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  1. #1

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    Who does permanent SX-70 modifications?

    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 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. #2
    thebanana's Avatar
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    Polaroid offers this solution, which I'm going to try myself one day. Doesn't sound like a lot of work:

    http://www.polaroid.com/sx70/en/index.html
    "While you're out there smashing the state, don't forget to keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart!"

  3. #3
    Akki14's Avatar
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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)
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  4. #4

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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. #5

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    Hmm, this may be less complicated than I thought Interesting...

  6. #6

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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. #7

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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. #8
    Paul_C's Avatar
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    I can't find any of those packfilters on ebay. Anyone know of another source?

  9. #9

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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. #10

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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

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