Minolta SRT101 - Any good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ted_smith, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Hi

    Been given a Minolta SRT101 body with an Minolta MC Rokkor-PF f1.7 lens from my Aunt who used to do photography back in the 60's.

    She also gave me Minolta SR-3 with f1.4 lens.

    Are either of them any good (in terms of camera quality) or should I sell it or even throw it out?

    Ted
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    They were excellent cameras the Chinese even made copies up until quite recently. It's worth using or selling they were amongst the first decent Japanese SLR's to be sold in the UK in the early 60's.

    Ian
     
  3. Time Freeze

    Time Freeze Member

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    The Minolta SRT cameras are great mechanical cameras. The lenses are also very good. You probably won't get much by selling them but don't throw them out. Load them up with film and try shooting with them. The results will tell you how good the cameras are. If you decide you don't want them, I am sure someone on this site will offer to take them off your hands. I like shooting with a camera that is all mechanical. John
     
  4. wayne naughton

    wayne naughton Member

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    whatever you do, don't throw 'em out....send them down here if nobody wants them...grin. I still use mine.

    wayne
     
  5. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    I sold these as a kid in my Dad's camera store in Surrey. We used to put all the processing that was delivered overnight into small albums, (the type with the slits for each corner). We'd get to the shop at 5 - 5:30 am to do this. I vividly recall starting one package and stopping to show my father what great quality the photos were. We checked the name and it was a customer who'd recently purchased a 101 from us. The fact that these prints, out of probably 70 or 80 films, stood out to a teenager at 5:30 on a Saturday morning tells me more about the quality of this camera and the Rokkor lenses than any advertising hype!!

    Bob H
     
  6. BobNewYork

    BobNewYork Member

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    P.S. Ted
    My sister lives in Pentrich, (Nr. Alfreton) - She and her husband'll be in The Dog or The Butchers if you need to contact her!!

    (And she'' kill me if she ever reads this!!!!)

    Bob
     
  7. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    They are both fine cameras. The 101 needs the zinc air 1.3v battery but they are pretty easy to find. They DO go out of calibration, so these two might need a CLA. Test the slower shutter speeds by ear, check to be sure the shutters are opening and closing properly, and give them a try.

    They may lead you down the path to "the greatest manual focus 35mm SLR ever made" the Minolta X-700. They were still being made as late as 1999, which is when I bought one of mine.
     
  8. C A Sugg

    C A Sugg Member

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    Is the 1.4 with the SR-3 a 58mm? Amazing, quirky lens, at least the one I picked up recently is. Sharp, but with relatively low contrast (suspect flare) and will produce every artifact in the book, including "donuts" with distant light souces that suggest a mirror lens.
    I've been given 2 in recent years, an srT201 and a nice black 101. The latter came with 35 2.8, 50 1.7 and135 3.5. Sadly the lenses the lenses were all gummed up for lack of use. The cameras were working fine except for the dead meters. Is that common to old Minoltas?
     
  9. One_DaveT

    One_DaveT Member

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    Common in that era is to use a non-voltage regulated CdS cell for the metering system. Non-voltage regulated meant they relied on the constant voltage of a mercury cell which are no longer available. Alkaline are not quite as consistent. CdS cells don't have the same longevity as current silicon. I recently replaced the dying CdS cell in my 1972 vintage F2 for another 40+ years of usage.

    I believe the SRT101 required mercury cells, which you may need to use hearing aid batteries or get one of those Gossin adaptors, or else use on an external light meter.
     
  10. DarkroomExperimente

    DarkroomExperimente Member

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    this is so nice to hear! I got a SRT101 in a box of cameras from an estate auction a year or so ago....haven't used it much, but it's always great to use a good mechanical SLR for a change
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    The SRT is the later, better camera; probably has a better lens and has a very sophisticated (for the time) contrast-compensating exposure system. But the SR-3 has the "cachet" of being an older camera. IIRC, the early SRs had a lens diaphram that had to be re-opened from stop-down by resetting a small lever. I may be wrong.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Keep those cameras! Great cameras, highly reliable and structurally strong. They will work in extremely cold weather long after other battery operated cameras give up.

    Steve
     
  13. ted_smith

    ted_smith Member

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    Thanks for that guys - interesting indeed.

    I've done a bit of Googling and found some interesting links :

    The SRT-100 manual : http://www.urmonas.net/manuals/srt101/srt101.html
    A Camerpedia Listing : http://www.camerapedia.org/wiki/Minolta_SRT_101#Photobloggers_Using_the_SR-T_101
    The Camera Site : http://www.thecamerasite.net/01_SLR_Cameras/Pages/minoltasrt.htm

    I was interested to read about them. Features we take for granted today, like overall matrix metering, these cameras were clearly the forerunners. I'm not sure if I'll be able to use them - my Nikon F5 seems more straight forward!

    The most interesting thing of all was I found a roll of rewound colour film in the SRT-101. My uncle died about 3 years ago, and he hasn't done photography for over 20 years, so I'm not sure if the film could be developed? If so, I might try to get it developed to give the prints to my aunt, his widow. She'd love to see them, whatever they are of. Landscapes I expect.

    Ted
     
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  15. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    If you don't want them; give them to me! (he, he, he)
     
  16. andrewc

    andrewc Member

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    I've just recently discovered how nice they are. I bought two SRT-102 bodies at a flea market, and after a few minor repairs they're as good as new...almost. I've got the Rokkor-X 50/1.7, a Rokkor-X 50-135/3.5, a Minolta Celtic 28/2.8, and an MC Rokkor-X PG 50/1.4 on the way. I love using these cameras so much that my Canon DSLR and EOS 1vHS have been sitting idle in their bags for some time now (with occasional exercise). The Rokkor and Celtic lenses are impressively sharp and the camera itself is a joy to use. On the 102 you can see all of your vital info in the viewfinder and make adjustments without taking your eye away from the viewfinder. On top of all of that, the CLC exposure system works very well, exposing difficult scenes with no problem. I'm in love with the SRT system!

    Andy
     
  17. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    All I can says I'd that these suckers a built like tanks. Never had an SR but the sr-T101 is sweet. I used mine for four years with a hand held Weston Master meter until I decided to get a battery only to find out the meter was non functional. Not like it mattered. Have fun.
     
  18. mikebarger

    mikebarger Subscriber

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    I doubt there are any name brand cameras, and probably not many no names, that aren't more capable of taking good pictures than the operator.

    :smile:

    Mike
     
  19. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Ted Smith;

    Three (3) things:

    (1.) There is a Minolta Manual Focus Special Interest Group right here on APUG. Look for them over in the heading under "GROUPS."

    (2.) The Minolta SR-T 101 is a very nice camera. As a mechanical camera, it can be kept working for years with an occasional CLA every once in a while. All the battery does is run the light meter. There are some different ways of getting the light meter to work if you want to do that. Contact me for specific information on how to do them. Some are very simple, but cost a few dollars. Some are less expensive, but may require some work on your part.

    (3.) Regarding the Minolta SR-3, please add my name to the list of people to be contacted if you ever decide to make it available to other people who also appreciate older Minolta cameras. I admit that I am ready to arm wrestle almost any other photographer for a chance to use an SR-3.
     
  20. Uncle Bill

    Uncle Bill Subscriber

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    I have a SRT 202 and it's a nice tank with a really good meter. I have the later MC 50 f1.4 lens. Give it a test drive.

    If you don't want the SR-3 you can always send it over the Atlantic to me:smile:.

    Bill
     
  21. ath

    ath Member

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  22. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    They are great. For what they cost, they are one of the best bangs for the buck out there. Even if you don't use it much, keep it on hand just to have a Minolta body around in case some nice lenses fall your way for a bargain.
     
  23. Pompiere

    Pompiere Member

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    They are very rugged cameras. Two years ago, my SRT-200 fell out of the back of my truck, about a four foot drop onto pavement. I picked it up and couldn't see any damage, so I kept on using it for the rest of my vacation. It was several months later when I tried to put a flash on the hot shoe, that I found one side of the shoe smashed down so the flash wouldn't fit. Everything still works fine, and after I pried the hot shoe back up, I can use it, too. I use alkaline batteries. I have checked the SRT against other cameras, and it is always within 1/2 stop.
     
  24. mjs

    mjs Member

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    The SRT-101 is still one of my all-time favorite 35mm cameras. The battery problem can be dealt with and the lenses are just superb. The cameras are rugged, reliable, very easy to use, and include features you don't often fine today such as mirror lock-up and depth of field preview. I still use mine and have just 're-inherited' my SRT-102 from my younger daughter as she's decided that her digital is all she needs. Whoopie!

    Mike
     
  25. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    They are great!. I calibrated the meter in mine against a hand held meter using the ASA setting. Give it a try. They are great cameras and lenses. You can use them without batteries with a hand held meter. You are going to be amazed.
     
  26. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I have an SRT101. It is built like a tank. All of my MD lenses from my X-700's fit it as well. A great camera system indeed.