Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Polaroid SX-70 Shots

Previously, I mentioned that I got an old circa '75 vintage Polaroid SX-70.  I've taken a few shot with it, and I wish I could be more impressed.   I was hoping for more bright colors, but as you can see, this isn't Kodachrome.  This is what you get with Polaroids.

This is the first shot that I took, which I had posted previously via iPhone capture.  The car is silver and the siding of the house should be like a light chocolate milk color.  You can notice one good thing, however, there is very little lens distortionin the front and back lines of the house in the background.  

This is Morgantown shot from the sixth floor of One Waterfront Place.  Despite the cloud cover, I thought that it should have been an adequately bright day for this landscape shot.

I'd held out the most hope for this last picture of some yellow lilies growing in a flower bed alongside of One Waterfront Place.  This was taken in very bright sunlight.  So bright, that the flower petals are almost over exposed.  Orange day lilies in the background are orange, and the green foliage lacks saturation.

I'm not deterred.  On the positive side, the pictures definitely have a vintage quality to them. 

I can think of a couple of things that might be done differently.   First of all, these shots were ejected from the camera in very bright conditions.  I tried to put the undeveloped film into a dark box as quickly as I could, but there could have been enough exposure to mess up the saturation.   The solution might be to get a film shield.

Another factor that I can think of would be the film itself.  With a little bit of modification, I could use a newer Color 600 Film.  It has a much higher ISO value, which consequently captures much more light.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Polaroid SX-70

I scored another great buy on last week.   Meet the latest addition to my camera  family, the Polaroid SX-70:

As you can see from the picture, it's in good cosmetic shape.   Even more importantly, though -- and this is the risk you take with Goodwill auctions -- it seems to function perfectly.  And something that you probably didn't know:  this SLR camera had a  4-element 116mm F/8 lens.

According to a serial number calculator that I found online, my model came from about the third year of production.

Serial Number :0J501905064
Config :Hybrid Shutter
Model :Model 1 or Alpha 1
Birthday :Sep 22, 1975

The lack of a tripod mount and strap connectors means that this is a Model 1.  It has the old split-lens viewfinder that I really love.

The shot below is not exactly a faithful scan -- it's just an iPhone picture:

Also on display is the package of SX-70 color film that I bought from Amazon.  It's 160 ASA film and I've read that you really should use it out of doors in bright sunlight.  It does have a mount for now-obsolete flash bars, but I don't even want to go there right now.

I've had (much) less than stellar results with previous Polaroid films.  I have a couple of Polaroid Spectras, and I ran a couple of packages of Spectra film made by the Impossible Project.  Most of the shots were crappy.  I suspect that it had a lot  to do with the age of the film, however.

The Impossible Project has recently given way to Polaroid Originals, and the improvement in production quality appears to be substantial.   Of course, I'm basing all of this on my one test shot.  Really, though, my opinion is shared by many other people on the net.

The future brings more experimentation with this camera.  I've read that with a minor adjustment and the addition of a neutral density filter you can run the faster and more easily available Polaroid 600 film through it.   Now that I know this camera works, I feel safe in trying that out.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

More from the "new" old lens

Back on March 29, I raved about the Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f/1.4 lens that I won on a auction. 

I've been using this lens a lot more than I thought I would, getting better at snapping pictures by manually adjusting the ISO, aperture and film speed.

Here's a little gallery of some of my favorite shots:

As you can see, this lens has been performing quite well with close-ups, rendering some pleasing bokeh.

My next challenge is to get better at shooting this lens wide open at f/1.4.