Got my hands on a vintage Polaroid SX-70 instant camera, which looked a little beat up but all the mechanicals (opening, closing, focusing, etc.) seemed to work. Ran the serial number through my two favorite SX-70 age calculators on MiNT Camera (maker-modifier) and OpenSX70 (enthusiasts) and discovered the camera’s date of birth was March 26, 1973. Yikes — a 49 year-old SX-70 — from year two of production!
Let me explain; I run a side business buying and selling new/vintage cameras and accessories, called Cameras+Films. It’s not a big money maker, but it’s fun because I get to shoot with lots of old cameras as they pass through my hands. I keep a few of the best ones to use myself, plus any that are special, collectible, and shelf-worthy.
I won this particular Polaroid SX-70 at auction for a pretty good price, full of hope that it would work. I have the same hope every time I buy one, but it’s a crap shoot with a camera designed 50+ years ago, and manufactured between 40-50 years ago, so I’m often disappointed. When an old SX-70 doesn’t work after first cleaning its rollers to remove dried developer gunk, there’s nothing to do but send it out for repair, resurrection, refurbishing and/or modification.
But this time, with this SX-70, I was NOT disappointed, because — despite being a little “sticky” and hesitant — it worked great! It’s so satisfying to put a brand new pack of instant film into an old camera (which was revolutionary when launched!) and produce amazing results 50 years later. Today’s post is a couple of shots I took on this great old camera…
Camera: Polaroid SX-70 (vintage)
Film: Polaroid SX-70 Color instant film (new)
Photographer: Russ Murray (vintage)
Location: Somewhere in Stamford, CT
See you tomorrow…