Minolta SR-T201 Camera Review

Guest Blog By Keith Derickson

The Minolta SR-T series is less well known than other Minolta 35mm cameras but is no less capable.  Minolta first introduced the SR-T series in 1966 with the 101 and various models were in production until 1981.  The SR-T201 was introduced in 1975 and is a fully mechanical camera and therefore the battery is for metering only.  The camera has shutter speeds up to 1/1000th of a second, plus Bulb, and an ASA range of 6-6400.  The camera also features a depth of field preview button, a hot shoe, self-timer, and a PC socket with flash sync at 1/60th of a second.  As an added bonus the selected shutter speed is visible in the viewfinder.

The metering system is of the match-needle variety were the goal is to match up the hoop over the needle by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture.  What makes the meter special is Minolta’s through-the-lens Contrast Light Compensator system.  The CLC meter consists of two photocells in series to help give accurate exposure in high contrast scenes.  In practice I find that this system gives better exposures than both my Canon AE-1 Program and my Pentax K1000.

Appropriate lenses for this camera are Minolta’s Rokkor lenses. These came in a wide variety of focal lengths ranging from wide angle to telephoto.  My particular camera has a MC Rokkor-X PF 50mm f/1.7.  The Minolta lenses are very well made and have excellent picture quality.  I have no quantitative analysis to back this up but I find my images very satisfactory.  Lenses were also produced by various third party manufactures.

The overall build quality of these cameras is excellent.  Its all-metal construction makes it very durable and therefore a little on the heavy end of the scale.  This camera may not be a great choice if you are looking for something small to tuck away in a pocket but I carry mine around in my shoulder bag with no complaints.

I can recommend this camera to anyone looking for a great manual SLR camera.  Having a majority of the features sought out buy any photographer there is no reason not to include the SR-T201 on the short list of first choices.  However, production variations did occur over the years so look carefully before buying.  Pick one up and I know you won’t be disappointed.

Thank you and happy shooting!

Special thanks to the Rokkor Files - http://www.rokkorfiles.com/

Keith Derickson is a long-time Film Photography Podcast listener. When not listening to the FPP, Keith is busy with his wife and two children.  Keith has been shooting film for ten years and considers himself a hobbyist, enjoying the tactile process of shooting film.  He works at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his New Years resolution is to find a common voice in his photography.
 
All images by Keith Derickson / http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithderickson/