Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why breaking my dad's SX70 was a good thing...

Yep, I really love Polaroid cameras. When I was a bratty little kid my folks let me use their plastic Onestep rainbow... too trusting in my opinion but nonetheless I was hooked. Every month or two I anticipated the trip to Revco (yes Revco) for a fresh 2-pack of Time Zero film I'd buy using my allowance or scrounged up couch change. I'd take pics of my Star Wars guys or Transformers, close ups of my face, pics of my dad sleeping, or even screenshots of Inch High Private Eye during Saturday Morning Cartoon Express on USA. Then I took it apart for some stupid reason... I guess I wanted to see how it worked. My dad's tools were too big to put it back together and I pretty much dissassembled it with a hammer in the first place. Dumb kid. Thanks dad. But that sparked my passion for Polaroid. I wouldn't use one again until two years ago. Polaroid cameras I mean... I've used a hammer lots of times.

Polaroid cameras. I love em all... packfilm, roll film, those fugly swingers, heck I'd even rock an izone for an afternoon. But the soft spot in my heart is for the folding SX70 models. I've collected (obsessed) and used them over the past couple years and have got some beautiful and fun shots with them. I've collected broken ones and eventually started to tinker with them... I've even sold a few here and there. So as of late, I'd like to take things a step further and fix other peoples' cameras. Over and over again I read about how second hand SX70 owners have dropped, bought dead or broken cameras, and have limited access to repair. I'd like to give both the owner and camera a second chance (Yeah see? See where the blog title comes from? Awesome!) to take pictures... artsy pics, family pics, a nice piece to add to a collection, a second shot for a good home (I have an awful habit of personifying objects. My kids have a bit to do with that). Yay for cameras with feelings!

So what's this blog about? Welp, I'd like to offer a repair/refurbish/reskin service for sick or broken SX70 cameras. I'm not an authorized technician or anything like that but I'm very passionate about collecting,  working on, and repairing these particular models and I think I do a pretty good job... hopefully the pics added to the blog will show that. Within the next few weeks I'll be adding images, pics, ideas, problems, solutions, and just plain cool stuff I've been working on related to the SX70. I'll also be listing prices for repairs, reskins, etc. very soon but first I want to show a bit of my work as of late. I'm always learning new things on these and will constantly be improving quality and service.

I had a "trial" customer send me one of his first gen Sonar One Step cameras last week to work on (thanks Steve!). These models are pretty hit or miss depending on how well they were taken care of. It's a great model with new technology from Polaroid back in the day. It's been known as a lesser quality camera than it's predecessor the Model 1 even though it has the just about the same capability as an Alpha (flash fill, tripod mount, strap hooks) with the convenience of Autofocus. But with new technology there's opportunity for more complications. The ones left over/found today have a habit of only working when they want to and can be fussy when it comes to the autofocus working properly or at all. And for some reason I've found these are the ones that always smell like thick 70's basement "Uncle Joe" smoke! It's like the Model 1's burnout brother with really good eyes. This particular little guy had a very stuck shutter, the motor sounded like nails on a chalkboard, and the exterior was pretty gooey and crusty from a previous attempt at repairing the leathers. After a thorough shutter repair, cleaning, reskin, geartrain exam and lube, and motor replacement, VIOLA! Works, looks, and sounds like a charm. I need to start posting before and after pics...

I also tried some new skin faux leather material on an SE... a bit more spongey than I'd like but looks great. I'm a sucker for the black and tan combo. Very 70's muy macho!

Enjoy!

Sonar waiting to be shipped back to it's owner... nice and cleeeeean... :)


Some new tan material on a freshly cleaned and inspected Sonar SE. I think Polaroid worked out a lot of bugs with this model. I love working on these.


Love the contrasts! *sigh* 






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