This camera is a revised and upgraded SX70 Sonar. It uses 600 film, so
shorter shutter speeds and smaller apertures are possible. After
Polaroid went bust, several firms specialized in SX70 repair. Mint, a
Hong Kong based firm and one of the best known, began repairing SX70
cameras some 20 years ago. They offered also upgrades. These cameras
are all from the 70s and 80s. In spite of their good build quality,
So Mint then offered new, upgraded electronics for the use of their
time machine, a device that makes it possible to set exposure times
manually. Up to now (2023) the time machine sets the aperture to F8,
smaller apertures are not possible. Bear this in mind if you want one,
they are quite expensive.
There is a whole
community on the web about SX70 repair and electronics, the most known
is OpenSX70. There are also forums which can advise and members that
help with repair. My camera was revised and upgraded by a friend from
the French Polaroid-Passion forum. As
the SX70 is
a good camera and a real SLR, prices are still quite high. Prefer a
revised camera, the photo cell gets dirty with time and exposure may
not be good. The Sonar
might be handy, but adds to the size of the camera. The Sonar can be uncoupled.
In my opinion Polaroid film
made a big step forward in 2023. The colours are bright now, the photos
look sharp and contrasty. Development times are shorter, at room
temperature the photo is ready after 10 minutes and it has no longer to
be protected from light after ejection, although it is still better to put it face
down or into your pocket and keep it warm for the first 10 minutes. I
think the new film is quality wise as good as the famous Time Zero
film, it just takes a bit longer to develop. So prefer film made after
mid-2023. And yes, a good camera makes sense again, even if it is more
Features of the SX70 Sonar model:
4-element 116mm f/8 glass lens Minimum focus: 10.4 inches Autofocus; uses Polaroid Sonar AF system. AF "preview" available before exposure is made. Full manual focus is also possible. Low-light warning in viewfinder. Electronic shutter
Programmed automatic exposure, shutter speeds from >10 sec to 1/175;
aperture range f/8- f/22; smaller apertures possible when flash is used. Auto flash exposure based on focus distance, Max flash distance 20ft. Built-in Flashbar socket for flash. Accessory electronic flashes were also available. Socket for an electrically-actuated remote shutter release. SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) viewing. Chrome-plated or black plastic body with faux leather covering.
It has a tripod socket.
Camera unfolded. It's a late model 2 with split-screen focus point.
front. The plastic roll at the ejection slot is a so-called frog
tongue. It protects the ejected photo from light. This is (was)
necessary for older film from Impossible and New Polaroid. Recent
film does not need it any longer. But it keeps the photo from dropping down...
Left side. The camera has a socket for an electric remote control.