Who does permanent SX-70 modifications?

Discussion in 'Instant Cameras, Backs and Film' started by mabman, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. mabman

    mabman Member

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    So, in a random search for Polaroid things on eBay the other day (I just bought a 250), I came across a reference to this auction (for some reason the only link that comes up via Google is in French, go figure), where the seller says he modifies SX-70s permanently for 600 film, no filters/mucking around required.

    I can't find any other site for the seller, and my general web searches are coming up empty - I've sent the seller a message through eBay last night, but I want to make sure I'm covering all my bases :smile: Is there anyone else out there who does this modification for existing SX-70s? Essentially I'm wondering if I can save a few bucks by picking up a working SX-70 and sending it to someone for modification, rather than buying one modified outright (for a premium, I'm assuming, but I could be wrong).
     
  2. thebanana

    thebanana Member

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  3. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    I've not modded mine and the only "faffing around" I have to do is remember to put a piece of card underneath the film pack (tho I normally forget to bring an extra darkslide from a previous pack so this is usually a hastily ripped off part of the box) to load it into the sx-70 and remembering to turn the brightness knob all the way to dark (it resets to the middle setting when you close it). Oh and i did take out the little filter from the electric eye but i didn't replace it with anything. The polaroid recommendations are less complex than what the ebay people are talking about (which usually involves opening up the sx-70 and changing some capacitors if i recall correctly, so it operates as an ISO 600 camera not an ISO 160? camera)
     
  4. lens_hacker

    lens_hacker Member

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    I've removed the filter in front of the electric eye as shown by Polaroid on three of my SX-70's. That, and setting the L/D control one big-mark toward darken does the trick. I have used 600 film with it in broad daylight without a problem

    The SX-70 Alpha and SOnar models have a top shutter speed of 180th sec and a minimum F-stop of F72. That and 600ISO film gives you a little margin, maybe not a beach scene, but good enough for most purposes. The SLR680 and SLR690 have 180th and F90- only 2/3rds of a stop better than the SX70 Alpha and later. The original SX70's top shutter speed is only 1/100th. But mine still works in daylight.
     
  5. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Hmm, this may be less complicated than I thought :smile: Interesting...
     
  6. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    The removal of the ND filter over the electronic eye and turning the L/D control one stop towards darken works well. It is a bit of a pain because the L/D control resets each time you open the camera. You can fix that but it requires snapping a little plastic catch inside the lens assembly (easy enough to get to though).

    The seller you refer to is unique. He replaces the timing capacitor in the electric eye circuitry. Each camera is a little different so it is more than just a 1-2-3 job. It takes time and tweaking and film to test. His price is more than reasonable.

    Keep in mind that either modification does not compensate for the secondary exposure circuitry that kicks in when a flashbar is detected. You'll need to either put an ND filter over the flashbar (you can get a preformed filter from the SX-70 accessory kit; designed for use with the close-up lens), use an ND filter over the lens (darkens the viewfinder), or tape an ND filter onto the film packet (a la SX-70 Blend film or the 'pack filter' which is sold on ebay).

    There are lots of options for us and it shows how many people love the SX-70 and are interested in keeping it alive.
     
  7. lens_hacker

    lens_hacker Member

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    My trick to compensate for the 2350 electronic flash (or flashbar) is to use the 1.5x Telephoto with the SX-70. The Tele lens shifts the focus-range of the prime lens. It gets you about 1 F-Stop of compensation. Keep the L/D control 1 big notch towards Darken, and it works out.
     
  8. Paul_C

    Paul_C Member

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    I can't find any of those packfilters on ebay. Anyone know of another source?
     
  9. amuderick

    amuderick Member

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    You can make your own packfilter. Order a large sheet of 2 stop ND window gel from Adorama. I think it costs about $6. Then cut your own and tape it to the top of the film pack. Insert and shoot.

    Check out the Flickr Polaroid group and search there. You will probably find some pictures and additional resources.
     
  10. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    I too have removed the filter in front of the electric eye on two of mine. It worked quite well. I have not used them in about a year, but IIRC it had the advantage of being able to shoot in much lower light without a flash.

    Cheers,
    Clarence
     
  11. shannonstoney

    shannonstoney Member

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    can't find a way to pop out filter on electric eye

    I have a time zero onestep land camera, and I am trying to pop out the chrome ring as the polaroid site instructs us to, but I can't pop it out. I wonder if I have the same camera that other people have?
     
  12. pegashus

    pegashus Member

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    SX-70 modifications for 600 film

    I did a couple of mods of the SX-70 Sonar to take 600 film because it's available locally at Sam's Club. I use the cameras to take kids' pictures at the Easter Egg Hunt at church. I evaluated the various methods (nd filter in front of lens, removing filter in front of light meter sensor, electronic mod) and decided on the electronic mod because: I wanted to be able to see through the lens clearly to focus, and I wanted a permanent fix. I also modded the springs in the film chamber so the 600 pack slides right in and out without a card. In other words, I ended up with a camera that's an SX-70 in every respect, modified to take the faster 600 film without ANY fiddling. It functions like a 680 or a 690, without the flash. You have to take the camera apart and replace a capacitor with one the right size and shape. I can even dial the light meter adjustment to tweak exposure if needed, but I haven't had to since the exposures have turned out just fine. If you want, I can e-mail you directions, or I'll be glad to modify one for you. I wish I had time to do a bunch of them, I could probably set up a shop, but I'm a pastor by calling and a tinkerer for fun.
    --Rev. Ash
     
  13. JRJacobs

    JRJacobs Member

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    Hi -

    I am the one doing the electronic modification for 600 film. I have done over 200 SX-70 camera modifications. With the recent announcement of the discontinuation of 600 film, I have stopped advertising the service, but will be happy to do it for you if you are interested. Please feel free to PM me (no email) if you are still interested.