Tag Archives: Minolta SRT-Series

Frugal Film Project 2020: The Plan

I’ve been an provisional participant in 2019; started in June.  My Camera was a Goodwill purchased Canonet QL and the film was Kodak Color Plus 200.  A fine film, but I found that I was tired of shooting color.  Up to this point I’ve been primarily a B&W photographer.  When I want color, I use my Portra 400.  Also the camera has limitations (i.e. only one lens), so I felt constricted.  Finally the light meter died and I needed to find a ‘new’ old camera.

By Project Definition I am supposed to use the cheapest camera and film.  I did see that one of the 2019 participants was using Ilford HP5.  It’s a film I have recently become ‘friends’ with.  AND I can develop it myself, so that brings the price down considerably.  And Currently it’s selling for $4.99 per roll.  So we’ve solved the 2020 film problem: Ilford HP5.

A new change is that we can switch cameras on a quarterly basis.  So of my options below the question is which do I start with?  And am I going to change up cameras during the process?

Now, I have four inexpensive camera options.  What could be cheaper than a camera (or in this case two) that were given to me by a neighbor.  My freebie choices: the Fujica ST-705 with a normal and zoom lens; and the Yashica Electro 25 GSN, a rangefinder that has telephoto and wide angle lens add-ons (i.e. they screw on over the attached lens).

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Both cameras work and are in good condition.  Which would you choose?  But hold on, another camera has entered the Mix.  I was rearranging the storage of my 35mm cameras and found that my Minolta SRT-202 had a partially exposed roll.  So I decided to finish that roll and add the SRT-202 into the Frugal Film Mix.  Shown here with my Fisheye Lens.  And that’s the factor weighing heavily in it’s favor.  I would have the versatility of all my Minolta lens options. The actual value of the camera is borderline for the project.  But we’ll see.

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For October,and November I have posted examples from the Yashica and Minolta.   I had decided to give the Fujica away, but my husband said that he would like to try it out.  It’s a lovely camera camera, and seems like it’s going to stay in the Family.  So it may make an appearance for one quarter of Frugal Film.

Now a forth option appeared when I made a film purchase from the Film Photography Project.  There was a ‘new’ plastic camera, the Debonair, for $19.99.  At that price I had to buy it:

 

I had thought to post a survey on Twitter in November for my followers to vote on which camera to use.  But after signing on officially for 2020 and corresponding with the Frugal Film Founder Sherry,  I learned that the rules will be changing slightly.  So I would have more flexibility. I’ll post the new rules in January…….

Minolta XD-11: The Best Camera That Nobody Wanted

I came across an article on-line regarding “High Water Marks” for various camera brands. It seems to support my statement that the XD-11 was the BEST camera that nobody wanted. Making its appearance in 1977, the XD-11 was part of the late 70’s technology boom in lens development and film quality.

XD-11

Winning Features:

  • Auto Exposure with both Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority options
  • Programmable override for Shutter Speed Priority
  • Excellent viewing screen (very bright)
  • Great ergonomics
  • Leaf Shutter

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The quality of Minolta MD Rokker lenses is also vastly under-rated. This may have been due to mass marketing to amateurs with little attention to attracting the professional photographer. In turn, lack of professional exposure discouraged amateurs, etc, eventually killing the Brand, although their recent technology was purchased by Sony.

I experienced this ‘disdain’ when I returned to college after my Christmas break freshman year with a Minolta SRT-SCII, marked down to discount prices because of the new XD- models. One of my wealthier friends returned with a Canon AE-1, but since my photos were often much better than hers I didn’t let it phase me.

I had already upgraded to the X-700 in the late 1980’s.  Then I heard about this wonderful camera:  The XD-11. I have three XD-Series. My first XD-11 (Shown above) has been sent to the ‘parts’ box due an unfixable film advance problem.  The second one that I acquired is a Japan Market model that is labelled XD, but not Minolta. Number 3 & 4 are both XD-11’s with black bodies.

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Regarding the XD-model, I wondered if I had been scammed, but I took it to my local repair shop and he immediately recognized it.  Told me that for a while the Minolta Cameras left off the Japanese manufacturer’s name in hopes of improving market share.  Mine had probably been brought back to the U.S. by an American Serviceman.

Check out my recent Article in 35mmc featuring the XD-11.

Frugal Film Project Roll #5: Minolta SRT-202

I was rearranging my 35 mm storage when I found this cameraRolling out images from a more than 2 year old partially exposed roll of Ilford HP5.  I know it’s that old because I found some photo notes.

So We’ll start with three of the older images.  I love this Power Plant and always go there to test new films and new cameras. So I decided to make a photo project to capture images from everywhere the Plant is visible.  I only got this far.  But I will pick this up as a theme for Frugal Film 2020.

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I finished off the roll this Fall with my Zenitar Fisheye lens:

 

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So this camera is one of my two options for the Frugal Film Project 2020.  What do you think?

Inspired By: Kim Weston

Let’s start with a Weston Interview Quote:

“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”

I love the quote because I rarely use my spot meter…….

Now, what inspires me?  If you check out his website….he exclusively does nude photography.  Although tastefully done, it’s not my thing (although there is one image I do love: Nude in Cactus).  And this is as far as I go into Nudes:

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What Inspires Me? First I am inspired by His warm and welcoming attitude towards film students and film enthusiasts in the Monterey Bay Region.    I met Kim Weston when he welcomed our Monterey Peninsula College Class to Wildcat Hill.  At that time he was making predominantly platinum prints and we were an Alternative Processes class.  So he demonstrated the printing method for us.  He also discussed his artistic philosophy, and let us see his famous grandfather, Edward Weston’s, simple but beautiful darkroom. Imagine yourself making fabulous 8X10 contact prints like pepper #39 using an incandescent light bulb.

Kim Weston invited us to drop by, and if he wasn’t busy, we could talk about photography.  One of my friends spoke up.  Luther was having trouble learning to use his 4X5 view camera.  Kim just said, drop by with the camera sometime.  Luther did, and Kim Weston spent the afternoon showing him how to get the most from his 4X5. His support of film photographers, especially students, inspires me.

But Kim Weston eventually took it a step further, starting the Weston Collective, a scholarship program for students in Monterey County that are studying fine art film photography.  And the Collective has taken a step forward in support of fine art photography by opening a darkroom and teaching studio.  Raising the funds and managing the space for the benefit of ‘developing’ film photographers is inspiring.

 

 

 

Thoughts on Personal Vision

 

Above, three recent but very different images that I had submitted to an online Gallery.  Two are very recent, but the Apache Plume is from about 12+ years ago. So what does that say about my photography skills, style and personal vision.  Keeping in mind that vision and style are not synonymous.  These represent different styles, but I think a similar vision in regards to how I see the light and what attracts my eye.

All of these images received a similar ranking (details here).  That soul destroying ‘Special Merit” category that keeps you wanting more.  So what does “special merit” mean anyway?  Have I not progressed at all in 12 years?  Or are my interests and vision not the current hip and trendy thing? (I think the latter)  So I’ll get recognition, but never actually win a contest?  (One of my recent submissions is going to be published in a book this year.  But that’s another story……..).  And what is winning?

My middling success for a while sent me down “The Rabbit Hole”  as I discussed recently on my photo diary.  So I’m reflecting, reorganizing and redirecting my energies.  At a recent Personal Vision Workshop with Cole Thompson, we discussed how winning can actually be a setback to the progress towards understanding our personal vision; leading us to pursue the WIN rather than the VISION.  Small rewards can seriously sidetrack real goals and personal accomplishments.

Who are you making photographs for?  Yourself or the win?

 

 

7 Day Challenge From Twitter

I was recently Challenged by  to post 7 images, B&W, No explanations and no people.  Similar to the 7 Day Challenge on Facebook in January.  Try Challenging Your Photo Friends…

 

Mine have a common theme, although that is not required.  Can You Guess the Theme?

My 4th of July

With all the turmoil on the Border.  I’m not feeling much like waving a big flag, my usual post for American Holidays on my Photo Diary.  So I’m going Dark over there and posting a reminder about Internment Here:

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Revisit an History of American Internment at Amache, Heart Mountain and Manzanar.

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Sometimes the Mind is imprisoned, even though we the Body is Free….. Is Your mind Open and Free?  Or imprisoned somewhere?

Check out the 7-Day Challenge

Something friends have been passing around on Facebook (evil I know).  But you can view the Series as posted here.  And see the collage below:

 

Locations are posted on the Blog link………