{Getting to Know You} Minolta Maxxum STsi

Here’s a camera and lens I got for SEVENTEEN BUCKS!

I bought (what I refer to as) “a $10 camera in a bag” from Goodwill in late 2018. It was literally an SLR in a big plastic zipper bag, and I figured I should buy it. The camera was a Minolta QTsi, and it came with a 35-70mm kit lens, as well as a longer zoom lens. I didn’t research the camera before buying it, but when I got it home, I realized it was literally a point and shoot SLR. There is no way to change any setting on it, except flash mode. I got to thinking maybe I’d like to have a 50mm lens for the QTsi. When I began looking at those, some of the eBay listings for Minolta 50mm lenses also included a camera for not much more than the lens would cost on its own. That’s how I ended up with the STsi. The startling bid for the camera and lens was $17, so I put in that bid, thinking it couldn’t POSSIBLY go for that cheap, but it did! I couldn’t believe it. The lens alone was worth more than that. It came with a close up filter as well, which is what I used for the macro shots included in this blog post.

Notable features of the STsi are that it has a shutter speed range of 30 sec. – 1/2000 sec., plus bulb. The exposure modes are: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter priority, Manual, and several automatic program modes. It has a switch for panoramic photos and is capable of multiple exposures (the instruction manual says you can do however many you want, but so far, I can’t figure out how to do more than two exposures. Not that I ever do more than two exposures in any multi exposure shot anyway.)  The STsi does have a built in flash, but it is unlikely I will ever use it!

Enough of the backstory, on to the photos!

Roll #1 was Agfa Vista 200

One of mom’s tattoos 

“The Twins” – my brothers are fraternal twins. The one on the left was able to visit us last July, which was the first time since 2012! Our mom was happy!

(Her eyes may be closed in this one, but her smile is way too cute NOT to post the photo!)

(Panoramic switched on)

(It’s ya girl)

Roll #2 was Kodak Max 400

The pink gerbera daisies were brought back from the funeral service for my mom’s younger sister who passed away unexpectedly. I wanted to document the flowers for mom. 


So I really like this camera. Its autofocus can be kind of clunky and sometimes has trouble achieving the correct focus. I had a few shots that didn’t turn out as a result. But, considering the bargain for which I got it and how much I enjoyed the results from the 50mm f/1.7 lens, it’ll be in my regular rotation. I like cameras with panorama switches (some folks don’t) so I’d like to get a wider angle lens to shoot more panoramic shots with. I’m really pleased that buying that “$10 camera in a bag” led me to the STsi and the 50mm lens!


If you look around recent posts to this blog, you can tell most of my outings in 2019 (and up until the pandemic in 2020) were to coffee shops with my coffee lovin’ niece 🙂 Oh, and I still haven’t shot the Minolta QTsi that led me to the STsi !!!

3 Thoughts on “{Getting to Know You} Minolta Maxxum STsi

  1. $17 for an SLR with a 50mm lens? That’s my kind of bargain!!

  2. Veronica Raney on May 5, 2020 at 12:31 pm said:

    This post May be lenthy.
    Dear Amanda, once again I am enamored, by the camera’s history.
    I think you are doing tutorials, that many , would gladly pay for your expertise, and you knowledge.
    I thank you for your attitude.
    As for the photos, the subject matter is great.
    LO FI Coffee Shop ( downtown The Big M) has been one of my gal’s go to place.
    Love them…My gal’s.
    Am sure that one of Anna Marie’s callings and giftings, is : Barista.
    Friends gave her and Amanda a espresso machine.
    Practice is making perfect!
    The nature pics are still “outta-sight”.
    Have made my case for the double exposure of the Jewel weed.
    On my property.
    The black and white photo of my plant in the kitchen.
    A cutting in the process of rooting, in water.
    Okay, Not done.
    Will stop. Don’t want to lose my “audience”
    Peace out .Your mom

  3. Jonathan Noble on February 11, 2021 at 5:06 am said:

    Hi! Uhm so, I just bought a Minolta STsi of my own and am relatively new with film photography and the operation of old shooters like these so um, I was wondering if you got any pointers with using it? I think the one I got came with the kit lens it would have shipped with back in the day (a 28-80mm zoom lens.) But yeah, if you got any tips, I would really appreciate it!

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