Minolta SR-T 101

Lens(es) Minolta SR bayonet mount (MC and MD versions both work).
Shutter Mechanical cloth focal plane shutter, speeds 1 to 1/1000. X-Synch at 1/60.
Light meter CLC (contrast Light Compensation) meter with 2 CdS-cells in prism. TTL measurement coupled to aperture / shutter controls.
Focusing Focusing screen with microprism spot, the 303 also has a split image wedge. Not interchangeable.
Viewfinder Indication of shutter speed and meter reading, on the SR-T 303 also of the set aperture.
Flash Hot shoe on 101b, 100X, 303b, else cold shoe. PC sockets for FP and X synch.
Film transport Wind lever, rewind crank, hinged back.
Dimensions ca. 145/95/50 mm without lens.
Battery 1x PX 625 mercury.

[German version]

The SR-T was Minolta's second line of SLRs after the SR series (2, 7 and 1). The SR-T line's innovations were a built-in coupled TTL exposure meter (hence the "T" in the name) and CLC (contrast light compensation). The SR-T's have the name of being virtually indestructable. Indeed, all that could break is the exposure meter, and even that wouldn't affect the rest of the camera, because everything is mechanical in operation. All the important parts are metal, especially the body is robust and bolshy. Mechanics and finish are flawless.

The description from here on centers on the SR-T 101, except where noted otherwise.

Light metering: the CLC construction consists of two CdS cells that cover top and bottom of the image, respectively. With strong contrasts (for example a back-lit portrait), the sensor that gets less light is progressively weighted higher, to arrive at a properly weighted exposure. This works quite well, only you're stuck to measuring the light in a landscape-oriented frame. Full manual setting means you can trust the CLC-adjusted metering. You can also measure any subject and then take the picture. You can set whatever you want. You can also use the camera when the batteries are empty. Or when the CdS cells are dead. It always remains a reliable, indestructable, mechanical camera. In a normal situation - with functioning light meter - a match needle system gives you the power to change the exposure without taking your eye from the viewfinder.

The set speed is shown in the viewfinder, the 303 also shows the aperture.

Depth-of-field control: aperture lever on the camera. Some MC Rokkor lenses, like my old version 135/2.8 have an additional lever on the lens itself, which is useful when working with other cameras.

Mirror lock-up: not in all SR-T's, but in the 101 and the 303 without "b".  Important in long-time exposures to avoid vibrations from mirror flip-up. Only available today on a few "professional" cameras.

Size and weight: you have a real camera in your hands. Of course this has its price: the SR-T, certainly with its proprietary Minolta MC_Rokkor lenses, is heavy. Thankfully, this is not without reason: the camera is virtually indestructable, and the lenses are excellent.

The camera is also fairly loud. As an avid user of viewfinder cameras, I'm always startled when I use the SR-T after a longer period. BANG! mirror slaps up - SCHRRRRRT! shutter traverses - POMM! mirror comes back down again. But this applies to all SLRs to some extent, even though the SR-T isn't the most silent...

Model variants: known to me are the 100X, 101, 101 b, 303, 303 b. There was also the 200 series (201, 202), AFAIK these were Japanese and / or US versions. Also, the SR-T MC and the SR-T Super. Hm... To my knowledge, the 100(X) and the b models are of later date and have a hot shoe, but no mirror pre-lock. I'm not quite certain because there was some variation within models. The 100 seems to have had only shutter speeds up to 1/500s. The top models were the 101 and 303, where the 101 was the first and the 303 the best fitted, due to a standardly fitted hot shoe and indication of the aperture in the viewfinder.

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Last modified March 16, 2010