It took nearly two months, but I finally got my Minolta SRT-101 out of the camera shop. I had purchased my first SLR camera in October, shot some rolls with it, fell in love with it, but the mirror was not returning correctly. The culprit was a broken gear. Advance Camera replaced the gear and spiffed the whole thing up with a CLA (clean, lube, adjust.)
I picked up the SRT-101 from Advance on Thursday February 4 and immediately loaded it with film. It felt good to be using the camera again. There’s a whole “rangefinder vs SLR” divide when it comes to old 35 mm cameras. Since I started with a rangefinder (my Minolta Hi-Matic 7s), I didn’t know if I’d get along with a single-lens reflex camera. There was nothing to worry about. And taking out the SRT-101 made me fall back in love with the whole raison d’etre of SLR’s: seeing through the lens. Whereas my rangefinders focus by “aligning the box” and the zone-focus machines is a guess, I know that the SRT-101 is focused when the image looks in focus. I can see why people like SLRs.
I’ll definitely be having more fun with the camera in the coming months/years. Since it just got overhauled it should last for a long time without worry. The Minolta SRT-101 will probably never become my “primary” camera, as it’s a heavy beast. (The rangefinders and other cameras are smaller and lighter, better for biking.) But it will definitely have a place in the stable, as it’s the only camera I have with interchangeable lenses. I hope to do more shooting with telephoto lenses, especially when the weather warms up again and I do more Sunset/Moonrise adventures. Plus, it’s the only camera that I own that has a super-fast shutter speed (1/1000 sec) plus super-slow (1 sec), and can meter all the way up to ISO 6400. I’d like to load it up with some fast film (like CineStill 800) and do some night photography.
So here’s to several years of fun with it!
For photos from the SR-T 101, please see the dynamic flickr album below. Or, click here.