Polaroid SX-70: the most revolutionary, iconic camera of all time

Listen to Episode 12 of Matt Loves Cameras

Or listen here:

Episode 12 summary

  • Edwin Land – early years with polarizing light experiments
  • How Polaroid Corporation was formed
  • The World War 2 years
  • How a question from a little girl in 1943 changed photography forever
  • The first instant camera debuts in 1948
  • The arrival of pack film cameras and colour instant film in 1963
  • Work begins on the Aladdin project
  • How Edwin Land had the vision to make the SX-70 camera and integral film project successful
  • Parallels between Edwin Land and Steve Jobs
  • Description and specifications of the camera
  • How I got my cameras
  • Description of the images (see images below)

One thing I forgot to mention in the show… keep listening out for future Polaroid episodes! I am planning on doing an episode using items from the SX-70 accessories kit, including the shutter release for long exposure images and the close up adapter. 

Links to articles referenced in episode 12

Original 1972 feature showing how the SX-70 works

 

Images discussed in this episode

Southern Queensland sunrise. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Underwater… Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film

Sunflowers in Southern Queensland. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film. The blue streaks you see are opacification failure, quite common to the current emulsion of Polaroid Originals film. They say you should use a frog tongue to stop this, but I’ve heard reports from people that they still get them anyway.

Farm scene. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film. Beautiful results with Polaroid Originals film is possible with good light and in cooler conditions.

Flowers in my back garden. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film. Does this look like it was taken with an F8 lens? No way! Beautiful depth of field.

Sunflowers… see the vertical stripe on the left of this image? This happens sometimes, it was only one of two images in this pack to do this. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Sydney Opera House. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film. The following images have a pinkish colour cast, the shooting conditions were very warm. I still love them though!

Sydney Harbour Bridge. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Circular Quay, Sydney. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Circular Quay. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Sydney Opera House. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Sydney Opera House sails. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Sydney Harbour Bridge with palm trees. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.

Big boat, little boat. Polaroid SX-70 with Polaroid Originals SX-70 film.