New Camera- Minolta SRT 102

A few weeks ago I added a Minolta SRT-102 to my collection of film cameras. The camera came with a Rokkor RF 50mm 1.7 and I also purchased a Vivitar 28mm 2.8. I first heard of this camera watching a Grit street photography video on YouTube. Chuck Jines mentioned it as one of his favorite cameras. The main attraction for me is that it is fully mechanical and only needs a battery for the light meter. I like shooting without a meter even though it means I don’t always get perfect exposure. I don’t plan on ever putting a battery in this camera.

This is my second SLR. I have a Canon AE-1 that I use only for cycling photos- when I need a shutter speed of 1/1000. I love my TLR and rangefinder too much to ever want to shoot with anything else. The only other SLR I had been planning on buying was a Nikon F100 also to use for cycling photography. I learned during my test roll that the Minolta will not be used for cycling. It might work better after a CLE but it got stuck trying to shoot frames too quickly. My AE-1 can handle this no problem and will shoot as fast as I can advance the film.

If the Minolta had been expensive I probably never would have considered it. Like I said I wasn’t looking for another SLR. The focusing distance of the lenses also was appealing. My Yashica Mat and Electro both have a minimum distance of one meter. I don’t have the exact number for the 50mm and 28mm lenses but I believe they can focus around 18 inches.

I shot a test roll of Ektar 100 while in Oregon shooting the Cascade Classic (bike race). I quickly realized that I would not be using this camera for cycling or street photography. The shutter is too loud for street photography. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to shoot with it yet. So far I’ve only shot this one test roll but I’m working my way through a second. Not sure how often this camera will get used.

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