Polaroid SX-70

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by George Papantoniou, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Is there a Polaroid film for the SX-70 still produced ? Can I find it by mail order somewhere (European E-shops preferred) ??
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    the last production run was earlier in the year. (time zero film)There may be some available on the market, the best place to check would be with polaroid directly.

    If you just need just film for the sx-70 camera, then type 600 may be used with some minor adjustment to the camera. Check polaroid website for directions.
    If you want to manipulate the film then you will need to find some time zero film
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Ann is right on the mark with this one. There is a very simple procedure for using 600 film in the camera. Something to do with a small cardboard insert below the film pack or something. You should be able to find it by searching for 'SX-70 600 film' or some simliar terms. If you want the film that can be manipulated, act fast as it is rapidly being snapped up and doesn't keep fresh (unexposed) overly long if I remember correctly.

    - Randy
     
  4. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Hello George Papantoniou,

    Polaroid recently announced discontinuation of Time Zero Film production. There will probably be enough stock until the end of this year, but then you would need to modify the camera. While the Polaroid 600 films will load into the camera, the ISO is way different. Due to ISO differences, you would need to modify the camera in order to use the current 600 film.

    I will miss Time Zero film, since it is one of the things I use for manipulations. I recently exhibited an SX70 manipulation at a juried exhibit. While there are tricks and manipulations that can be done with the newer 600 films, there is nothing that matches manipulating Time Zero film.

    Anyway, if you have one of these cameras, you might want to consider a permanent change in order to use the 600 films. The easy one is glueing an ND filter over the light meter. There is a more complex modification involving pulling the camera apart and changing a certain resistor, but not recommended unless you are very skilled in repairs and soldering.

    I like my SX70 enough that I will probably modify it when I run out of Time Zero film. The funny thing is that it is the only autofocus (Sonar) camera that I own. If you are more curious, the best site I have found so far is at:

    http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/~holder/SX70.html

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  5. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    Oh, brother -- confusion and misinformation.

    The SX-70 will overexpose by two stops with the dial centered and 600 film loaded (after you use the "shoehorn" trick or carve off the bumps on the pack in order to load the new film into the old camera). Putting a neutral density over the meter will make it overexpose even MORE. Putting a two stop filter (ND .6) over the *lens* will correct exposure for both daylight and flash, but at the cost of severely darkening the viewfinder on SLR models.

    The simplest way to correct the exposure for 600 film in an SX-70 without darkening the viewfinder is to remove the front panel, REMOVE the filter (1 stop, i.e. ND .3) that's already present over the meter cell, and then (after replacing the panel) turn the dial all the way to *darken*. However, this leaves no leeway for reducing exposure in situations where you want a darker or more saturated print. This can be resolved by then putting ND .3 over the *lens* and using the camera with the dial centered, though that will again darken the viewfinder and make it difficult to focus in poor light.

    There's also a possible modification of the metering system by replacing a component (a capacitor, IIRC) with a smaller value item, which (if the correct component value can be found) would allow using the camera with dial centered and no filters. All of these metering modifications, however, will destroy the ability to use the camera with flash, as the flash exposure is taken from focus distance and will be two stops too great (or one stop, if you have an ND .3 on the lens). Another filter, or a diffuser with filter, on the flash could correct this.

    One method I've talked about a few times but don't know (yet) of anyone trying is to put a piece of ND .6 sheet material over the opening in the film pack when loading the film; if taped in place so it doesn't crease or pull out of place, this should allow using the 600 film in an unmodified camera, including with flash, without darkening the viewfinder -- with the proviso that you'd probably have to replace the filter sheet each time you load a fresh film pack (however, Lee theatrical filters come in a 24x24 inch sheet that will yield up to 56 3x3 inch filters for $7, and they do offer ND .6 in this form).

    None of this will save the manipulability of the Time-Zero film, of course, but it could keep some of these old classic Polaroids working (hard to believe these techno-marvels were introduced more than 30 years ago).
     
  6. DBP

    DBP Member

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    And I've been looking forward to trying manipulations as the flowers came up this spring, using an SX-70 passed down from a friend of my dad's (and supposedly acquired from Edwin Land himself). Just ordered 5 packs from Central Camera. B&H is already out, it seems.
     
  7. George Papantoniou

    George Papantoniou Member

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    Well, you all missed the best trick to do in order to make it expose the new film right: stick a light INCREASING filter on the meter. Like the ND -.6 that increases the light that passes through by two stops :smile:

    Thank you all for your help. I'll try to do my best to find the Time Zero film, for I would like it to be manipulable...
     
  8. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I'm not sure finding Time Zero film will help you. This issue came up with the last batch of Time Zero - changes had been made in the film and it was no longer manipulatable. People complained and Polaroid checked into undoing the changes. When the company found it could not produce the old, manipulatable film (for whatever reason) it ceased production.

    I would expect any Time Zero film still on the shelves to be the stuff that folks found did not work.
    juan
     
  9. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Any idea on batch numbers for the problem Time Zero film? The reason I ask is that I know four other fine art photographers that also use Time Zero manipulations, and none of us has bought a problem batch of film. I don't doubt there were problem batches, though the packs I bought in December 2005 are manipulating as expected.

    Thanks for any information. I checked the Polaroid site, but they don't indicate any specifics.

    Ciao!

    Gordon
     
  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    i will have to go back and double check the batch numbers with issues, or just call tech support at Polariod and they will tell you.
    at one time the problem batch was listed on their site and on kathline carr's site.

    there are packs available off the shelve that will move, and in fact the problem ones can be forced to manipulated but that real work to do so.