SX-70 or 600-series Polaroid?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by celluloidpropaganda, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. celluloidpropaganda

    celluloidpropaganda Subscriber

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    I'm looking to replace a packfilm-converted 110B I bought earlier this year. I love the final product of the 110B, but it's quite a bit larger than I was expecting just from looking at online photos and not quite what I was looking for to carry around.

    I'm thinking of buying a couple of older consumer/pro-sumer Polaroids, wondering what the advantages/disadvantages of going for an SX-70-series camera over the more common 600-series might be?

    Is the SX-70's print closer to the 3x4 film I've been using rather than the puffy Polaroids I remember from my childhood (I assume that's 600 film)?

    I've read some about SX-70 manipulation, but that's not a real selling point to me (given the problems with the latest batches of Time Zero, probably a good thing).

    Thanks,
    MP
     
  2. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Here's a link to Polaroid's film web page: http://www.polaroid.com/products/pr...mUID=1121833942649&bmLocale=en_US&sc=Packfilm

    The SX-70/Time Zero and 600 film are the same size. The image size is 3.1 x 3.1 inches, a square format. The older pack films (type 80 series) were 2.75 x 2.88 inches. The 66X series pack film image size is 2.88 x 3.75 inches.

    I'm partial to the SX-70 myself because I believe it is a better camera than the 600. But, that's just me and I also favor manual focusing and exposure settings. The SX-70 is a true SLR. Its considered to be the best camera Polaroid has ever made. There's a method for adapting the 600 film pack for use in the SX-70 but I've never tried it. As long as Time Zero film is available, I don't see the need of bothering with type 600.
     
  3. kswatapug

    kswatapug Member

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    The modification of the 600 series camera is fairly simple--a piece of masking tape or neutral density gel over the light sensor usually lengthens the exposure to match the slower Time Zero film, which is better for manipulations. YRMV.

    When inserting a film pack, one needs to cover the metal contacts inside the film port. A piece of cardboard torn from the film box does the trick, covering them until the pack is almost completely in place, at which point the cardboard can be removed so the film pack can be fully inserted and the battery will make contact. Seems to me this modification was posted on the the Polaroid website. You'll also find it in Kathleen Thormand Carr's book on manipulated Polaroids.

    I prefer the harder to find 680 SE camera, on account of its sonar focus and built in flash, than the trusty SX-70, some models of which have auto focus, but flashes were either flash bars or aftermarket accessories (slow recycle and AA battery hogs).

    On the plus side, the SX-70s are easy to find and lower priced.
     
  4. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Keith, you jogged my mind. The 600 film is faster than Time Zero - that was its reason for existance-improved speed.

    And yep, flash is not as handy with an SX-70 unless you want to shell out bucks for flash bars. They are still made but pricey I thought.
     
  5. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

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    There's actually supposed to be a way to use 600 film in an original SX-70, too -- not only is it faster, but it's a couple bucks cheaper per pack as well. The pack and image dimesions, and camera specs are identical; the conversion of the older cameras, as I recall, requires opening up the front panel (around the lens and photocell) and replacing a resistor to reduce exposure by two stops. I keep thinking about this; I have an SX-70, and I've never been very happy with the images it produces, but faster film would give both smaller lens opening and faster shutter, which couldn't hurt. But with the price of film, it's hard to justify in comparison to my 6x9 folders, unless for subject matter one doesn't want a processor to see (and for some reason don't want to shoot on digital).
     
  6. kswatapug

    kswatapug Member

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    My first couple SX-70 type cameras were acquired at the Santa Clara Camera Swap. Unfortunately they were both worthless. Crudded up mirror in one, dirty rollers in the other. I also bought two different, useless, flash accessories before I obtained these 680 SEs. I paid a premium for the 680s, but they were in mint condition. The meters are not all that accurate, but I've learned to adjust.

    As for the 600 film, IMO it is not as fun to play with. It seems to harden faster and isn't very responsive to my scribbling in the first place. Regardless, I am sure there is someone out there who finds it aesthetically attractive in spite of these tendancies.
     
  7. lexglenn

    lexglenn Member

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    polaroid 680 SE

    I got a 680 SE, the motor continues to run. I know the problem with the palastic coupling. However this one has the spring already attached to the shaft as it should be. Would there be another reason the motor runs constantly?

    Thanks
    lexG