I own a Minolta SR-101 35mm film camera and have been using it for a while and have had no problems with it. Recently, when I take a picture, the viewfinder goes black (usually when I'm shooting with a high shutter speed). I am by no means an expert when it comes to the mechanics of film cameras, but I thought it may be because the shutter was stuck, but I was able to advance the film, and the viewfinder went back to normal. This has happened multiple times and I have yet to get the roll developed, but I was wondering if this means that the picture was not taken? If anyone could help me or knows why this might be happening, I would very much appreciate it!
(Also please excuse me if I made any mistakes in terminology!)

  • \$\begingroup\$ So, you press the shutter button, the mirror slaps up and the viewfinder goes black, the shutter opens, and then nothing happens until you cock the shutter again, whereby the mirror drops back down? Is that the sequence of events? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Dec 16, 2017 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes! Sorry for being unclear! \$\endgroup\$
    – msk972
    Dec 16, 2017 at 22:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm with @JindraLacko. At high shutter speeds, the camera may simply no longer be tripping some mechanism to lower the mirror after the shutter has fired. I don't own your model, and haven't run into the issue with any of my film bodies. Your best bet will be to find a repair shop and have them take a look. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Dec 18, 2017 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


Flipping the mirror and opening the shutter are two separate actions that are usually coupled, but not necessarily - see mirror lockup.

There are some cameras (mostly medium format - Bronica ETRSi comes to my mind) where the mirror stays up by design, as a sort of poka-yoke reminder to wind the camera again.

While your camera obviously has a malfunction and should be serviced the stuck mirror doesn't necessarily mean the shutter has not fired.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not aware of any Minolta SLR (whether SR-1 or SRT-101) that has a non-instant-return mirror. And with 35mm SLRs, having no instant return mirror is simply old tech, not an intentional feature. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 6, 2020 at 19:47

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