I ended up ordering two packets of Time Zero film from B&H Photo (alas, they are now out of stock). It took far longer to get here because of a post office mishap but they finally did come through. I loaded 'em up and started to take some pics. My main concern is that there might be a small hole in the bellows of my camera. Apparently, that's what caused this effect
though I'm speculating that if this is a recurrent problem, it only happens in bright sunlight. In any case, as you can see in the four photos below, I didn't have that problem and it's nice to be shooting with non-expired film that doesn't leak emulsion like my last packs did (that should teach you: NEVER buy expired Time Zero film).
It's been a long, long time since I've used the SX-70 - damn near three years! - and to be honest, I forgot how much I love the design of this camera. The only other thing that I own that might come close is this Audio Technica portable record player I use but the SX-70 is probably my single most favorite "object" when it comes to the style and design. It's really just a beautiful camera.
I'm sad though that Polaroid is discontinuing Time Zero and while I've seen the workarounds for using either 660 or 779 film with it
, they sound like a small pain in the ass if you ask me. If you have had any experience with using the conversion, please let me know. I just like the simplicity of the camera the way it is now and the idea of having to physically alter anything makes me very wary (especially since I'm all thumbs).
By the way, I tried using the disposable flash bar with the camera for the first time ever (thanks sis!) and I have to say, it turned out really well (the last photo in the quartet below was taken with the flash). I was thinking about getting a permanent flash but I'm not sure which 3rd party flashes will attach and work with the Alpha 1 model though clearly, there is at least one model that does.
I also have to say that I'm really amazed at the range of prices one can get for an SX-70 on eBay
. Personally, I've never paid more than $50 for any of the working models I've found - that includes two SX-70 originals plus the Alpha 1 that I use now. Part of the problem is that with the disappearance of the film, it's very hard to test the camera to see if it works (and believe me, a lot can go wrong with a 30 year old camera) so anyone advertising a confirmed working camera can get far more for it than a "your guess is as good as mine" as-is model. Personally, I'm tempted to get another original (i.e. first edition) SX-70, just for the hell of it but I'm not trying to pay $150 for the privilege!
Lastly, if any of you out there want to split some packs of un-expired Time Zero film with me (especially if you live in or around S.F.), drop your contact in the comments. I don't want more than 5 or so at any given time but I'm down to buy 10 and then split them.
I can't believe my daughter's over a year old and this is the first time I took a Polaroid of her. Oops.
The two above are from the San Francisco Botanical Gardens which are a mere two blocks from where I live. That big tree is in the middle of a glade in the Parks. I should have exposed the print longer since the tree is slightly back-lit. Oops. The flowers turned out better - glad the colors still come through nicely on the Time Zero film.
This is using the disposable flash bar. Now that I know it works, I'll have to use 'em more since I have three bars (but only two packs of film. Oops).