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Any camera buffs out there?
blaisepascal
Skitten is working on going through a lot of stuff in storage in the house, with the goal of getting rid of stuff she no longer wants or needs. Today she found a stash of cameras and exposed film, most of which hasn't been touched or used in close to a decade.

We've tossed 4 disposable cameras (all with "develop by" dates in 2002 and three 35mm point and shoot bodies. A nice-looking Samseung point-and-shoot is going on free-cycle.

What's left is her graduation gift, which she is reluctant to get rid of for sentimental reasons -- and I'm reluctant to get rid of because it's a nice camera. But I don't know what to do with it.

It's a Minolta X-370 SLR body with 3 lenses -- a 50mm Minolta lens, a 135mm Minolta lens, and a Vivitar 2x Tele Converter. The 135mm is a little beat up, but probably still works.

The problems I see is that a) I don't know where to get film for it, b) I don't know how to get the film developed for it. Without those, it's more of a nice paperweight than a nice camera.

Alternatively, would it be possible to get a CCD back for it to convert the perfectly fine body and glass into a DLSR? I don't know if that would be feasible without being prohibitively expensive.

Any advice?

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Isn't that camera a standard 35mm? If so you should be able to get film in all the usual places, with consumer C41 processing still widely available and likely a specialist photo shop somewhere that can handle more exotic types (D76 or E6, etc.) If you need film I stick with B&H.

Digital backs are prohibitively expensive regardless of camera type. In the case of SLRs there's almost no reason to bother, since these days the digital functions are so integrated. I can only see the point in doing it with a medium or large format high-end professional camera, and even then you'll pay for that. That said, there's some absolutely sick backs available for those high-end bodies and glass.

You may be able to use your lenses on a Sony DSLR, so check that out.

"All the usual places"... Where would that be? I'm not sure I know of any place locally which develops film commercially (the local college has film classes and dark rooms, but those aren't publicly available). Both camera stores in town closed years ago, and I don't believe any of the drug stores or supermarkets do film processing anymore.

If I knew of any "usual places" that still did film processing, I'd go there.

When I speak of usual places I am referring to pharmacies with photo labs and discount stores such as Walmart and Target. If you don't have any of those in your area... damn, you're probably looking at mail order developing.

We have pharmacies, Walmart, and Target. I'm just uncertain if any of them still do film processing. Even the local Wegmans shut down it's film processing department here a few years ago.

I checked your earlier suggestion... SONY bought up Minolta's autofocus business and renamed it the SONY Alpha line. Minolta MF mount lenses work on SONY Alpha bodies. Unfortunately, the X-370 uses the earlier manual focus MC/MD mount, which is incompatible with the autofocus MF mount. So the glass is only good on this body.

+1 on the elusive "35mm digital back" not worth it if it even exists.

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