RSS & Email Feeds - The Easy Way To Keep Up To Date With The Blog


Tech Podcast Network

Entries in minolta srt 101 SLR (6)


And My Favourite Film Camera Is...

This has been an interesting journey over the last several years. Since I got back into photography back in 2008 with my digital Fujifilm S5700 I've also tried out quite a few film cameras, and I thought it was time I picked out a faourite to help round-up this chapter of my photographic experience.

To follow the art of photography without at least dipping your toe into the sea of film is a missed opportunity, both in terms of exploring the artistic and technical lessons that can be learned, and the sheer pleasure of using an analogue format.

Unfortunately cost is an extra factor when buying film, but what you can't deny is the amazing value that 35mm Film SLR's offer to the bargain hunter. For often the price of a few rolls of film you can get a kit that would have cost hundreds of pounds when new.

I am however, digressing. All this talk of art, lessons to be learnt, and cost, can distract from the simple fact that shooting film is a fundamentally different experience than taking photographs with a digital camera. The results can be similar, and one is no better than the other, but the two do support each other. Enjoy one and you'll enjoy the other, but often for very different reasons.

I've played with many different film cameras, in 110, 35, 120 and instant formats. From the modern Nikon F55 to the Kodak No. 1 from the 1920's, I've enjoyed them all, but there is one I would choose if I was forced to just have a single film camera.

Funnily enough its the first 35mm Film SLR I got after my initial forays back into photography with my digital S5700. Yes, it was a car boot bargain, and I think it's design and operation reflect most of the aspects that I love about film photography.

This camera is fully mechanical. It does come with a built in light-meter, so you can follow its guidance, but this camera requires no batteries to work. It has a solid metal body, and i purchased mine (for £5) with a beautiful 50mm F/1.4 lens. I've since expanded my kit to include a 28mm and 135mm lens, various filters and hoods, but I have to admit I love that nifty fifty the most.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you one of the finest 35mm Film SLR's ever made, and my favourite film camera, the 19070's era Minolta SRT101:

My New (25 Years Old!) Minolta SRT 101 with 50mm F1.4

Thanks, Rob.


What's In The Camera Bag? My Minolta SRT101 35mm SLR & Accessories

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

Maybe it's because the Minolta SRT101 was the camera that got me back into film SLR's for the first time since I was a boy.

Maybe it's because the SRT101 is built like a tank and can take a beating.

Maybe it's because the Minolta is fully manual and doesn't need a battery to work.

Whatever it is about the SRT101 that makes it so special, I just know that it's my favourite 35mm Film SLR.

Completing my kit is the SRT101 body, the Rokkor 50mm f/1.4, the 28mm f/3.5 and the 135mm f/3.5. Supplementing the lenses are a 2x extender and a multitude of Cokin filters, not forgetting a cleaning cloth and spare film.

So the next time you're out and about at the Car Boot Sale, thrift or charity store, make sure you keep a look out for any of these old Minoltas, their lenses and filters, they go for a song and are oh, so good.

Thanks, Rob.


2010 Film Project. Which Camera Should I use?

So that's settled then - the first roll of film is going through the Canon EOS 50e!

Cheers, Rob.

Minolta SRT 101 Film SLR Gets Some New Toys...

Minolta SRT 101 135mm F3.5I know, I know, it's not about the kit, but when I saw a 135mm prime for my new (old!) Minolta SRT 101 Film SLR come up on eBay, I just had to put a bid-nip in to see if I could get it cheap.

As usual with eBay, I had a look round and found a 55mm Cokin A Adapter, Holder and Lens Cap, so I had to have that too....

Minolta SRT 101 135mm F3.5

The SRT 101 uses the Rokkor MC lenses (meter coupled) - you can use others, but you won't be able to use the in-camera light meter. This is because in order to give you a correct reading the camera has to know what aperture you're using, and the MC does this with a simple mechanical connection.

As you spin the aperture ring on the lens, a lever connects to the camera and adjusts the light-meter indicator, allow you to change the shutter speed for a correct exposure.

Minolta SRT 101 135mm F3.5

Then lens I got is a 135mm F3.5 Prime, which means that it has a fixed focal length (135mm!), so no zoom here! I guess this gets me just under 3 times closer than my F1.4 50mm, so it should be great for trying to capture the local wildlife without getting too close. The other use for this sort of lens is portraits - by standing back and using the 135mm (on a tripod) I should be able to shoot some very nice people shots.

It has a smaller aperture than my 50mm - F3.5 vs F1.4, so I guess you'd say it was a lot "slower", but it does go all the way down to F22 - which funnily enough will be great for landscapes (even though the telephoto nature of the lens isn't) - but as long as I use a tripod and exercise some thoughtful composition, I think I can come up with some interesting shots.

Minolta SRT 101 135mm F3.5 + Cokin A Filter Holder & Hood

The length of the lens is distorted in the above shot - it isn't that big honest! It is quite heavy though, especially when compared to my Digital Fujifilm - so I'll be shooting handheld up at least 1/150th of a second to avoid camera shake. Its going to add quite a bit of mass to my camera bag too!

How much did I pay? £6.00 plus p&p. Bargain!

I've done a little bit of research, and I now understand that my SRT 101 will accept MC and the more common MD lenses - time to search eBay for a nice wide-angle!

Minolta SRT 101 50mm F1.4 + Cokin A Filter Holder & Grad

The beauty of the Cokin A Filter system came into play with this purchase. I've already got a Polariser, Grad, Star, Spot, and numerous coloured filters for my Fujifilm S5700 - so all I needed to do was order a 55mm thread adapter and I could use them on the Minolta.

I found the cheapest (£1.99) on eBay, and it came with a holder and lens cap too, so a must-have purchase. Just gotta find some nice landscapes now....

Pics coming soon!

Thanks, Rob.

Comparing Digital and Film Photographs (No Editing!)

ReflectionsSo I've got my vintage Film SLR, my Minolta SRT 101, and my superb Fujifilm S5700 Digital Bridge / Super-zoom, but what is the real difference?

When I went for a short walk around Fort Brockhurst the other morning, I took several shots that were similar (but not identical) with both cameras, so here they are, unedited, for you to decide.

This first one was taken with the Minolta Film SLR:

Here's the Digital version taken with my S5700:

This is another Film Version from my Minolta:

Then a similar Digital Photograph from my S5700:





So what do you think? Remember I've done no post processing on any of these photo's, but the pictures were taken about thirty minutes apart, from different perspectives in some cases.

There's more contrast in the film versions - the blacks are blacker, the whites whiter, and it surprises me that the compositions are better too. The sheer fact that I concentrated harder on getting the framing / composition right first time with the Minolta Film SLR is interesting, that I waited for the right reflection, the right light, the right moment.

I moved a lot more with the Film Camera, understandable because of the fixed 50mm lens. It forced me to look for different, better angles, than rely on the zoom in my digital S5700.

The film shots are sharper, the depth of field smaller (where selected), and the boca nicer, but I still think the S5700 does a fantastic job. If I simply took a few moments more to compose and think about my digital shots, then just add a little more contrast in post, the Digital Pics would be up there with the film ones (and maybe better for some type of shots), and this whole process has been worth it for that lesson.

What do you think?

Cheers, Rob.