The Minolta SRT 201: The Lasting Charm of the SR-T Series

Last Updated on January 4, 2024

The Minolta SRT 201 stands as a significant entry in the annals of photography, particularly within the Minolta SRT series, renowned for its sturdiness and reliability. Manufactured from 1975 well into the 1980s, the SR-T 201 marked a progression from the previous SRT100 series to the more advanced SRT200 series, embodying a series of incremental but meaningful enhancements.

Minolta SR-T 201

Minolta SRT 201 Specifications

Canon AE-1 35mm Film
The iconic 35mm camera stays as relevant as ever, boasting its AE (Automatic Exposure) system and focal plane shutter.
Year of Release1975
Camera TypeSingle Lens Reflex (SLR)
Film Type35mm
Lens MountMinolta SR / MD mount
ISO/ASA Range6 to 6400
Shutter Speed Range1 to 1/1000 second plus B
Metering SystemMatch-needle TTL
Flash SynchronizationX synchronization (PC Port)
Focusing ScreenSplit-rangefinder (Model C and later)
Memo HolderYes
Hot Flash ShoeYes
DOF ButtonNon-locking (Model B and later)
Rewind KnobNew design in final iteration (Model D)
Light Metering SystemSimplified in final iteration (One CdS cell)
Battery DependencyNon-battery dependent shutter
BatteryPX625 (discontinued), Wein Cell (alternative)
Lens CompatibilityRokkor lenses

Evolution and Models

The evolution of the SRT 201 can be traced through its various models, each tailored to specific markets and periods, incorporating subtle yet impactful changes. The initial SRT 201, known as model a, introduced a hot flash shoe and a film memo holder — simple yet crucial additions for the avid photographer. Subsequent iterations included model b, featuring a plastic aperture ring and a non-locking depth of field (DOF) button alongside X synchronization for flash, catering to a growing demand for versatility and ease of use.

Model c brought in a brighter focusing screen equipped with a split-rangefinder, enhancing accuracy and ease in focusing, a boon for both seasoned and amateur photographers alike. The SRT 201 model r, a special edition made exclusively for Ritz Camera, boasted a distinct notched, rubberized covering, offering a unique tactile experience and robustness. The final iteration, model d, introduced a new rewind knob and simplified the light metering system by dropping one CdS cell, a nod towards streamlining and efficiency.

Hallmark Features

The hallmark features of the SRT 201 include its hot shoe for flash and film memo holder, staples that have endured throughout its versions. Later versions saw alterations such as non-locking depth of field buttons, reduced flash modes, and an improved focusing screen, each modification a reflection of the changing needs and technologies of the times. Notably, the last version moved away from the CLC (Contrast Light Compensator) metering system to a simpler one CdS cell system.

Despite these changes, the core appeal of the SRT 201 remained its simplicity and robust manual features. It’s lauded for its match-needle TTL (Through The Lens) metering, allowing photographers to see shutter speeds and aperture directly in the viewfinder — a feature that underscores its user-friendly nature. The camera’s shutter speeds are versatile, ranging from 1 to 1/1000 second plus B, accommodating a wide array of shooting conditions and styles. The ISO/ASA range from 6 to 6400, PC sync, and self-timer further augment its flexibility, making it a versatile tool for various photographic needs.

Lasting Appeal

One of the last Minolta SLRs with a non-battery-dependent shutter, the SRT 201 is celebrated for its reliability and independence from power sources, a significant advantage in prolonged or remote shooting scenarios. Its compatibility with Rokkor lenses ensures good picture quality, a testament to Minolta’s commitment to optical excellence.

Today, the SRT 201 continues to be popular among photography enthusiasts, particularly those appreciative of its manual intricacies and a solid 35mm film camera build. Its availability at low prices on the used market makes it an attractive option for those looking to explore or return to the tactile, engaging world of film photography. In essence, the Minolta SRT 201 exemplifies the enduring appeal of mechanical cameras, combining functionality, durability, and a touch of nostalgia.

Price

  • The price of the SRT-201 with the kit lens (Rokkor 50mm f/1.8) can range between $50-$100 US dollars.

Minolta SRT 201 Photos

SRT 201 User Manual


Author: Jorge Ferrufino

Written by Jorge Ferrufino

I am a fashion photographer and an analog photography enthusiast since the beginning of my career (15 years ago). I have had the opportunity and honor of showcasing my work in various galleries and publications around the world.


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