Polaroid SX-70: Don’t Be Fooled By These “Defects”

I get all sorts of questions all the time about the Polaroid SX-70. Polaroid SX-70 was introduced in the 1970s, and it is a 40 year old camera (some of them turning 50 in a few years 😲). SX-70s aren’t being made anymore. How many products can you name that last 40 years? Not many. The Polaroid SX-70 was truly built to last.

I always tell people not to treat the Polaroid SX-70 like any other camera. It’s special. It’s a camera that you will still be carrying around 10 years from now, and that is not an overstatement. I don’t see any instant camera that can beat the SX-70 in terms of design. The Polaroid SX-70 was way ahead of its time.

All physical products will deteriorate. The question is, how fast do they deteriorate? Amazingly, with the Polaroid SX-70, the answer is remarkably slow. As long as you know how to store them properly, and handle them with care, they can last for a very long time. They were designed to be durable. Below are two issues I get asked a lot about.

Crack in Viewfinder

sx70-viewfinder
One or two grey lines slanting downwards.

These two grey lines in the viewfinder are perfectly normal. It will not affect the picture in any way. They are not cracks.

These grey lines are caused by the viewing mirror, not the photo-taking mirror. Therefore, you don’t have to worry. I haven’t seen a single picture affected by this “crack”.

SX-70 cross section

The Film Door Gap

The Polaroid SX-70 is foldable, and for any foldable object, there will be a gap. For the SX-70, this gap is visible. Don’t worry though, it is perfectly normal to see the gap or even fit a few sheets of paper through the gap. If the film door falls down by itself, that’s another story.

Note that the gap widens when you install the frog tongue / film shield. Either way, this will not affect the performance of the camera. Most SX-70s had this gap straight out of factory. We did notice though, that the gap shrunk in later models. Those models we use to make the SLR670.

Of course, there are a lot of “real” defects that occur with SX-70s. We have a list of real defects and how we fix MiNT refurbished SX-70s. You can learn more here.

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