SX-70 problems

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by 500r420, May 15, 2007.

  1. 500r420

    500r420 TPF Noob!

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    A fellow gave me an SX-70 and each time I open it, the image in the viewfinder is different
    either it is completely black or else only displaying the top half with the split focus circle at the bottom of the finder
    Am I doing something wrong or does it need repair?
    Where do you repair it?
    Is it worth repairing?
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Worth repairing?? for most, probably not especially since the time-zero negative/cartridges for the camera are now discontinued. If you want a working SX-70 for the sake of collecting/ownership, then yes.

    They now have a "blend" cartridge that can be used in the SX-70 which is basically 600 film with a modified cartridge (ND filter built in). Its not the same as the original and pretty expensive.
     
  3. 500r420

    500r420 TPF Noob!

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    I checked on the internet and found an item that slips into place on the film magazine
    why is it that it needs a filter though?
    is the modern film less sensitive?
    why cant you just use a filter in front of the lens or else dial down the exposure
     
  4. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There's about a 2 stop difference between regular 600 film and the original Time Zero, so a neutral density filter can be used, if you want to put 600 film in it (following the simple modification guidelines you can find at the Polaroid site when you search "SX-70" or Time Zero film). Or you can spend a bit more money and have the new film solve the speed issue for you.

    If your SX-70 camera looks to be in overall clean, good condition, I would guess you have a sticky shutter that might resolve itself, just from repeated use. Make sure the rollers are clean and prepare to sacrifice one film pack. The batteries are in the film pack, so make sure what you use is fresh, and just load it and fire off several prints. My own SX-70 acted like it was half dead when I first got it; the prints didn't eject fully and the colors were ruined, etc. All it took was repeated use and, as it turned out, the camera was fine - it just needed to be used.

    However, it could also be that your camera was dropped or mishandled, and the shutter could indeed be toast. If it's still acting funny after repeated attempts, that might be the case.
     
  5. Paul Ron

    Paul Ron TPF Noob!

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    I have an SX-70 that is working just fine with 600 ASA film. I removed the ND filter (small silver ring) with a pen knife over the eye, cut off the 2 inner nubs on the film cartridge and it works just fine.

    Check out this site for some interesting details.. http://www.chemie.unibas.ch/~holder/SX70.html

    Your image may be different each time because the camera isn't opening all the way each time? If it is slightly off, it distorts the image a bit because the mirror isn't in it's proper position.
     
  6. 500r420

    500r420 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks a bunch
    my guess is that it isnt opening correctly
    the only problem is that that could make the focus inaccurate
    its a good thing it will be immediately obvious
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are a few work arounds but each has their disadv. By removing the ND filter in front of the metering eye and setting the dial to full dark, you are tricking the camera to run at a higher/highest shutter speed. That is fine but the SX-70 only has a max shutter speed of 1/175 (or something like that) which is limiting.

    Some electronics expert go as far as modifying the electronics driving the meter but the same issue applies.

    The other workaround (which is what I prefer) is to place an 2 stop ND filter in front of the lens itself. There are tricks to doing this (glue, cutting ND filters etc) but I have also seen "kits" out of Japan (check ebay). Focus viewing will be darker though.

    The most simple solution... use sx-70 blend but it gets expensive.

    All the above doesn't really help the thousands who have turned Polaroid manipulation into an art-form.... the blend/600 film just doesn't come close. It is really sad how Polaroid as a company has turned out over the years.... good/wonderful innovations.... bad marketing and business decisions.
     

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