Found! “New” 1980’s camera at Goodwill

Minolta X-700 purchased at a local Goodwill in Baltimore.

Today I decided to go in a random Goodwill with my boyfriend, Andrew. Andrew was searching for a fixed-gear bike to spruce up. There were no bikes, but lo and behold, imprisoned behind a glass counter there sat a vintage 1980’s Minolta X-700. Now, I know this blog is targeted towards cameras predating 1980 but I figured it was a good lesson in treasure hunting for you guys. If you read my last entry, “No Time Machine, No Problem”, you’d know that stores like Goodwill often offer hidden treasures. Sometimes they don’t all work but sometimes you can really get a great deal.

Today, I got a great deal.

How did I know? Well, remember, we start with checking out the lens, or if you want to speak the photo jive, the glass. They had several lenses available, the one I decided to go with was the 45mm, which offers a wider range of photo possibilities. This lens happened to be a Minolta Rokkor-X 45mm with an F2. I did some research and it retails for around $60 in good condition. I got it for $6.

After checking out the lenses, we surveyed the body. The shutter curtain was in amazing condition, very important. The foam, which we talked about in the “Light Leaks and Why They’re Cool” post, was newly replaced or maybe it was the original foam. Regardless, all of the light leak potential spots were safety sealed off.

Inside of the Minolta, it’s always very important to check the condition of the curtain, seals, and film spool.

Back view

Lastly, we checked to make sure our shutter worked. Unfortunately, the battery was dead. This model is battery dependent, so it is NOT fully manual like most antique cameras. The battery will be replaced tomorrow and we will get to testing this little fellow out.

Camera strap that is very symbolic to the SLR film cameras made in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Oh and not to forget, the camera also came with a very cool strap reminiscent of the 1970’s and early 1980’s boho hippy styles.
So what was my final gain? The camera body retails for around $90-$100 nowadays and that lens is estimated at around $60. My Goodwill setup is worth about $160 and what did I pay? $24.50… Happy Treasure Hunting!

26 thoughts on “Found! “New” 1980’s camera at Goodwill

  1. Thanks! And yes, I try to make it as easy as possible for people without a film background to understand. Film can be a wonderful hobby to partake in, it helps your patience and your ability to combine science with art. 🙂

  2. I loved reading this. I really enjoy all your blogs.. they impact my life is so many ways. what made you decide to buy this one?


    • Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy my posts so much 🙂 I decided to buy this gem because it was in great condition, and to be honest that awesome strap was what caught my eye. The lens that was sitting next to it is also a hard to find lens and for $6, it was a steal!

  3. I need to find better deals on my camera equipment! not only are you a writer, photographer and amazing person, but a bargain shopper also!

    • Thank you Allison also known as Gurtrude with a U. But I hope I can be a true bargain shopper and find cameras that actually work. Oftentimes people think that a cheap camera is worth it but spending $25 for a camera only to realize it will take $150 to have it fixed really isn’t worth it! That money could have gone to processing film.

  4. Your passion for photography comes alive when you describe your search for these “vintage” cameras. I love the history aspect of the find. Do you ever wonder about the history of the camera itself? Have you ever found film in any of them? How cool would that be. I love antiques and now I shall look into buying camera’s also. 🙂

    • I do! The camera Debbie mailed to me (an Argus Rangefinder) still has the address of the person who owned it originally written in ink on the back of the camera’s carrying case. Pretty neat. I would LOVE to find a roll of unfinished film inside. I recently read a story on ABC about how some kid bought an old camera from some local yard sale and found film in it. Upon developing he found old photos of his now deceased uncle. O_O

  5. Amazing……to find an old camera with film that included pictures of a relative at someone’s yard sale……..what a lucky kid! Sounds like a one in a million find!

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