). Remove lens and see if you can activate the aperture mechanism via the activator which protrudes from the rear of the lens. You should get nice and brisk action from the aperture . If the movement is sluggish or the lens stays fully closed then your lens needs attention.