Polaroid Land Camera – The Button

Right now I am sat in bed, a bit bored as I have been here a while. I reckon I have got Covid as I have never coughed so much in my life. It started as a tickly cough and for the passed two days it has morphed into the cough from hell. Each time I try and lie down it starts again and racks through my whole body. So I am trying to avoid lying down. Writing this post is keeping me occupied and in a seated position. It really sucks and I can see why anyone with any kind of preexisting condition would be in danger.

Anyway, I got this camera a while ago as part of a job lot, but this post really started way before that. I got another polaroid in another job lot and was given some film for it. That camera turned out to be a big pile of poo and the very expensive film was clearly being wasted. So I stopped using it and left the cassette inside the camera until I could figure out what to do.

This version of the SX-70 polaroid camera was originally release in 1981. As you might know I am not a big fan of this kind of film format as I have never had great success with it. I rarely spend my own money on film, but will happily accept the film as a present. And that is what happened with the film I had this time. It is a long story that I won’t go into fully. Basically though, my father was scammed out of Β£1500 and I managed to get it back with a lot of persistence, tenacity, and the small claims court. In return I asked for two cassettes of sx-70 as a “present”. He agreed.

I then had to wait until I had a working camera to finish the first cassette and think about using the new ones. It took so long that I almost forgot about the film. I didn’t want to buy a camera specifically, but waited until I saw one in a job lot. I thought I would never get one. Then finally one super day, there it was on Facebook marketplace.

I saw a photo of a job lot of cameras being sold very close to me and this one was right in the corner, just peeking into the frame. I checked that it accepted the same type of cassette then sent the seller a message. There were some other great cameras in the collection he was selling, plus a few duds. Either way, they were less than a decent photo book. So off I set to meet him, this was way before the current situation.

When this camera was finally in my possession, I put the whole thing in a light tight bag along with the other polaroid. I removed the cassette, replaced the black card that was spat out at the beginning, luckily I had saved it, and put it all in the new camera. This was all done by touch alone. Putting the card in was important as the camera automatically spits out the card, without the card it would spit out a photosheet.

Here are the final six shots from the cassette of eight.

It is still not my favourite format. It is just too unpredictable. I tried a couple of selfies, just because I felt a bit of a lack of a subject. Plus I was interested to see what the minimum focal length would be. On the inside shot of myself I was surprised to see how long the shutter stayed open. I thought the camera had a fixed shutter speed, but I could see the workings of the shutter inside the lens as I looked at it. It definitely stayed open longer on that shot.

Right now it is too expensive to experiment. I have one cassette left which I am going to save for the end of Covid times, that is going to be at least a few more weeks.

For me this example and the current film is a bit too unpredictable. What exactly does the dial on the front do. I know it makes things lighter or darker, but how much, which way do I turn it, under what conditions? This review of another, better SX-70 camera does explain the dial and has some great colour photo examples.

10 thoughts on “Polaroid Land Camera – The Button

  1. My memory is that this was the least expensive camera for SX-70 film when it was introduced. But so was the Pronto, and so was the original OneStep. They all seem to have the same specs. It’s as if Polaroid just did different colored bodies of the same camera to say they had something new.

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