I picked up this camera while Ali and I were visiting Jenna in The Paso earlier this spring. I got it for $15 which seems like a pretty good deal to me based on what some people are charging online. I had no clue if it worked or not, but I figured if it didn't it would make for a sweet looking accessory to put on a bookshelf or something. People are always displaying old cameras, and with Matt's growing interest in photography it would be something that would work well in our home. Anyway, not knowing if it worked or not I spent some time goggling Polaroid SX-70's. Immediately I started digging through the Impossible Project blog and reading the tutorials section and Dr. Love's Tips.
Once I was back home I set out and buy some film. First I checked the supply at Urban Outfitters, but they seem to only have the film for the 600 cameras. I went back to the Impossible website and looked for a local dealer here in Denver and found Denver Pro Photo. When I went to get some film they also only had the 600 film. I found out they were getting ready to move their store to a new location. Maybe now that they've moved they might have a larger selection. Once I told them what I was looking for they told me they had these little sheets of plastic that I could put over the lense to act as a filter so I could use the 600 film. Sold!
Once I got home I put the film pack in and anxiously closed the door. The camera seemed to struggle for a second or two before the dark slide popped out, but I took it as a good sign. The next step was to insert the dark slide under the flap where the pictues come out to work as a shield. Once the slide was in place I framed up my shot, pressed the button, and nothing. It was a pretty anticlimactic moment for my $15 camera. So I folded it back up and it sat in my studio for a couple of weeks. Between then and now I learned a little trick to taking a picture without using the shutter button. There's these two little holes on the side right next to the shutter button. I've read that its a connection point for a timer or a cabled shutter button.
The trick is to use a bent paper clip and trip the connection points in those two holes. It sounds easy enough, but I still managed to mess it up. My mistakes were forgetting to put the filter film over the lense, and to put the dark slide in the flap to protect the picture, all while trying to keep my camera steady, look through the view finder, and put two ends of a paper clip into two tiny holes. Not really my idea of fun. Seriously, it took me three times to get it all right.
Even though they were messed up pictures, I kinda dig the first one a lot. It looks like some weird X-ray or a ghostly sewing machine. After my little juggling act I concluded that everything else seemed to be working just fine, but that I'd like to get the shutter fixed eventually( Denver Pro Photo has a guy that fixes cameras and he has some positive reviews on Yelp). After my second bout with this camera I left it sitting on the kitchen table for a few more days. Then one day before work last week I got some crazy urge to give it one more shot. I looked around for something I wouldn't mind taking a picture of, I decided on my hanging string of pearls, and gave the shutter button another try. I was literally shocked when my camera made some noise and out popped a picture. Shocked I tell you!
I'm not really sure why it magically started working. Maybe just getting the things running after who knows how many years of being dormant did the trick, but I was quite pleased. That's a bit of an understatement, I was really excited. I texted Matt on my way to work, and told just about anyone who would listen that day. I even printed out a new cover to put in my iPhone case to celebrate! Dorky? Ok, maybe.
Now my next project for this will be to create a cute bag to store it in. I'm going to base it off of this one that the Impossible Project sells. I would just buy it, but it's only made for the non sonar models, meaning mine won't fit. That's ok, it's pretty much a boxy envelope which doesn't seem too difficult.
Are you a Polaroid enthusiast? Have you ever used Impossible film? What kind of cool things have you picked up from an antique store?
Oh, and just so you know, I was not compensated for this post by anyone. I am just excited about my new toy and wanted to share!