Well, after what seems like too much hassle, I finally got an XD11 up'n runnin'.
I tried twice on fleabay to get a decent one and basically paid two-way shipping on both to find out that their condition was, shall we say, not quite as advertised - read worn out junk. I've been buying stuff at that popular auction site for a long time and thought I was getting good at it. Both sellers cheerfully refunded my money (less shipping, of course) and both relisted them, eventually. Caveat Emptor!
I ended up getting a beautiful, black 3rd generation model (inward-facing exp comp lever, lower case logo, harder leatherette) from KEH, rated EX+ and boy, it sure is. I have never been disappointed by KEH, once I've gotten over the sticker shock.
I've shot an SRT102 for almost forty years - worn out two of them - don't know why I got the bug for an XD11.
The XD11 makes me want to dress a little better, speak softer, buy better wine... Heh.
I've picked up a few MD lenses. The second generation lenses (quite a bit lighter than my MC lenses) really seem to balance well with the much-lighter XD11. I've run several rolls of Velvia and I'm not seeing much difference in sharpness between the older, classic MC glass and the newer MD models. Coatings look more modern on the MD lenses.
It's taking a little time to get used to the center-weighted meter of the XD11. The ol' CLC metering of the SRT102, for as simple as it is, rivals the matrix metering of my DSLR. Other than that, the XD11's meter is fast and extremely accurate.
The XD11 is really a joy to shoot. The controls are intuitive. It just feels good. Don't know why I waited so long to pick one up.
I totally agree with you re: KEH. I've bought a couple of refurbished x-700's from John Titterington on Ebay. They have come to me looking almost new and they have been calibrated for newer non mercury batteries as well as having the capacitors replaced with more reliable ones.
Good morning, Mike;
Your XD-11 is a nice camera. I have also wondered about an XK, but have contented myself with the X-700 in a couple of different forms and with an array of accessories.
Your comment about wearing out two SR-T 102 bodies does surprise me. I was not sure that could be done. The old workhorse SR-1b had many rolls run through it, but also it did get an occasional CLA. And I admit that any camera body that does come to me also gets to make a trip to my local camera repair shop for a CLA, so I am not really sure what to say about buying other cameras. Usually I will pass them by the camera tester before they go to the shop, mainly so I can tell them what I have found and to ask for specific attention to those areas noticed. Then I also run them through the camera tester upon their return. There was one body I did need to take back for further adjustment, but so far, that was the only one out of the many which have gone in. And, of the fully mechanical Minolta 35mm SLR cameras, the SR-T 102 is also my favorite. It took handling an X-700 with the MD-1 Motor Drive to finally get me to relegate the SR-T 102 to second place for me.
For me, KEH in Atlanta has been a major source of photographic equipment. I have been very happy with my purchases from KEH. I have tried using e-Bay for things that were not available from KEH, but my results with e-Bay have been much less satisfying. In too many cases, things that should have been really obvious to anyone who was actually looking at the camera or lens, never seemed to be noticed and therefore never made it into the description. A camera that seems to work when you fire the shutter once at 1/125 second, but hangs up the second curtain and it never even goes across the focal plane at 1/15 second and slower really should have been noticed. The front element of a lens that just flopped and wiggled around and could not focus clearly should have been noticed. The claim that "the camera works fine but I did not put a roll of film through it" is not something that inspires confidence in me any longer. When it also is listed as being in "used condition," meaning that it is not new, but it is fully functional, it does make me wonder about the selling of photographic equipment on e-Bay.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington
I guess I should have qualified "worn out" a little more. Eventually something would fail that wasn't worth fixing, what with the prices one could pick up nice SRT-102s for in the used market. My first SRT-102, purchased new in 1973 or so finally fell victim to a failed high-speed shutter function, loose film advance mechanism and it got, well, just plain ugly. It saw a lot of hard use. I still have it - sentimental reasons. The second one got to the point where it kept throwing off the cord for the lens aperture follower and would also double-expose shots occasionally if I didn't watch the film rewind knob carefully. That one became a parts camera. Both were fixable, I'm sure, but not real cost effective to do so at the time. The one I have now is a black-bodied model (always lusted for one!) that, when I got it a few years back, looked like it had never been out of the box. Come to think of it, I got that one from KEH. I will have this one CLA'd at some point, as it is such a nice example and works flawlessly.
I've been buying Minolta stuff from fleabay for a long time and it seems like there has been a change over time in this particular niche - probably happening in the overall picture, as well.
Rokkor lenses can now be adapted to some of the 4/3 system digital cameras so they are useful beyond Minolta MF users. There are a lot of ebay entrepreneurs (buy on ebay, resell on ebay) who have picked up on this, I think, so there are a lot more lenses listed by large volume sellers with a high buy-it-now price. Some of these tend to stay listed forever, being automatically relisted when their time runs out. Avid Rokkor collectors have also driven up prices for some of the rarer lenses to stupid-high levels - the RF-250mm is a perfect example of this.
Oh well, whatever the market wil bear. Other than putting some cool lenses out of practical reach for me, I don't have a problem with that. To be honest, if I'm going to throw a grand into photography equipment, it will probably be for something for my digital kit.
The thing that bugs me about the current ebay culture, at least in the camera world (I'm not too familiar with ebay in general), is in item descriptions. A seller can say whatever they want to about an item and not get in trouble with ebay as long as they will refund the buyer's purchase price. In my quest for an XD11 I won one that was listed as mint - the auction went quite high, well over a hundred bucks, so I wasn't the only one that got fooled. The camera was filthy, had mechanical issues and the metering system didn't work. The seller took it back, minus, of course, two-way shipping. Get this - the camera was relisted, once again as mint and once again sold high!
I then bid and won another XD11. This one was listed as 100% functional - the seller's "personal camera" etc. I did get this one for a good price. However, when I got it, the lens mount was screwed up - a lens couldn't be mounted on it. Money refunded (less shipping cost), relisted (no mention of bad lens mount), resold.
So then I've got, like, 40 bucks and two months time into the XD11 quest and no camera. Somewhere along the line I won a 135mm 2.8 MD lens that was full of fungus (very good condition!) that had to go back. Another 15 bucks in shipping down the drain.
S-o-o-o, KEH is starting to look better and better to me for used camera and lens purchases. The XD11 I ended up buying from them is beautiful. I had a problem with KEH a few years ago (they actually sent me the wrong lens) and they covered all shipping costs - and personally apologized. They have a short-term return policy where you can send back an item for any reason and a longer-term warranty where you can return an item if you have problems with it. I spoke to one of their sales folks when I bought the XD11, as it was pretty pricey (for me) and he told me that everything they sell is cleaned up and inspected for function during their rating process. When you compare KEH's prices with the buy-it-now prices listed by ebay dealers, KEH's prices are pretty competitive.
Boy, this rant ended up pretty long-winded - guess I better get back to work...
Good morning, Mike;
Hmmmm. Sounds like your experience with reading the descriptions on e-Bay and then comparing what is actually delivered, really is similar to my experience. Oh, well.
The comment about receiving the camera, noting that clearly it does not meet the statements in the description, sending it back and receiving back only the cost of the item (I will bet that the USPS Parcel Post, UPS, and Fed-Ex guys love e-Bay), and then seeing the very same camera reappear on e-Bay with exactly the same description, really is a disappointment. I would have hoped that human nature would be a bit better than that.
The only good thing I can say now is that I finally do have just about every lens I really need to work with almost any photographic condition I may encounter. There might be a couple more that would be fun to have, but not really anything truly needed. A nice position to finally reach.
There are a couple of early Minolta camera bodies I would like to find, but my enthusiasm for pursuing them seems to have waned. With my disappointment with the last Minolta SR-2, I am almost ready to just say that I have done all I will, and not even worry about the SR-3.
My relationship with KEH over the years has been very good. I have worked with Dan Orchard almost exclusively over that time period, and he has become aware of what I am seeking. It has been very good for both of us, I think. Yes, the price for a KEH camera may be higher than something from e-Bay, but I have found that I need to do it only once with KEH. Often the shipping charges are lower than on e-Bay.
Time to think of going horizontally polarized. There is a tower to climb for a fellow tomorrow morning.
Enjoy; Ralph, Latte Land, Washington