Unfolding the Retro Magic of Polaroid SX-70

The Polaroid SX-70, a hallmark of instant photography, remains a cherished favorite among photography enthusiasts. Launched in 1972, this iconic camera transformed instant photography. Notable for its innovative foldable single-lens reflex design, manual focus, and automatic exposure control, the SX-70 stands as a significant achievement in photographic history.

This article offers an in-depth examination of the Polaroid SX-70’s technical aspects, including its battery and film requirements. Additionally, we’ll explore the camera’s historical significance and its enduring appeal to photographers and collectors.

What Type of Batteries Does the Polaroid SX-70 Use?

The Polaroid SX-70 camera is powered by the battery included in its film pack, not by traditional separate batteries. Each film pack has a built-in 6-volt PolaPulse battery. This battery powers the camera’s electronics, motor, and flash. Simply put, a new film pack means a new battery for the camera.

What Type of Film Does the Polaroid SX-70 Use?

The Polaroid SX-70 uses a specific film format named after the camera itself – the SX-70 film. The original production of this film by Polaroid had ceased for a while, but it is now available under the Polaroid Originals brand. The two types available are the Polaroid Color Film for SX-70 for color images and the Polaroid B&W Film for SX-70 for black and white images.

The film cassette, apart from housing the camera’s battery, holds the film for the instant camera. The captured image has a size of 7.9 cm by 7.9 cm and is surrounded by a frame. Each pack comes with eight images. After inserting the film, the camera ejects the darkslide (which protects the film from light exposure outside the camera), and you can start taking pictures.

The Legacy of the Polaroid SX-70

The Polaroid SX-70 has more to offer than its technical specifications. It’s also about the retro experience and the connection it creates with photography’s past.

The SX-70 was a game-changer in its time. Its chrome body, covered with leather, and the compact foldable design were nothing short of revolutionary when first introduced. It was a camera ahead of its time, with features like the fixed 116 mm focal length, manual focus, automatic exposure setting, and the option to influence exposure with a light/dark control.

Although Polaroid SX-70 is only available in the used market today, it still retains its popularity among photography enthusiasts and collectors, attesting to its timeless design and functionality.

Polaroid SX-70: The Accessories and Beyond

The Polaroid SX-70 is not just about the camera alone. It is also about the array of accessories designed for it, enhancing its functionality. These include the Polaroid Accessory Holder, Close-Up Lens and Flash Diffuser, Lens Shade, Remote Shutter Button, and the Tripod Mount.

With its unique features, classic design, and the retro touch, the Polaroid SX-70 truly stands out as a symbol of photography’s vibrant history. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an amateur enthusiast, this camera offers a unique experience that takes you back in time while providing you with high-quality instant photos.

The Polaroid SX-70 in the Modern Age

Despite the shift to digital photography, there’s still a fascination with the vintage charm and tactile pleasure offered by the Polaroid SX-70. Today, brands like Polaroid Originals (now renamed Polaroid) are keeping the flame of instant photography alive by producing new films compatible with this retro camera.

Moreover, due to the revival of analog photography, the Polaroid SX-70 has become more popular than ever. Many photographers and collectors are finding joy in modifying and using these cameras, creating unique, tangible memories and pieces of art.


The Polaroid SX-70 is indeed a legendary photographic instrument. Its innovative design, the unique approach to batteries and film, and its vintage appeal set it apart. As a camera that transformed the world of photography, it continues to be celebrated by enthusiasts and collectors alike. Whether you’re eager to experiment with instant film or appreciate the history of photography, the Polaroid SX-70 offers an enchanting journey into the past with its timeless charm and innovative features.

Technical Specifications

TypeInstant camera
Film formatSX-70 film
Film size79 x 79 mm
BatteryBuilt into the film pack (6V PolaPulse battery)
LensFixed 116mm f/8 Single Element
Shutter speed1/175s to >10 seconds
FocusManual via front geared wheel, split-image rangefinder
Dimensions (Folded)17.5 x 10 x 2.5 cm
FlashOptional flashbar or electronic flash
Unique FeaturesCompact, foldable design, automatic exposure, built-in flashbar socket