A beginners sx-70 questions

Discussion in 'Alternative Techniques & Photo Gallery' started by oriecat, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    I got my sx-70 in the mail monday! :D Looks pretty cool. My time zero should arrive tomorrow! So I embark upon a new photographic experience...

    A couple things:
    1. What is the little knob on the left for? I can see it spinning something open and closed, but I don't know what it does.
    2. How long would you recommend waiting after exposure to begin manipulating for the first time? What's a good beginner time?

    Thanks!
     
  2. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Congrats! :cheer: You are gonna have a blast...

    hmmm....little knob on the left..... :scratch: little knob on the left.... I'm not certain what you mean. Spinning something open and closed.... I just can't get a visual. I have a couple of Model IIs....what model do you have? Mine has the light/dark knob (looking at the front of the camera) on the right, and the focus knob on the left, with a red shutter button.

    Is yours one of these folding-type cameras? There just ain't much to them. :wink:

    At least I can help with the second question: first, make sure your Time Zero film is a comfortable "room temp" before loading....not chilled at all. After you make an exposure, it's perfectly ok to let it develop a full ten minutes or so before you attempt manipulation. This also tells you whether or not you like your exposure setting.

    I like walking around taking three or four images at a time when I know I have some fun stuff to shoot, and then leisurely sitting back to manipulate them, in order. Even when I get to starting the last shot taken, 45 minutes or an hour later, the emulsion is still quite pliable. As long as your print is kept reasonable warm the emulsion won't harden completely for up to a day.
     
  3. oriecat

    oriecat work in progress

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    Yes yes, that thing! I was thinking on the left, if I was looking through it, but it's on the right if you look straight at it. light/dark knob, what's it do? how's it work? So is it for adjusting exposure then?

    I don't know what model it is, it doesn't really say. But it fold, yes. It's this one right here!

    Thank you terri!!
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ha, one of mine is identical. :D Don't those nasty little flash bulbs just crack you up? :lol: I actually remember them being used by my parents on some kind of Polaroid: they would charge, then automatically rotate to the next one. :p What technology!!

    Ok, it is the light/dark meter of which you speak. Best way to check that puppy is to leave it dead center, pop in your film pack, and fire away. Then check your exposure and adjust. Take care not to shoot anything in severe contrasty situations - having your light source behind you will give the best results with these cameras. You'll blow a whole film pack just getting the feel of it; so be mentally ready for that. :wink:

    Have you cleaned your rollers?? :mrgreen: They can get dirty fast, so check 'em out.

    When I got my most recent SX-70 and popped in my first film pack - the dark card didn't come out!! :shock: I was crushed. I just kept opening and closing the whole camera, and after a few times, out it came. It was strange but strange things can happen after a period of disuse, so keep that in mind too and don't panic if it doesn't seem to be working right at first. The batteries are in the film pack, not the camera, so if it's kept clean and you only use fresh film it should work just fine.

    Have fun!! :D
     
  5. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    Hooray for another SX-70 user!!!!!!!!!!! And ditto what Terri said. I could've and should've been asking questions to you guys all along. I wasted a pack of film when I first got the camera because of dirty rollers. :(
     
  6. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    So out of curiosity, can you put time zero film into a slide printer?

    :scratch: am I even making sense?
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, you are making sense! :D

    You have to have a Daylab slide printer - it won't work with the Vivitar system. You purchase the Daylab "head", which has the color filtration and the slide holder. Then you can purchase various bases to fit, and one of them is an SX-70 base. It's really a pack-film holder with a motor, so it shoots out the film pack's dark slide just like your SX-70 camera does. You then use the base's dark slide between exposures. You actually focus and compose your slide's image on the white side of the dark card, like a little enlarger. :) When you think you're ready, you turn off the viewing light, pull the dark slide out, and press a button - and out comes your Time Zero print.

    It's hella cool. :D

    And the ba$tards charge an arm and a leg for this coolness. :?

    The best way to decide if it's worth spending the bucks for freedom of using all your slides for this technique is to use the cameras first!

    I happen to like shooting slide film; it's color-saturated, inexpensive, slides are easy to store, and I get to use all my lenses on the Pentax when I shoot. Since Time Zero is square format, I even think about composing for it while I'm shooting 35mm format!

    But then, I know I'm a freak. :blulsh2:
     
  8. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    Your definately the polaroid queen in my book terri, oh how I have so much to learn.
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I also have a SX-70.

    It belonged to my grandfather who died before I was born. Someone found it when we were cleaning out my Grandmother's house.

    It still had film in it...I took two shots but they didn't really turn out.

    I haven't purchased any film to really try it out yet.
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Queen of Innuendo AND the Polaroid Queen! :queen: Where's my purple thong??? :wink:


    Mike: don't blame you for trying that existing film, but try a fresh pack and see how it works. Clean those rollers first. :wink: B&H has good prices on Time Zero.
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I didn't really expect that 20 or 30 year old film to work. I was just curious. I could just make out my face (self portrait) in the 2nd one.

    Is there a proper procedure for cleaning the rollers?
     
  12. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Open the camera and pop open the drop-down front as if you were going to insert a film pack. The rollers are right there and should move easily. I've used Film Kleen on mine, but any camera cleaner should do the trick. Just get any residue off them, especially in the corners.
     

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