Minolta srt super đánh giá

A recent re-associating with the Pentax Spotmatic F had me pondering about some of the other ‘Golden Oldies’ that have sầu been sitting by the skirting board in my living room for a number of years. Often as not a new purchase would actually be an exercise in stripping down and putting baông chồng together. A number of these cameras were Minolta SRT 101s.

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Minolta SR cameras


Minolta’s SR line began back with the SR-2 in 1958 – this was an unmetered camera which operated a new bayonet mount – one that would only go out of production with Minolta in 1999.

The SR bayonet (often mislabelled as MC or MD) was quite versatile – it allowed open aperture viewing và, when the SRT 101 came around in 1966, lenses designated as Meter Coupled (MC) could also meter wide open, with the camera able lớn detect what aperture the lens was mix lớn. Later incarnations even allowed for multi-mode metering. The one thing they didn’t adapt it to lớn vì was autofocus and Minolta switched lớn a new mount for that in 1985. The SR mount still continued however with the x-700 ending up as one of the most produced manual focus SLRs of all – still bearing the SR mount.

The lenses

The lenses on SR-vintage cameras generally bore the name Rokkor, although some later lenses may just be branded Minolta.


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A brace of SRT 101s with 50milimet f/1.4 Rokkor MD and an earlier 35mm f/2.8 W.Rokkor-HG


The range of Rokkors is extensive, through from 7.5 milimet fish-eye lenses khổng lồ 1600milimet mirror lenses, 600milimet refractive sầu lenses, Macros, Variable soft focus lenses, Variable curvature lenses, shift lenses và superfast f/1.2 standards. Minolta may never have broken inlớn the professional ranks in the same way as Canon và Nikon, but it wasn’t for want of ‘class glass’. Rokkor lenses are very highly regarded.

Minolta specialised in coatings và improved them throughout production. At the same time there was a move over time to reduce cost & weight, so build quality might be perceived lớn be less ‘cast-iron’ on later models. I have always held that there is no such thing as a bad lens – rather, some lenses may have character that is harder lớn fully exploit… In any case, if it says Rokkor or Minolta on the front, it is likely khổng lồ be a nice (or at least interesting) lens.

The SRT series

There were a whole series of SRT bodies, varying subtly in features. The first was the Minolta SRT 101 which carried on in production (with slight name changes) for 15 years as recognizably the same camera. The copy I’m reviewing is an SRT 101 from the early 70s.

The big thing with the Minolta SRT 101 was the full aperture TTL metering – it was also rather clever, using a phối of CdS cells in an exposure formula that Minolta dubbed Contrast Light Compensation (CLC). This worked very well & effectively meant that the camera was not over-influenced by very bright sources of light within the viewfinder – it tried lớn expose for shadows rather than highlights that were likely to lớn blow out in any case (such as street lamps or the sun).

The specification is very good. In addition lớn the open aperture metering and the mirror lockup, the Minolta SRT 101 has a self timer, locking depth of field switch (clichồng khổng lồ lochồng, cliông xã again or take a shot to unlock), a battery kiểm tra and meter switch và a viewfinder that shows you shutter speeds, allows you to set exposure by matching a ‘paddle’ lớn the meter needle và gives you a microprism focusing aid.

A voyage round my Minolta SRT 101

Top plate

The Minolta SRT 101 carried on with the same top-plate layout that had been used by Minolta for SLRs since the SR-2 of 1958. This layout seems to lớn have sầu been inspired by the Leica M3 which has a similar arrangement of a shutter release within the hub of the wind-on lever.


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Minolta SRT 101 top plate layout


Over on the other side of the pentaprism is an engraving for the ‘MINOLTA CAMERA CO. LTD’ và the rewind crank. Pulling up the crank releases the baông chồng and reveals the large film pressure plate.

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Front of house

On the front of the Minolta SRT 101 to lớn the right are the self-timer, which sets by rotating anti-clockwise revealing the start button. On the side of the mirror housing is the mirror lock up, with a plunger below which toggles the depth of field pĐánh Giá on and off if the shutter is cocked (but which goes off automatically on releasing the shutter). On the other side of the mirror box on the front side is the knurled button for unlocking the mount (despite its shape và the knurling, this operates by pushing towards the mount) & on the side, the flash sockets for X and FP synch (all the more important if you have a cold shoe version).

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Underneath

On the base of the Minolta SRT 101 is a centrally positioned tripod mount, a battery chamber, an inphối rewind button và (unusually) a meter switch. This is not the best ever position for a meter switch & it has lớn be operated by pressing a finger against the flat rotary switch và twisting. It works, but it is easy lớn forget to lớn switch the meter off. The switch also includes a ‘BC’ position which deflects the needle in the viewfinder lớn a reference point to lớn confirm that the battery is still good. Unusually (again that word!) the battery chamber cap is not slotted for a coin – instead it is knurled & relies on the pressure of a fingertip while rotating (nobody ever liked their finger tips anyway did they?)

The Viewfinder

The viewfinder of the Minolta SRT 101 gives a fair amount of information. It shows the selected shutter tốc độ at the bottom of the viewfinder, và a needle from the meter on the right, this is matched against a paddle (a circle on an arm) the position of which is affected by both the aperture and shutter tốc độ set. In order khổng lồ vì chưng this the camera needs to transmit a fair amount of information from the shutter tốc độ dial (where both shutter speed and ASA value are set), over to the opposite side of the pentaprism, which is where the meter sits.

While the meter stuff can be done by wiring, the position of the shutter tốc độ dial has lớn be physically transmitted. I was amazed the first time I had one of these Minolta SRT 101s apart to lớn see the little cables & pulleys that achieve sầu articulation of the metering paddle. It says much for quality control that anything that old (and the oldest of them are over half a century old) can still be functioning.

101 variations

Over time

The early Minolta SRT 101s had a ‘cold shoe’ & a mirror lockup. It would seem that the mirror lockup was mainly to accommodate a 21mm super-wide non-retrofocal lens where the rear elements would have interfered with the camera’s (large) mirror, but of course, it was also useful for microscopy và astrophotography. The introduction of later retro-focus wides may (along with cost-cutting) explain the disappearance of the mirror lock-up sometime in the early 70s.

The earliest Minolta SRT 101s use slot head screws for the top and bottom plates and have a black finely knurled shutter speed dial. My SRT 101 is from the second generation (1970-1973), which used cross head screws và had a more coarsely knurled chrome shutter tốc độ dial. It is this series that lost the mirror lockup at some time during production, although my copy still has it.

A reasonably significant change occurred in the late 70s when the camera got a ‘b’ suffix in Europe và a slight name change in other regions (201 in North America và SR101b in Asia/Pacific) – this updated version gets a more conventional depth of field pĐánh Giá button (press and hold, rather than toggle on & off) and lost the CSC metering. This would appear to have been an economy measure, as the CSC system required two CdS cells in different positions, while the ‘b’ used a single cell. The ‘b’ did get a brighter focusing screen though, with a split-image rangefinder in addition khổng lồ the microprism.

Other variants

The same basic body toàn thân was used for cheaper and more expensive sầu variants – one was the first ever SLR with an integral motor drive – the SRM. This could buzz along at 3 frames per second, but lacked TTL metering. A budget Model, called SRT 100 shaved the costs by losing the top shutter tốc độ (maxing out at 1/500) and the shutter speeds in the viewfinder.

In addition to paring away, Minolta introduced a higher-specification Model, which had different names in different markets – 102 in North America, ‘Super’ in Asia-Pacific & 303 in Europe. The Minolta SRT 101 spec was already quite impressive, but the 102/Super/303 added a hot shoe, Full information viewfinder, with lens aperture being read via an Aperture Direct Window at the front of the pentaprism, a split image rangefinder khổng lồ go with the microprism và a fool-proof method of getting properly registered deliberate double exposures. A slightly revised version was released in 1976 – this kept the CSC metering but adapted the ‘press and hold’ operation for the depth of field preview. The new version was called 202 in North America, 505s in Asia/Pacific and 303b in Europe.

In addition to the above sầu, there were special editions produced for certain department stores, which tended lớn be lie somewhere between the 100 và the 101 for specifications. The SC was sold through Sears, while the MC was sold through K-Mart.

For more information, look up the (very excellent) Rokkor Files – a wonderfully useful website resource for anyone interested in SR mount cameras và lenses.