Saturday, October 16, 2010

Polaroid

I know. Polaroid no longer makes film. But some very determined people decided to "re-invent" the instant photograph and The Impossible Project was born. I was never really a "Polaroid" photographer, but I did have a One-Step around and occasionally would pick up a pack of film at the store when I thought of it. Well, after spending too much time on Flickr and seeing so many beautiful Polaroid photographs taken with the Polaroid SX-70, I just had to have one of those cameras. Not to mention the incredible engineering it took to build such a beautiful camera. Once I get it into my head that I want a camera, I cannot seem to let it go. And for the last year, I've been searching for a reasonably priced and working SX-70. But, there is such a demand for that camera, it's rare to see nice ones for under $100. Since the film is upwards of $20 a pack, that was an investment I was not willing to make. Until...

About a month ago, while perusing Craigslist for cameras (as I often do), I decided to search on "polaroid". And much to my surprise, I saw an ad for "Polaroid SX-70 Time-Zero Autofocus - $7" in Sperryville, VA. 7 DOLLARS? It had to be a piece of junk. 7 DOLLARS? But, I had to click on the ad. And it said, "excellent condition, working, with a pack of refrigerated expired Time-Zero film". What? You can't even buy Time-Zero film for $7 on eBay! So, I just had to see if this was really true... You know what they say about "too good to be true". I emailed the person asking for more information. A few days later, I got a call...

I talked with the man selling the camera for nearly 20 minutes. He was a pediatric dentist that used to use the camera at his office before digital cameras. He was so very pleasant to talk to and seemed like such a nice person, that I just had to be honest with him about the price of the camera. He said that he had no idea that it was such a valuable object in the "photographic world", but that he really didn't care about making money on the camera. Well, we talked photography, The Impossible Project, and darkrooms. His son was into photography once and had an enlarger sitting around. He asked if I wanted that, too. How much? Free. Really? Yes. Wow. Since we live over 2 hours away from each other, he said the next time his son (who lives closer to me) came for a visit he'd hand the stuff over to him and I could pick it up.

Weeks went by, I was only slightly worried. Then I got a call from him. His son was going to visit him and he was going to give the camera and enlarger to him. Then the part came when I was literally speechless, which is very hard to do to me.... His father had an old Polaroid 250 that had the portrait and macro lenses and a flash with flash bulbs. Did I want it? How much? Free. ..... Hello? Um, wow. *laughs* Seriously? Yes. He said his 90 year old father would just love the fact that someone would want to use it.

Wow. I picked them up from his daughter-in-law October 15. These cameras are in working, near-mint condition. For $7. I went to Batteries Plus and they still make the 4.5V battery for the 250. I'll have it in a week. I'm ordering the pack film online. I have shot 1 frame in the SX-70. I'm in love with it. The picture is far from good. I think I was excited and nervous to see what would happen when I pressed the red button...



...and I can press it 9 more times.

1 comments:

Cait Wade said...

What an amazing story, holy cow! You are one lucky lady. Keep the photos coming!

 

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