Minolta SRT-101 Nostalgia


I spend so much time in the modern world, it is nice to go back sometime. Found 20 rolls of 35mm film and want to use it. Plus I'm so sorry I gave away my Dad's original SRT-101, so I kind of would like it back...

The SRT-102 was the fancy model of the SRT-100 and SRT-101. The SRT-102 was my dream camera for most of my childhood. My dreams were full of wonder for its ability to display the chosen aperture through the finder and its split-image rangefinder. Unlike the common SRT-101, the SRT-102 adds an extra set of optics in front of the prism above the lens to look down on the aperture ring.The SRT-100 only went to 1/500. The SRT-101 and SRT-102 go to 1/1000.The SRT-102 has ground glass, microprism and split rangefinder focusing. The SRT-101 only had microprism.The SRT-101 was the best selling camera of the Vietnam War era.I got over twenty years of use from the cell I put in in October 1983. It got fuzzy in March 2004 so I took it out — and it was still working. Today, use it with the Wein 625 cells [You can also have it retuned for 1.5v so you can use a standard lithium cell]
Battery and Power. It usually runs about 20 years on one EPX625 mercury cell. Today, a 675 Zinc-Air hearing-aid cell with a Paul BG adapter should run at least 6 months — and you can buy the Zinc-Air cells in bulk for less than the mercury cells. You also can use the Wein EPX-625 cells.
via Minolta SRT-102 Review and SRT-101 Review.

Proving that is was a classic, the guys at the flickr group also have some lense recommendations:

  • Minolta 50mm F1.4 MC Rokkor-X PG. Amazing especially wide open
  • Minolta 58mm F1.4 MC Rokkor PF. Tank of a lens but super sharp $25
  • Minolta 135mm F2.8 MC Rokkor
  • Minolta 35mm F2.8 MC Rokkor

And you really want to get a refurbished one as an ebay buyer says ($50-150)

All will need new light seals and mirror bumper foam if this job hasn't been done; the old stuff becomes tar-like and loses its elasticity. The shutters get slow on them with age as lubricants dry up. Sometimes the second shutter curtain can hang up on them giving you pictures that get progressively overexposed from left to right. Also, the battery voltage they were designed for is not readily available today, so sometimes the 1.5V alkaline batteries will skew your light meter readings (sometimes they're pretty close, though). To deal with these problems, I recommend either sending SRT's to a pro who will check for all these problems and fix them for about $50-150, or do the light seals yourself and film test the camera via eBay.

Finally how do you develop the film? Well with B&W, you can do it yourself, or you can use Mpix which seems like one of those good niche sites.

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