Minolta SRT 201

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Andrew O'Neill

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Now That I'm going to be taking over the photography courses at my high school, I've been going through all the film cameras. I've got 17, K1000's that are working, and one Minolta SRT201, which appears to be in great shape, but no battery... and I cannot find a battery for it, as I believe those old mercury cells are no longer in production. So, what are you SRT201 people doing? Is there a replacement battery, or will I have to put on my MacGyver pants and figure something out. It would be nice to add this lovely camera to our fleet. Cheers all and happy 4th to my friends below the 49th!
 

Born2Late

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The battery for the 201 is an easy fix. #675 hearing aid batteries work extremely well. An adapter is required; you can make or buy them inexpensively. You can also use silver oxide button cells with the same adapter, but without adjusting the meter the hearing aid batteries will give you more accurate exposure readings.
 

Chan Tran

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There are many substitute available out there but my solution is very simple I simply use the camera without the meter.
 

mgb74

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The battery for the 201 is an easy fix. #675 hearing aid batteries work extremely well. An adapter is required; you can make or buy them inexpensively. You can also use silver oxide button cells with the same adapter, but without adjusting the meter the hearing aid batteries will give you more accurate exposure readings.

These adapters for the 675 battery are just to center the battery in the battery chamber as the diameter of the 675 is smaller than the original px625 mercury battery. While adapters for silver oxide batteries have a small diode to alter the voltage, the 625 adapters do not. The 675 is also, I believe, a bit shorter than the original px625, but that's usually not an issue.

I use a #9 oring in my OMs and SRTs. Some use a piece of wire formed into a circle. Jon Goodman sells (or used to sell) a metal adapter that is nice for cameras that require continuity to the edge of the battery.

PX625 alkaline batteries are scarce, but available. However, the voltage drop over time makes using them problematic.
 
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Andrew O'Neill

Andrew O'Neill

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There are many substitute available out there but my solution is very simple I simply use the camera without the meter.

High school students will be using the camera. Not me. So, the idea of giving them a camera that cannot meter will be disastrous.

I'll try the O-ring trick with hearing aid battery. Thank you, everyone!
 

MattKing

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High school students will be using the camera. Not me. So, the idea of giving them a camera that cannot meter will be disastrous.

I'll try the O-ring trick with hearing aid battery. Thank you, everyone!
Andrew,
Jon Goldman's adapters are really well priced, work really well, and allow you to use the incredibly inexpensive 675 hearing aid batteries. IIRC, Costco sells the hearing aid batteries in 30 packs for amazinly small prices.
The only problem with the adapters is that with a hearing aid battery installed, the package looks like a battery. As Jon says in the accompanying instructions, be sure to discard just the dead battery, not the battery and the adapter too!
The adapters work just as well in Olympus OM-1s, old LunaPro meters, some of the Nikkormats, some of the Cabinets, etc., etc.
Jon mails product to Canada at no extra charge.
 

billdele

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An MR-9 adapter (available at Amazon & others) has worked well for me in SRT cameras as well as other 625 battery users. It lets you use silver oxide batteries such as the Energizer 357 without fiddlling with "O" rings or the like.
 

BradS

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I use the modern replacement battery that is an exact fit, a 625 I think ands simply adjust the film speed selector dial so that the meter is accurate. Essentially, I do a mini calibration of the meter using a known good meter each time I change film speed. It's a non-issue.
 

joelbolden

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I just joined this forum and came across this while browsing. I just bought an SRT201 and a 1.35v WEIN battery that works perfectly; in fact it lists the Minolta SRT as one of the cameras it works in. The battery itself is of Zinc/Air manufacture and is the MRB625. It replaces the PX625 and PX13. Just shot my first roll or 36 exposures with the camera and the meter functioned perfectly.
 

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Wein cells work extremely well but they’re also very short-lived and quite expensive for what they are: essentially 675 cells with adapter rings mounted permanently to them. For convenience, though, they’re pretty hard to beat.

The same result can be gotten from a 675 with an o-ring, piece of wire or a cheap brass adapter from Ebay.

If you opt for a 1.5 volt solution, you’ll need a diode in the mix somewhere. That can either be built into the adapter (as in MR-9 adapters) or built right into the camera on the lead of the battery compartment. Modifying the camera is a very common, inexpensive repair for these models and instructions can be found on the net here:http://www.rokkorfiles.com/conversion.htm among other places.

Any of these solutions will give very usable results. I would avoid alkaline 625s as their voltage is not consistent. They can work in a pinch, but they’re a hassle and not always accurate.

SRTs are really excellent cameras. Some student is going to be learning with a very nice camera!
 

Deleted member 88956

High school students will be using the camera. Not me. So, the idea of giving them a camera that cannot meter will be disastrous.

...
Are you going to teach photography or not? Giving them a hand held meter would teach a lot more then ANY in camera meter. I see little point in teaching analog photography without having a hand held meter in use as i think it opens up the light measurement and how bits relate. SRT 201 is a great camera just make sure everything works OK.
 
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Andrew O'Neill

Andrew O'Neill

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Sounds like you've never taught high school photography. The biggest challenge is keeping kids engaged today. They don't like anything that is complicated or hard. They'll look for another easier elective, like chess... Yes chess is a class at my high school. I have a class set of K1000's. Not having an auto mode and only manual has been a great learning tool. Why do you think every high school that still has a film program uses this camera? I do my best to teach them how to use the camera metre effectively. We have two hand held metres that are used only for studio work.
 

Deleted member 88956

Sounds like you've never taught high school photography. The biggest challenge is keeping kids engaged today. They don't like anything that is complicated or hard. They'll look for another easier elective, like chess... Yes chess is a class at my high school. I have a class set of K1000's. Not having an auto mode and only manual has been a great learning tool. Why do you think every high school that still has a film program uses this camera? I do my best to teach them how to use the camera metre effectively. We have two hand held metres that are used only for studio work.
You're right I don't ... so I won't... K1000 was placed everywhere because it was cheap when it came out ... cheap but solid. Nothing wrong with it, I like it myself.
 

neilt3

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Sounds like you've never taught high school photography. The biggest challenge is keeping kids engaged today. They don't like anything that is complicated or hard. They'll look for another easier elective, like chess... Yes chess is a class at my high school. I have a class set of K1000's. Not having an auto mode and only manual has been a great learning tool. Why do you think every high school that still has a film program uses this camera? I do my best to teach them how to use the camera metre effectively. We have two hand held metres that are used only for studio work.

Your doing well to get them away from their iPhones doing selfies onto real cameras ( film or digital ) , learning about film photography is just a bonus .
When they get more interested is the time they can really learn use such as spot meters , flash meters , large format film etc .
 

MattKing

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hen they get more interested is the time they can really learn use such as spot meters , flash meters , large format film etc .
Nah..
Some of them maybe.
But most of them, you want to get them excited about seeing things, and then visualizing prints, and then figuring out how they can use the film and the cameras to create what they visualize.
If you and they are lucky - really lucky - they might be hooked for life.
 

Deleted member 88956

Your doing well to get them away from their iPhones doing selfies onto real cameras ( film or digital ) , learning about film photography is just a bonus .
When they get more interested is the time they can really learn use such as spot meters , flash meters , large format film etc .
Digital photography has little to do with "getting away" from iPhones and selfies as most learn how to keep on firing until memory card is full (so they can process (at most) 10% of what they shot on computer with little attention to what had taken place to record the image). Film at lest gives them a pause as "memory" is very limited AND expensive by comparison.
 

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I used one of the voltage adjusting adapters and the camera behaved weirdly. It doesn't make any sense, but the camera worked well when I removed the adapter. Hearing aid batteries are close enough to get a decent exposure, but I routinely will do a Sunny 16 reality check to be safe.
 

shutterfinger

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I used one of the voltage adjusting adapters and the camera behaved weirdly. It doesn't make any sense
Electronic devices have two requirements, correct voltage and correct current. An adapter that causes strange operation or incorrect readings probably reduces the current to a fail point or the camera's electronics have failed to the point that they are trying to pull more current than they should which will reduce battery life.
+1 for the sunny 16 reality check.
 

Deleted member 88956

Electronic devices have two requirements, correct voltage and correct current. An adapter that causes strange operation or incorrect readings probably reduces the current to a fail point or the camera's electronics have failed to the point that they are trying to pull more current than they should which will reduce battery life.
+1 for the sunny 16 reality check.
Meters that did not employ voltage compensating bridge circuit use battery voltage as reference point, hence the need to have correct voltage for designed reading to occur. All voltage compensating adapters use a diode to drop voltage to the mercury cell levels and are generally (if put together correctly) nearly bullet proof to allow meters to work as designed. If the camera acted WEIRD, the adapted was not doing the job as meant or camera meter is no longer behaving as designed.
 

Chan Tran

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High school students will be using the camera. Not me. So, the idea of giving them a camera that cannot meter will be disastrous.

I'll try the O-ring trick with hearing aid battery. Thank you, everyone!

If metering is important I would give them any of the SRT series even with correct battery. But I think they should be able to use them without the meter. If they can do selfie with a phone they should be able to use a 35mm SLR with no meter.
 
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Andrew O'Neill

Andrew O'Neill

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If metering is important I would give them any of the SRT series even with correct battery. But I think they should be able to use them without the meter. If they can do selfie with a phone they should be able to use a 35mm SLR with no meter.

No, they can't. Phone and the SRT are different. I would be getting back too much blank film from them... money down the drain. I've shelved the camera for now. I've got enough K1000's for everyone (plus a few extras). Thanks everyone for your help.
 
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