Vintage Camera: Polaroid SX-70

A few weeks ago, I heard from a little bird about a vendor at the Antiques Garage having 1,500 vintage cameras for sale. There was no way I was missing that even though it meant getting up at 5 AM on a Saturday. I went and wow, was it ever worth it just to see and check out so many vintage cameras in person. Evidently the vendor came across a hoarder...but instead of hoarding the usual everyday household stuff, this guy was a camera hoarder! The vendor had a whole truck chock full of cameras and gear and they only had enough floor space at the Antiques Garage to put out maybe 250-500 cameras at a time. There were tables and boxes of cameras. Amazingly, as it seems is hardly ever the case in Manhattan, the vendor was letting gear go for reasonable prices (I guess he had so much merchandise to move so why mess around). I suspect he got this enormous lot for a steal.

I was on the lookout for two cameras--an Olympus Pen (a half-frame camera) and a Polaroid SX-70 (one of the original ones with the stainless, red shutter release and the great tick marks around the lens). The vendor had maybe 20 SX-70s and just as I walked up to his table, someone else said he would take all the SX-70s (this guy was no joke--he ended up buying well over a grand worth of cameras, Polaroids and others). I quickly headed to the other side of the vendor's space and snapped up the one SX-70 in sight before it got thrown into the other guy's deal. Lucky for me it was just the one I wanted and in great cosmetic and working condition!

The SX-70, introduced in 1972, is a folding single lens relfex Land Camera from Polaroid. It was the first instant SLR in history and the first camera to use Polaroid's new integral print film, which developed automatically without the need for intervention from the photographer. The camera was revolutionary at the time and I think the design, especially of the original SX-70, is classic. A big add to the collection.

No Olympus Pen this time...the vendor had some, but they were still on the truck when I was there.

1 comment:

  1. We read your interesting article. Didn't realize that they were a collector's item. We also have one in perfect condition with the large brown leather case, no scratches and no marks on both camera and case; absolutely perfect. (will sell ours if any interested. just post here)
    Thank you for your interesting article.