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View Poll Results: Preference?
Argus C3 5 4.76%
Minolta SRT-101 60 57.14%
Canon AE-1 Program 40 38.10%
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Minolta SRT-101 vs. Canon AE-1 Program
Old 04-09-2012   #1
Film noob
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Minolta SRT-101 vs. Canon AE-1 Program

So I just purchased both of these cameras the Canon SLR camera comes with a 35-70mm zoom lens. The Minolta SRT comes with a flash, Minolta 50mm, 135mm and Soligor 200mm lens. Both of these cameras I hardly know anything about, but was told they are both great cameras. Undoubtably better than my Argus C3 with the stock 50mm lens with a broken aperture speed dial. I was wondering if anyone had some good info or tips on my new cameras/lenses. I'm going to be using black and white film and enlarging/processing my own fiber based paper. Thanks for the help ahead of time. You guys are the best!
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Old 04-09-2012   #2
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This thread should cover any SRT question you may have.

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=110411
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Old 04-09-2012   #3
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The Canon has an integrated circuit for exposure calculation that fires the shutter electronically. So, in theory, it may be a more sophisticated camera. But ask any camera repair shop and they will tell you that once the chip in the AE-1 dies, there are no replacements to be had.

Conversely, the Minolta SRT-101 is a simpler mechanical camera body with match-needle TTL metering that's dependent on its operation from an old mercury cell battery. But the shutter fires mechanically, meaning that in lieu of the correct battery you can use an external handheld meter and set the camera manually.

This is not to say that the mechanical Minolta is any more reliable than the Canon, it's just that in the case of needing repair donor parts from other Minolta bodies can often suffice, whereas that's not necessarily the case with dead chips in the Canon.

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Old 04-09-2012   #4
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If you appreciate fine mechanical objects, then you will prefer the SRT-101. Not to mention the fact that you will be using some superb Minolta prime optics. Zoom lenses from the Canon FD era usually won't hold a candle to a Minolta (or Canon FD) prime lens.
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Old 04-09-2012   #5
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JoeV is correct on the canon. They just die or some just drain the battery really fast and become a paper weight. The Minolta primes are also excellent far better than the equivalent canon primes. If you can find one for a decent price the 58mm 1.2 will knock your socks off.
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Old 04-09-2012   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
........The Minolta primes are also excellent far better than the equivalent canon primes.......
Far better? Care to show us some evidence to prove this assertion? And I don't mean anecdotal evidence or personal opinion.

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Old 04-09-2012   #7
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The A series Canons, quite competent and well made though they are, are electronic and so subject to the availability of circuit boards. Also, I've never been a fan of the fiddliness of trying to use the depth of field preview on these cameras.

The Canon lenses are top rate. The Rokkors don't cede anything to them, however, and the Rokkors are known for really nice out of focus effects.
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Old 04-09-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackinaw View Post
Far better? Care to show us some evidence to prove this assertion?
If this forum existed circa 1985, we'd have ourselves a nice Minolta vs. Canon flame war

Instead, the SLR producers with the best SLR lenses have long disappeared (Contax, Leica, and to a lesser degree Minolta & Olympus), and we are left with the companies that always had the largest marketing budget (not the best gear).

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Old 04-09-2012   #9
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One other question I had was if there were any of you that could point me in the right direction for tips with the lenses. I would like to be semi prepared befor they arive in the next few days. With the C3 All I can use is the sunny f.16 rule, as I have not purchased a light meter. But what I read maybe a light meter may be a bad idea. As they take the refection of light from an object, and can degrade quite quickly. As you may be able to tell I am fairly new to all of this as my name entails...
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Old 04-09-2012   #10
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/290693449697...84.m1497.l2649

Is the link to the SRT-101 I purchased
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Old 04-09-2012   #11
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I can recommend John Titterington for repairs/CLAs of classic SLRs very highly. His site has his contact info and some repair tips for many cameras.

http://www.geocities.com/~titterington/camera-repair/

For Minolta lens information I can recommend the Rokkor Files. Also check out the RFF thread I linked in my first reply. There is a lot of good info there regarding the SRTs.

http://www.rokkorfiles.com/equipment.htm
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Old 04-09-2012   #12
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Thanks for the input I have been reading both the link and the rokkor files. Interesing stuff.
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Old 04-09-2012   #13
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I wrote this in another thread this past weekend. Just my personal opinions of a couple lenses.

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The 50/1.7 like similar lenses from all makers is the bread and butter, simple good lens. Top notch in my book are the MD W.Rokkor-X 24/2.8 and 35/1.8. Both lenses were developed during Minolta's period of cooperation with Leitz. The 24 has a shared optical formula with the R 24/2.8. The MD Rokkor-X 50/1.4 (55mm filter ring) is my favorite SLR fast 50. I am a fan of the 100mm focal length over 135, and the MC Tele Rokkor-X 100/2.5 is the one in my kit. The MC 58/1.2 is just full of great character, and the MC 85/1.7 is similarly attractive. The MC 58/1.4 is a very good lens too.
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Old 04-09-2012   #14
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"I can recommend John Titterington for repairs/CLAs of classic SLRs very highly."

I agree, what a great guy. I have him set up my SRTs with the standard 1.35 volt and use a converter, because I find the meter is more accurate, specifically more linear across its scale than with the regular adjustment for 1.5v alkaline.
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Old 04-09-2012   #15
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Srt 102 is better than Srt 101 i think. Split image focusing screen, aperture info,...
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Old 04-09-2012   #16
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Personal opinion........I feel the Rokkor and Rokkor-X lens beat the Canon manual focus lens.

I also find it interesting that many Canon users are buying Rokkor-X lens and converting them to Canon mount

I am a long time srT user. I just bought 2 more off eBay..

The Canon AE-1 and AE-1 Program just doesn't feel right in the hand.. Too much plastic....and that %$*&**@## Canon squeak!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-09-2012   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Film noob View Post
So I just purchased both of these cameras
If you have both of them, shoot Delta 100 with all the lenses, develop in Beutler and you will see what is going on right on your prints. With lenses of that age there is no way to say, that Rokkor 50 will beat the rest. It should, but who can be sure it is still pristine internally. I shoot only with lenses of that vintage; FD, SR, Pentax, Yashica, M42 and met quite a few with no visible damage, but internally not OK. Only a good test will show it's worth.
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Primes
Old 04-09-2012   #18
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Primes

I think that any prime lens from that era was far better than those early zooms. Were Minolta primes better than Canons? I won't stick my nose into that fight, definately get it broken.
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Old 04-09-2012   #19
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Either one are good cameras, I have had and used several of each. I have never had an issue of reliability in the dozen or so AE1 Program cameras I have used, all have worked regardless of their physical appearance. The AE1 is susceptible to a squeaky mirror problem, but this is not difficult to fix. Not all Canon zooms are bad, the difference in IQ between a zoom and a prime is small enough that most people would never notice the difference. There are also many FD lenses to choose from.

Even though I think the AE1 is a great camera, I prefer the Minolta SRT series. I have a couple of black paint SRT 101 and Super cameras. I love the style of their design, and their simple mechanical operation. I just wish there were more lenses available for the SRT.
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Old 04-09-2012   #20
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Quote:
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I just wish there were more lenses available for the SRT.
Minolta has a somewhat full line of lens. All of the lens listed will work fine on the srT's. Check the below link..

http://eazypix.de/tinc?key=fvkr3ZFc&formname=lenses
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Old 04-09-2012   #21
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I serviced a Minolta SRT-101 for a member of my wife's family (left by some great aunt who died). Shot a test roll of Tri-X with that Rokkor 55 f1.7 lens IIRC. Really beautiful, was really sad to turn the camera back over.

My holy grail has always been tack sharp, lower contrast lenses, paired with Tri-X and HC-110, scanned with a Coolscan 9000. That Minolta with that Rokkor lens was superb for the type of black and white I love to shoot.

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Old 04-09-2012   #22
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Having used everything that you posted I would dispose of the Argus unless it came in a color other than black then use it as an ornament. As for the Canon: It is a starter kit. Go with a 50mm Canon lens which is supposedly better but I have never taken to Canon. The Minolta lenses have a pastel look in color. Since you have two cameras designate the Canon for B&W and the Minolta for color. I know that you said you will only be using B&W but the Minolta does have very good color rendition which I prefer over the Canon's, which is pretty good, too.
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Old 04-09-2012   #23
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You don't want to drop one of these cameras on your toe..all metal build with brass top and bottom covers to boot..........



101_102 by Colyn's fotografs, on Flickr
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Old 04-09-2012   #24
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Take a look also at this:
http://www.rokkorfiles.com/
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Old 04-09-2012   #25
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Some of my best photos came from a AE-1 w/ an FD 50 1.8 lens. You can pick these lenses up for $30 or less, and they're excellent performers. It's a fine little camera, and the meter is accurate, so no need to buy a hand held one. Some have the infamous Canon "squeek", a noise when the shutter trips, but I've never heard one that was THAT bad. It's not a difficult fix anyway.

The Minolta cameras are good, but I was underwhelmed by the two 135mm lenses I tried. People say that's one of Minolta's better lenses, but I compared an early one and the last, compact 135. Both had identical IQ, and I liked neither.
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Old 04-09-2012   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
The Minolta cameras are good, but I was underwhelmed by the two 135mm lenses I tried. People say that's one of Minolta's better lenses, but I compared an early one and the last, compact 135. Both had identical IQ, and I liked neither.
I never cared for the 135mm in any brand. I have the 100mm then jump to the 200mm.

It just seems like a useless focal length but it is popular among many users.

I only have primes in part because zooms are in my opinion less than great performers. Most I have used except for the 70-210mm f/4 Minolta lens delivered poor quality..
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Old 04-09-2012   #27
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I never understood why the Minolta is so highly regarded, so I got one and now it's even harder to understand. Yes, it is manual, but flimsy. My first camera that I bought for my own hard earned pocket money was a Canon AE-1 with a 50mm f1.8 lens. A well designed, simple camera that inspired me to take great photos. Shouldn't have traded it for a Rollei SLR...
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Old 04-09-2012   #28
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which camera did you get?

the controls on my SRT-101 are akin to a dead fish; floppy.

but, the camera itself is tough as nails and the lenses are really nice.

oh, and here is my reason for holding on to such a brute of a camera:


Untitled by redisburning, on Flickr


Untitled by redisburning, on Flickr

the 58/1.2
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Old 04-09-2012   #29
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Had the S-RT101 and still have a S-RT100x - I would have liked them more if I they came with a 58mm/f1.2 ;-)
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Old 04-10-2012   #30
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So I just developed my first roll of KMax 100 b&W from the Argus C3. Out of the 24 possible negatives I think about 5-6 were good enough to throw in my enlarger and attempt to develope. With the faulty shutter speed dial its pretty much a toss up as to wether or not a picture is going to come out. Pretty sure its going to become a nice piece for the top of my bookshelf. As far as the Canon, I recieved it yesterday in the mail. Beautiful camera, good shape, not much noise from the mirror and came with original flash, bag and manual. I think I made out well, got the package for roughly 40 dollars. Ill run a test roll through it this weekend when I take the GF and dog out camping. Ill post a few pictures from each. You guys are greatly appreciated!
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Old 04-10-2012   #31
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Oh and as far as color goes. I'm actually deploying to Afghanistan in May for 3 months, so I will probably give color a try when I get back. But thanks for the ideas.
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Old 04-10-2012   #32
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I've had SRT's with floppy parts, but never after a good CLA. The controls should be rock solid, with no play at all. They are not flimsy IMO.

A very good source for lenses and accessories is keh


http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-35m...de=MI&bco=530&


If you don't like something, you can send it back for a refund, which I have done plenty of times. Enjoy your new stuff!
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Old 04-10-2012   #33
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I'm going to go against the grain here and say the canon is a better system. The lenses especially are better. Minolta has a very good 58mm f1.2, but thats about it. The 35mm f1.8 is beat by canons 35mm f2 (concave element), the 24's are beat by canons 24mm f1.4L, and the 85's are beat by canons 85mm f1.2L. Even the 58mm f1.2 at least equalled by canons 50mm f1.2L.
The canon bodies may be electronic but they're no fuss and very reliable.

After using a few modern minolta primes, I was rather disappointed with their optical quality. Their reputation is far overhyped. The bodies are quite nice though.
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Old 04-10-2012   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colyn View Post
Personal opinion........I feel the Rokkor and Rokkor-X lens beat the Canon manual focus lens.

I also find it interesting that many Canon users are buying Rokkor-X lens and converting them to Canon mount...

!!!!!!!!!!!!
Only because the Canon EF lens either too expensive or too plasticity but they do convert Canon FD, FL lens, Nikon AIs lens, Contax lens, Leica R lens...to EF mount.
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Old 04-10-2012   #35
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Quote:
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I was wondering if anyone had some good info or tips on my new cameras/lenses. I'm going to be using black and white film and enlarging/processing my own fiber based paper. Thanks for the help ahead of time. You guys are the best!
The AE1 runs on modern batteries and if it does the shutter speeds should be perfect (electronically controlled). The SRT is all manual, the speeds are most likely off and you wont find mercury batteries anyhwere.
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Old 04-10-2012   #36
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Quote:
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The AE1 runs on modern batteries and if it does the shutter speeds should be perfect (electronically controlled).
And when the speeds are off which is as often as any mechanically controlled speeds they are impossible to bring back into spec unless you have the proper equipment to adjust the several variable resisters. This equipment by the way is very expensive.

Quote:
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The SRT is all manual, the speeds are most likely off and you wont find mercury batteries anyhwere.
As with any mechanically controlled shutter whether it be Minolta or whatever brand it is easy to adjust back into specs with very simple equipment after a good CLA..

Who needs mercury batteries??? My srT's work fine with silver oxide batteries and the meter is accurate..
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Old 04-10-2012   #37
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For more on the Minolta:
http://web.archive.org/web/200703120...olta/index.htm

There are a lot of great inexpensive used manual focus Minolta lenses on ebay (just shop carefully) becuase they can't be used on autofocus film cameras or digital cameras. The MD Zoom Rokkor-X 35-70mm f3.5 and MD Zoom 70-210 f4 lenses are excellent (developed jointly by Minolta and Leica, also issued by Leica as Leitz lenses).
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Old 04-10-2012   #38
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There are a lot of great inexpensive used manual focus Minolta lenses on ebay (just shop carefully) becuase they can't be used on autofocus film cameras or digital cameras.
Actually Minolta MC, MD, and newer manual focus lens as well as the older auto rokkor's can be used on some digital cameras. I use mine on my Olympus E-PL1 micro 4/3 digital camera via the glassless MC/MD to micro 4/3 adapter. I've also used them on the Olympus E-300 and the E-620 DSLR's.. Adapters do also exist to mount these lens on the Sony NEX cameras. Again with infinity focus.

The same lens can be used on Minolta autofocus cameras as well as the Sony DSLR but only via an adapter with a glass diopter in order to get infinity.. The problem though is this glass adapter will degrade the image quality.

A few samples of images taken with this camera and my Minolta 50mm f/3.5, 50mm f/1.4, and 200mm f/3.5 lens can be found here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/colyng/
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Old 04-10-2012   #39
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I have & shoot a Canon AE1 program & it's a fine camera. Only problem I ever had was the squeal but with a CLA which cost me 80 bucks the camera is fine. Buy a Canon FD 50/1.4 & you'll put most any other 50 to shame. Don't worry about the circuit board going out. This camera will out last a Leica M8 or M9 and especially a Fuji X100.
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Old 04-13-2012   #40
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I love my Canon AE-1s. When I'm shooting w/ an SLR for whatever reason I always bring one as a backup to the T90. Was also the first 35mm camera I bought for myself, and I currently own 9 of them with about 20 FD lenses. The stuff is just so damn cheap!
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