1966 - 1975
· 35mm (SLR) Single Lens Reflex
· TTL (through-the-lens) CLC (Contrast Light Compensator) light meter
· meter coupled to shutter and film speed
· SR lens mount accept hundreds of Rokkor MC /MD lenses
· Fully mechanical cloth focal plane shutter with speeds from 1-1/1000 sec plus B
· Film speeds supported ASA 6-6400
· Meter sensitivity EV 3 to EV 17 at ASA 100
· Shutter speeds 1-1/60 sec with electronic flash
· Oversized quick return mirror for no image cut-off even with super telephoto lenses
· Mirror lock-up
· Exposure control needle and selected shutter speed visible in viewfinder
· Flash synchronization (X and FP)
· Fine micro prism focusing with Fresnel lens
· Accessory shoe (cold)
· Self timer
· Depth of field preview button
The Minolta SR-T 101, a camera from the Golden Age of Japanese film cameras with clean modern lines and precision engineering. The Japanese craftsmanship is beautiful, it is all metal inside and out with a minimum of plastic trim.
My SRT 101 is an early to mid production model with ASA labels. Minolta changed to ISO in 1969. It is the most durable camera I own and has only needed service twice, once for a little dent I put in the right top plate, and recently for the light meter. The rubber seals are getting worn but causing no troubles .
The SRT 101 is a Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera. It has a reflex mirror behind the lens which projects the view through a prism and into the viewfinder. The SLR type has been extremely popular because you are seeing exactly what the film will see.
The SRT 101 was most usually sold with a superb 58mm f-1.4 MC (Meter Coupled) Rokkor Lens. Rokkor is Minolta’s own lens division. The SR lens mount used by the SRT 101 is one of the longest lasting of any camera and Rokkor SR lenses are available new today. Minolta made a huge variety of lenses and accessories for the SRT cameras.
It is a shear joy to operate and photograph with this camera. The SRT 101 lacks the automation present in today's wonder cameras and this is in large part the joy of using this camera.
Although the SRT 101 is far from a point and shoot, you can make your own decisions, the camera is designed and layed out so well that shots can be accomplished nearly as quick.
The SRT 101 lacks much of the full automation of today's plastic wonder-SLR’s and this is a major advantage to those who wish to learn or understand photography. By using the manual controls of the SRT 101 it helps you stay fully involved and often results in a much better photograph than you would get with today's automation.
The Minolta SRT 101’s were direct competitors with Nikon’s F and Pentax’s Spotmatic SLR cameras. The SRT 101 was Minolta’s entry into the professional photographers market. Minolta continued to gain ground in the Pro market until the late 1980’s when Minolta changed to Auto focus and never made a serious Pro body. I have used many cameras from the same era as the SRT 101 and while they share many similarities and many take super photos, the SRT 101 has some nice design features and a superb layout that the others lacked. Also the SRT 101 is among the most solid and rugged 35mm SLR cameras ever made.
The SRT 101 was made in a “Golden Age of 35mm Cameras”. The major camera manufactures of Japan and Germany had fully recovered from the War. Construction was of all metal and electronic components were only related to the Light Meter. The SLR had come of age with all the mechanical features we expect today, like rapid film advance, quick return mirror, DOF preview, automatic diaphragm linking, and the cherry on top, TTL Metering with in-the-viewfinder readout! The Golden Era ended as complex electronics took over the shutter (requiring a battery to operate) and plastic began to replace metal inside and out.
By Christopher Cox
Some of my favorite pictures have been taken with this camera, and I would highly recommend the SRT 101 to anyone with an interest in photography.
Many of the better examples of these SRT-101’s are still available on the used market, Minolta made over 3 million of the SRT’s! The durability and availability of the SRT 101 this has kept the used pricing very sporadic. Well kept models in good working order hold their value. The meter is the real key, when buying used make sure it operates correctly, as meter repairs will quickly ruin a bargain price.
SRT 101 Links:
Minman Minolta SRT site
Matt’s Cameras SRT 101
Karen’s SRT 101
The beautiful rokkorfiles.com
A good SRT feature chart
How to tune-up your SRT