by Karen Nakamura
The Minolta SR series began with their first one, the SR-1 in 1959. It introduced the popular MC interchangeable bayonet mount for Minolta lenses. More than a decade and over a dozen camera models later, Minolta released the SR-T MC-II, which is a rebadged SR-T 200 with a few improvements. The SR-T MC II was produced from 1972 through 1975, the heyday of all mechanical SLRs. Like those of its time, it features an all-metal body, metal lens mount, smooth shutter action, and a solidity that the plastic SLRs of the 1980s and onwards have never achieved. The cameras of the 1970s have a better chance of working in 2050 than those made in the 1980s (see my anecdote regarding the Maxxum 7000 vs. Spotmatic below). Amazingly, you can still buy new MD mount lenses at camera stores. The only camera system with better longevity (1955-2004) is Leica's M-mount. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.
I purchased this SR-T as
part of a larger lot of cameras from the estate of an elderly collector who
had passed away. This SR-T was clean and well preserved, except for a rather
large dent by the wind lever. I later sold it on ebay to fund my camera
The camera was in great functioning condition. I tested the meter against my Canon EOS-3 and it was accurate across its range. Except for the ding, the body was in great shape. There's only a little bit of a wear mark on the left side where the camera strap attachment rubbed against the sid of the chrome. Inside the camera, the shutter is pristine. All speeds, including the oft-problematic 1 sec. shutter speed work great and appear accurate. The film rails are clean it looks like no one ever put film in this camera. The leatherette has some dirt spots that I should have cleaned a bit more before taking these photos. :)
Also check my pages on the Minolta SRT101/201. All of the Minolta MD cameras make perfect student camera. It has all the features that photography classes require:
The metering was actually advanced for the day. It uses what Minolta calls their CLC method that combines both spot and center-weighted metering. Consider it the precursor of matrix metering. The original manual in PDF format is available from Minolta, I have a mirror copy on this web site as a convenience.
The camera uses a 1.35v PX625 mercury cell battery. In my experience, one mercury PX625 lasts about 3 years since all it's powering is the metering circuitry. If you can't find mercury cells, you may want to experiment with a Wein cell.
|Camera Name||SR-T MC-II aka SRT 202|
|Place of Manufacture||
|Date of Manufacture||1973-75|
Single lens reflex
|Lens Mount||Minolta MD Mount|
horizontal focal plane curtain.
cell mounted through the lens
External hot-shoe and PC cable connection for X sync flash
|Film type / speeds||
Type 135 film (35mm standard)
ASA 6 to 6400
|Battery type||1 x 1.35v PX625A battery (not included)|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Note: Using the text or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place.|
|Lens||45mm f/2.0 Minolta MD Rokkor|
|Place of Manufacture||Japan|
|Date of Manufacture|
Minolta MD mount
0.6 meters - infinity
~ f/16 (1 stop steps)
|Dimensions and weight|
Minolta began making cameras in 1928 as the "Nichi-doku Shashinki Shokai" (Japanese-German Camera Factory) and in 1937 was renamed Chiyoda Kogaku Seiko Kabushiki Kaisha or Chiyoko for short. One man was the heart of the company, Kazuo Tashima. He ran the company from 1928 to 1972. Before the war, Chiyoko made medium and large format cameras and began making 35mm cameras after the war. They started using the Minolta brand in 1937. In the post-War period, they made a series of Leica clones, the Minolta 35 rangefinder.
In 1962, Chiyoko changed its name to Minolta. They are famous for the first SLR with fully coupled metering, the SR-7 and the first model with built-in motor drive (SR-M). They also produced the first camera with integral autofocus, the Minolta Maxxum 7000 (aka Alpha 7000) in 1985. I remember when in 1986, my dad brought home his shiny new Minolta 7000 and handed me down his old Pentax Spotmatic SPII (which still have). Ironically, the Pentax still sees more use than the Alpha because of its ability to run fully manually.
In any case, Minolta continues to make great 35mm SLRs as well as an increasing array of interesting digital cameras. In 2003, Minolta announced a merger with Konica, Japan's oldest camera manufacturer. Hopefully the merged company (Konolta? Monica?) will have enough financial resources to continue to produce high-end film-based SLRs and rangefinders.