Polaroid SX-70 Camera

Since I wrote my blog about the Polaroid 600 camera, I have been completely obsessed with taking photos on a Polaroid camera.

The main reason is because I love the size of polaroid film. I feel the detail that comes from the photo is much greater than what I ever got on a mini instax film.

I was using my Polaroid 600 box camera quite a bit but quickly found myself getting frustrated with it. This was due to it being quite boxy which I struggled with taking out and about everyday with me unless I took a larger bag. I also quickly realised that I didn’t have much control on the focusing, which is fine if I’m taking a picture from a long distance but on shorter distances the photos were hit and miss.

I really love the design of the SX-70 folding camera and particularly loved the chrome and tan detail of some of the models so I knew that this was ultimately the Polaroid camera I would really love to have.

There are different types of the SX-70 folding camera but thanks to the Polaroid book by Rhiannon Adam I was able to decide that I would like to own the SX-70 Alpha 1 which came out around 1977.

The key differences that the Alpha 1 model has to the earlier SX-70s is that they have a built-in tripod socket, a guaranteed split-focus viewfinder, neck strap lugs and a fill flash capability where the flash isn’t limited to just being fired in low light conditions.

I had already decided if I was going to purchase one of these then I would need to pay a fairly high price for one if I wanted it in great condition. On eBay they are extremely popular and can go for quite a bit of money if several people get into a bidding war. There are some that come up cheap on eBay but they are often untested which I feel personally, you could end up paying even more to then get it refurbished. Also, I found that the Alpha 1 models don’t seem to come up as often for sale as the earlier models.

After much research I ended up purchasing my camera from a company called Revival Studio who are based on London. They sell refurbished polaroid cameras and they also come with a 6 month warranty.

The camera was immaculate and beautifully restored. Since the Alpha 1 model has the neck strap lugs, I was able to attach an original strap to the camera which makes it great for carrying around over my shoulder.

I’ve not been disappointed by this camera. I absolutely love it. The folding option makes it quite compact so I can also put it in an everyday handbag.

What’s also great is that I can use 600 Polaroid film in the camera if I use the Mint Flash Bar. I do tend to use the 600 film more than the SX-70 film because of the wider range of editions Polaroid Originals do. The cheapest place I’ve found the flash bar for sale is at Mr Porter where it costs £60 instead of around £80 which seems to be the usual price. You can also use the flash bar for the SX-70 film if taking photos indoors.

Another great accessory for this camera is the Mint SX-70 Lens set which can also be purchased from Mr Porter for £60 so again is cheaper than other websites that sell it for around £85.99. I was pleased to buy mine from there and delivery in the UK was really quick.

I purchased the camera back in September but wanted to experiment with it for a while before I blogged about it.

Since the camera is very transportable I do use it several times a week and I’m beginning to get a real feel for how it works and the best ways to take photos and when to use the light and darken switch depending on the film I’m using in the camera.

I’m at the early stages of experimenting with this camera and currently have tried both the Blue and Pink 600 Duochrome film, SX70 Colour film, 600 colour and black and white films and also expired films which have produced some interesting results!

I’m going to be blogging about the different film types and filters I’ve currently been using with the camera and some of the actual photos over the next week.

PhotoKlassik International Magazine Review

I first heard about this magazine through a fellow blogger called karenshootsfilm where she had noted that the magazine were on Kickstarter trying to raise enough funds to publish their first international magazine about analogue photography.

This magazine has been produced for a while for the German market but due to the popularity of it, they felt it was time to produce an international English version.

For sometime I have been trawling the local newsagents in the hope I may one day find a magazine purely dedicated to analogue photography. There are plenty dedicated to digital photography (sometimes with an article about analogue photography here and there) but I’d yet to find a magazine like this.

I therefore knew I wanted to invest in the Kickstarter scheme and subscribe to it for a year.

Thankfully a lot of other people must have felt the same way since they managed to reach in excess of their target on Kickstarter and the magazine was published.

It’s a quarterly magazine and the first edition then needed to be printed once the Kickstarter pledge had ended so I had to be patient and wait a couple of months to receive my copy.

On first impressions, I was a little underwhelmed by the front cover page. To be honest, if I was looking in the photography section of the magazines of my local newsagents I think I would have most likely missed this because I find the front cover photo misleading.

For me personally on initial glance I thought it would be a magazine related to classical music or some form of music due to the woman holding the violin. I also wasn’t that keen on the Red and Grey type set which seemed a little dated to me (and not in a cool retro way). The caption on the front where it states ‘The entire world of analog photography’ is quite small and overshadowed by the photo so again, I probably wouldn’t have read that.

However, I’m a big believer of ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’ so I was keen to see what contents were inside.

The magazine is very thick and reasonably heavy and is printed on good quality, glossy sheets of paper.

Although I knew the magazine would be about analogue photography, I wasn’t sure exactly what type of content it would contain, whether it would be about the technical side of how to use a film camera etc or more articles on analogue photographers.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The content is great and varied. There is a section on Portfolios, gear talk & techniques and the world of analogue.

I wondered if a magazine so thick would have a lot of adverts but it hardly had any and was full of good quality decent content which I found very interesting and read every single page.

A couple of my favourite articles to mention was one about Bellamy Hunt from Japan Camera Hunter. It was really interesting reading about his photography background and how Japan Camera Hunter came about.

Another one was the One Hour Photo Re-Imagined which mentioned some analogue photography shops around the globe that I wasn’t aware of and would definitely like to visit if I’m ever abroad in their countries.

Since I’m a massive fan of instant photography, I absolutely loved the article about Lovers of analogue photography which was dedicated to the subject of instant film photography over several pages.

PhotoKlassik International was so much more than just an analogue magazine as it has introduced me to some new photographers who I had never heard of before and really liked their photographic work. I also learnt about new shops and some interesting information about some cameras and film which would have taken me hours to research and find on the internet.

Overall, I think this magazine is great and I’m not disappointed in purchasing it.

It is quite an expensive magazine (£17.90 per issue) so this may put some people off purchasing it but I feel the price tag is justified for the quality of the content inside the magazine. Plus since it’s quarterly, I think the price is reasonable.

Through Kickstarter and because I signed up for the annual subscription, I did pay slightly less than the cover price (I think it was around £15 per issue with postage costs).

If I had only bought the first issue and not subscribed, I certainly would have signed up for the subscription now and I’m really looking forward to receiving my next copy in a few months time.

If you’re interested in purchasing this magazine, click here. If you enter code PKIFIRST10 you’ll receive a 10% discount on a one-year subscription where four issues will be delivered to your door.