Monday, January 21, 2008

SX-70: Conclusion

Just recently I modified the exposure RC-circuit in my sx-70 polaroid camera in hopes of giving it a new life. As cool as the original sx-70 looks as a museum piece, it is camera and cameras are for taking photos.

The conclusion:

The capacitor size modification from 1000pF to 220pF is an effective and clean solution to the new Polaroid 600 film being 2-stops (4 times) faster than the original sx-70 or Time Zero film. After running a 10 pack of Polaroid 600 film through my modified sx-70 I'm quite impressed with this camera. The lens, when focused properly, produces sharp and beautiful images. As well, I think I'm hooked on the Polaroid "look".

In natural light Polaroid 600 film preforms well in terms of colour reproduction. One of my first test shots with the sx-70 was of this red chair.

Hot seat
Hot seat

The sun was bright and I figured the white snow background would fool the sx-70's metering so I used the built in ND filter over the light sensor to compensate by setting it to almost full "darken". It fact by setting it to "darken" you are moving the ND filter out of the sensor's way to let in more light and thus forcing a faster shutter speed or smaller aperture.

These two photos were taken with the exposure compensation wheel in the center (neutral) position.

Kickin back
Kickin back

As with any camera indoor photography is challenging with the sx-70. This is compounded by the sx-70's slow f8 lens. As well, the Polaroid 600 film, as expected, has white balance issues when it comes to "unnatural" lightings such a tungsten bulbs. On the bright side, the capacitor modification makes use of the faster 600 film indoors and the viewfinder is not hindered by on lens ND filters.

What is next? Perhaps a do-it-yourself tripod mount for long exposure night photography...who knows...

Update: It is possible that my Polaroid is still partially over exposing the 600 film but it is well within the darken/lighten wheel's adjustment range. Perhaps a 180pF or 150pF capacitor would be a better choice.


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