Main -> Photography -> Classic Cameras -> Modern Classics -> Polaroid SX-70 [sitemap]

Created 6 June 2001 ... Updated 25 September 2005

Polaroid SX-70 alpha
This camera certainly shows it's age. My camera is an aluminium frame covered with Brown leatherette. There has also been an orange version so it's a real mid 1970s camera, from the disco era. When closed it is very small and does not look like a camera at all but when you then pull the viewfinder it opens and it really is a manual focus camera.

These cameras can be had very cheaply so very good when you want to take it apart or modify it. Just Google this camera and you will find plenty of pages with information how to do interesting things with them. Mine will stay as it is though: a very special 1970s camera...

Some highlights
  • First and only Polaroid SLR camera and the only SLR that can be opened and closed in this way.
  • First instant camera for SX70 pack film. This film is the first film that had all chemicals contained in the paper. Previous film types used the negative/positive technique. This new film pack allowed for better and sharper pictures and allows the cameras to be much smaller than their ancestors.
  • The SX-70 was a was a major breakthrough for instant picture photography. It made instant photography easier, cleaner, faster and more respected. This camera sold for a while better than cameras for "normal" film.
  • The typical instant picture people would know came from this era: a square picture with a white border around that's a little wider at the bottom. This wider border at the bottom contained the chemicals that developed the picture, so it was not there for esthetical reasons...
Polaroid SX-70

Type  :  Mirror Reflex, instant photography
Manufactured  :  1977
Price New  :  DM 399, about 200 Euro
Lens  :  8/116 (4 Elements), Single coated, Protection by closing the camera
Viewfinder  :  SLR viewfinder, through the lens
Focus  :  manual, 0.3 m - infinite
Shutter  :  ca. 10 - 1/175 sec.
Exposure meter  :  Auto with +/- 1,5 steps correction
Power  :  Integrated 6 Volt battery in filmpack
Dimensions  :  106 x 180 x 43 mm (closed), 600 gram without Filmpack
Film Type  :  Polaroid SX-70, 10 pictures per pack
Picture Size  :  8 x 8 cm
Special  :  Connector for special flashrail
Connector for remote electrical shutter release

links SX-70 web links
links Roland and Caroline
links Historical information about the SX-70 system.

links The Hacker's Guide to the SX-70
links How to make your SX-70 do things that Polaroid had never intended.

All photos copyright of M. Koning 1997 - 2005

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