Minolta SRT's -- Gotta Love 'Em.

Nokton48

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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 :cool:

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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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

R.
 
Not Cheap Nor Common- The Minolta SR-M.

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 :cool: 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-Grip-/230649808399?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item35b3ccc60f
 

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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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.

~Joe
 
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!
 
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...
 
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 :cool:

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 :D
 
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.
 
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-...554410893?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item2561c9e38d


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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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.
 
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.
 
Two Black SRT101s.

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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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..
 
Well-Brassed SRT101b.

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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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.
Regards,
Brett
 
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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