Custom Focusing Screen – Minolta SRT 101


  It was 12 o’clock last night, I was staring at my cameras. I do that a lot, okay? There were 3 cameras sitting on my desk, two Minolta SRT 101, and the Minolta XK. You may say I was bored, but some may say I am nuts. I started to think, “Well, I like the SRT. The 101’s ‘sound’ the best, but the best focusing screen ever is on the X700.” I decided could use one of the bodies sitting on my desk, and I just remembered that there’s a parts X700 somewhere in my closet. After lots of trial fittings, several hours of filing the screen by hand, the ‘SRX 101’ was born by the next evening.

  Those focusing screens are very delicate, you pretty much can’t touch them at all or they will be scratched. I was able to get it done with minimal damage to the screen. The shutter speed indicator was another story. It went very fast once I made sense out of it. But making sense out of it took quite a while. Let’s just say I went to sleep and worked in between. As it stands right now, the focus is good, the shutter indicator is good, but the meter acts funny as if not enough light is getting through. By three stops. HELLOOO! Ironic? It’s just electrical and I am sure I will figure that out later.  I got a feeling one of the metering cells on the prism is bad, the resistor at the bottom did nothing. I can live without it, but it would be cool if it would be functional so the camera is complete.

  I tell you, this camera is BRIGHT! It would even be more of a joy to use because of that. To distinguish this camera from the other SRT101, i decided to paint the screw under the prism black, where they usually are red from the factory. I am still debating on the name. It would either be SRX 101 or SRT 101 Black Dot.

17 thoughts on “Custom Focusing Screen – Minolta SRT 101

  1. Dude, that’s gonzo. And since most X-700s are parts cameras, thanks to that stupid capacitor that dies and renders the camera inoperable, you might as well cannibalize the parts.

    • Unscrew the bottom cover and check the 3 metal contacts that’s located right underneath the switch. Lots of time it just needed some slight bending back up and will get the meter going.

  2. My first SLR, back in 1970! Shot very happily with it for years before graduating to an XE-7 and a couple of xd-11s. I met the guy I sold the SrT-101 to years later and he thanked me for it!

    • Really! you met the guy 10 years later and he thanked you for it, ain’t that something! Just about the develop the roll from the SRT, wish me luck 😉

  3. If the X-700 screen is brighter, then the meter will not read correctly. It is set up to read correct exposure on the stock screen which is dimmer for the EV of the scene. With the X-700 screen, you likely will trick the meter into thinking too much light (with regards to the EV of the scene) is coming through, and it will advise a faster shutter speed or a smaller aperture. Right?

        • Yeah It was at night by the time I was done with the camera. And sometimes meter is not my priority. So a while after the blog post is probably when o adjusted the electrical .

          • I have Nikon, Pentax, Canon, and Olympus (even have a Petri!!) but I don’t have a Minolta!! I am trying to decide between an X700, the SRT series, and an XD11. I had an XD11 years ago, but sold it before I used it…..

            I would assume you would recommend the SRT?

            • Well if you like mechanical and great sounding shutter, the SRT, money is no object xd, big bulky and bulletproof and Also pricy , xk, cheap but good screen good functions and light however plastic , X700. I have everything mentioned but xd series.

  4. Late to the party, but was thinking of doing a similar mod and was curious if you remember whether the only grinding you needed to do was to remove the fins on the X700 focusing screen, or did you find you had to take down the sides as well to get it to fit into the assembly? Did you have to adjust the focus after? Did you ever fix the light meter question or do you just leave it and shoot Sunny 16?

    Thanks for taking the time and documenting this!

    • I had to file down one or both of the sides. Focus was fine. I did adjust the meter later it worked fine too. Been a while since I did that I don’t quite remember every little detail. I do still have the camera. Trying not to scratch the screen while filing it is a chore. I only got a small scratch on the screen .

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