Since I wrote my blog about the Polaroid 600 camera, I have been completely obsessed with taking photos on a Polaroid camera.
The main reason is because I love the size of polaroid film. I feel the detail that comes from the photo is much greater than what I ever got on a mini instax film.
I was using my Polaroid 600 box camera quite a bit but quickly found myself getting frustrated with it. This was due to it being quite boxy which I struggled with taking out and about everyday with me unless I took a larger bag. I also quickly realised that I didn’t have much control on the focusing, which is fine if I’m taking a picture from a long distance but on shorter distances the photos were hit and miss.
I really love the design of the SX-70 folding camera and particularly loved the chrome and tan detail of some of the models so I knew that this was ultimately the Polaroid camera I would really love to have.
There are different types of the SX-70 folding camera but thanks to the Polaroid book by Rhiannon Adam I was able to decide that I would like to own the SX-70 Alpha 1 which came out around 1977.
The key differences that the Alpha 1 model has to the earlier SX-70s is that they have a built-in tripod socket, a guaranteed split-focus viewfinder, neck strap lugs and a fill flash capability where the flash isn’t limited to just being fired in low light conditions.
I had already decided if I was going to purchase one of these then I would need to pay a fairly high price for one if I wanted it in great condition. On eBay they are extremely popular and can go for quite a bit of money if several people get into a bidding war. There are some that come up cheap on eBay but they are often untested which I feel personally, you could end up paying even more to then get it refurbished. Also, I found that the Alpha 1 models don’t seem to come up as often for sale as the earlier models.
After much research I ended up purchasing my camera from a company called Revival Studio who are based on London. They sell refurbished polaroid cameras and they also come with a 6 month warranty.
The camera was immaculate and beautifully restored. Since the Alpha 1 model has the neck strap lugs, I was able to attach an original strap to the camera which makes it great for carrying around over my shoulder.
I’ve not been disappointed by this camera. I absolutely love it. The folding option makes it quite compact so I can also put it in an everyday handbag.
What’s also great is that I can use 600 Polaroid film in the camera if I use the Mint Flash Bar. I do tend to use the 600 film more than the SX-70 film because of the wider range of editions Polaroid Originals do. The cheapest place I’ve found the flash bar for sale is at Mr Porter where it costs £60 instead of around £80 which seems to be the usual price. You can also use the flash bar for the SX-70 film if taking photos indoors.
Another great accessory for this camera is the Mint SX-70 Lens set which can also be purchased from Mr Porter for £60 so again is cheaper than other websites that sell it for around £85.99. I was pleased to buy mine from there and delivery in the UK was really quick.
I purchased the camera back in September but wanted to experiment with it for a while before I blogged about it.
Since the camera is very transportable I do use it several times a week and I’m beginning to get a real feel for how it works and the best ways to take photos and when to use the light and darken switch depending on the film I’m using in the camera.
I’m at the early stages of experimenting with this camera and currently have tried both the Blue and Pink 600 Duochrome film, SX70 Colour film, 600 colour and black and white films and also expired films which have produced some interesting results!
I’m going to be blogging about the different film types and filters I’ve currently been using with the camera and some of the actual photos over the next week.
4 thoughts on “Polaroid SX-70 Camera”
I love the SX-70, I just wish Polaroid Originals film wasn’t so expensive, but it is a vast improvement on the old Impossible Project stuff. The best money I spent on the SX-70 was timer. makes self portraits easier.
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Yes it is expensive which is a shame and it also doesn’t help that there are now only 8 photos to a pack rather than 10. However, I am grateful that the film is still produced for this camera. I’ve read about the SX-70 timer but have yet to purchase one 😉
They certainly did a great job refurbishing that camera. Looks like it was built yesterday. So far my only experience is with Instax Mini film using my Mini70, and you are definitely more constrained in the area you have to work with. Much smaller than the Polaroids I remember using back in the day. Portability is so important. Even my 70, with it’s relatively small form-factor is far bulkier than my digital point&shoot. A lot of instant cameras are cumbersome, and I think you’re less likely to get spontaneous shots if you don’t want to lug around a bunch of gear with you. Great post!
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Thank you. The camera is certainly immaculate and feels like new 👍
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