Mint SLR670-S : Down the rabbit hole. Is it just me ?

Long story:short….well, shortish.
This was born of a bit of late night surfing…the Internet has lots to answer for. After 27 years of shooting Canon film and digital SLR cameras, I decided to get myself a new camera: a day camera, something that I could carry everywhere, for family and documentary day to day photo’s. It needed to be small, functional and have a bit of soul…after a fair amount of research I bought a Fuji X100T, the X100F had already been announced but I figured if the X100T was any good…I could part ex it in for the F if it warranted it.

I was sold, the Fuji X100T was/is a fantastic camera: as soon as the X100F officially was open to pre-order, it was ordered.

They are both fantastic cameras, analogue dials on the top, a camera that feels great in the hand. I shoot 90% of the time in Black and White in Fuji’s Across-r mode.

Fuji X100F

fuji-x100f-camera

I’m very fortunate to be one of those lucky people that have a passion/hobby that is also my chosen job. So most of my ‘toys’ can be classed as needed work tools.

I am an avid Youtube watcher and love watching other photographers work and came across a street photographer using a novel little printer called a Fuji Instax SP-2…

This is a modern day digital version of a Polaroid. It wirelessly hooks up to the X100F. It’s brilliant. Take a photo, print it out, no computer, Fuji jpg’s are superb. The SP-2 uses Fuji Instax film, a bit smaller and narrow than original Polaroids.

Fuji Instax SP-2

install-sp-2

Fast forward 6 months and Fuji announced a new Instax printer the SP-3. There’s always something new! In photography circles we call this G.A.S. [Gear acquisition Syndrome] The new printer now produces a very similar square format instant print…instantly reminding you of original Polaroids. This is where the rabbit hole starts…

So, instead of getting an SP3 I realised the reason i liked it so much was because it reminded me of my childhood, everyone had Polaroids. The click and instant print is unbeatable. So off to Google I went, I knew Polaroid had stopped making film years ago so wanted to see what options there were.

I found a company called Impossible Project, I remember reading about them a few years ago, they bought the original Polaroid machinery when Polaroid ceased operations. So I had film that i could buy. Now, I just needed a camera for it. [ Impossible Project have since bought the Polaroid Trademark and are now called Polaroid Originals ]

Polaroid cameras are very cheap on ebay, every model you can think of. In all shapes and sizes. There was only one for me. The SLX-70. This is a beautiful camera. Simple, functional and very stylish. The only problem is getting one in working order. Ebay is full off ones that are ‘possibly’ working. So a bit more down the rabbit hole and I found numerous companies that will refurbish SX-70’s and get them back to a new state. During my surfing I stumbled upon ‘Mint Camera’s’. They would take your SX-70 and turn it into a modern Polaroid camera adding all sorts of bells and whistles. [Well, aperture, shutter and ISO controls]. Perfect. That was my Christmas present sorted then.

Mint cameras, completely rebuild the SX-70, remove the electronics and replace it with their own. Clean, polish, reskin, oil and add a bit of fairy dust to the SX-70 and add an extra bit that you can plug into it called ‘The Time Machine’. This now allows you to use SX-70 film or Polaroid 600 film, which gives you the best of both worlds. In essence ISO 100 or 600 film. The SX-70 is renamed in the process to an SLR670. Mint cameras have different versions, the SLR670-a, the SLR670-m and the SLR670-S….and lot’s more. Seriously don’t go on their website, as you will end up lusting after one and it will somehow end up in your shopping basket.

The Mint Camera’s SLR670-S with Time Machine

The SLR670 now natively shoots 600 film, so you can leave the Time Machine off and shoot 600 film. The 600 film is a lot more flexible especially if shooting indoors with no flash. If you plug in the Time Machine you can then select whether you are shooting SX-70 or 600 film. It also allows you to control you shutter speed, do long exposures, bulb exposures and manually take charge of your camera…which as photographers we all like to do that !

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