Thursday, November 2, 2017

Spotlight: Minolta SRT Super

The Minolta SRT Super is a 35mm SLR that was first produced in 1973.

Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of Minolta cameras. Compared to the other big Japanese brands of the time (Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, Canon), Minolta never really made many cameras that were especially interesting or innovative. Their 35mm bodies are comparatively large, clunky, and ugly. Even "Minolta", sounds kinda gross, like the classification name given to an insect. All this being said, the SRT Super actually impressed me quite a bit. It's definitely my favorite Minolta camera I've ever used.

It honestly feels like a slightly larger and more archaic Nikon FM, but with more features, and less annoyances. The whole package is very utilitarian. It just works.

The SRT Super is fully mechanical, and requires batteries only for the internal match-needle light meter. The meter is operated by a little on-off switch located on the bottom of the body. The focus screen is fixed with a split-image/microprism assist. The prism finder is not interchangeable. All shutter speeds along with your selected aperture are viewable through the finder, so you never need to take your eyes off the subject. Speeds between 1/1000th and 1 second are selectable, along with bulb. ASA speed (8-6400) is changed by lifting the shutter speed knob and twisting. Mirror lock-up and self-timer functions come included, and are easy to operate. I didn't realize until after I shot my roll with the camera, but the SRT Super has a true multiple exposure function! Just hold down the film rewind button as you cock the shutter, and your film will not advance.

The SRT Super is simply a great camera. It doesn't try to do anything innovative or fancy, but pretty much all the creative features you could ever want in a film SLR are present. It's cheap, too! Much cheaper than a Nikon FM. You can buy a body for around $60.

With my wife, I took my SRT Super and 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor lens along with me on a weekend trip to Pensacola, Florida. The film was Ilford HP5+. Here are the results: