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-   -   Minolta SRT's -- Gotta Love 'Em. (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=110411)

Nokton48 09-10-2011 08:01

Minolta SRT's -- Gotta Love 'Em.
 
1 Attachment(s)
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?

Roger Hicks 09-10-2011 09:08

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.

Chriscrawfordphoto 09-10-2011 09:25

Roger,

Minolta lenses are common and CHEAP in the USA.

Nokton48 09-10-2011 09:44

Not Cheap Nor Common- The Minolta SR-M.
 
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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-...item35b3ccc60f

KoNickon 09-10-2011 10:14

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 Hicks 09-10-2011 10:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto (Post 1705451)
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.

Chriscrawfordphoto 09-10-2011 10:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roger Hicks (Post 1705489)
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.

JoeV 09-10-2011 13:13

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

Pickett Wilson 09-10-2011 13:36

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!

nikon_sam 09-10-2011 13:55

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...

le vrai rdu 09-10-2011 14:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nokton48 (Post 1705406)
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

ItsReallyDarren 09-10-2011 16:21

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.

Nokton48 09-10-2011 20:10

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


Quote:

Originally Posted by ItsReallyDarren (Post 1705656)
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.


David Murphy 09-11-2011 00:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto (Post 1705451)
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.

rover 09-11-2011 02:17

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.

Nokton48 09-11-2011 05:40

Two Black SRT101s.
 
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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.

colyn 09-11-2011 06:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nokton48 (Post 1705943)
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..

Nokton48 09-12-2011 10:35

Well-Brassed SRT101b.
 
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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.

Sarcophilus Harrisii 09-13-2011 03:51

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

pschauss 09-13-2011 05:42

Quote:

Originally Posted by KoNickon (Post 1705478)
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.

Nokton48 09-13-2011 06:00

Yeah My new SRT202 came with a still-good Mercury battery. A niiice snag.

shadowfox 09-13-2011 11:45


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 :)

Nokton48 09-14-2011 15:04

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! :bang:

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.

Sarcophilus Harrisii 09-15-2011 19:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nokton48 (Post 1708751)
...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.
Regards,
Brett

Dr Gaspar 09-15-2011 19:30

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.

Nokton48 09-16-2011 11:54

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.

rover 09-16-2011 14:42

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.

Uncle Bill 09-16-2011 15:22

I love my SRT 202 and I need to use it more....

Sarcophilus Harrisii 09-16-2011 19:05

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr Gaspar (Post 1709612)
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.
Regards,
Brett

Sarcophilus Harrisii 09-16-2011 19:07

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nokton48 (Post 1710006)
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.
Regards,
Brett

Nokton48 09-17-2011 05:47

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:cool:) and wanted it covered in Cameraleather Brown Alligator. Older son went for the SRT202, no recovering.

Get 'em going and take 'em out.


Quote:

Originally Posted by rover (Post 1710100)
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.


rover 09-17-2011 06:19

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.

Nokton48 09-24-2011 05:38

Two New MC Rokkor -Long- Lenses.
 
2 Attachment(s)
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.

Nokton48 10-07-2011 06:48

Minolta Auto Spot 1 Degree.
 
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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.

rover 10-07-2011 07:11

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.

HLing 10-07-2011 12:52

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.

Nokton48 10-14-2011 10:09

HaHaHa! Actually, it's an X-Ray Laser Cannon. :rolleyes:


Quote:

Originally Posted by rover (Post 1725463)
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.


Sarcophilus Harrisii 10-14-2011 18:57

I cannot believe how cheaply some of the Minolta lenses are going for on ebay lately. A day or two ago I saw an SRT101 described as "mint" (Yeah; sure...but it was pretty tidy) finish for a single Swiss franc. And a couple of hours ago, a 50mm f/2 MD went for AUD$1. OK; just an f/2 lens. But what can you buy these days, for a dollar?

I really don't need another 35mm system, but, with a stash of lenses on hand, at these prices, they're really not worth selling. Maybe I should just buy myself a nice 101 after all? I do like mirror lock and the original seems to me the one to go for in some ways...
Regards,
Brett

colyn 11-12-2011 16:11

I won an auction for the 58mm f/1.4 Rokkor-PF lens today. I've never used this particular lens focal length so I hope t is a good lens.

Any comments on the quality?

Nokton48 11-12-2011 16:57

I recently uncovered two 58mm F1.4 Rokkors in an equipment box in my studio, but I haven't really had time to test them yet. I did buy a D55NA Minolta lenshood and filter for each of them.

Here is a test of the 58mm F1.4 Rokkor I found on the internet:

http://brandymorecastle.org/projects...olta-58mm.html



And Here are some photos taken with the lens:

http://www.pbase.com/cameras/minolta/58_14_mc_rokkor_pf


Looks like a good lens from what I can tell so far.


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