In this post, I will blog about a sexy Polaroid LAND camera: the SX-70!
Mainly, I will blog about my user’s experience instead of technical parts because you can find accurate details on Wikipedia and other camera blogs.
SX-70SX-70 is a foldable single-lens reflex (SLR) instant film camera. A folded SX-70 looks like a huge cigarette box. Despite the small size, it’s heavy, but it saves you the space in your bag.
The company Polaroid that made all the vintage instant film camera had ceased production of all products, including the original Polaroid film. Fortunately, the Impossible Project in Europe took over the production.
Many have argued that the quality of the film by Impossible Project is bad and inconsistent.
Besides Impossible Project, a Hong Kong-based company, MiNT, is also helping to secure the future of Polaroid camera. They specialise in sourcing after used SX-70. After that, they refurbish (repair, change skin, cleaning, etc) the cameras.
They also offer one-year warranty if you buy a SX-70 from them.
As mentioned the original Polaroid company has ceased production on everything. Hence, the only option is to use Impossible Project film. When buying films, you can choose between ‘Film for SX-70’ or ‘Film for 600’.
The ‘Film for SX-70’ has lower ISO which is a necessity to shoot under well-lit and sunny condition. I just use flash regardless and adjust the exposure wheel to the middle, so that I don’t need to bother changing it every time the lighting condition changes.‘Film for 600’ is mainly for Polaroid 600-type or Polaroid SLR670. But you can also use it for SX-70. Just make sure to paste a ND filter on the lens as instructed, which will be given when you buy a Polaroid from MiNT. Once again, I didn’t want to paste the ND filter and I always use flash.
However, I find that the image on 600 film is always overexposed if shoot in brightly lit environment, regardless with or without flash (even when the exposure wheel is turned to dark).
One more thing, one pack of original Polaroid film contained 10 shots. For Impossible Project, there’s only 8. Hence, if you think the price for Fujifilm Instax is mad, I swear the price for Impossible Project film is beyond insane.
One pack of 8 shots costs at least SGD30. That makes one shot to be about SGD4-5?
Just stick to your Instax if you don’t want to spend too much money.
After shooting 3 boxes (24 shots) of Impossible Project films, I have mixed feeling about it. I love the polaroid camera, no doubt, but I think in terms of colour and quality, Instax is so much better.
The Impossible Project (IP) film is inconsistent, sometimes with smear here and there. The colours can be very odd, probably due to exposure issue.
I have read the trouble-shooting on their website. Apparently, the films are very fragile. If you are very careless, I think polaroid might not be suitable for you.
- Refrigerate the boxed film (I didn’t, now I must)
- Immediately put the exposed film in the dark after ejection from camera
- Be patient and do not check on the exposed film while it’s still developing (30 minutes minimum)
- Do not touch the image while it’s still developing
- Do not bend it
- Memorise how to utilise the exposure wheel very very well (read all settings on IP website)
ConclusionWe bought the SX-70 because we love the way it folds and unfolds. It’s freaking cool. As for the images, I think I will be able to nail it after I master the exposure.
Furthermore, with the expensive films and the rare availability, I don’t think it’s worth if you are not passionate about film camera collection.
Just stick to your Instax if you have already owned one. Instax film is easy to find as it’s everywhere in Hong Kong & Taipei. Most importantly, it is not too expensive and colour is accurate.
If you want a bigger frame, get the Instax WIDE.
To sum up, despite the imperfection, I love it. I am glad we have it 🙂
Do you think SX-70 films tend to give photos a purple tint?
For SX-70 films, I recommend to always use flash. However, if the weather is extremely sunny, such as at noon, you can try to use it without flash or adjust the exposure wheel for dark. Noteworthy, IP film has lots of ‘smear’ on the photos, especially around the edge and corners. They say it might be due to dirty metal roller?! But we bought it ‘brand new’!
Films for 600 (without ND filter)
As mentioned, I find that the photos on 600 film will be overexposed if I use flash and shoot under sunny condition. Then, I tried another shot without flash and it’s the same (overexposed). In such cases, I think I really need to put on ND filter and use without flash, for sunny weather.
In contrast, the photos look beautiful when use with flash in dimmed environment.
Thanks for reading. Do you like the photo effect of Impossible Project films?