The Online Darkroom Store

Wednesday, March 9

Not another one...



I'm still lacking motivation, inspiration, imagination and probably many more words ending in "shun" when it comes to taking photographs - but I've still managed to buy another camera. Just now, I honestly feel more like a home for strays and waifs than a photographer. I can't seem to see an old film camera in a vulnerable position without wanting to give it shelter and some TLC.

This Minolta SRT101 and 58mm f1.4 MC Rokkor-PF cost me the grand total of £15 in a local charity shop. The previous owner had glued a hot shoe on top of the camera's cold shoe but I managed to remove it by squirting some solvent between the two using a syringe. The camera and lens were fairly grubby but have cleaned up nicely. The lens is in very good condition and the body works perfectly from what I can tell apart from the usual rotten seals. I've cleaned them up and will put new ones in as soon as I locate them - they're still in one of many boxes we've yet to unpack since moving.


I don't have a clue what I'm going to use the Minolta for but It's a good camera with a fine lens that deserves to be appreciated. It might make a good "night photography in dodgy areas of the city" camera. I could use it to beat off would-be attackers or, if they're bigger than me, let them run off with it. It came with a Hoya HMC skylight filter, lens hood, half case and a Super Paragon 28mm lens.

I can remember when the SRT101 with f1.4 lens would have cost around £200 - quite a substantial price for a very substantial camera. The 58mm lens is the least sharp of the fast Rokkor standards but it's still an excellent piece of glass. If I remember correctly, it has about the same depth of field wide open as a 50mm f1.2 lens so can be useful for throwing backgrounds out of focus. The bokeh is reputed to be nice as well.

Once the seals are good, I'll run a film through it and even if it doesn't see much use at least it won't take up much space sitting on a shelf in my camera cupboard.

19 comments :

Jan Moren said...

I have one of these, inherited from my grandfather. Got a Rokkor 55/1.7 and a Rokkor 35/2.8 for it. It's a really solid camera, and has gotten me some good pictures over the years. Wrote a post about it back when I first got it here: http://janneinosaka.blogspot.jp/2008/12/minolta-srt-101.html

Aubrey Silvertooth said...

I adopted a Minolta X-700 with a 50mm f1.7 lens a few years ago. The Minolta collection has grown to include a fine SR-T 102, a non-functioning SR-T 201 with a poor Rokkor MD 50mm f1.7, a wonderful Rokkor MD 35-70mm f3.5, an equally lovely Rokkor MD 70-210mm f4, and the best of the bunch an MC Rokkor Macro 50mm f3.5 with tube. They closely rival my old Zuiko lenses. However, I prefer the handling of my Pentax bodies. I love this hobby!

tjen dezutter said...

hey

I'm looking for somebody to help me on the way to restore old SLR 's . I've read here that you're doing a little CLA .Where have you got the information to dissamble a body ? Did you see the cleaning of a Russian MIR lens infected by fungus ?It is posted on You tube .I suppose it is a Frech photographer who steals teh show ...

greetings

Keep Ten On line Darkroom ALIVE

Folker said...

My first "serious" camera ever!

Bruce Robbins said...

Hi Tjen,

There's no easy way to learn about fixing old cameras. There's information out there that you have to search for depending on the model you're dealing with. It's easy enough to find the various sites by hunting for "repair manuals", exploded diagrams, parts lists or searching on the likes of photo.net and the Rangefinder Forum. Sometimes with an old camera of low value you can just set about dismantling it without guidance. The worst that can happen is that you have to throw it in the bin - and I've done that a few times! My own tinkering doesn't extend to removing shutter mechanisms or anything too heavy but it might in future as I've a few non-functioning Pentax M42 bodies doing nothing.

Herman Sheephouse said...

Firstly Bruce - that's nicer than you described it to me! Good luckj with it.

As for Mr.Dezutter - you need to just shove some enquiries into google (or your preferred search engine) you'd be amazed at what is out there.
Doing up SLR bodies (apart from the simple stuff of seal changing etc) is not for the faint-of-heart - it is incredibly complex, but if you feel like having a go, just buy a junker off of ebay and see what you can do - GOOD LUCK!

slackercruster said...

"I'm still lacking motivation, inspiration, imagination and probably many more words ending in "shun" when it comes to taking photographs"

Are you a photog or a camera collector / camera fondler? If you want direction get some projects. Projects give the photog direction and purpose.

Bruce Robbins said...

Got lots of projects but the shun deficit gets in the way of them, too.

DavidM said...

Dear Slackercruster,
We know he likes a bit of kit-fondling and we know he likes a Leica. He can take a mean snap, too, when he's not spattered with Magnolia emulsion and Dulux gloss. He writes too. If only he could find a neglected classic laptop that needed its screen polishing and its seals restored...

DEREK SCULLY said...

It strikes me that the only shun missing is Action!

So take those cameras for a stroll and exercise them in the correct way. Lets see there is Leica/Minolta/Rollei/Olympus to name a few. Suspect those enlargers need exercising too assuming they are out of the boxes?

Surely you must have found some allotments to photograph near your new home?

Bruce,spring is coming,the light is getting better and the days longer so kick start some of those projects and get TOD back on track.

morris1800 said...

If you have a mind to working on poorly lenses or cameras I found the following tools helped me inflict less damage to the patients....a H lens tool and Jewelers glasses costing less than a couple of rolls of film !

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DSLR-Lens-Repair-Spanner-Wrench-Tool-For-Camera-Lens-Open-with-screw-/111868354023?hash=item1a0bdf9de7:g:zvYAAOSwKtlWjmxh

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20X-Magnifier-Magnifying-Glasses-Loupe-Lens-Jeweler-Watch-Repair-LED-UR-/401055166016?hash=item5d60c02e40:g:xLEAAOSwYIhWl6KS

Species: Cheekius_Geekus said...

Interested in darkroom? Check out r/Darkroom at Reddit (.com)! Join us!

Bruce Robbins said...

Thank you for the invitation but I'd rather cut my genitals off than have to mix with the progressive nut jobs at Reddit.

Species: Cheekius_Geekus said...

Confucius say: He who paint with broad brush get good picture.
:) I'm the new active mod of r/darkroom, age 56, politics: none

Bruce Robbins said...

Fair enough. I'll stop by for a look then. Politics and photography shouldn't mix in my opinion (aside from social documentary). If I had to reveal my politics here half the readers would run for the hills. :)

DavidM said...

Fisticuffs averted! I googled as soon as I read this and found:
" ...this guy didn't even build an alien spacecraft!"
So I clicked another link on the Google page:
"Printing gum bichromate over cyanotype." Moderately interesting but not really informative. I know someone who does this and he doesn't seem to be a progressive nut at all. Am I mixing with the wrong people?
Sadly, politics gets into everything, although one of the comforts of the darkroom is that it seems like a refuge from all that chicanery and perfidy. A great deal of perfidy and chicanery is coming over my left shoulder as I write. (IDS and all that.)

Bruce Robbins said...

Hi David,
If you're not familiar with Reddit then you've clearly increased your chances of mixing with the right people! It's populated with the kind of politically correct numpties who destroy my soul and, perhaps more importantly, raise my blood pressure.

Anonymous said...

I shall have to look more closely. There are pills for blood pressure.

Eric Rose said...

The Minolta SRT 101 was the first camera I actually bought myself. I was a young teenager and was drawn to David Hamilton's photos. No mystery in why! In my young hormone charged mind I thought if I had the same camera as Hamilton then maybe I could somehow have the same opportunities. Wishful thinking at it's most pathetic.

It was a great camera but I quickly found three things I couldn't live with or at least irritated me.

1. The lower than center weighted metering
2. I found the glass to not have the contrast I was looking for
3. Young sexy gals were not tearing their cloths off and begging me to photograph them

I ended up moving to Nikon but still have fond memories of my SRT.

Cheers