The Dreaded SX-70 Whir

May 10, 2012 § 12 Comments

Polaroid SX-70

Polaroid SX-70

I woke up this morning, and for some reason or another, started looking for estate sales on craigslist in the hopes of seeing something interesting for sale.    I stumbled upon one in particular that had a vague description about a camera collection just on the other side of town.   I scrolled through some of the photos they had posted and noticed what looked to be a SX-70 case beside some junky 35mm cameras.  Oh ya.  That’s the winner.   I had about an hour to get there so I grabbed an empty film pack to test it and ran out the door.

Hit a good amount of traffic on the way but managed to get there with about 10 minutes to spare.  As I approached the house, I noticed a good amount of people outside .. probably 40+.   Everyone was waiting in a line and a few were gathered underneath a tree in the yard.   Hmmmm … haha.   I had to do something to get inside and get to that camera first.  After a little while,  I saw a few people looking through the front windows.   I moseyed my way up to the porch fake-texting on my phone and reached the front of the house.   Typically, I would not condone this type of behavior BUT in this circumstance .. I figured it was probably OK.    I peeked in the window and saw a pristine Polaroid case sitting on a table along with a few other cameras.   The door opened up and I heard “OK – We are going to take the first 30 people …”   Well .. I did come all this way for the camera.   I snuck inside and went directly to it, pulled it out of the case just a little bit (pristine condition), noticed the sticker price ($70) and I went to the front to pay.   “You sure were on a mission weren’t you??” The lady said .. haha.  On my way out the door I hear a few people asking where the cameras were .. sorry guys.

Once I got to the car, I put an empty pack of film in the camera and knocked off a few exposures.  It sounded great!  Happy with the new acquisition I cruised back home.

Once I got there, I started fiddling with it again and then noticed, the whirring noise it was making when doing its ejecting business, was sounding a little  strained.  I pulled the pack out and put it back in and the whirring started … but then the motor kept running.    The mechanism that spits out the dark slide & photos was not working .. haha.   NooooooOOOOoOo!   I just got this thing … I took the pack out and searched online for a fix.

I found a couple so I pulled out the tools.  Now I thought about writing this blog post AFTER I had already taken off the back cover so you’ll just have to imagine what that looked like 😉 I just pulled off the leather from the corner using a little screwdriver to first start removing it and then I peeled back the foil cover that was glued to the back.  The steps are:

Remove the leather and foil protective cover under the SX-70

Remove the leather and foil protective cover on the bottom of the SX-70

Use alcohol to remove the glue on the back and in the screws

Use alcohol to remove the glue on the back and in the screws

Remove all 4 screws from the back of the SX-70

Remove all 4 screws from the back of the SX-70 with a T-5 mini torx screwdriver

Pull the bottom cover off of the SX-70

Pull the bottom cover off of the SX-70

Use pliers to off the spring located here ...

Use pliers to take off the spring located here …

Connect the spring to the spindle.  You will need to stretch the spring out and work with it until it can clip in the spindle.

Connect the inner spring to the spindle. You will need to stretch the spring out and work with it until it can clip in the spindle.

Spring connected to spindle on SX-70

Spring connected to spindle on SX-70

Put the cover back on and you're all set!

Replace the spring you took off earlier, put the cover back on and then you’re all set!

Phew!  That was close!   Now if you’re wondering, there are SX-70 leather replacement kits online.  They are about $20.   Anyhow, I put in a pack of Impossible Project PX-70 old gen stuff and took a quick test shot …

Impossible Project PX-70 Old Generation Bag film

Impossible Project PX-70 Old Generation Bag film

It looks to be working fine!   Can’t wait to shoot the rest of this pack over the next day or so ..

-Justin

www.goodephotography.biz

To learn more about Impossible Project’s film click here … 

Bleaching FP-100C

May 5, 2012 § 8 Comments

Salvage a negative from FP-100C shot on your Polaroid

Salvage a negative from FP-100C shot on your Polaroid

For those of you unaware, FujiFilm’s FP-100C is peel apart film used in Polaroid cameras and other cameras equipped with a Polaroid back.    I’ve been shooting the stuff for a few years on a Mamiya RB-67 and Polaroid pack film cameras (seen above).  Other than Impossible Project films, Fuji’s peel-apart films are the only other dominate option for instant analogue photography.

I just recently found out how to salvage the negatives from FP-100C.   For years I’ve just peeled off the exposed prints and disposed of the “other part”.  I have been missing out!  Not any more however 😉

My wife and I took a trip to our friend’s ranch a few weeks ago and she shot a lot of FP-100C while we were there.  We saved all of her negatives and stored them in a box once they had all dried.  Side note: I’ve found if you stash the negative away in a dark dry place, you can still salvage it.    If it’s left out in the open sun to dry, exposure will run its course and the negative will be overexposed/washed out.   Anyhow, she took an image of me plinking away with a bb gun on their back porch.   It’s a little dark on the print but I’ll be able to pull out some shadow detail once the negative has been scanned (that’s one of the cool things about this).

FP-100C Print

FP-100C Print

To salvage the negative it’s quite simple actually.    You’ll need:

– 8×10-ish piece of glass

– small paint brush

– container to hold bleach

– rubber gloves

– clips to dry the negative

All you have to do is …

Peel paper off around edges of negative

Peel paper off around edges of negative

Prop the glass up in the sink and run some cold water over it

Prop the glass up in the sink and run some cold water over it

Turn water off and immediately place the negative face down (black side up).  Press it down so it seals itself to the glass.

Turn water off and immediately place the negative face down (black side up). Press down on it so it seals itself to the glass.

Pour a little bit of bleach onto the back of the negative

Pour a little bit of bleach onto the back of the negative

Brush off the black backing of the negative with the paint brush.    Frequently dip the brush back into the container of bleach.

Without getting bleach underneath the negative, brush off the black backing of the negative. Frequently dip the brush back into the container of bleach.

Run cold water over the negative to wash away backing.   Be careful not to get water underneath the negative at this time.

Run cold water over the negative to wash away backing. Be careful not to get water underneath the negative at this time.

Position water to go underneath the negative and pull it off the piece of glass using rubber gloves.

Pull the negative off of the glass using rubber gloves.

Wash the developer goop off of the emulsion.  DO NOT APPLY a lot of pressure otherwise you will wash away part of the emulsion.

Wash the developer goop off of the negative. Be careful to not apply a lot of pressure otherwise you might rub off part of the emulsion.

Clip the negative up to dry and you're all set!

Clip the negative up to dry and you’re all set!

Scanned negative from FP-100C

Scanned negative from FP-100C – white blotches are from where the black backing was not bleached off.

Here are a few other examples:

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan - Discoloration is from bleach leaking onto the front during the wash

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan – Green discoloration is from bleach leaking onto the front during the wash.  The left corner area is an undeveloped patch.

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan - Yellow discoloration is from bleach leaking onto the front during the wash

Bleached Fuji FP-100C Negative Scan – Yellow discoloration is from bleach leaking onto the front during the wash

Thanks for taking the time!

-Justin

Got an old pack film camera sitting around?   You can buy FP-100C here.  Aaaaand just because I love these peeps I gotta mention them again … Impossible Project is selling some of the last sepia toned polaroid peel apart film available.   Buy it here.

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