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Minolta SRT 101 (type a3)
France Version française
Photos by Sylvain Halgand text by Sylvain Halgand. From the collection of Sylvain Halgand. Last update 2013-11-30 par Sylvain Halgand.

Manufactured or assembled in Japan from 1966 to 0.
Index of rarity in France: Frequent (among non-specialized garage sales)
Inventory number: 11515

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Traduction de PYP

The SR-T101 was a big change in the photographic industry. For the first time, a manufacturer was marketing a SLR that had both TTL metering (Through The Lens) and automatic diaphragm! All of the competitors were offering one OR the other feature, but the Sr-T 101 was the very first SLR to combine both. This allows the user to compose, focus, set the f-stop and the shutter speed and finally taking the picture without having to step down the lens at any point in time!

This was made possible through a modification of the lens mount, now called MC (for Meter Coupled). The older lenses can still be used, but they have to be stepped down.

The next big change was the light metering system. Not only is it TTL, but it is very modern and was really praised at that time. Minolta called it CLC (Contrast Light Compensation): the camera doesn’t have one, but two CdS cells. One of them reads the upper part of the picture while the other one reads the lower part. The measure is therefore a balanced measure of the two cells, and it is very precise!
Indeed, in many cases the lower part of the picture is often darker than the upper part: the CLC system takes this into consideration!

The finder was also well-thought and very informative: its focusing screen is very bright and a micro prism area, shutter speed is displayed at the bottom of the finder while the light meter needles are located on the right side of the finder.

The manufacturing quality is really outstanding. Although it is quite complex (more than 1,000 parts), the camera is only made of metal: its sturdiness and its reliability have become legendary (often refers to as “the tank”). The camera can operate in nearly any condition; furthermore, the shutter doesn’t need a battery to fire. The Sr-T 101 has a self-timer, a lockable depth-of-field button and a mirror lock-up (except for the latest versions).

It was available both in chrome or black, both versions are shown here. The black versions are less common than their chrome counterparts.

The Sr-T 101 is a surprising camera, that is – almost – impossible to break or jam. It is perfect for beginners (and wannabe India Jones). The camera was sold with a fast 58mm 1:1.4, and it is the first of the Sr-T family that was to end 15 years later!

Minolta SRT 101