Oh how I loved my old Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera. It was actually my dad's, but after his initial infatuation with it, he let it languish in a drawer until I rediscovered it 10 years later as a high school student in the '80s. I loved everything about this first instant SLR, from the real leather panels (the same color as my favorite Frye boots), to the funky rubbery bellows-like sides that made it look both retro and modern at once. Instant photos aside, I even loved how the disposable Flash Bar plugged in and each of the 10 bulbs melted into a crazy blob once it was spent. And of course my fascination with the innovative folding design must've been a harbinger of my future obsession with electronic gadgets.
Imagine my delight yesterday when I saw that Photojojo (one of my fave photo gadget sites) was selling original SX-70s restored to mint condition. The price seemed steep to me at $290, since you can find them selling on eBay for closer to $150, but apparently plenty of folks are willing to cough up quite a bit more for a guarantee from Photojojo (and to save themselves from eBay hassle). In fact, all 50 of the limited edition units listed yesterday were sold out within a day. But don't fret if you missed the boat. Today, the site indicates there will be more stock shipping by mid-October. Of course, they've quietly bumped the price up to a whopping $350 now, but who can put a price on nostalgia? Oh, and if you're worried about where you can get film after Polaroid stopped producing it back in 2008, don't fret: The Impossible Project -- which bought Polaroid production machinery before it was relegated to the scrap heap and is leasing part of a former Polaroid plant in the Netherlands -- produces and sells film for SX-70s and other Polaroid instant cameras. It'll set you back close to three bucks a shot, though, so don't start deleting those iPhone apps just yet.
And for a real trip down memory lane, check out this fabulous 10-minute advertisement for the SX-70 from the '70s: