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Thread: polaroid SX-70

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    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    polaroid SX-70

    Uh-Oh. I just got intrigued by this camera. Anyone have any experience with it? There seems to be several models. Which one is the one to have?
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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    I got one off ebay a couple months ago, because I wanted to try the timezero manipulations. Mine doesn't work very good, it seems a little out of whack and sometimes it won't spit the film out. Then if I take the whole pack out, it will work again (but that wastes the next pic). So I kinda gave up on it, plus I wasn't any good at the manips anyway. Ok, so I didn't help at all.

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    Canuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
    Uh-Oh. I just got intrigued by this camera. Anyone have any experience with it? There seems to be several models. Which one is the one to have?
    I got mine years ago, and it was the leather and chrome model. It offered nice closeup and relatively wide exposure adjsutment range. The newer version was, I believe, had plastic fake leatherette skin with ivory colored trim, instead of the chrome. Didn't have quite the exposure range, as I recall. Nice little toy but at $2.50 per pix, it adds rather quickly.

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    I got mine a few months ago as well. It's chrome with black leather and has the sonar autofocus. It's alot of fun to use and the pictures come out suprisingly well. Considering the age of it, the autofocus works great. People love it and its very neat how it folds up. Mike Slack (http://art.webesteem.pl/6/slack_en.php) uses either a SX-70 or something like it, I think his work is pretty neat.

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    Take a look at the Kathleen Thormond Carr books on SX70 manipulations. You can also modify another Polaroid camera (600?) by putting a .6 ND filter over the meter, and using a piece of card stock under the cartridge to slide the film in. The book has the details.

    S

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    Wally H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Hawley
    Uh-Oh. I just got intrigued by this camera. Anyone have any experience with it? There seems to be several models. Which one is the one to have?
    Any of those that use the TimeZero film... I've used several slightly different models with equal results... It can be difficult to find one that is in good working order... Also note that bad film can mask problems and fool one into thinking the camera is failing... There are some samples of that kind of work on my web pages (I refer to them as Altered Polaroids)...
    Regards,

    Wally

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    ann
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    i have several, one auto focus the other manual. they are great fun and i enjoy to manuilations , use it is a mind clearning exercise.

    I would definatley second sharon suggestion about Kathleen Carrs' book (s)

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    I'll bump the recommendation on Kathleen's book. It includes great examples from a wide variety of SX-70 artists and has explanations on how to modify equipment to accept the all-important Time-zero film. Though many camera shops carry the film, it is often old and a tad pricey ($2 per sheet) so you're likely to get better deals through the larger mail order houses. I buy mine ten boxes of ten at a time.

    You might also check this link: SX-70 Cameras @ Polaroid.com which lists the various models and the self-dubbed "hackers site to the SX-70" at http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/~holder/SX70.html. The most common are the version that is manual focus and requires either a flash bar or separate flash unit. The most sophisticated model is the 680 SE which has sonar autofocus and a built-in flash.

    The most common failings on these units are corroded mirrors that make it difficult to focus and sometime degrade image quality and gooked up rollers. The film is not very responsive to flat light. It is geared for high contrast and rich saturation. But, finding your own personal take on the media makes it all the more fun.

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    I still use mine occasionally. Some of the cameras are not SLRs - which I don't find desirable.
    juan

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    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the info. For a "fun" camera, this looks cheaper than a Graphic and much less hassle than a Holga.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

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