Edwin Land
© Polaroid SX-70

An All Time Favourite: The Polaroid SX-70

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I tried but I really can’t pick one favorite camera. It’s like choosing which is your favorite kid. What I do feel is that a polaroid camera isn’t like any other camera. The results are always besides expectations, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. And one thing I like about this short life we live, is that not everything is in your own control.

It’s always exciting to develop film and finding out what effect your new film, camera or lens has. Same with polaroid. When you watch the image slowly appear, the feeling of excitement will appear with it. The outcome is never a sure thing and that’s exactly what I personally like about this way of shooting.

The first polaroid camera I got was a polaroid 600 camera. This one is very accurate and has autofocus and flash function. Most of the photos I took with this one turned out great. Yet still I always wanted to work with the polaroid SX-70. The design is truly amazing, it’s foldable and easy to take with you.

The SX-70 was designed by Eames in the early 70’s. It was the favorite camera of Andy Warhol when he shot numerous photos of it-girls and rockstars in his so called “Factory”. The camera went quite famous at the time. Some other famous photographers that worked with the sx-70 are Ansel Adams, Helmut Newton and Walker Evans.

When you want to work with flash on this camera, you can work with the old flashbar, which has 10 little lightbulbs that explode per picture. Some stores still sell these old bars but they are not made anymore. A more durable option is the Mint Flashbar. You can attach this bar to any SX-70 and it will work like a regular flash. Mint also offers a control bar which you can use to put the camera in manual mode and set your own desired shutter speed and aperture. This is a good solution for camera’s that tend to overexpose.

The SX-70 was designed for film with iso 100 but this film sadly isn’t available anymore. The current film has iso 160 so most of the time you will have to underexpose half a stop or so. The thing with these cameras; every single sx-70 is a little bit different in outcome. Some overexpose a bit more than others so when you get one, spend some time and film on trying what exposure setting works best for you. You must get to know your own version of the sx-70, but once you do, you will be partners for life.

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