Polaroid SX-70 Models to Avoid

I still remember the first time I saw a Polaroid SX-70, it was beautiful and the folding mechanism was so special. There were different colors, some had nicer leather, but they all kinda looked the same.

Eventually I learnt that later SX-70 models are better and there are huge differences in the design. Imagine 50 years from now, if you showed somebody an iPhone 6 and an iPhone 12, it would be kind of the same, but we know that the insides are different. In the same way, over the timespan of a decade, Polaroid released many editions of the SX-70 and made many improvements to the later versions.

If you’re shooting with a Polaroid SX-70, I assume you’ll want a usable camera that takes good pictures. I’ll explain which SX-70 models are just not that great.

Model 3 – The outcast

Model 3

The biggest problem with the Model 3 is that you can’t focus! You need to guess the focussing distance, which makes it completely impractical. Or, a friend of mine joked, it can only be used for landscapes. Also, the framing is inaccurate. Not to mention that the flash socket is too high up and flimsy.

The Model 3 tops the list of “Polaroid SX-70s to Avoid”.

Model 1 – The iPhone 1

Model 1

The iPhone 1 was a great phone at that time, but if I asked you to use it today, it would become a display. Barely usable.

You’d probably be thinking: No way! This is the most common SX-70 and I’ve seen people take great pictures with it! 

Yes, you can take great pictures with the Model 1, but you also have to be lucky. Also be prepared to waste film learning how to control the camera, if you’re lucky enough that it doesn’t break mid-way.

Not all Model 1s are bad though. Beware of the ones with marked dials, those are the earliest and don’t last long.

Model 1 early version

Later Model 1s and Alpha 1s are better. Here’s a more detailed article on this topic.

Model 2 – The hollow bunny

Model 2 early version

Not all Model 2s are bad. Model 2s were like the second generation of the SX-70, so they are generally better than Model 1s.

However, some early Model 2s used the same design as the Model 1, and they just changed the body color. So buyer beware.


That’s all! Mint carefully selects cameras, does upgrades, provides warranty so you don’t have to worry about all the technical details. If you want to learn more about Polaroid SX-70 / SLR670 / instant photography, check out the other blog posts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *