Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Motor Coupler - You Don't Need It


You just got your new-to-you SX70 in the mail and eagerly rip open a fresh pack of film. The first few shots are great! You get ready for the next shot, press the shutter button, and *ker-phwump*! The mirror flips up and the motor runs on continuously sounding like a mini vacuum cleaner. Your subject stares at you awkwardly in mid-pose and asks "Is that supposed to happen?". Your film is now hostage in your camera and there's nothing you can do but yank the film from the camera to stop the motor (FYI - the darkslide can be replaced to the film pack to avoid exposing the top print). Now you can't close the camera all the way, the viewfinder is blacked out, and you're left with a very beautiful paperweight.

So what went wrong? I'm glad you asked! Your motor coupler broke leaving nothing to connect the motor to the gear train preventing the camera from completing a full cycle. The mirror is flipped up to taking position which is why the viewfinder is blacked out and the camera won't close. Very very frustrating indeed.

The motor coupler is a tiny piece of plastic (I believe ABS) that was used to connect the drive spring on the motor to the gear train. Over time, like many plastics, the coupler can become very brittle and prone to breaking when you least expect it. Many consider this a design flaw and perhaps Polaroid mechanical engineers eventually felt the same as I have yet to see a motor coupler used on a Model 1, Model 2, and Model 3 SX70 with a build date after 1976 (when the Alpha 1 was introduced), or more specifically cameras that have a plastic shutter frame.

The fix is relatively simple... kinda. The bottom leather needs to be peeled off and the chassis cover is unfastened and removed. The motor drive spring is extended and connects directly to the motor pinion shaft, also known as the first connecting cog to the gear train. What's not so simple to the person that's never done this before is first you need a T4 torx screwdriver to remove the four screws holding down the bottom plate. Then it can be very difficult to maneuver around the bell crank to extend the drive spring. Finally, getting the end of the drive spring to properly seat on the pinion shaft is about as easy as... well... it can be difficult. I couldn't think of a good analogy. Sorry. It's late

I'm now making it a regular practice to notify and recommend Model 1, Model 2, and Model 3 owners that have cameras built before 1976 (or with the metal shutter frames) to have the motor coupler removed when they send their cameras in for repairs. Or if you feel your camera simply needs the coupler removed and you don't want to deal with the possibility of cycle failure down the road, send it on in. Please note that this procedure will result in needing a reskin as well. Removing the coupler will prevent any future cycle failures, wasted film, and frustration. If a customer waives this option and then the motor coupler fails after I return the camera, unfortunately the warranty will not cover the cost to return the camera to back to me to fix the coupler. So "86" the couplers!!! ;)

So that's it for this evening. The queue is once again packed and I'm working as fast as I can to get them done... I've said it once and I'll say it a million times again, thanks for your patience. Have a great 4th of July weekend and spread a little love with your photos. Shop's closed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Camera Perry - Domo Arigato Mr. Nakamura

I'm currently 16 deep in the queue with a wait on a new shipment of skins so I'm taking an evening to post a recent repair that I finally finished. Sorry if this is a bit long but it's a really cool story...

The design/engineering process is never easy when coming to a swift resolution. There are pitfalls, setbacks, second guesses, delays, revisions, cost factors, engineering hurdles, last minute changes, deadlines, and a slathering of other things that you don't see coming. However there are times, like the one I'm writing about, when a few people get together and the stars align (#nopunintended) and the limiting factors become absent.

When I was first messaged on Instagram regarding an SX70 antique store find in Tennesee that had "the insides completely wrecked", little did I know that it would be from guitarist/vocalist Neil Perry of The Band Perry, the multi-Grammy winning country music group. "Oh." I thought... "That Neil perry?". Yes... that Neil Perry, also an aspiring and very talented photographer. Even better, who knew he's a Polaroid freak like the rest of us!?... and a damn passionate one too with a great appreciation for the format, the heritage, and the droolworthy gear. He also plays a mean mandolin and is a helluva nice guy.

The camera arrived in rough shape but with fantastic cosmetic potential. Overall a solid '74 but it was a rattler (broken viewing mirror), most likely dropped as both rear hinges were busted loose. There was also a hairline crack on the faceplate, the fesnel lens looked like it met Freddy Krugger, the optics were hazed over, the shutter solenoid was going bananas, and the motor sounded like mush. So it was agreed that this would be a complete overhaul/restoration.

When I spoke with Neil, one of his biggest concerns was that the skin remain original. In fact, this is a concern that most people express when they first ask about a repair and it's one that I've struggled with how to resolve as the previous supply of tan skins from Aki-Asahi had more of a yellowish hue and a brighter value than the original. Unfortunately, in this case they couldn't be salvaged. It's difficult for me to reply explaining that the original skin and foil sublayer can't be saved as they need to be removed to access internal components and become damaged when removed (Polaroid techs would simply replace the old with new stock - unfortunately no longer available). I dislike saying "I can't do it" or "this is all I have" so this sparked the initiative to contact Mr. Rikuo Nakamura of Aki-Asahi Camera coverings in Japan. Mr. Nakamura's products are well known for high quality fit, finish, and durability and are the go-to skins for hundreds of different models of cameras including the SX70. I was able to contact him with the request to see if he could better match the original color and texture of the SX70 and he enthusiastically agreed to work with his tanner to find a suitable leather and color. Fast forward a month and some change along with dozens of emails later and he nailed it on the first try (ok... I admit I was a bit concerned from the pic he sent of the new color but trying to judge colors from a shady phone pic totally sucks so I took the chance and ordered a handful of sets). The new skin definitely compliments the camera's original aesthetics and looks much more authentic. Very well done!

While waiting for the skins, Neil gave me the green-light to compile an SX-70 outfit that used some of the best of the original items made specifically for the SX70 camera. Key word - "original" - especially for the Pola-purist. If it doesn't fit the era, it loses the charm. This wasn't easy as there were some very rare items made for the SX70 that never went to mainstream sales or was only available in other countries but I was able to track them down. So we decided to fit the camera with the following:

- Sunpak 70k and holder
- Kalt TSX70 and WSX70 lens set.
- Polaroid #116 compartment Case
- Polaroid #184 accessory kit
- Sylvania flashbars
- The "old faithful" Vivitar 283 Flash (for experimenting with different lighting situations)

Also sent by in by Neil for repair along with the 'rattler' was a very nice Polaroid 220. A very underrated camera in my opinion that can equally match picture quality of it's more famous brothers, the 250/350/450 and gives that faint Polaroid vignette look. A simple battery conversion and thorough cleaning/adjustment was all this 220 needed to have a new life. Special thanks to 2nd Shot's 'Dubbs' for retrieving and polishing up the original case to a like-new finish.

Needless to say, this was more of a project than a simple repair. Neil's passion for the SX70's design and keen eye for detail helped initiate the search for a better original SX70 leather which led to a very close collab between Aki-Asahi and 2nd Shot helping me achieve one of my goals to network with other businesses to help produce a better product. Funny how stuff like that works out. #win

So, many thanks to Neil, Mr. Nakamura, and a big shout out to www.joshuaweichman.com for saving another classic SX70. And best of luck to Neil and The Band Perry on their upcoming third studio release and current tour as well as Neil's photographic endeavors. Be sure to check out these links too!

www.instagram.com/joshweichman
www.aki-asahi.com/store (request the new original brown leather when ordering)

OK... finally here's the pics... Enjoy! Stay tuned for more updates to where I'm at with customer repairs. I'd like to add a sort of real-time queue to the site somehow. Thanks for everybody's patience! Shop's closed!





This is the condition the camera was in when it arrived to the shop. Note the shattered viewing mirror and the rear cover hinges still attached to the chassis. #weep #sob




Here it is now! A gorgeous 1974 Model 1 SX70 restored to mint condition with improved skins and all the fixins and the 220 shown in beautiful original condition. Note: Pic 2 and 3 are taken with a stand-in Alpha 1 and pic 4 is of Neil's camera with the old skins.









Monday, May 11, 2015

What's New with 2nd Shot!

I've been posting a lot on Instagram lately so April was kind of a bust in terms of blog updates. Sometimes it's easier to post pics. In fact, it's always easier to post pics. So let me write some stuff before I post pics. It's fun to say "PICS!"...


pics.


I finally caught up with April's cameras and things have calmed down a bit. Now would be a great time to submit a camera for repair as a new wave is already starting to hit and the queue is filling up fast! I'll keep this short and sweet so here's the things I'm working on lately.

- I'm experimenting with a new customization process. This will be very cool if it works! I'll give a hint... it's not the skins and it's not paint. Oooooo... what could it be!!??

- I currently have 8 cameras in the queue including 2 custom builds. One of the cameras is a deluxe package for a VIP customer who is also helping out with developing correct original camel color matched skins for the Model 1. With his permission I'll post a story and pics about that later.

- I'll be starting a dedicated 2nd Shot YouTube channel as well as starting to share images on Twitter.

- Plans for the sister site are currently on hold as Instagram, the 2nd Shot blog, and Facebook seem to be a hotspot for correspondence.

- I now have two dedicated shipping days, Tuesdays and Fridays. If there are special shipping requirements or schedules then I'll be happy to help out. Just let me know in advance is there is a deadline for a project.

- 2 words... Tee Shirts.

- 1 word... Stickers.

- Look out for 2nd Shot's ad in the next issue of Pryme Magazine. If you are passionate about instant photography and those that exhibit their work, then then be sure to subscribe!

www.prymemagazine.com

- I am gradually working my way up to repairing packfilm cameras as well as "box-type" cameras on a regular basis so if you have a model that needs a tweak or two, feel free to contact me.

- I'm constantly reaching out to other artists and businesses for new ideas and to help deliver a better product to customers. There are some very exciting ideas in the works as I write this. I'm always available for comments, questions, and suggestions so please feel free to contact me at any time.

...and now it's thunderstorming out. Here's a few highlights from this week's cameras. Shop's closed!


This 690 came to the shop with a cracked hinge on the fresnel carrier. After a new carrier from a Sonar it's as good as new. In fact, gem mint condition!



A before and after of a Model 2 from a returning and totally rock and roll customer. This is the dirtiest camera I've had to clean yet. Like 'Swamp Thing' dirty...



And finally, a beautiful Model 1 headed to Miami.



Monday, March 30, 2015

The Future of 2nd Shot

So I've been thinking a lot about this whole 2nd Shot thing lately. All good things. It's on my mind quite a bit, probably more than it should be during certain times of the day as I do have other obligations that requires focus and my full attention. It's now been over 3 years since I decided to dedicate my spare time to repairing and selling SX70 cameras. What started out as a hobby became something more and lately I've found myself at a bit of a crossroad.

Since I started this blog I've had a steady flow of repairs, sales, customs, correspondence, and even product development. I've also had the amazing pleasure of emailing, speaking with, and even meeting some of the nicest and creative people around the world that share a passion for Polaroid and instant photography including those who do this as full time employment. I consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity to do this and the more people I meet either online or in person inspires me to continue doing this at a greater level each day. To me this means devoting more time to transitioning from what was once a hobby to running 2nd Shot like a full-time business. "Growth" is a business term that always had so many meanings to me and it's becoming clear that I would like to see 2nd Shot grow into something bigger in the near future by networking with other businesses, improving product/process, and introducing 2nd Shot into a small but competitive and growing market.

So short-term, a few months ago I wrote how I was going to start a sister site that would allow people to either order cameras or repairs from menus much like a standard online store. The more thought I put into doing so the more I'm hesitant. Does not interacting with my customers on a one-on-one basis really fall into place with what the instant film community is about? It would seem to miss a bit of the socialization that often is included with owning and using an instant camera. Christopher Bonanos speaks and describes about the interaction between people when an instant picture is taken, the conversations that happen when the picture develops, and the parting gift of a photograph. Relationships and friendships are built and a memory is created. It's a vibrant and wonderful reflection. Thinking more about this and relating it to what 2nd shot stands for makes me realize that one of the most enjoyable parts of this "job" is getting to know each and every person that contacts me and I'd like to continue working this way.


I do plan on starting either a FAQ page or site that will better explain the repair process and ways that Polaroid users may better troubleshoot their camera before sending it in for repair. It seems like a lot of info on the blog gets buried and I want to make it easier to direct customers to quick info. This may happen in the next few months as right now I need to dedicate time in the shop.

So there's a few random thoughts for the evening during my "lunchbreak". I'll have pretty pics the next post. Promise. Please feel free to continue to send emails with questions, comments, or even keep me posted with how you and your camera are getting along. Back to the shop!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

C'mon Spring! - Shipping Guidelines

I see grass!!!! It's amazing! I saw my front stairs today too!!! It's a miracle! C'mon Spring! You can do it!!!

</drama>

Happy Feast Day of Saint Patrick! Enjoy the celebration of the introduction of Christianity in Ireland and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on alcohol consumption for a day so people can go out and completely destroy themselves (that's what St. Patty's day is all about Charlie Brown). Might have a few myself... :)

Today is also the 11th birthday of a pretty cool kid that I absolutely adore. Happy Birthday to a member of the 2nd Shot family, my son Wes. Stop growing up dammit!

OK, back to business! The beginning of this month was FLOODED with repairs and I finally have a little time to take a breath. There were a few things I noticed that could probably make the repair submission process a bit smoother and help me get your cameras in the shop and back to you sooner and safer. So please take a second to glance over a few tips for submitting your camera:

- I have a great relationship with our local USPS Office. Our carrier, Ken, is one of the coolest, careful, and most respectful carriers I've ever met. I encourage all cameras shipped in the US to go through USPS Priority service. Tracking is provided when using this method and it's the safest and fastest method I've used. Over the past 3 years of doing this and several hundred cameras later, I've only had one incident that was an outbound shipment and it wasn't even the carrier's fault.

- Signature confirmation is not necessary. If you'd like to use it then that's fine but it does delay getting your camera to the shop as I'm held up at my full-time job in the daytime and often miss deliveries that require a signature. Our carrier knows where to drop the packages off where they're safe and dry. Trips to the PO are often limited to once a week.

- Please try to not send your camera in a case or with accessories. Often times I need to disassemble a camera and the first things to get taken off are accessories. Often times the shop gets a bit cluttered when it gets busy and your cases or accessories might not get packed up along with your camera. Doing this will help me keep things organized. I'm a full-blown slob. I don't want to forget to ship you back your extra stuff.

- Finally, bubble wrap and packing peanuts is the best protection for your camera when shipping and I love to reuse it. :)

Thanks for taking a look at some of these guidelines. I want to make sure your camera gets to me safely so there's no need for additional repair. The folks in the delivery business, all of them, busted their butts this winter to get shipments to the shop so a big 'hats off' to each and every one of them!!!

That's it for now. Next post will include some common repairs that I see on a regular basis and how you might be able to diagnose the problems before sending them to the shop. Till then, shop's closed!

Happy Birthday Wes!! Keep smiling! :)






A few cameras finished up last week... hope they treat their owners well!!





Friday, February 27, 2015

Thank you Monster Energy - Repair Updates

Thank you Monster Energy for keeping me up the past few hours so I could finish off some cameras. This stuff can't be good for you at all...

Gonna keep this short and sweet as it's already 2AM but I wanted to thank everyone for the flood of emails and cameras coming in. I'm definitely going to be very busy in the next few months... for anyone interested in sending in a camera for repair please still feel free to do so but it may be about 3 weeks or maybe even more for turnaround time.

There have also quite a few questions about the skins I use and colors. The ones I stock up on are original tan, original black, pebble black, and dark brown. They are real leather which I've found to be very durable and look fantastic when applied. I have other colors I could get so if you have any custom ideas please feel free to contact me.


There it is... short and sweet! Have a great weekend and enjoy your friends and family! Shop's closed!

Here's a few highlights from this week's cameras including a set headed to Treehouse in Honolulu... (thanks Bobby!), a single custom Model 1 headed to Honolulu as well, a very nice condition Model 1, and a 250 that needed some shutter work and a little bit of love. This one was definitely a learning experience. :)






Thursday, February 12, 2015

Old Man Winter is a Big Meanie Pants

Really creative title huh?... I seriously couldn't think of anything else to title this. It's cold out and there's about 3 feet of snow on the ground. It's winter. There's the title.

Yes it's freezing out but it's nice having a nip of Makers while a fire is going. I really don't have anything to whine about. The family is happy and healthy and 2nd Shot has been crazy busy. Life is good.

I returned from my business trip to the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany. My first time overseas and I sincerely hope it's not my last. I can't describe it in too much detail as it was a very surreal experience but it was everything I hoped it would be and more. I have to say that I miss walking almost 15 miles a day along with a pretzel and Hefeweizen at each meal. I hope to go back again some day... I'd love to bring my family. :)

Ok... Back to cameras! I'm all caught up entirely with January orders. I have a few spots left before I have to cut off for February so if you have a camera you'd like sent in please contact me right away! I shipped 6 cameras today so thank you all for your patience while I was out. The new motors are making life very easy as there's no more guessing if the motor will fail again and thanks to Dubbs furnishing the shop with some new gear and lighting, working on cameras has been easier than ever. Of course she's now created a monster as I'm finding more and more things that I could use to make diagnosis and final cleaning much easier and faster. Thanks Dubbs!

As promised last month, there will be some changes with the blog soon as well as a sister site that customers can place online orders. The blog will be strictly for updates and cool pics. I'd even like to start posting some tutorials for some quick troubleshooting and repairs owners can follow to determine if their camera is worth sending in for a repair. Stay tuned! Till then Happy Valentine's Day to everyone (big 2nd Shot smootch), shop's closed!

This was my first experience with the old city once we arrived. We weren't able to check in to the hotel for another 5 hours so... eat and drink! I was in heaven!!! I was told that 6 N├╝rnberg sausages is a kids meal and that I was being a total wuss puss. I had 12 later. :)






Here's a few highlights of this week's cameras... A very nice Model 1, a custom A1M2, and a 2nd Shot first, a AAA battery converted 210 packfilm camera!






Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Motorhead - Pricing Updates


Motorhead was founded in 1975 by bassist Lemmy Kilmister. I saw them once and it was an amazing concert... really amazing. Like, "holy crap that was amazing" amazing. This post isn't about the band.



A few of you may remember reading about my pursuit of finding a suitable new replacement motor to get your SX70 working like new again and if you've had a camera worked on by 2nd Shot in the past month, you may already have one in your camera. The SX70 motor is an essential component that drives the sequence of events within the camera... no different than the motor in a car. If the motor is sluggish, old, dirty, noisy, then your camera is not working 100% resulting in poor performance and wasted fuel (in this case film). Frustrating... I've been there.

I'm happy to announce that 2nd Shot will now be offering factory fresh unused SX70 motors available for all repairs! In some cases the motor in your camera may be just fine or needs a simple reconditioning. But if your motor sounds "sick", like it's working too hard or speeds up then slows down, etc. - your camera is a great candidate for a motor replacement. A new motor in your camera allows the geartrain to operate efficiently and assures smooth and quick film delivery eliminating the frustration of film jams and unevenly developed areas of the exposed print. Your camera will sound as healthy as ever!

Due to the change in 2nd Shot's new repair techniques and the need for more labor and parts intensive repairs, mostly with Model 1s, I'm adjusting the pricing estimate categories. With the new "Overhaul" category, your camera is fully disassembled and upgraded parts like flex circuit, motor, shutter ECM (if needed) are included along with any repairs necessary. This category is highly recommended for older 1972-1974 Model 1 cameras in poor condition that utilize fragile parts that will likely fail over time.

I'd love to hear more feedback from followers and 2nd Shot customers as well. Please feel free to drop a line anytime and as always, keep an eye out on Facebook and Instagram for more drool-worthy pics.

As mentioned in the previous blog post, I will be out of town on business from 1/26 - 2/3. 


Shop's closed!

Finishing off tonight with 2 repairs. The white Model 2 inspired "The Adventures of a Dropped Camera" cartoon I doodled earlier this month.



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Latest Shipments - ***Shop Hours Update***

Thursday night already?! Cripes... OK. This week (and just about every week) has flown by. So here's a quick update as promised on Instagram.

First, a special thanks to everyone that has taken interest in what 2nd Shot has to offer... I've been getting a lot of emails and have met a ton of amazing people... it's fantastic to be a part of the drive to keep instant photo alive! For those that have cameras waiting, thanks for your patience. I'm about a week behind but gradually catching up. I'll be traveling to see family this weekend, (it's my daughter's 9th birthday!) so I'll be able to pick back up on repairs next week and a few sales (including a new SLR680 custom) are in the works. I anticipate I'll get caught up by next weekend with 7 cameras currently in the queue. I'll keep everyone posted with progress and keep watching 2nd Shot on Instagram for more cool SX70 nerd pics!

FYI... The shop will be closed from 1/26 - 2/3. I'll be traveling for my day job and need time to prepare for the trip. I'll also have very limited access to email so I won't be able to answer anyone until I get back. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Also, anticipate some new changes with 2nd Shot! New Year and new look coming in February!

Shop's closed!


This was posted on Instagram yesterday and here's the final product. This was a complete teardown and rebuild. Model 1s are very difficult to work on as they're very fragile. Fixing one part often leads to breaking another so taking it completely apart, although time consuming, makes it very easy to work on. The factory new motor works amazingly well... the camera works like new again!







Finally, here's this week's group of cameras shipping out tomorrow. In this mix you can see a beautiful Alpha 1 that has been well preserved! This one needed a new focus wheel and a new inner lens due to a little corrosion causing the outer lens element to fuse with the inner. A little inspection, cleaning, and it's ready to shoot!

                          





Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dubai City Model 3

Tonight's camera comes to the shop all the way from Dubai City in the United Arab Emirates. These are the kind of cameras that I really enjoy working on. A lot of these cameras have a story behind them... they're often used and loved and later remembered. This particular Model 3 has been in the customer's family for many years and it was owned by his father so it carries a lot of sentimental value. When I got this camera it was relatively beat up, the skins were nasty, the flash didn't fire, there were all sorts of nicks and dings in the plastic, and the shutter was acting up. Often times I'll do a general cleaning and full repair but this customer wanted to get the cameras as close to mint condition as possible. This is what I would call a restoration rather than refurbish (the process costs quite a bit more as a lot of time is involved). The camera was stripped down and parts were cleaned, some painted, new labels were applied including the rear shutter board thumb sticker, the door latch label, and the instructions label under the viewfinder. Here's what else was done to this camera:

- new faceplate
- new factory fresh motor
- removed rust and painted the rear shutterboard
- disassembled and cleaned lenses and shutterblades
- replaced the ECM and corresponding flex circuitry
- polished the viewfinder lenses
- cleaned all plastic parts
- removed taking mirror and polished
- replaced film rollers


There may be a few things I didn't list but this little camera got the whole kit n kaboodle! I really do like Model 3 cameras... although they require a bit of a learning curve to get used to finding distances for focusing, they have a lot of charm to them. They're little workhorses. Many special thanks to the owner of this fully restored Model 3 and I hope it has a safe trip back home and brings many more years of pictures and happiness! Shop's closed!



Here's what it looked like when it came to the shop...



A few progress shots including masking for paint.





And the final product with a few test shots!







        


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A 2nd Shot Story

I doodle during meetings. Here's what I came up with today. TO THE SHOP!!!!!















Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015! - 2nd Shot Updates



Hey Everybody! Happy New Year, Happy belated Holidays, and a very belated Merry Christmas! I was very busy the last few weeks traveling and spending very quality time with my family so I greatly apologize for late email correspondence and the lack of posts here - I've been hanging out a lot on Instagram though :). I hope everyone had a fantastic Holiday and I'm sitting here slunched over the computer all bummed out it's all over. I go back to my day job tomorrow... I don't wanna. I refuse to take down my Christmas tree. It's only been up for like a week and a half. I blinked and everything is done... everybody's gone. All the good food is gone... all the salty snacks and killer drinks. Back to regular routine. It's gonna be tough to sleep tonight but I keep reminding myself that I have a lot to look forward to in 2015. Especially with 2nd Shot cameras and my family!!

My last post happened during what is now known here in Buffalo as "Snowmageddon"... I think we set a US record for the most snowfall in a 24 hour period. That was absolutely crazy! The first few days everybody was all "YAY! SNOW DAY!!" but the third day when it kept going it was more like "dude... is our roof gonna cave in? Are we out of beer?". All is good now but it did back up quite a bit in the shop.

So here's a new post for a new year with new ideas and new... stuff. First, I need to go over some housekeeping. I am currently crazy booked through January. I will not be accepting any new repairs or builds until February 5th. The shop will be closed from Jan. 28 - Feb 4 due to business travel regarding my day job. So I need to get all repairs and orders, I think I'm at 13 right now, before I leave. I'll make an announcement when I get back. Thank you for everybody's patience while I get the rest of this group finished.

OK, now for the cool 2nd Shot business-y stuff. There's some changes planned for 2015 for 2nd Shot... all good but will affect repair pricing but I believe it will be worth the increase. I've learned a lot this past year regarding the business, where instant photography is headed, and with actual repairs. So here we go:

- 2nd Shot will be offering an electronic modification of the SX70 camera's metering system to accept 600 film. This goes for all SX70 models (C/R values are based on ECM model numbers). I'll update the price list next month but the mod will be priced around 35.00.

- 2nd Shot is now offering a factory fresh replacement motor upgrade service for all repairs! I have identified several new production motors that are suitable for all SX70 and SLR680 cameras and the results are fantastic!! The motor is the heart of the SX70 and with a strong new motor, the camera's mechanical functions are amazingly improved! The new motor option will add 20.00 to each repair.

- Model 1s are very popular cameras. A lot of people are buying them because of their iconic appearance but cameras pre-1976 can have a LOT of problems. They are extremely fragile, the electronics are old and outdated, they've been greatly used and worn out, rusty, fungus, etc. I highly believe that there is really only one way to repair an older Model 1 if performance is a concern and that is to upgrade mechanical and electronic parts entirely but to do so takes a LOT of time and patience. There's a reason the Alpha 1 is such a good camera... Polaroid used parts that had been redesigned and upgraded. Starting in 2015 all pre-1976 Model 1 repairs will carry the option of a "performance upgrade" repair fee of 150.00.  This is basically "The Works" repair option which includes replacement motor, ECM upgrade if needed, and upgraded flex circuitry. The general repair/reskin option is still available at 95.00 but the more involved electronics/mechanical repair option at 125.00 will be omitted.

- Stickers and shirts... I love em and so does everyone else! 2nd Shot will be offering both this Spring!!!

- Look out for more sales through the blog. Ebay is fun and all and gets a lot of traffic but now that each sale requires close to 15% of fees that's becoming a difficult amount to deal with, especially with high priced items. I'm not trying to get rich but that fee is worth a trip to the grocery store in some cases.

- Finally, I pledge to post each month at the bare minimum! Seriously... I mean it!!

I can't thank everyone enough for their support and correspondence and I sincerely hope that 2015 brings bigger and better things with instant photography! I hope that larger companies like The Impossible Project and Mint are successful with new products and developments and also smaller businesses that are dedicated to keeping our cameras filled with film thrive. I hope 2nd Shot keeps going strong (at least as much as I can handle) this year and that customers find that their cameras work better than ever after a trip to the shop. It's been heard over and over again, but here's to much love and peace for everyone in 2015!

I'll leave you all with pics of a few treats that were left by Santa Dubbs... ;) Shop's closed.


Such a valuable tool... great for testing at various voltages. No more shuffling to find a film pack with a strong battery.


Slowly been building up a stash in 2014 but a few extra packs for Christmas loaded up the fridge! Think I'm finally good with 3000 film. :)