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Photography Question 
Michael A. Doss

Questions RE: Minolta SRT 101

Hey, i'm really realyl new to photography, and I recently [at a friends reccomendation] purchased a minolta srt 101, The shutter speed was off, so I took it in to have ti CLA'd, and I notice the following problems [which i'm not sure are actually problems]

1. The shutter, at speeds of 30 and below, makes a grating noise after the release is pressed, when I time the shutter at one second, I continusly get values of approx 1.3 seconds

2. When the lens is removed, theres a gray piece of plastic hanging about 1/3 of the way down, it appears to be spring loaded, and has foam on the end. Someone told me that the reason the shutter makes the noise is that the mirror mechanism is pushing and holding up the piece of plastic, and straining the mechanism, but I tried taping it up [at their suggestion] and it still made the grating noise

3. When the DOF is on [aperature fully open] the light metering system seems to work, but when the DOF is off [aperature adjustable] the light meter stays at the top of the screen, and does not respond] I'm using a 1.5 volt alkaline replacement [told that wein cells dont' make good contact]

Also, the light meter is supposed to rise to the top for low light, and the bottom for dimmer light, correct?

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6/15/2004 4:32:24 PM

Michael A. Doss   Oh, one more thing, I have a 28-70mm zoom lens, and trhe focus control is really really loose [i mean, it works, but a slight jar will throw it off] Think I shoudl take it apart and try to fix it [was a cheap 25$ lens]

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6/15/2004 4:40:48 PM

Dion J. Beukes   Hi, I have got this camera, since 1989. I got it from my father that bought it in 1973 (I think). Well this is one of the most brilliant Camera's ever made. I still use it basically everyday. After all these years its still working fine with no problems whatsoever. To answer your questions on this model.

A1: The shutter makes those sounds, because you need to remember that this camera is a manual/mechanical device and it need to get "energy" from somewhere, it is a sound like the winding watch. And that is just a "winding mechanism sound". You will notice that the camera make that sound when you turn the shutterspeed dial from 1second to B as well. This is nothing to be alarmed about it is perfectly normal. The other part of your question, if you get values of 1,3 seconds on the 1 second setting, your camera might be old and the spring inside might be a bit worn, you can change that by gettting it serviced at a Minolta/Camera repairer.

A2: This piece of plastic youre mentioning with the foam at the end is just a bumper to make the sound quieter when the mirror flips up when you take a picture, and to minimise vibration when you take pictures at a slow shutterspeed on a tripod. It is also keeping the mirror secure when you use the round silver button on the side to turn the mirror up before you take a picture. I would not suggest taping up this piece of plastic, unless its broken and hangs too far down and block light that need to get in through the lens. Then I would suggest getting it repaired. The load should be very little on the spring, just enough to keep it out of the slot.

A3: The way the light meter system is designed for this particular camera is very Unique. The reason why the light meter is not responding when youve got DOF off is: The DOF off setting is only to check depth of field focusing. So if youre focusing on something and you need to check the depth of field you would see that the markings on the focusing screen changes as well the more you turn your aperture from 1.4 onwards to 16. And you can then check wat the depth of field would be. (This is a very manual system. Many camera's, even today doesnt have that function. It is very useful if you take Portraits and Macro photography. The other reason for the light meter that switches off is: You would notice that all chageable settings that would influence the light meter on the camera; (i) the shutter speed dial (ii) the apperture (iii) the ASA setting ring. All three of these I mentioned move the needle with the little circle on it. (if you look through your viewfinder)

All light changes from the outside would change the straight needle. If you look through the viewfinder and you move your hand in front of the lens you would see the straight needle move.

Your aim to get the right meter reading is to get the needle with the little ring on the end exactly aligned with the straight needle, irrespective of where the straight needle should be.

So youre action to take a photo should be. Check that the light meter is switced on, (a round flat switch situated at the bottom of your camera, on the on position. The B.C setting is for battery check.)Then DOF on, Then focus, then check your light. Then if you need to, switch DOF off and check your depth of field. Now you can either take a photo, or switch DOF on again, check light and press the shutter release. You dont need to switch DOF on to take a picture. You will notice that if you have got DOF off and you take a picture that DOF would automatically switch on after shutter release.

If you have more technical questions about this camera model feel free to email me at

I hope you find my answers to your questions usefull.

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7/6/2004 4:15:35 PM

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