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Minolta SRT's -- Gotta Love 'Em.
Old 09-10-2011   #1
Nokton48
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Minolta SRT's -- Gotta Love 'Em.

Well I just picked up another Minolta SRT in the RFF classifieds (for $40!). It's the SRT-202, which was the last of the line, and had the most features of any SRT. Camera is in great condition, although I did re-do the foam seals, in the mirror return, and back door. Good as new, ready to use. It even came with an EPX625 battery in good shape

This got me thinking about how much I enjoy using my SRT's. Really great cameras, and not expensive, either. I started out using SRT's in the 70s for newspaper work, then moving to Canon F1s, Nikon F/F2s, Leica, etc. But I have returned to the SRT.
The Rokkor lenses also work just great with my two Nex3s.

On the left, is the SRT100 I bought new (at the local camera store) in 1973, now covered in Cameraleather Green Kangaroo. Attached is the 100mm f2.5 MC Rokkor (this lens is extraordinarily sharp). On the right is my new SRT202, with my 21mm F2.8 MC Rokkor.
Today I'm running some Efke 25 through the bodies, to shake 'em out.

What's not to like? Any other Minolta SRT users out there?
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Old 09-10-2011   #2
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they're a bit big IMO, but they are TANKS.

good lenses, too. here is my srT-101 + 58/1.2 combo (the only srt gear I own). If only this lens could be converted to OM though =/


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Old 09-10-2011   #3
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Lovely cameras, beautifully built, but you have to hunt around for lenses. 'Mainstream' cameras (Nikons and, for a bargain, Nikkormats) are now silly-cheap and with a vastly bigger lens choice. I can see how you'd get hooked on the chase -- INCREDIBLE value for money -- but equally it's more hassle than I want to get into. Which means, of course, that there are all the more bargains for people like you who put in the 'sweat equity'. Good luck!

Cheers

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Old 09-10-2011   #4
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Roger,

Minolta lenses are common and CHEAP in the USA.
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Not Cheap Nor Common- The Minolta SR-M.
Old 09-10-2011   #5
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Not Cheap Nor Common- The Minolta SR-M.

This is the "Pro" model SRT, the motor-driven SR-M. At least as good as anything I have ever used. This is the camera I lusted after, when I was in High School. Now, I have one. Actually, I am looking for the 250 exposure Back for it I know a photographer who worked his whole career for LIFE Magazine and ROAD & TRACK, who swore by the SRM. The attached 16mm F2.8 MC Rokkor Fisheye is also worth some coin. Some of Minolta's classic lenses have achieved an almost "cult status". Not to be sneezed at.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Minolta-SRM-...item35b3ccc60f
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Old 09-10-2011   #6
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Haven't used mine in a while, but the cameras and lenses are great. The only thing I am not crazy about is the meter switch on the bottom of the camera -- very easy to forget to turn off.
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Old 09-10-2011   #7
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Roger,

Minolta lenses are common and CHEAP in the USA.
Dear Chris,

I'm sure you're right, and I don't think it's very different in the UK. But I think there's a difference in age here. When I was your age, I enjoyed the thrill of the chase too, the more so as it was in pre-eb*y times. But as I grew older, I preferred to spend more time taking pictures and less time chasing cameras; which I think reflects your experience too, even though you are 25 years or so younger than I.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-10-2011   #8
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Quote:
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Dear Chris,

I'm sure you're right, and I don't think it's very different in the UK. But I think there's a difference in age here. When I was your age, I enjoyed the thrill of the chase too, the more so as it was in pre-eb*y times. But as I grew older, I preferred to spend more time taking pictures and less time chasing cameras; which I think reflects your experience too, even though you are 25 years or so younger than I.

Cheers,

R.
Yeah, I've stopped buying gear unless its something I'll use regularly for my work. I used to think it would be cool to have several classic camera systems like the SRT and Pentax Spotmatic stuff to play with, but it became an exercise in frustration finding old gear that ACTUALLY works. I have an SRT here that I bought on ebay for $30. Cheap, but its worthless because despite being in incredible cosmetic condition, it focuses inaccurately. Having that adjusted is expensive. Half the old lenses I bought used had fungus, or sticky aperture blades. I finally got to where I just wanted to get back to shooting photos with gear that "just works" so I went back to my OM SLRs, Leicas, and Hasselblad.
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Old 09-10-2011   #9
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My first "real" camera - after the Vivitar 110 in secondary school - was an SRT-101B, purchased in Singapore in about 1978. I replaced the body in the late 1980s due to a mechanical problem that the local repair shop couldn't sort out, with an X-370, which I still have.

We (a buddy and myself) wandered into this camera shop in Singapore in 1978, dressed in civilian clothes, intent on buying us some camera gear. We were from the American aircraft carrier that had just anchored off-shore a day prior.

While we were perusing the showcases, in walks a portly, middle-aged gentleman, dressed in smart clothes - a conservative, dark suit if I recall - who eyes us curiously, immediately sizes us up as Yank sailors and, pounding his chest in pride, announces in a loud voice "Me, Russian!" And proceeds to pull out a wad of cash. Of course, this was in the late 1970s, amidst the Cold War. Singapore was one of the few ports where Soviet and American naval ships could anchor together at the same time.

My buddy and myself always figured the gentleman was KGB or GRU or somesuch. So, that's my Minolta SRT story.

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Old 09-10-2011   #10
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I think the Minolta SRT's were underrated back in the day. I had a newspaper photographer friend who wouldn't use anything else ("Just as good as a Nikon but much cheaper" he kept telling me.). My experiences with them have been pretty good. Sticky lens apertures are common these days with the Minolta lenses, I suspect because many of them got so little use. You could buy them at Kmart or Sears, so Minolta sold a ton of them that likely got little use.

Great cameras, though. I still have an SRT201 here, and even though I shot Nikons back then, I always wanted an XK but never got around to it. Enjoy your cameras!
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Old 09-10-2011   #11
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I too have been using srT's since the late 60's and the 70's. These are some of the best SLR's ever made and the Rokkor glass is second to none.

This is my favorite user SLR.

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Old 09-10-2011   #12
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We had a couple of them in high school that you could check out...probably one of the first real cameras I shot with back then...
I found one (SRT 102 w/50mm 1.7) at a garage sale years ago, never really put it to good use...ended up giving it away to a RFF member through one of the Give-away threads...
A great camera to learn on...
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Old 09-10-2011   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokton48 View Post
Well I just picked up another Minolta SRT in the RFF classifieds (for $40!). It's the SRT-202, which was the last SRT, and had the most features of any SRT. Camera is in great condition, although I did re-do the foam seals, in the mirror return, and back door. Good as new, ready to use. It even came with an EPX625 battery in good shape

This got me thinking about how much I enjoy using my SRT's. Really great cameras, and not expensive, either. I started out using SRT's in the 70s for newspaper work, then moving to Canon F1s, Nikon F/F2s, Leica, etc. But I have returned to the SRT.
The Rokkor lenses also work just great on my two Nex3s.

On the left, is the SRT100 I bought new (at the local camera store) in 1973, now covered in Cameraleather Green Kangaroo. Attached is the 100mm f3.5 MC Rokkor. On the right is my new SRT202, with my 21mm F2.8 MC Rokkor.
Today I'm running some Efke 25 through the bodies, to shake 'em out.

What's not to like? Any other Minolta SRT users out there?
I loved the SRT's, I went with them in a shupyard and in a trawler

Concerning the foam, the mirror foam are useless if yu don't care about the noise and the back doors are light sealed even without foam, I never had problem with that

I loved the SRT's but since I have it's father, the SR7, well I prefer the SR7
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Old 09-10-2011   #14
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I loved mine, but it was a short affair. It just did not fit into my hands (same with Leica M3 so maybe I'm weird). Beauty she was indeed.

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Old 09-10-2011   #15
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Anybody have any experience with the 24mm 2.8 VFC? I picked one up in a yard sale a while ago and have used it as a 24. Haven't really figured out how the variable field focus system works.
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Old 09-10-2011   #16
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A long time ago, when I sold Minolta cameras, we had the 24mm VFC. It's straightforward to use, as I recall. The dial adjusts the degree of field curvature, to use it as a straight 24, you use the straight field setting. You can actually see the field curvature change, through the viewfinder, as you dial-in the different settings. The settings are also listed on the depth-of-field scale, so you can scale-focus (at the different settings) with this lens. Very nice lens, quite unique, very rare and of course very expensive.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Minolta-MD-V...item2561c9e38d


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Anybody have any experience with the 24mm 2.8 VFC? I picked one up in a yard sale a while ago and have used it as a 24. Haven't really figured out how the variable field focus system works.

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Old 09-11-2011   #17
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Roger,

Minolta lenses are common and CHEAP in the USA.
Roger Chris is right, Minolta SLR gear is rather common here and a good deal these days. Conversely in the UK I see equipment being sold that is NOT so common here, in particular there is a preponderance of German-made camera equipment (east and west), as well as more FSU gear. Exakta, Praktica, Praktina, Schneider, Pentacon, Vintage Voigtlander, Zorki, Zenit etc. etc. This must clearly be a historical artifact of the original distribution channels, geographic factors, import duties, market positions, and buyer preferences at the time these items were originally sold.
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Old 09-11-2011   #18
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I still go back to my 101 quite often. I learned photography with this camera and really appreciate it every time I pick it up.
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Two Black SRT101s.
Old 09-11-2011   #19
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Two Black SRT101s.

I had both of these cameras overhauled in 2005. I recovered them with "Red Ringneck Lizard" from Cameraleather. On the left is the 50mm F3.5 MC Rokkor Macro, on the right, is the 100mm F3.5 MD Rokkor Macro. Great shooters.
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Old 09-11-2011   #20
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I had both of these cameras overhauled in 2005. I recovered them with "Red Ringneck Lizard" from Cameraleather. On the left is the 50mm F3.5 MC Rokkor Macro, on the right, is the 100mm F3.5 MD Rokkor Macro. Great shooters.
I like the red ringneck cover. This is what I covered my black chrome XD-11 with..
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Well-Brassed SRT101b.
Old 09-12-2011   #21
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Well-Brassed SRT101b.

I also have this one, looking nicely brassed in spots. The SRT101b, I also had this one overhauled in 2005. Interestingly, W. Eugene Smith used the SRT101, for the photography in his famous book "MINAMATA". That's a great book, last year I found a copy in good shape.
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Old 09-13-2011   #22
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They're a very solid camera, but extremely uninspiring inside. I acquired a couple, free, early this year with a dozen lenses of various types. Cleaned up one for my son; the other was jammed. I started to dismantle it for repair, but after getting the top cover off I simply lost interest, the only time this has happened with a repair project so far. Too many rods, levers and cables, and not enough gears. Maybe I've fiddled with too many German SLRs... But there is no doubting the longevity of the Minoltas. Only the occasional jam or leaked battery electrolyte seems to crop up on a regular basis.
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Old 09-13-2011   #23
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Haven't used mine in a while, but the cameras and lenses are great. The only thing I am not crazy about is the meter switch on the bottom of the camera -- very easy to forget to turn off.
With the original mercury batteries it did not seem to matter whether you turned off the light meter. When I first got my SRT101 in 1967 I routinely left the switch on for weeks or even months at a time. I suspected that the meter probably did not draw any current as long as the lens cap was on. When I took the camera in for a CLA about 10 years ago the original battery was still good.
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Old 09-13-2011   #24
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Yeah My new SRT202 came with a still-good Mercury battery. A niiice snag.
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Old 09-13-2011   #25
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That's the rarest Minolta lens I have... Rokkor 35/1.8 MC-W
Now that I think about it, that's the only one I have left
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Old 09-14-2011   #26
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I have the earlier MC version of the 35mm F1.8 Rokkor. Another great SRT vintage lens.

My short term goal is to get these bodies and lenses up and dusted off/running, and start burning film with them again. Each body gets a CRIS battery adapter, SRT Eyecup (the real Minolta one) a TomA Softie (black or chrome), and a Domke Gripper strap, so they all nicely match each other. Oh, and a black nylon hairtie. I hate taking photos of the inside of my scruffy F2 Domke bag!

I also calibrated the individual camera meters, against my Minolta Incident Autometer II, on a key (cloudless) day in direct sunlight, so I was absolutely sure of the actual exposure. A piece of masking tape on the back of each body shows the adjustment factor in EV's. Now I know for sure that all my bodies read real close, except for my SRT100, which was an extra 1/3 stop hot. Now, I know exactly where I am. Interestingly, my motorized SRM does not have an in-camera meter.

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Old 09-15-2011   #27
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I bought 2 SRT 101s at the Navy Exchange at NAS Atsugi, Japan in 1970. One for me and one for my dad. He added the SRT 201 later. I still use them occasionally, they are very nice cameras.



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Old 09-15-2011   #28
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...but at CCG I found a 135mm F2.8 MC Rokkor (one I was looking for!) in Mint condition, perfect glass, nice and in absolutely original condition, for $15. Not bad.
Are they a good thing? I know next to nothing about Minolta lenses. A 135mm f/2.8 MC was in the job lot of lenses I acquired for free, that I passed on to my son.
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Old 09-15-2011   #29
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The 135 2.8 MC and the 3.5 MC are great lenses. Most rokkor tele's I've used were great performers. And for the price you pay, you can never complain.
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Old 09-16-2011   #30
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Made some good progress today. My CRIS adapters (3 of them) arrived, as well as the Domke Gripper strap I needed to finish my new SRT202. Tested my 200mm F4.5 MC Rokkor against my 200mm F3.5 MC Rokkor (which I know has had optical problems). Although I was able to tighten up the looseness in the front of the F3.5, the severe chromatic abberations have not gone away. So that lens is also being tossed into the parts box.

In case you are wondering why I have so many camera bodies, the goal is to have two cameras always loaded with high-speed/Delta 3200, Neopan 1600, two loaded with medium-speed/Eastman XX, Tri-X, and two loaded with slow-speed B&W film/Ilford Pan F, Efke 25, Panatomic-X. That way, I am ready for any type of photographic situation, all the time. About as good as it gets.

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Old 09-16-2011   #31
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You guys have me shopping again. I have 4 SRTs currently, a 102, 201, and a pair of 101s, a black and chrome set. I went looking for a clean 58/1.4 and I don't currently have a Rokkor X 50/1.4 which is my favorite SLR 50.

I may have to close this thread if the GAS gets too bad.
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Old 09-16-2011   #32
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I love my SRT 202 and I need to use it more....
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Old 09-16-2011   #33
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The 135 2.8 MC and the 3.5 MC are great lenses. Most rokkor tele's I've used were great performers. And for the price you pay, you can never complain.
Thanks for that info! I'll make a point of helping my (10yo) son use it, next time he takes his SRT out.
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Old 09-16-2011   #34
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Made some good progress today. My CRIS adapters (3 of them) arrived, as well as the Domke Gripper strap I needed to finish my new SRT202. Tested my 200mm F4.5 MC Rokkor against my 200mm F3.5 MC Rokkor (which I know has had optical problems). Although I was able to tighten up the looseness in the front of the F3.5, the severe chromatic abberations have not gone away. So that lens is also being tossed into the parts box.

Called KEH today and placed another order. A nice 200mm F3.5 MC Rokkor for $30, and while I was at it, I grabbed a 30cm F4.5 MC Rokkor (to replace the one I sold off a few years ago). This is a great lens, very sharp in the center, but a -bit- soft in the corners. But, sharper than the 300mm F5.6 MD Rokkor in the center, and it has a tripod socket (a necessity for me). KEH has a return priviledge, so I will be fine with these lenses.

In case you are wondering why I have so many camera bodies, the goal is to have two cameras always loaded with high-speed/Delta 3200, Neopan 1600, two loaded with medium-speed/Eastman XX, Tri-X, and two loaded with slow-speed B&W film/Ilford Pan F, Efke 25, Panatomic-X. That way, I am ready for any type of photographic situation, all the time. About as good as it gets.
Thanks for your (pre-edit) information, too.
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Old 09-17-2011   #35
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Hey Rover,
If you have four SRTs, then getting a couple of normal MD 1.4s is a really good goal. KEH will have them, if one dosen't turn up on Ebay or at a garage sale. I've been offered Minolta lenses for $5 at camera swap meets.

I bought an SRT/50 1.4/135 2.8/F2 Domke Bag for both of my sons, when they were taking high school photography classes. My younger son wanted an SRT100 (Same camera as Dad) and wanted it covered in Cameraleather Brown Alligator. Older son went for the SRT202, no recovering.

Get 'em going and take 'em out.


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Originally Posted by rover View Post
You guys have me shopping again. I have 4 SRTs currently, a 102, 201, and a pair of 101s, a black and chrome set. I went looking for a clean 58/1.4 and I don't currently have a Rokkor X 50/1.4 which is my favorite SLR 50.

I may have to close this thread if the GAS gets too bad.
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Old 09-17-2011   #36
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I took inventory this morning. I have a beat up 50/1.7 and I even found a nice 58/1.4. I didn't think I had one of those. The chrome 101 and 201 are the cameras my father bought in the late 70s which I learned photography on. I had both serviced a few years back and they are fully operational. I picked up the 102 fully serviced, and the black 101, probably can use a tune up and meter adjustment, but it operating well as is. I have trimmed back my lens kit, keeping the W Rokkor MD 35/1.8 and 24/2.8, as well as my soup cans, MC 58/1.2 and 85/1.7. I also have a Tele Rokkor MC 100 and 135. Sold my longer lenses. Then there are a bunch of other stragglers, MC 28/3.5, a beat up 55/1.7 and 45/2. It is a great line of cameras to collect and use. Great stuff.
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Two New MC Rokkor -Long- Lenses.
Old 09-24-2011   #37
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Two New MC Rokkor -Long- Lenses.

I'm finding uses for longer lenses again.

Just arrived from KEH this week, (on the left) the 200mm F3.5 MC Rokkor, which I picked up for $30. The front end was very loose, but tightened up with jewelers screwdriver. Nice sharp lens, tested it on my Nex3, and it's as good as it can be. I am pleased.

Also from KEH, the 30cm F4.5 MC Rokkor (on the right), shown on my motorized SR-M camera body. It's basically in like-new condition, even came with the original case. It's interestingly marked <EP> so it's a military PX lens.

Both of these "Long Toms" will be getting use this weekend by me.
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Minolta Auto Spot 1 Degree.
Old 10-07-2011   #38
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Minolta Auto Spot 1 Degree.

Cleaning the studio today, I uncovered this SRT-vintage Minolta Auto Spot 1 Degree. Works like new, kinda big and heavy but built like a tank, but WOW does it make a FUNKY noise when the dials oscillate. And as a meter it's deadly accurate.

The perfect compliment to my vintage incident-reading Minolta Autometer.

Need to run to the hardware store, and pick up another chrome metal snap ring, for the Autometer. Best way to carry these around, just clip and unclip to your beltloop. That's a trick I learned back in the 70's, from Bill Pierce, in Camera35 Magazine.
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Old 10-07-2011   #39
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That will soon be classified as a WMD from an alien life form by the Dept of Homeland Security.

Time to go to Threat Level Ecru.
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Old 10-07-2011   #40
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It's the SRT 201 with the 58 mm Rokkor PF /1.4, and 135mm Celtic MC/3.5 given me that got me started back into film photography.

More often than not, I was told, "it won't turn out...", and then to have the picture come out to proof the doubtful wrong.

It's a great tool for learning and for solid reliability.
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