Do you want to learn how to get the most out of your SX-70 camera? This article has some nice tips and tricks for you.
Open the camera by lifting the small end of the viewfinder cap (The serrated part) using two fingers. The cover support bar will lock once the camera is fully extended.
Close the camera by pushing the support bar and let the camera fold down. Then press the viewfinder cap until it locks.
Holding the camera
When holding the camera make sure not to cover the electric eye or the lens. Also do not touch the bellows (rubber sides) as that could block the mirror movement.
SX-70 Film ISO
SX-70 film is rated ISO 160. That means it needs a lot of light. Taking sharp photos indoor without a tripod and cable release is often not possible. Even a room with a big window needs direct sunlight to be bright enough for using a handheld SX-70.
If there is not enough light the camera will expose the photo up to 25 seconds before it ejects the photo. It may look like a defect to you but it's normal.
We recommend using the SX-70 outdoors with good sunlight from the back for the best results.
Use exposure compensation.
Each SX-70 camera has an “electric eye” which measures the lighting. As the cameras can be 40 years+ old these sensors have aged over time, some of them more than others. That means that each SX-70 camera exposes a bit differently.
You can test your camera by taking three shots at the same time, day, and from the same film pack (preferably a sunny day, with the sun behind you). On the first photo, you leave the exposure compensation wheel in the middle. On the 2nd shot you turn it 1 notch to dark (left). On the 3rd photo, you put it on “half-dark”. That way you can find the camera's exposure sweet spot for sunny days. Now you can estimate the best setting for different light situations.
Use one finger to turn the focus wheel. Remember that the focus circle does not represent the middle of the picture. The middle is located slightly above the focus circle.
Shielding the photo
Once you press the shutter button it’s important to shield the photo from light. Using a Polaroid film shield works best. But you can also use a dark slide to cover the ejecting frame. Shield it for about 5-10 sec. Then remove it and keep it somewhere dark.