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Autofocus and Skin

ChatGPT, please give me a brief summary of the history of autofocus in film cameras:

Certainly! Here are four examples of autofocus technology in film cameras

1. Polaroid SX-70 Sonar (1978): The iconic instant film camera with Sonar autofocus, using ultrasonic waves for precise subject focusing and instant prints.

2. Minolta Maxxum 7000 (1985): The world's first autofocus SLR camera, featuring in-body autofocus and phase-detection sensors for faster and accurate focus adjustments.

3. Canon EOS 650 (1987): An early autofocus film camera with an electronic lens mount, improving communication between body and lens for enhanced autofocus performance.

4. Nikon F5 (1996): A professional-grade film SLR camera with a sophisticated 5-point autofocus system, offering rapid and precise focusing, ideal for sports and wildlife photography.

These examples highlight the evolution of autofocus technology in film cameras, from the revolutionary instant camera Sonar system to advanced autofocus systems in professional SLRs.

SX-70 sonar
The Polaroid SX-70 Sonar (1978)

Having autofocus in a film camera isn't a big deal. Companies have perfected the technology years ago. However, what truly excites me about the Mint35 project is that we're using a new autofocus technology in a 35mm film camera, which has never been done before in any 35mm camera.

Unlike traditional ranging methods like phase detection or contrast detection, the Mint35 uses lidar, a relatively new ranging technology that has gained popularity in recent years and can even be found in the newest iPhone models.

During the initial stages of the project, we went everywhere in search of AF modules, only to learn that all the old AF technology had become obsolete and was no longer available. Undeterred, we took the risk and decided to reinvent a new AF module from scratch. To our surprise and delight, the latest tests revealed that our lidar-based approach outperformed all the outdated methods — a truly thrilling and rewarding outcome after the tremendous effort we invested in making it work.

The best thing about using lidar is its accuracy and impressive range capabilities. This is particularly useful in large apertures, where the depth-of-field requires precise focussing. Plus, it's safe to use.

Using this method does come with a higher cost $ though, but we think it's worth it (we didn't really have a choice anyways). I'm thrilled to announce that we're in the final phases of perfecting this part of the camera and it is very promising.

On a different note, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the camera's appearence. Which skin do you prefer:

SX-70 sonar


SX-70 sonar

Vote now:



Last but not least, there are a lot of exciting projects going on at Mint. Besides the TL70 Plus, we recently introduced a major upgrade to the SLR670. A SLR670 with a built-in battery for it to use i-Type films, together with all the available films options that Polaroid offers.

The SLR670 (Type i) is seriously awesome. Check it out here.


P.S You can find me here @gary228ho