All Post by Joaquin de Prada
SX-70 shutters, R configuration
Dolores and the SX-70
Last summer browsing eBay searching for all things SX70 I came across this reel of 16mm film.
How Polaroid bet its future on the SX-70
The earliest ancestor of the SX-70 weighed five pounds and took only sepia pictures with big, inconvenient rolls of film (upper left). The Color Pack series (lower left) introduced handier packs of film and produced both black- and-white and color photos. But the user still had to time development of the film, then peel it apart and dispose of a messy negative. The twenty-four-ounce SX-70 automatically ejects a plastic-sealed color picture that develops while the photographer watches.
IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER NOTICE this is an article from the January 1974 issue of Fortune Magazine, written by Dan Cordtz, with Aimee Morner as research associate. I find it a fascinating read, and very very hard to find. I have not found how to purchase the article on line unlike other SX70-related articles that I would never publish. Finally I found a print copy, but they would not ship to EU, so I had to have it sent to a friend in Brooklyn. Early on he noticed that it had a missing page. I tried to locate another print magazine, but nothing reasonable came up. So I finally got the page (kid-you-not) by means of laboriously extracting the images out of Google Books snippets. I have patiently transcribed the text. So the bottomline is that I don’t know if the article is under copyright protection. If you think it is infringing your copyright please contact me and will remove the article inmediately.
Reading this article in the future makes you think in what SX70 means, and what an accomplishment it was. Dr. Land risk everything on his secret SX70 project by assuming that he could accomplish a truckload of breakthroughs.
January 1974, by Dan Cordtz
Where no SX70 has gone before
So quite a few news.
First of all I got the new assembled PCBs from PCBWAY and they look fantastic, and they even work. Just kidding! If you are manufacturing PCBs or doing prototypes my advise is to over communicate with the fab house. You can never do it too much and PCBWAY makes it simple.
Dongles are advancing amazingly, I have never seen more beautiful prototypes. Moving the thick aluminium wheel is soo satisfying. I also got have been lucky to score the amazing “Polaroid advertising begins” press kit. Like with the shareholders report I will scan it and share as soon as possible.
How to be part of the (open)SX70 scene
Not only since I shared this post on Instagram but long before I receive frequent communications asking me how to participate in the project.
And there is no simple answer to that at this time.
Let’s say that the openSX70 project has evolved in ways that I never envisioned, but now, thanks in part to our partnership with AnalogueWorks there is a nice product not only envisioned but on its way. That is of course without forgeting about folks that just want to modify on their own their cameras. That means that we need to set up deals with people that would modify and sell the cameras. We are never going to do that.
I think I can say that no matter what some people say, I have never abandoned anyone, on the contrary, I have tried to provide support to anyone that bonafide wanted to work on the project. And remember I’m just a guy.
So lets say for arguments sake that there are different types of crowds attracted to the project. Keep in mind that most of us are really all at the same time, or maybe not, but for now please bear with me.
Of course this would be our main demographic, people that shoot instant film and want to have the ultimate tool to shoot Polaroid film units. My take is that in general photographers need to have the camera assembled and working and are not going to bother with soldering and all that. That is of course on average. We hope to have prototype “Loaner” cameras hopefully soon. If you are interested in being a tester, please comment down below and let me know why. I expect feedback on pictures taken (with all the info) and on the user interface. But also social media exposure.
STUDENTS, TINKERERS “ELECTRONIC HACKERS”
This is basically people that know how to solder and source the parts. I have a special offer to them: free PCBs. You just have to convince me by commenting down below that you have the skills and will to do this. This is purely subjective, and I get to decide who and what, but I will try to cater for preferences. That is always uDongle. Those who already have do this are automatically entitled to new PCBs. Again I appreciate feedback and social media exposure, not only scan of pictures but the build process etc.. To reduce costs I will ship the PCBs on an unregistered envelope. I assume not many people will want to do this anyway.
Those who really think that they can help with some capacity the project please contact me. There are many areas that are in need of special talent, like making the prism for viewfinder “helper led”, 3D modeling, coding etc… Join the “SX70 scene”!
manufacturing with PCBWAY & sponsorship!
PCBWAY has been kind enough to sponsor the openSX70 project by picking the tab of a fair amount of my latest order. I am thankful.
I want to say something up-front, I love PolaroidOriginals, I appreciate that they let me use my SX70 cameras, full stop. Please feel my love.
How I store and show off my cameras and photos
I am off topic, but I wanted to share how I store and display my pictures. These are just some ideas, and I don’t try to be exaustive or anything. I just explain some of the things I do.
(see-through rendering of Jan’s dongle based on Origami)
The photographer Thomas Zamolo, has been kind enough to test the Prototype #3.5 openSX70 camera with studio flash. He has a YouTube channel.
Beta Testers wanted!
Santa has been really nice with the openSX70 lab, we got a new JBC soldering and desoldering station that is really really nice. Thank you Santa! We also got “pass-down” a really nice lab power supply. But it is lonely at the openSX70lab.
New PCBs status (UPDATED 20181130)
Yes, yes I am doing a giveaway to a fortunate reader of this page. Details later, down below.