Story behind the Polaroid SX-70

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Pelao, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    If you enjoy stories about the development of significant cameras, or even gadgets in general, you may find this interesting.

    Polaroid’s SX-70: The Art and Science of the Nearly Impossible
     
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  2. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I loved that camera. I had the chrome version with the tan leatherette covering.
    I used it all the time as a color camera next to my M's.
    Some of my favorite, best images were made with it.
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    I never had that one, but would have loved it. I still have two polaroids...but they're nothing at all like this beauty. Mine are plastic, but I still like them. I wish we still had polaroids. Am I correct that one can still buy film somewhere?
     
  4. andrewh973

    andrewh973 SC Regular

    132
    Mar 13, 2011
    NYC metro are
    Don,
    I had the exact same camera, together with a matching leather case. I received it as a gift (used) from an acquaintance who was moving -- late 80's. Used it a few times, and loved it. Unfortunately, it was stolen not long after.
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    How sad, Andrew - that it was stolen.
     
  6. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Real Name:
    Bill
    We had something like it - I always felt that it was a bit of a novelty and most of the time it was used for "people shots" indoors

    I think, well I'm sure, that we threw ours away - it belonged to the company I worked for
     
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    I knew a guy named Marty Fumo, yeah... His brother... That used the SX70 for years. He made wonderful images and exhibited all the time.
    Remember, these images are 1 of a kind...so you made limited editions with it.
    There's a quality in them that has never been duplicated.
    In the time, critics stated that the photos weren't archival.
    Hmmmmm, I have hundreds of them and nary a one is fading or damaged... All this from the early 70's.
     
  8. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Herman
    Go impossible go The Impossible Project
    I worked at the Polaroid factory in Enschede (Holland) as engineer.
     
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  9. Brian

    Brian SC Top Veteran S.C. Charter Member

    638
    Jul 7, 2010
    I still have the one that I bought for my Dad over 30 years ago.

    I still use my Polaroids, although not as much as I used to. Nikki would walk into a camera shop and announce "My favorite camera is Polaroid."

    I still use a Tektronix C-4 scope camera at work. This past week, I used it with a $150K Spec Analyzer. Had to let the Tektronix sales rep know. he told me how to disable the touch screen for future use with the C-4.
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Herman, I never knew that about you! I do remember your posting about the Impossible Project, but not the fact that you'd worked for Polaroid. Thank you for letting us know and for reminding me (and showing others) this link!
     
  11. Pinotgraves

    Pinotgraves New to SC

    3
    Jun 19, 2011
    A technical tour de force--still amazing today, in its retro way.
     
  12. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
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  13. silverbullet

    silverbullet SC Regular

    133
    Oct 20, 2010
    Germany
    In the Ninetees I was pretty close to Polaroid. Doing marketing for the tape division of JVC Pola was one of our biggest OEM customers. Our price/quantity/production meetings had been hard but very fair and after the office very friendly. I rember my visits in Cambridge and the after business visits of Legal Seafood or Martha' vinyard or Cape Cod........great.......and long gone.
    During the patent fight between Pola and Kodak I had to create my biggest spreadsheet of all time: We supported Pola by storing their complete order quantity to allow them to get a better cash situation. Our japaneese account managers, calculating with an Abakus-yes coulnd't believe how fast Excel could be.
    In all these years I always forgot to ask something about their cameras, mainly the ugly plastic boxes with strange designs.

    The SX-70 aka 'Aladin' was in the seventies a mega-in product as the first Sony walkman or the first iPod.
    At the Cote Azur the 'Better People' had the SX-70 and you could hear in/out/beside the expensive restaurants of St. Tropez, Nice or Cannes the buzz and whirl of the transport mechanism......

    Today I have a SX-70, Pola 600 and the pro 180. Different philosophy of taking pictures and I'm not so close to it but like the 'spirit' in it.

    BTW: Mr Land the founder was one of the first 'Greens' over there. During my first visit of the factory it was totally hidden in the forest and at the head of each assy-line there had been big containers with green flowers to allow the workers to look at plants and not only machinery.

    Pola is gone, Kodak may follow, it was a battle at that time which no one had won.......
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Berndt, thank your that trip back in time. It makes me feel a bit sad and nostalgic... I am, however, happy about the green flowers!

    Christina, thank you so much for reviving this thread and for letting us know about the New York exhibit and your friend!
     
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