Notables who used an SRT 101

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Shawn Dougherty, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    Minolta SRT 101

    I've been looking to get back into 35mm for a 'carry all the time camera' as well as picking up where I left off with my night photography a few years ago. I was going to go Nikon but after a setback with a body and the announcement of the Df (and it's ability to take even non AI lenses) it seemed like a rather expensive path back into a 35mm SLR system. Pentax (the system I regret selling a few years ago) lenses are still kinda high so I decided to go Minolta. I wanted 100% view finder coverage, a manual shutter and mirror lock up. Being built like a tank is also a plus. So....

    I ended up with a minty looking late model Minolta SRT 101 for next to nothing. After doing some reading I discovered that W. Eugene Smith used this camera for his "MINAMATA" work which got me wondering if there were any other notable photographers who used this camera over the years?

    Yes, yes... any camera can make good pictures; it's the photographer; only the image matters. I'm well aware of these facts. =) I'm just curious.

    Thanks in advance!

    Shawn
     
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  2. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    Well, there's me ... :tongue:
     
  3. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    :D I can see why. It seems like a great camera. Tough and simple. Everything you need, nothing to get in the way.
     
  4. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    Annie Leibovitz described it as 'her first real camera'.

    I also noticed recently that the 35mm shift lens now sells for more than I paid for it when new!

    Bests,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    My wife worked in, and then managed a camera store during the mid 70's. She said the SRT-101 was their best selling camera far and away to the extent that they sold them more by the pound than by the unit! :wink: BUT, they also took them in for repair in those volumes as well. I had one, and loved it.
     
  6. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I passed up a clean one, at a local thrift store for $20. I sort of wish I had snagged it, but I have cameras using three mounts already and didn't need a fourth. I hadn't seen one in decades, and had forgotten just what nice cameras they are. Rokkor lenses can be very good, too.
     
  7. kb3lms

    kb3lms Subscriber

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    Picked two up last winter and love it. The meter is broken in one but everything else works fine. The other even came in the original box. Both came with a 50mm Rokkor f/1.2. How can you go wrong?

    I think it makes for or 5 mounts for me. So what!
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    I'm in recovery.:wink: 39mmLTM, 42mm, and Nikon will suffice to get me in plenty of trouble.:laugh:
     
  9. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I put the SR-T and Spotmatic in that same favored class where price was not really an object but quality was profound. It is a bit like the Buicks of the 50s and 60s: priced well under the luxury class but 'those in the know' knew that the quality was truly there. The marketplace affirmed this. After years of doing minor (stress minor) repairs I can gladly affirm that those two cameras, overall, gave me the least problems.

    But, of course, if there are newcomers here who want to read that as affirmation that they should get one of those, and ONLY one of those, I say this: Watch your mileage! An overly used Spotmatic or SR-T WILL give you problems a lot sooner than will a newish Yashica, Autoreflex, or, yes, even Zenit (ie, one that actually had quality control). - David Lyga
     
  10. Randy Moe

    Randy Moe Member

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    I shot my Dad's Pentax H3 for 50 years, Sunny 16 only. Gave it to a nephew who promptly lost it and I have replaced it, with the jewel like, Pentax MX, which I will never let go.

    Shot a Minolta 16 and contact printed the negs when I was 9 in 1960, I wasn't allowed to get an enlarger. :sad:
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    David, these camera are all 35+ years old. Even if they've never had a roll of film in them, they're likely to give trouble due to old lubricants.
     
  12. Pioneer

    Pioneer Subscriber

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    I have read a number of times that this was a photographers starter camera, and it is certainly capable enough to use in a professional role. I have one as well and consider it a fine camera. Mine has been very reliable but I do know people who have had problems with the film advance.
     
  13. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    No, von Hoegh, you would be surprised with how new they look and act when cared for. I have been acquainted with enough (dozens and dozens) of them to assert this, unequivocally. Actually there are no lubricants in the Spotmatic or SR-T. The gears are clean, that's all. I've taken apart many to confirm this.

    Problems with film advance happen with all cameras. Pioneer, maybe the SLR in question had too much mileage, or, perhaps, something tiny got lodged in the works. I once had a pristine SR-1 (the predecessor to the SR-T) and a tiny screw got into the curtain area and tore a tiny hole. But, yes, even these quality cameras develop problems with shutter and film advance if overworked with either so much use or, even if 'newish', grit lowering its effective life. Work cleanly.

    And, Randy, I literally lust for the H series Pentaxes. I think that they are the epitome of artistic design and I utterly love their simplicity and durability. The mirror's ease with getting scratches is an Achilles' Heel sort of (corrected with the Spotmatic and thereafter) but the H series I will buy forever. - David Lyga
     
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  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    David, I have the service manuals for the H1a, H3v, SP-1000 and SP-500. I can assure you that there are many points for lubricants, as you will see if you look at the same literature (which is easily downloadable).

    After several decades, lubricants dry up, spread out, etc. That's why they are dry, and wearing at an accelerated rate. Also, according to the Pentax service literature, the gears associated with the shutter are supposed to run with dry teeth and only the barest spot of lube on the pivot points.
     
  16. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    Cool! Thanks, David.

    I just found out that it was Mathias Van Hesemans first camera and he still has it. =)

    Thanks for all the info fellows. Mayhaps I will find out who "THE" Minolta repairman is and send it in for a service.

    Shawn
     
  17. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    von Hoegh, I think that the lubricants must have been VERY spartan with these cameras. If they dried out, one would see residue. I have even opened one's that had gotten little use, flushed them out with lighter fluid, and did NOT replace any lubricants. After years, still fine. Perhaps on the pin that spins the gear or roller for the curtain. Honestly, lubricant is sparse but, according to your manuals, 'there', (albeit in tiny quantities). - David Lyga
     
  18. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

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    I don't know about Pentax but the sr and srT line used no lube. I've cracked open many srT's and found all to be free of lube. Dirt over years of use is what causes problems with this line.
     
  19. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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  20. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    As a young teen, I had what can only be called LUST for the Beseler Topcon Super D, the world's first commercial SLR with TTL metering, a pro grade beast with the rugged durability of the Nikon F (but with TTL metering built in). Now, over 45 years later, I have managed to acquire FOUR of these cameras (all with serial numbers of the original version Super D the 4xxx, not the later version 7xxx built in the late 60's/early 70's, as well as one of its smaller brothers the Beseler Topcon D-1. I ran film thru all five bodies, to check the shutter speed accuracy...and all five are perfectly accurate throughout the speed range, with zero evidence of slow shutter speed or inconsistency. Thirty-seven years ago, I bought an Olympus OM-1, and I still have that body. And its shutter speeds are accurate, too. Six purely mechanically timed shutter cameras, all accurate. One would think that lubricants in all six bodies would, by now, gum things up. I cannot account for the tested accuracy in spite of lubricant-gumming time...except for the fact that there was no lubricant! My (owned for all this time) 47 year old Beseler Topcon Auto 100, made for the amateur market and having leaf shutter, does have shutter timing issues.
     
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  21. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I don't believe the SRT's - or for that matter any manual Minolta, had a 100% coverage. Of all the manual SLRs, I am only aware of the Nikon F, F2 & F3 as having 100% viewfinder coverage. Did you mean viewfinder magnification?
     
  22. Photo-gear

    Photo-gear Member

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    Regarding "notables" having one camera or another, I think this criteria should never have an influence on someone looking for it.
     
  23. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Lucien Clergue once photographed a model in my back yard. I was surprised to see him use a handheld Minolta x-370 that he carried in a small airline (probably a promotional) bag. And he was doing in camera double exposures over paintings he previously photographed in museums. As has been mentioned it's not the camera it's the photographer who makes the image.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  24. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    I have the repair manual or the Super D and found a few places in which their very low weight oil is used, and two places where some grease is used. Why my camera shutters check out OK after decades seems rather remarkable in view of this, although the locations of lube seem to be in areas not associated with timing gear trains.
     
  25. Shawn Dougherty

    Shawn Dougherty Subscriber

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    Which I why I stated the following in my original post.

    I found out W. Eugene Smith had an SRT 101 only after I bought the camera and was curious who else might have used it. I believe curiosity may well be the most important quality of any artist working in any medium. I also enjoy history, which I believe is pretty important, too...
     
  26. leicarfcam

    leicarfcam Member

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    One photographer who used the srT-101 in the 70's and 80's who's work is now considered child porn because his subjects were nude teens by many is David Hamilton.